Saturday, August 24, 2013

Summertime Blues

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"There ain't no cure for the summertime blues...."
--The Who

As I poked around Mt. Tam this morning, feeling not-so-very inspired, I got to thinking about an episode of Northern Exposure that I watched online with Pam a week or so ago. It was the one where the whole town is on edge and kind of loco because it was close to break-up, close to the time when the ice would finally crack and winter would loosen its grip on everyone and everything. Around here it isn't winter that puts everything on lock-down; it's summer. Instead of waiting for the ice to crack and let the water start flowing again, I'm waiting for the sky to crack and the rain to start flowing again. Nuts, right? Summer is what California is all about. That may be true in the popular imagination, but I didn't see any of those popular imaginers sunbathing on Ocean Beach when I drove home.

As I walked out among the dry, crackling grasses on Mt. Tam's steep south-facing flank, I felt I'd never before noticed how truly blue it was in the shadows. It doesn't just appear blue in pictures because film (digital or otherwise) sees it that way. The grass down at my feet was as blue as the sea, but only on the edges. It was as if someone had drawn a blue outline on everything. I actually did a double-take when I saw it.

I mosied down the Cataract Trail a short ways, feeling lonesome without the sound of water flowing. Water striders occupied the still pools, and I even spotted a newt in one of them, but it wasn't until I turned my gaze upward that I saw my buddy, the moon, gibbous and waning, as she made her slow descent towards Stinson Beach.

Up along Bolinas Ridge I watched a pair of wild turkeys snapping at seedheads as they bobbed along through the tall grasses. A few doe deer fed placidly next to the woods. A young oak with a fresh buck-rub was kind of exciting to see, but the bucks stayed hidden. We still have September and October to get through before the sky breaks. Until then, please excuse me if I seem a little blue....

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