||[Apr. 29th, 2016|09:14 pm]
Around five o'clock this evening the sun was washing the fresh green foliage with light from the partly cloudy sky while a mass of blue-grey cloud obscured the mountains. From the cloud mass came periodic thumping sounds. A distant thunderstorm was echoing from canyons and mountainsides. It must have been wild up there, but here, other than the faint rumbling, all was bright, peaceful and springlike. The rumbles continued for half an hour or so, and then the cloud mass began to dissipate as the sun declined beyond the trees to the west and the sky grew dimmer, and the green foliage darkened as it fell into shadow. It was nice while it lasted.|
Yesterday evening I noticed a line hanging from one of the remaining pine trees in the yard at the end of the block. Today a crew came and took it out, along with what remained of the tree that was mostly removed yesterday. The tree they took out today looked to be in better condition than two of its near neighbors. One of the survivors leans rather too much over the adjacent house, and I suspect that it will be next to go. I'd have taken that one out first.
I now expect that the crew will soon return to remove at least two and possibly three and maybe all four of the trees that yard has left. The house still has two very tall ponderosas in its front yard, and though they look healthy it's possible that they are infested with bark beetles, which is the most likely reason for the recent removal of the back yard trees. The forest is going away, and there's probably nothing that can be done about it. Years of drought have weakened most of the trees, leaving them highly susceptible to beetle infestations, and drought is more likely to return than not. The denuding of much of the woodland is going to be one of the most obvious consequences of climate change. I'm glad I won't be around to see the end result. It's bad enough watching the early stages.
The frogs are croaking again tonight, though more faintly as they are now fewer in number. I don't know why they were silent all last night. I don't hear the cricket that was in my back yard last night, but I do still here the one next door. It sounds pretty lonely. I hope he gets some competition soon. I like to hear lots of crickets singing when I'm sitting on the porch on the warm evenings that will soon arrive. That probably won't be until sometime next week. By then I might have jasmine to smell, too. The flowers are beginning to show but aren't yet open wide enough to release an scent. It won't be long, though, before the nights reek of spring. That's fine with me. I'm just not eager for them to start reeking of summer yet.
And I sure hope that thunderstorm in the mountains this evening didn't start any fires. Smoke is the summer reek I definitely never want to smell.