||[Jan. 29th, 2017|08:15 pm]
Returning from the stores I noticed that the stream in the next arroyo west of my house was running swift and clear, even though the last rain was a few days ago and there is no snow to melt upstream. The springs that feed it must have been recharged by the weight of water soaking into the ground above them. There are probably frogs along that stream croaking right now, though I can't hear them. I hear the frogs in the smaller stream nearby to the east. I haven't been to look at that stream lately, but it must be fairly full, too. Here's hoping they will remain full through winter and into the spring.|
Another interesting sight today was an enormous raven perched atop a pine tree in the parking lot at Safeway. It was making its guttural croaking call, which sounds rather like a basso profondo cricket. Parking lots (even those with tall pine trees in them) are not places one usually sees ravens, and I have no idea what this one was doing there. If I'd had more time I might have asked it (I have no idea how to sex a raven), as there are ravens who talk, but maybe it's just as well I didn't. It might have landed on my shoulder and crapped.
I also stopped at K-mart and bought a pair of pants with the surprise bonus points they gave me and less than four dollars more, including the sales tax. They are regular fit rather than relaxed, which I prefer, and wouldn't have been my first-choice pair, but they had only the one pair in my size— but then gift horse, mouth. I was also disappointed that they were out of Necco wafers. K-mart is the only store in town that sells them, and I always pick up a roll or two when I go there and was looking forward to them. I guess I can wait until next time, as they will be having their clearance sale of winter clothes soon, and I always try to get in there for that.
The next chance of rain has been pushed out from Wednesday to Thursday, but then there will be some chance for the succeeding few days. The least likely day to bring rain is Sunday, which gives me a good chance of not getting wet on my next trip to the store. I've been lucky so far this year and haven't gotten soaked once. There are no more entirely sunny days in the forecast, but I don't mind partly cloudy, and the clouds tend to keep the nights milder than they'd otherwise be, which is a good thing. But the persistent clouds mean that the few buds on my rose bushes, which have now been there for about a month, remain unlikely to bloom. I'm now thinking it's likely that they'll die without ever blooming. Too bad. January roses would have been an interesting novelty.
by W. H. Auden
Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us.
Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you'll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.
In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew:
Old passports can't do that, my dear, old passports can't do that.
The consul banged the table and said,
"If you've got no passport you're officially dead":
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.
Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go to-day, my dear, but where shall we go to-day?
Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said;
"If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread":
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.
Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
It was Hitler over Europe, saying, "They must die":
O we were in his mind, my dear, O we were in his mind.
Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
But they weren't German Jews, my dear, but they weren't German Jews.
Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.
Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
They weren't the human race, my dear, they weren't the human race.
Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
A thousand windows and a thousand doors:
Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.
Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro:
Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me.