Later, I lay awake for hours, watching the lightning ripple across the clouds and listening to the distant rumbling. The heat kept me awake. About four o'clock I went outside to get a bit cooler and there was a brief sprinkle. There might have been others, but I wasn't outside to see them. There was nothing that could be called rain, though.
Anyone familiar with California will not be surprised that the thunderstorm started a number of fires. Five were small and accessible and quickly contained, but the others are in more remote and rugged areas, so they are apt to be burning for quite some time. They made the air quite hazy today, though there was little small of burning here. The electrical storm was local, so other regions of the state didn't get hit this time. The worst fires currently burning in the state continue to be those in the coast ranges.
The fire incident information section of the web site of the California Department of Forestry keeps giving me error pages, and when it finally loads it is very slow, so it must be getting clogged up. When I finally got to see it I found that none of the new local fires rated a place on the map, so I'm guessing there's not much to worry about.
The good news is that the clouds have thinned out considerably, and the evening is cooling rapidly. If the clouds continue to cooperate, we should finally be getting one of those cool nights we've been promised. I'm hoping to have the air conditioner turned off by nine o'clock and get the windows open. So far there's no smell of smoke this evening, though there could be by morning. I can put up with the smoke as long as it gets cooler. Last night I managed only about four hours of sleep. I'm about as sick of heat as I've ever been, and will be so glad to be rid of it, even if only for a while.
by Arthur Rimbaud
On the blue summer evenings, I shall go down the paths,
Getting pricked by the corn, crushing the short grass:
In a dream I shall feel its coolness on my feet.
I shall let the wind bathe my bare head.
I shall not speak, I shall think about nothing:
But endless love will mount in my soul;
And I shall travel far, very far, like a gipsy,
Through the countryside - as happy as if I were with a woman.
(And in the original French:)
Par les soirs bleus d'été, j'irai dans les sentiers
Picoté par les blés, fouler l'herbe menue:
Rêveur, j'en sentirai la fraîcheur à mes pieds.
Je laisserai le vent baigner ma tête nue.
Je ne parlerai pas, je ne penserai à rien:
Mais l'amour infini me montera dans l'âme,
Et j'irai loin, bien loin, comme un bohémien,
Par la nature, - heureux comme avec une femme.