June 11th, 2002

caillebotte_man at his window

Before Dawn

June brings soft nights and the scent of jasmine and broom, and the chirping of crickets. This year, it has brought more wind than usual. There will be a few minutes of stillness, then a slight stirring of breeze from my open window, and an intensification of the floral perfume, then a rustling of leaves in the bushes nearby, followed by that rushing whisper from the pines, so like the sound of distant waves. After a moment, the stillness falls again. Each time the breeze enters the room and brushes across my head, I feel the coolness and I feel my hair moving. It feels like anticipation. What is it that I await in the expectant night?
caillebotte_man at his window

Nearing the Solstice.

The oleanders are now in bloom. Here in the mountains, they don't grow as large as they do in the valley, where they are commonly planted in the median strips of the freeways. Still, their blossoms provide a touch of color to the landscape now that the flowers of most of the other plants have dried up. One other common plant still blossoming is the exotic Scottish broom. Its bright yellow flowers are sweetly scented, and cover the large bushes abundantly.

As I suspected, the cherry crop is small this year, due to the small number of bees. Those cherries that did grow are very good, though. I like to pick a handful of them in the evening, as a snack while I sit in the yard watching the day fade. Each day there have been fewer clouds until, today, the bright blue orb of sky was empty, its void broken only by the tops of the pine trees. Tonight, as it darkens, it will be marked briefly by the thin rind of the new moon. Too, the wind has died down, and only the slightest of vagrant breezes will, now and then, stir the leaves.

The fire south of town the other day burned 2000 acres of brush, and no buildings. It is early in the season for such a large fire, but the rainy season ended early as well. The streams running through town are already reduced to the sluggish rills that they usually become only late in July or early in August. A long summer ahead, and further desiccation to come.