January 27th, 2003

caillebotte_the balcony

Oddities

Today-- well, yesterday, now, but I think of it as today because I'm still up-- was one of those days when the faster I went the farther behind I fell. Juno has been behaving very badly. I must get another ISP. For a couple of hours, I couldn't fetch my e-mail because Juno kept creating invalid page faults. Computers! Humbug!

Being busy kept me from getting much of a look at the lovely gray day. I did see an unusual phenomenon, though. I went out in the afternoon, and a thick fog was lying about. As I stood there, it began to thin, and I saw that there was another layer of cloud above it. Most of the time, there is cloud or there is fog. This is the only time I can recall that I've seen both at once.

When the fog first cleared, the view to the north opened up immediately, but the trees to the south were still shrouded. The fog bank was moving west, but its trailing edge was angled from northwest to southeast. Thus, as I watched, the trees to the south began to emerge. First, those at the end of the block lost their ghostly quality and became clear, then those in the orchard, and then the row of pines beyond the orchard, and then the line of trees along the road leading south. It was like a series of gauzy curtains being drawn back, dragging tattered scraps of themselves behind them. It was fascinating to watch the familiar scene being unveiled, and I half expected something strange to appear-- a misplaced castle, perhaps, or a low-flying dirigible-- so strong was the feeling of suspense that the event provoked. But once the fog was gone, it was the same old place. I was a bit disappointed.

The other night I saw another odd phenomenon. The sky was entirely cloudy except for a stretch in the east where the moon was rising, about two hours past midnight. There, the thin clouds glowed with moonlight, but between there and the distant west, they remained dark. The odd thing was that the clouds in the west glowed even brighter than did those in the east. It looked as though there were a second moon hiding beyond the western clouds. This state continued for only a few minutes, and then the west grew as dark as it had been before the moon rose. I don't know what strange configuration of the clouds led to this occurrence, but, again, I don't recall ever having seen such a thing before. Two strange weather phenomena in two days. I guess I can forgive the castle or dirigible for not appearing. It would have been cool if they had, though.

Edit: So, "http" works much better than "htttp!"

new isp + new keyboard.
caillebotte_man at his window

Damp Days

Everything was wet today. There was no rain, no fog, not even mist. The tumbled mass of grey cloud hung above still air which was so damp that dew remained on the grass all day, and the tree trunks were dark with moisture, and the pavements black and shining. It was as though the earth had broken out in a cold sweat. Far to the west, I could see small patches of blue sky and bright cloud above the valley, but the mountains remained in shadow. Only after sunset did the clouds drift west and settle into the valley, and Orion appeared above the orchard as the heavy air at last stirred with a chill breeze. The forest now obscure will remain a huddled mystery until the late moonrise. I am listening for the deer who stalk these dark nights and leave their hoof prints in the wet soil of the flower beds. Three nights running I have heard them at about this hour, and have caught glimpses of their grey forms passing in the darkness. Some night, I will catch them nibbling at the plants outside my window. Maybe tonight.