July 4th, 2005

bazille_summer scene

No Snail Mail Today

The tiny spider clinging to my wall is getting bigger. Its body is now about a sixteenth of an inch long, and its longest legs a bit longer than that. It is darkening, too, and is a deep brown rather than the pale cram color it was when I first noticed it. Also, I can now see the fine, dense web it has woven, stretched taut against an area about half an inch wide. I can see nothing caught in the web, but there are several minuscule dark specks surrounding it. Mite cadavers? Arachnid droppings? I have no idea. But the spider is clearly well fed, or it would not have grown so large.

Still it spends the nights pressed into the spot at the center of its expanding and now-visible web. Sometimes I will see that the creature has turned just a bit, and then I watch it carefully, as it is then apt tp dart out of its web and travel as much as an inch away, very quickly. It then returns to its former spot and resumes its unmoving vigil. I assume that it is fetching food of some sort, but none that I can see with my naked eye. I wonder what it does during the day, while I sleep?

The house is now becoming moderately cool, only as morning light reveals the landscape. Woodpeckers are setting up a clatter, and the jays are screeching. I suppose they want to get their work out of the way before the heat returns. I still have things to do before I can sleep. I miss the long, dark mornings of winter.

There is hope of aesthetic redemption for those boring titanium-clad buildings which have been popping up in recent years. A few batteries and a bit of diet soda can be used to cover titanium with permanent graffiti. Technology will never escape the judgement of art.
bazille_summer scene


Sourgrass that gets too much sunlight begins to look a bit disheveled this time of year, even when it is well watered. The leaf-bearing stalks droop, and some of the leaves turn brown, while the flower stalks tend to remain upright. The whole plant comes to look like a head of spiky green hair tipped with mauve. The shasta daisies are thriving, though. There is a clump of them at the corner of the yard, dense with white blossoms, some on stalks three feet high. I remember a long row of them that lined the backyard fence at our house in the hills. I was about seven or eight when I found that the petals were edible and were sometimes added to salads. After that, there was a period when I could shock the other neighborhood kids by plucking the flowers and eating them. That was fun.

Rose petals are edible, too, of course, and I've been eyeing the hedge of pink roses across the street. They do look tasty, piled up like great mounds of strawberry whipped cream- well, that's how they look from this distance, anyway. Up close they're just flowers. I probably won't go raid the bushes, though. I'll leave them for the deer, who don't have refrigerators or Safeway Club Cards. But I would enjoy a bit of Rose Petal ice cream from that place on Raymond Avenue in Pasadena about now (it it's still there.) That was always a nice snack on a hot day.

And a very hot day it is, with no end of hot days in sight. Here, we don't even get the compensation of blowing things up tonight, fireworks being illegal in this highly flammable place. In a while, I'll be able to listen to the distant thumps of shells being set off at the big fireworks shows in Chico and Oroville, but I will see nothing, and locally there will be perhaps no more than a few bangs and whistles from the yards of patriotic lawbreakers. But, if so, maybe the fire engines will come. I could watch fireworks on television, of course, but it just isn't the same as being up close and seeing somebody's fingers blown off. How can we celebrate a revolution without at least a little bit of blood being shed?