July 13th, 2005

bazille_summer scene


A surprising array of clouds emerges as morning light reveals the sky. The highest clumps now flush pink, as the sun approaches. The still-dark trees are emerging, too, silhouetted against the paling sky, looking none the worse for the heat wave they are enduring through these long, dry days. Those smaller plants which are not being irrigated have turned brown, though. While garden shrubs and flowers continue to thrive, the fields and forest glades all about the town are reaching that combustible stage at which their brush crackles when any passing hiker brushes against it.

The leaves of the drought-resistant native manzanita retain their blue-green color, but the exotic Mediterranean plants are the color of straw. Their seed pods will soon be popping open. I might go listen to them some afternoon, if the fit takes me and I venture out into the appalling heat. For now, I'm intending to stay in the house as much as possible while the Hellish star passes overhead. Every town in the valley broke 100 degrees yesterday. It is only slightly less infernal here in the mountains. Worse is coming. Well, I was looking forward to iced tea weather, and I've certainly got it. I've gotten more than I expected. It's time to start looking forward to hot chocolate weather.

Sometime in the last hour, my spider vanished again while I wasn't looking. I'm beginning to suspect it of having a dual identity, or it may have a time share in some other part of the house, or it may be off consorting with arachnid criminals. I hope it doesn't know my check card PIN.


Another day of disruptions and heat. Air conditioners and electric fans vibrate the night air, and their faint hum is like the sound made by swarms of flying insects. Moths, steered wrong by the light of my desk lamp, bat against my windowpane, or alight on the glass, their eye clusters glowing like tiny orange jewels. I resist the urge to pour my nearby glass of water over myself. My ear has been bitten by a mosquito, and itches fiercely. I cannot remain in the intolerable heat of the house, no matter how many more bites I may get when I go outside. If I die of West Nile Virus, at least I'll be out of the heat.