September 16th, 2005


Probably Too Long

The beast which visited my yard after moonset might have been a raccoon or a deer. Only something a clumsy as a raccoon, or as large as a deer, would have made such loud rustling. A dog might, of course, but a dog would also have snuffled, and there was no snuffling. The creature must have passed fairly close to my window after clambering through the bushes and drying lily stalks along the edge of the yard. I looked out through the window, which probably made the visitor aware of my presence, but I could see nothing in the darkness, and by the time I had made my way out the front door, the animal had departed. Maybe I'll find a pile of scat by daylight. I've done so before, especially when the wild plum is fruiting. Wild plum goes through the animals with astonishing alacrity.

The night has otherwise been uneventful, as is the norm here. I did a bit of adjusting of the contents of the room, with the vague idea of perhaps reducing the mass of those contents. No reduction ensued. I did, however, find a number of CDs I'd long missed, and a couple I'd entirely forgotten I owned. Among them is a boxed set of Motown R&B from 1959-1971. This is not the mostly obscure, early R&B which I find the most engaging work of the genre, but a collection of greatest hits by its most popular artists. Still, it's an enjoyable reminder of the era before the style succumbed to the lure of faux-Operatic excess and the inexplicable Swiss/Country/Emo influences which caused it to degenerate into a mass of off-coloratura yodeling and pretentious, overwrought lyrics. Before the decadence, there was Mary Wells, and she could sing!

Brain does not thrive on music alone- not even archaic music from the vanished world of the 1960s-- so I made the obligatory nightly foray into the wilds of teh Internets. I found there Grant Barrett's Double-Tongued Word Wrester. Behold his explanation of its purpose! Do we really need another dictionary site devoted to obscure English neologisms, jargon, slang, obsolete, and other such niche words? Probably not, but I found this bit of excess interesting, not least because I'm quite certain that much of the contemporary verbiage it sports has been coined within the blague-o-sphere, by blagueurs who are coining words and phrases in a desperate attempt to make themselves sound clever and thus stand out from the ever-growing crowd. And, no, I did not attempt to find there my own stab at self-aggrandizing, quasi-clever coinage, "blague-o-sphere." I doubt that it's yet spread far enough to join the nine-minutes-wonders (there you go again, Mr. smartass) which Mr. Barrett's site has thus far gathered. But, words! How can I resist them, even when they are words that will be gone before we know it, and never missed?

Oooh- Carolyn Crawford! Another singer who is not utter crap! I'm glad I dug this up.
caillebotte_the orangerie


Transitional days which display characteristics of both the departing season and that which is about to begin are most engaging. Today was the first day in months to produce so splendid an array of clouds. The mild air was stirred by lively breezes, shaking the oaks until their clumps of dry, brown leaves and still fresh green leaves hissed like nests of snakes, and the bright needles of the ponderosas flashed shards of sunlight while humming an autumnal song. The brilliant white banks and streaks of cloud brought reminders of denser clouds to come, but avoided each patch of sky where the sun rode, so their shadows fell only on the distant mountain ridges, like harbingers of approaching fall.

The mulberry and the walnut have yet to turn color, but the leaves of the cherry and the peach trees are dressed in only dead foliage. Gardens flaunt a few late summer flowers here and there, their gaudy splashes of color distracting the eye from those other plants which have already begun their decline. Birds are busy everywhere, still filling the air with summery songs, but will soon begin their harvest, and their hoarding, the woodpeckers pounding morsels into cracks in trees, the jays seeking soft soil in which to conceal early-fallen acorns.

Night falls, and the clouds remain, catching the light of the nearly full moon, draping it with thin veils or surrounding it with glowing billows, revealing or concealing patches of star-filled darkness, making the entire sky a motile display of light and dark and changing forms. I could watch it all night. Maybe I will.