May 24th, 2007

bazille_summer scene

Hot Stuff

My neighbors yanked out a hedge, and my room is suddenly much more airy and brighter. There's a view down the block now, too. The deer will probably not be pleased about this change as the hedge was made of plants on which they browsed, but I haven't seen very many deer this year anyway. As more houses are built between here and the canyon, their presence discourages more and more animals from coming this way. The foxes quit visiting ages ago, and I hardly ever hear coyotes anymore. Even the raccoons, who love to raid the garbage cans, are fewer than they once were. I'm surprised that the deer have been as persistent in visiting the block as they have been over the last few years. Now they'll have one less reason to come here.

Since I'm on the subject of animals, here's a picture of Charles Gay being devoured by lions. Well, OK, he isn't being devoured exactly. He's being toyed with, or is himself toying with the lions, or Charles Gay and his lions are all toying with one another. The c1923 photo, from the UCLA website that displays photos from the L.A. Times collection, depicts Mr. Gay, proprietor of Gay's Lion Farm in El Monte, California, and five of his beasts. The caption does not say whether or not any of the lions depicted were among those of Mr. Gay's cat cohorts who appeared in movies during the era.

Early this morning the sky was filled from horizon to horizon with sheep clouds, but they all vanished before I woke up. I was hoping that at least a few clouds would linger nearby into the afternoon, but there are none—not even small white puffs hugging the distant mountain ridges. Not even June and already the afternoon sky is arid, a hovering blue desert traversed by the blinding sun.