High pressure over the Modoc Plateau is sending the hot, dry wind down into the valley. The gusts have been strong here, and I can imagine what it is like in the canyons. How I wish I could get down there to see the ponderosas bending and the water whipped up! But here, I saw the first dust devil of the year spinning down the street, full of whirling leaves and pine needles. The sky has been swept clean of clouds and there is no hint of the smell of rain that was in the air two nights ago. The day is as dry as a crackling leaf.
In the afternoon, I went for a walk partway down the path at the base of the last ridge. I love the sound my footsteps make in the dry earth, and the little puffs of dust that rise around my shoes, and the warm smell of September that mingles dust and dry grass and pine. Passing by one of the apple trees that has survived in an abandoned orchard, where the fallen fruit lies thick on the ground, there was added the scent of its fermentation, warm and sweet. The sunlight filtered through translucent leaves was gentle, and the shadows were full of the buzzing of insects. Unseen birds rustled the brush under the pines. I could imagine that all the clocks had stopped, and only the soft sound of my footsteps kept time passing.
Later, the sun was directly behind a tall pine across the street from my house. The halo of light around the treetop reminded me of those icons of Byzantine saints. I don't think the Greek church has ever canonized a tree, though. Maybe what I saw was just Osiris giving a blessing to Wotan.
Ah, what with interruptions for dinner and all, it is now several hours since I began to write this, and the nearly-full moon is rising in a sky still perfectly clear. The wind has diminished a little, but I still here an acorn fall on a rooftop from time to time. This promises to be a very nice night. I hope I have time to go out and enjoy some of it.