rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Windy and Warm

I'm wondering if they are having Santa Ana winds in Los Angeles right now. We're having the northern California equivalent tonight. I've lived here for sixteen years, and I still don't know what these winds are called, locally. I don't know if they even have a name. If they have been named, it probably isn't after a saint. In the absence of any knowledge of the accepted nomenclature, if it exists, I think of them as Modoc winds, because they come down from the high desert of the Modoc Plateau. Like the Santa Anas, they are warm winds. The day was fairly warm, but, because of the winds, the night is even warmer. I went out wearing a jacket, and had to take it back into the house, so balmy was the dry, autumn-scented air.

There was a bit of wind this afternoon, too. My first sight of the day, as I looked out the back window, was of a rain of golden leaves fluttering down from the tall oaks beyond my fence. All afternoon, I saw them against the wispy clouds which, in the hour before dawn, had stretched in narrow bands of the most lurid pink I have ever seen, in the pale east. Leaves now carpet the lawn, the streets, the paths, layered over the brown pine needles in the warp and woof of autumn. If the wind continues for long, the trees will soon be bare.

The mulberry, however, is at its chartreuse stage. A few branches still sport leaves entirely green, while most of the branches contain only the pale, yellowed leaves. This two-tone effect is most pleasant when the afternoon sun shines through the tree, and, through my western window, I can watch the light play through the fluttering leaves. The mulberry is always the last tree to give up its leaves each year. Many will still lie on the ground, in sodden piles, on the grey and rainy days of December. For now, they sway softly, like a dappled canopy, in the afternoon breeze.

The moon now rises well north of east, beyond the mixed woodland which lies in that direction, and I catch glimpses of its white face between sweeping fir branches and the inky branches of oak and walnut, and the spiky clusters of ponderosa needles. Watching it rise there is like seeing a series of Japanese paintings form and dissolve, each as serene and surprising as the last. Once the moon is nearing meridian, I go out and sit in the deep shade under the mulberry tree, and watch the light of the full moon drench the night, and the shadows dance in the warm wind. It is a good night for deer. Maybe they will stroll by.

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