the single hyacinth in its winter forcing jar has lost its paper dunce cap. it blooms on the windowsill behind me. it must have unfurled its florets all at once this morning because the scent woke me. it is powerfully good even though i have a cold and my nose isn’t in top form.
yesterday i made a clementine cake. this one. it was totally moreish and i’ve decided i need to give some of it away to preserve my girlish* figure. i think i should do this with most of the meals i make because i’m not at all adept at cooking the catherinette’s portion. though i could easily feed a platoon.
went into town with my good pal. before we’d made concrete plans i told him that i wanted to stop by the mission to get snips of some plants. he said, “it’s brugmansia, isn’t it?” i guess i am that predictable. there are now pilfered slips of angel’s trumpet and some deliciously scented pelargonium (like pinyon pine!) rooting in jars on the window ledge in the kitchen. found giant hoop earrings for a song. had to repierce my oldest piercings when i got home because i hadn’t worn earrings in them for a long time and they’d partially healed over. they always do this which is a wee bit strange considering they’re the oldest piercings i have, paid for by my auntie as a birthday present when i turned ten, and that was thirty odd years ago.
had a strange dream. i was a barn owl hovering inside a china shop with very, very high ceilings. i was trying not to break anything with my flapping, and could see and hear people standing below me trying to shoo me out of the open door, so i wouldn’t upset the delicate cups and tchotchkes. i desperately wanted to go, but i couldn’t descend because they were all in the way, blocking the exit, and screaming abusive epithets at me. i realized that some of the people were members of my family or former employers and friends. i was also standing among them yelling at my owl self angrily. i couldn’t fly up and i couldn’t fly down and i was getting very tired. then there were feathers brushing my human face even though my owl self was still hovering and my human self was still standing in the same place. i closed my eyes to keep them from being scratched, though the feathers were soft and velvety as owl feathers are. when i opened my eyes i was staring directly into the face of my owl self as though my human self were floating opposite. nose to beak. like looking in a mirror. then my owl self let out a typical barn owl screech right into my face and i woke up. no prizes for guessing what my bird brain was trying to awkwardly drive home.
was able to get outside today because there was a brief break in the rain. gathered about two pounds of ghost pine pitch. some very large pines were cut down on the shore of the lake. i can’t fathom why. they were so old and beautiful but didn’t appear to be diseased or hazardous in any way despite their size. i suspect that they were cut down because they are messy and they bordered the parking lot where sport fishermen park their ludicrously expensive boats and trucks. when they cut the first tree down last year, the mothership asked if we could haul some of the wood away. they told her no. and now it still sits, being colonized by split gills and turkey tail and oozing pitch, being slowly reclaimed by the ministrations of rabbits and their busy earthworks. about fifty feet away, four or five other giant ghost pines have recently succumbed to the same fate. they were newly felled and chopped into sections. the cold had kept most of the sap from bleeding out, but when the warm weather hits, i suspect it will come pouring out. i’m happy to have the pitch, but i’d rather have the shade of those trees in summer, their tasty seeds in autumn, and the lonesome soughing they make when the wind is high.
there was a pair of grebes doing their outlandish and beautiful love ritual in the shallows, wending through cattails and water bistort. mud hens. crows. the sound of red-winged blackbirds. po-glay-kee! po-glay-kee! wild roses just leafing out. young horehound up a foot. gathered a handful of goosefoot (chenopodium californicum) for my omelette in the morning. found a big agaricus but it was past its prime. the chocolate-y gills matched the color of my coat though.
drove to the trailhead near the quicksilver mine. the rain started again and it felt like it might turn to snow. soaked my shoes. i walked to one of the vernal brooks coming down from the top of the mountain to listen to the water flowing. i was going to film it so i could listen again later. but then i saw a dirty diaper and a bunch of take out cups and containers on the bank, swelling up in the rain like some kind of bloated gremlins and figured capturing such on film would just make me dowie and wae. so. i just took some photos of a lovely peony (blooming so early!) and monardella and sanicle. then we headed down the mountains.
did some reading. finished my friend’s wonderful book. charming, witty, clever, and a bit bittersweet just like the fella who wrote it. read a bit about romanian folklore. and now i have insomnia AGAIN which my fecking cold is not helping. argh.
*girlish here meaning “as one who has eaten a girl entire.” or two. baba yaga-ish. i’m not ashamed.