father's lemon tree needed planting. he collected me today and we toted the lemon to the top of the hill near his cabin. cold air drains downhill. my father has quite a bead on his surroundings. he keeps meticulous records of temperature and rainfall. he knows just where to plant things. clever. he can grow lemons and loquats where nobody else seems to be able to.
on the drive to his place i looked up into the sky and saw seven wood storks!
they were very high up. coasting on thermals. this is the second year i've seen them pass over my town. they're amazing in flight.
fern are in full force at father's. the johnny-jump-ups
are much taller than they are down here in the valley. and my favorite wildflower is preparing to bloom. wild peony
. the leaves are feathery and glaucous. margins tinged with dark red. the buds look like dolls' heads. tight and round. and when they unfurl they smell like absinthe and mushrooms and very sweet earth. i love them. the little bosses of butter and gold are cupped in red petals. gorgeous.
is poking its sticky leaves out of the ground. where father has been building a water collection system the perezia roots have been unearthed. they look like giant centipedes. i pocketed a few. maybe they'll grow. but father's soil is completely different than mine. he has decomposed granite. sandy and poor. i have black clay. impenetrable in summer and soggy as hell in winter. saw five wild turkeys and as many quail on the drive home.