went for a long walk as the moon was rising. it was incredibly large as it appeared on the horizon. orange as an egg yolk. i stopped in the alley by hazel’s yard. i felt along the branches of quince in the dark against the shed wall to see if any blossoms were there. too dry. the twigs have gone straight to leaf. i edged fifteen or twenty feet toward the creek and the locked road to the ranch. coyotes were out there in the pasture. they set all the dogs in town to barking with their yelps. the air smelled like plum blossoms. i passed a few angry drunks on their way to a bonfire. when i looked over my shoulder at the moon it had become small and ordinary so far from the horizon.
father told me recently that a huge walnut tree had been felled just down the way. it was 4′ around at the base. the first fork was 16′ above the ground. california black walnuts grow very slowly so it was undoubtedly a very old tree. it was also completely sound. it was healthy and robust and had only been felled because the property where it stood had changed hands. the woman who bought it said she didn’t like the mess the tree made with its leaves and nuts. i suppose she didn’t realize the property was in the countryside. and that her new home on Walnut St. was surrounded by walnut trees. my father’s neighbor owns a mill and performs tree abatement. he said he’d do the removal. the woman agreed but insisted that he take all of the wood. she obviously didn’t realize (or perhaps simply did not care) that the tree was worth a fortune. it was cut down and milled and netted father’s neighbor $8,000. father pointed out to him that he could have sold the wood for many times that. and the neighbor said “yes, but i wanted the cash fast.” he goes to tanzania every summer, you see. to teach tanzanians about jesus. and resource conservation.
in happier news…
bush lupines are blooming along the highway. some red-violet-ish. some more blue. but all with gracefully curving spires like gooseneck loosestrife. poppies are blooming. the flowers stunted. chia has made the hillsides look black in places. their flowers can’t be truly appreciated unless one gets right close.
i took some photos of the sea from the overlook where i eat my lunch most days. they were blurry. i tried to take snaps on a particularly traffic-y day as cars were passing. not an effective strategy. i’ll try again next week provided the sun is shining.