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daily fieldnotes » Seeking seasons in CA
 
daily fieldnotes

Seeking seasons in CA category archive

Low coastal fog and chilly temperatures 2

I know much of the country is suffering through a heat wave right now, and many places have a serious drought. This is a huge problem and one that should make me feel grateful to be where I am.

But instead I want some heat. Want to sweat and drink tall, cold glasses of lemonade in a sundress. That’s summer! It’s the natural order of things. Temperatures in the ’50s all week in JULY is something else entirely.

It’s COLD, for one. And dark. And oh so depressing. The wind whips by constantly making me shiver in jeans and a WOOL sweater if I open too many windows. In the morning, the brown wood of our back porch is covered in puddles from a night of dripping fog.

Yes, this is currently the top reason I can’t wait to move – anywhere without the constant fog! And why I can’t wait to be in Spain for a month with the in-laws and sweltering 90-degree days.

So for now, I hope you’ll comment with links to your summer blog posts so I can vicariously feel the heat while nestled under a blanket working on my dissertation in SF. And if you’re in a place with a drought, I hope it rains soon!

Spring on 24th St. 1

Fluffy, pink, clouds of petals blanket the trees in our neighborhood right now. On windy days there’s a carpet of petals below, light pink and fluffy like cotton candy. We woke up early Saturday morning after a late night with friends, walk down to 24th Street. Bought strawberries, artichokes, fresh bread,  and a fennel bulb at the Farmer’s Market. Got my favorite chips and yoghurts from the grocery store, morning buns from the neighborhood bakery. I handed the groceries to JJ, took pictures, trying to capture the candy pink, wild feeling of the trees juxtaposed against the meticulously painted Victorians, all brightly contrasted with an eggshell blue sky.

To be repeated.

Finding some spring 2

For all of you in colder climes, spring is on it’s way! Here in mild Northern California it means hills covered with thick green wild grass. Bright, carrot orange California poppies everywhere, from street corners to parks. Light, misty rains. And wild mustard, sprouting up everywhere from cracks in our street to wild hilltops.

Ginkgo and Maple Light 3

It rained hard last night, and this morning the sidewalks and buildings looked scrubbed clean, waiting, like the floors of a restaurant not yet open for the day. Outside our house the rain drove the Ginkgo leaves to the ground, fanning around the tree like a skirt whose elastic has snapped. Fall comes late here, the leaves only beginning to fall with the post-Thanksgiving cold mornings and dark rainstorms, so it’s easy to forget it happens at all when other parts of the country are already talking about snow.

I am writing more, making phone calls, filling out papers, jotting down lists, finding hope in routine and action, inspiration in fiction (I just finished Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees, which I can’t believe I’d never read given how much I loved The Poisonwood Bible and Prodigal Summer). It’s been a dark time, but the yellow wildness of these leaves on smooth city pavement, and satisfaction of moving at last, calms the worries.

As does my wonderful guy, with his humor and warmth and habit of not shaving until he can comb my hair with his chin.

And time with my dear friend, and her smiley little girl, playing in piles of yellow and red maple leaves, keeping the baby from eating (too much) mud, walking and talking about moving and our nomadic lives and how hard graduate school can be.

Did you know shaking a branch into a hail of yellow leaves could make a baby giggle endlessly? You should try it, there’s no feeling sad when your hair is full of leaves and an 8-month old is chuckling with glee in your arms.

Fall Clouds 1

This week, sunny afternoons, moments out on the patio, feeling the sun warm my legs, listening to birds twitter in the redwoods. Seeing the first clouds in months, high in the sky. Thinking how until you live in a place where there’s fog, and you watch it burn off (or not) day after day, you don’t know the difference between fog and clouds.

Today, a lazy morning outside before driving south to see friends (me) and play soccer (JJ).  Hearing sea gulls in the distance, the grinding gears of a bus in the valley headed up the hill, the clank of tools in the construction next door. Smelling fresh air, and relishing in the feeling of bare feet and sun on my hair, outside my own house on a Saturday morning.

Late Summer 0