summer

morning walk, Elkhorn
Just before twilight, I did my hill walk — just down the hill, then up again; not quite all the way down to the cow pasture. In the mornings, the oak woods on each side of the road are still dark and dense; but in late afternoon, shafts of light penetrate into the brush, and the interior becomes golden, lighting even the mosquitos and gnats flitting around behind the No Trespassing sign. There are little glades and dells, but I don’t think I want to walk into that. One sees the full extent of the poison oak clinging to all the vegetation, and the hemlock rises up all around. Now, the neighbors up on the hill are celebrating something late into the night. Probably a graduation, or perhaps the World Cup. A summer night; crickets and children calling, Mexican music, opera; the air is full of grit, desire, and noise. I guess it’s perverse, but I think I prefer winter over summer; primarily because summer in California means the drying up of spring’s abundance. And winter’s too, for that matter (our winters are green). Mosquitos abound near the slough. Lawns go brown, the crisp fields catch fire easily. And, late summer, exactly the wrong kind of pollen makes itself felt, if not seen.

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