"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

15 April 2014

Runoff Omens Under a Bleeding Moon

I have mentioned I am not as nocturnal as I once was. Sometimes, I think this is one of the more major paradigm shifts since coming to the mountains. Our Sahel is not know for its thriving nightlife, which is fine. I lived somewhere that did, and I didn't leave anything back there of which I'd want to retrieve. It was another time, another world, another life.

Once I stopped dancing with dead for money and commuting down below on what was second shift, my idea of staying up late changed radically. Here, there's far more to do when the sun's out than not. Sleeping all day would denote illness.

But there was the matter of the eclipse. The first of four in the span of a year. I'm enough of geek that I wasn't going to miss it. The sky was clear and there was little wind. Initially, we were going to drive up to the top of Loveland and take in the event from the Roof of the World. I decided I wanted to catnap and there's not much light pollution around the house, being closer to the edge of town.

We had blood orange sorbet with chocolate-a mere trifle-and glasses of red wine. Listened to music and read. I'd shut my eyes for a bit and then rouse to peep outside, watching the moon slowly be devoured by the world's shadow. The last time, I remember catching a nostalgic tune from the band Junkyard on the radio before heading out-I was sixteen again for a few minutes, so it goes. It was the apogee, and the moon shown the countenance of dried blood. This was fantastic.


Letting the hounds out in the morning was done on autopilot. No shock there, given when I stumbled to bed. It was after ten when I finally got up, got up. I brewed Japanese tea to start my day. Whilst my abstracted sense of time felt slightly off, I was well-rested.

Running the Bull's Head was the wander of the day. Something to keep my hiking legs about me. At the ruins of the Diamond Mine, I noted how much snow was gone, how vigorous the runoff from seeps and streams. An omen of things to come. The sound of rushing water becoming much more of backbeat to the mountain symphony as the spring continues to unfold.

This is the time of year when those outback places I like to go are a little more difficult to reach with the freeze and thaw and undercurrent of early runoff. It can be done, but I tend to give those locals their peace and reacquaint myself with the trails near home, seeing how winter snow and spring melt has shaped things and sing this erosion to me. I itch to wander to tundra where there's no phone signal and even less people and the see wild flowers and feel the alpine sun on my face, but know it's just a little bit longer.

It's a mild day, and perhaps it'll be a mild night. There's the historical society meeting and I'm making Cuban for supper. The moon will have cauterized its umbral wounds and will be looking down as a silvery eye, warmer than it was even a month ago. Maybe after dinner we'll go for a walk, just around town or to the abandoned quarry just beyond the western end. It could be in that ebony and silver silence we'll hear the soft discordant humming of running water. The prelude song of runoff.        


  1. So cool you got to see such a moon. Here it was dense cloud cover and icy cold winds, though it had been clear skies most nights before the eclipse.. Go figure...

    1. I believe the technical term for that is irony ;p.

  2. Rained here for it, must have been neat to see. Boy, the difference betwixt spring at 6K feet and sea level is apparent. Trees have leaves, flowers are up and green grass.

    Our (in MT) runoff should be something this year, the snowpack for the Pintlar's is around 160% of average.

    1. It was pretty spectacular, but then again, it was the moon. I imagine parts of town will require sandbags this year as the river rises. Depending, I might be going to flat, crowded, smelly places for the upcoming holiday, and it'll be interesting to remind myself of the face of spring down there.