"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

28 June 2014

Shades of the Season

William's Fork Reservoir, off Ute Pass, May Fourteenth and June Twenty-Fifth respectively. Amazing the difference a month and eleven days makes. It's also just kind of funny I wore the same Thai-print t-shirt and bandanna on both roadtrips... 

I know how to read a calendar, wear a watch, and on the am early-leaning side of punctual. Even so, as I've mentioned, time is something of an abstracted concept to me. It hadn't really dawned on me how close we were to high summer up here, despite the greenery and paradoxical mountain heat.

This changed with a few things; first was a few of my Friday volunteers saying they'd not be around in a week. See, volunteers are not expected to show up on holidays. This jarred me into remembering the encore performance of the community melodrama is the day before said holiday, and I need to dig out my playing-dress-up outfit.

Fireworks snapped, crackled, and popped in between roving thunderstorms last night. Another omen of Let's-Get-Drunk-BBQ-and-Blow-Shit-Up-Day. Fucking Perfect. This will be going on for the next week and a half, if not two. It's a given, at my professional obligations, I'll see more proud 'Mericans in flag-drag than normal. Because nothing shows patriotism-anyone ever notice how riot is in that word, thus showing how dangerous nationalism can be?-like tacky flag clothes and the detention of  low-grade explosives.

An x-girlfriend, military brat and conservative in her countenance-taste of the strange-once told me I might be a little more patriotic if I lived/traveled abroad. My sister's first boyfriend, a charming lad from Scotland-part of my ancestry's from there-whom did not like me mentioning he came from a nation-state of cross-dressers-those flannel miniskirts...I mean kilts-would say it was better to lie and say you're Canadian. Sure, this means you can't pronounce out or about and have some curious ideas about bacon, but you also have less of a chance of getting rolled on the streets of what was classically called Calcutta.

I figure when I get to Morocco or Tibet, if asked where I'm from, I'll say the mountains. If pressed, I'll mention Terra Firma, Earth. It wouldn't be a lie. Suck up and deal.


An early season hail pounded our tomato plants at our community garden plot. I'm not overly optimistic about them. However, my peppers, seem to be doing well, as is Sabina's squash, peas, lettuce, and carrots. The basil is also going great. We'll have more pesto than you can shake a metaphoric stick at and all it costs us is some weeding and the fuel zipping up and down valley.

Yeh, that seems fair...


Chevy has been more active, but also more arthritic. His twisted right leg gives out on him more. He does not suffer this well. In his prime, he could, and often did, climb six-foot fences to get to a bitch in heat. Even when I first got him, he was far more mobile. It wasn't until that fourteen mile roundtrip walkabout that he was sentenced to being house dog. He wanders around the property, but walking much more than that wears him out. His company around the house is enough.

Milarepa's my trail hound these day. My go-to gal. She's pretty bullet proof too. Rushing water crossing? Could use the bath. Group of trees felled by an avalanche? Named for a Tibetan bodhisattva, been in the mountains since being weened, climbing is in the blood. Not many social graces, but who really needs those out in the Backcountry?


Sabina's parents will be up in a day and marathon runners dash past the house, whilst cyclists go the opposite direction, conditioning for the numerous races that happen over summer. A few of us will be doing some stewardship up the Santiago Mill, something I've obligated myself to on alternating Sundays through the season. A way to get up on the tundra and play archeology all at the same time, something I dig about our Sahel. When I was a kid I either wanted to live in a nature preserve or a museum. Watch what you wish for. I got both all at once.

I have my list of places I want to go exploring before the snow flies again. Some solitary, others with companionship, two legs, four, or both. It doesn't matter, for it will be the stuff of high adventure no matter what.


  1. We've had several rain/hail thunderstorms the last week or two, and so far it's a 'fleece' summer for me. One day where it got to the mid-seventies, and it's still high thirties or low forties in the morning.

    The fourth 'celebration' occurs here on the 3rd, for reasons unclear. I always hope for crappy weather, otherwise it sounds like Da Nang during Tet. It's legal to buy and shoot off the big stuff here, bottle rockets are the smallest things going off. It's like every kid in town has been given 50 pounds of high explosive and have taken to the streets.
    Man, I sound like a geezer, eh?
    Enjoy your summer, and don't mention the word 'snow' again until September, ok?

    1. We'll have days with thunderstorms, then dry hot days. I've worn my fleece jacket on some nights when we go for a walk after supper or doing a chimenea.

      I'll endeavor to find other descriptives for the patches of white frozen water I encounter when out walking on high for you too ;)...

  2. No, you would not have been more patriotic living abroad, unless you were in an American compound of some kind. I perfected my Canadian accent in my early years across the Pond, especially during the Bushwhack era. Since Seattle is only an hour or so from the border, it was easy to say oot and aboot like a native, eh? It worked too. I always got asked which part of Canada I was from.

    Btw: Bought some Rescue Remedy. Hope it works because I'm dreading those bloody fireworks about as much as my poor dogs...

    1. My friend, the gypsy, is from Ontario. She's harassed me over the visages of southern I've picked up from my father being a southerner and my having lived in North Carolina for three and a half looooooooooooong years as a teenager. In turn, I've gotten after her about being Canadian. I actually used some of those interactions with two characters in one of my short story arcs.

      Luck with the Rescue Remedy. I don't promise your hounds will be made completely immune to the bangs and booms, but, hopefully a little less neurotic.

  3. July the 4th has always been my least-favorite holiday personally. But then again I'm not the overly-patriotic sort at all. I think patriotism often borders on ethno-centrism in many ways. "We" are better than "you". I can't stand that sort of mentality.

    1. I have to agree with you. Then again, fanaticism of any sort rather disturbs me.