Saturday, December 13, 2008

Outrunnin' the Weather

We are snug as bugs just inside LA County. Mario is on one bed and I'm on the other. Like in the old sitcoms when husband and wife couldn't sleep in the same bed for some odd (i.e. stupid) reason. He's doing a puzzle. I'm writing this. It is cold and windy outside. Cold is relative, of course. It's not cold, cold, but it does feel like winter. And speaking of weather, we missed all the bad weather so far. Thank you weather spirits! I enjoyed dancing under the full moon in a strange parking lot with you, too.

Today we saw so many birds. In one marshy area we passed, a white egret stood on one leg looking out toward us on the highway. In a row alongside her were probably twenty (black) cormorants. Something beautiful about this long line of black birds with one white one at the end of it. It was like seeing an exclamation point on its side—only the dot was white.

Lots of hawks, egrets, great blue herons, and other smaller birds. At one rest stop, we stood under some young trees and listened to the songs of juncos, red-winged blackbirds, and a gazillion other birds. It was so lovely.

Yesterday, we drove by a work crew on the grassy median between northbound and southbound I-5. They all had on orange vests and yellow hardhats. Each of them held an orange plastic bag and they were walking south, the same way we were travelling. All of them. In slow motion. It was such a strange tableau—a moving tableau. (Or is that a contradiction in terms?) Mario noticed it, too. They were beautiful, walking together, spread out so that they were really apart. They were like the birds, actually: beautiful, strange, and part of the natural landscape.

A biplane circled around us at some point. And then it dumped its pesticides on a field near the highway. This is one of the reasons we rarely visit California: the ubiquitous use of pesticides. There is so much pesticide drift in California. Airborne toxic pesticides were found in more than 60% of state tests. It is a Pandora's Box of...really bad stuff. (Those of you who were regular readers of Furious Spinner know that I've been writing about this subject for years and working in my community to try to stop the use of pesticides there, especially along our roads and in our schools.)

Huge storm clouds floated above the Diablos, close to them, like a kind of shadow mountain range of the ether world.

Now it's time for bed. We'll clean off one bed, get rid of the newspaper, computers, detritus, and we'll crawl under the covers together. Ah bliss. I'm following mine.

And yes, I remembered to dance with the weather spirits today, in another parking lot.

May You Dance in Beauty!

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