Archive | August 2013

Sunday August 25, 2013 9:43 pm

Pitch black. Moon not yet risen, stars obscured by clouds; an immanent night light in the overcast sky nonetheless.

The depth of quiet in my life is measured tonight in the distance of the crickets’ song. Once in Virginia, I lay on the lawn at that little yellow farmhouse in the mountains, and listened, eventually for miles, to crickets, extending the space of pervasive silence.

I lay at the center of utter quiet, measured in the distance of crickets’ song. Seeking the space between breaths, I stand now in a wild place in western Colorado, following silence outward from one cricket, singing, deep inside the fernbush beside me, to the farthest cricket song of many, distantly circling, stretching the space between breaths.

Total silence only lies in the space between breaths; not in numbers or seconds, muscles or miles. In the silence between breaths lies the essence.

The Last Peach

A riot of color after recent rains.

A riot of color after recent rains.

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Dawn dropped by with a giant zucchini. Time to get out the grater!

Dawn dropped by with a giant zucchini. Time to get out the grater!

Not the best picture, I admit, but it was impossible not to try. Wrong imaginary lens or film.

Not the best picture, I admit, but it was impossible not to try. Wrong imaginary lens or film.

Last evening I stood under a rainbow and held in my hands the sum total of my peach harvest from a single tree: two perfect peaches.

One had caught my eye in the late undercloud light, gleaming peachly red among long lush green leaves. I had not known there were any peaches left on the tree after freezes, and later aphids. With one dusting of  diatomaceous earth the aphids vanished and the leaves began their growth in earnest. When did that occur? Spring, early summer? Did I write it down? I have been negligent in my record-keeping. Reluctant to take the quiet time to reflect upon my busy days, each as it fleetly unfolds. Not even so much as to notate aphids.

Perfect now, in roundness, color, size; two peaches perfect except for a few gnaws on top by some rodent or bird. Oh well. The first peach I ate standing under the rainbow dripping onto the patio, dropped the pit and the plundered top into a compost pail. The last peach, the biggest and fairest of them all, I saved until sunlight poured through the windows this morning. I ate it slowly, standing at the sunny kitchen sink, the whole sunlit house around me, a rainbow tapestry of texture and color.

I peeled the last peach one slice at a time with a small steel knife I’ve owned for half my life, half my time under the sun; in the sun I stood and ate the peach, slice by juicy slice from the tip of the ancient blade. It was quite simply the most delicious peach ever.

Autumn in August

Honeybee sipping raindrops, I think, from a hanging basket; that, or the fading flower is dripping nectar.

Honeybee sipping raindrops, I think, from a hanging basket; that, or the fading flower is dripping nectar.

I, too, am always after the new. It gives me a thrill to capture an angle on a bee that I haven’t caught before, to see a new species of fly or wasp on a flower. I, too, am always after the new: I simply choose my new to be tamer, less risky, than many people do. Not for me a new black diamond ski slope or a slackrope across a canyon, not for me an undersea dive for treasure. Just, for me, a new bee.

Not only are there more than a dozen bumblebee species that live around here, turns out there are some flies that are extraordinary bee mimics. Who knows which this is? I guess if I do ever go back to school it will have to be in entomology.

Not only are there more than a dozen bumblebee species that live around here, turns out there are some flies that are extraordinary bee mimics. Who knows which this is? I guess if I do ever go back to school it will have to be in entomology.

Another bumblebee, I think Bombus huntii.

Another bumblebee, I think Bombus huntii.

What I once thought were shiny black bees, before I looked at them through my magic lens, turn out to be probably a species of Tachinid fly, perhaps Voria ruralis.

What I once thought were shiny black bees, before I looked at them through my magic lens, turn out to be probably a species of Tachinid fly, perhaps Voria ruralis.

Autumn came on August first. It’s not been summer since. Monsoonal flow brought rains and cooler nights. Summer seems to have evaporated. The yard has become a jungle, ten foot tall sunflowers I’ve had to limb up to allow light to the vegetables. Grasshoppers demolish potato plants. I’ve hardly had to water in the past week. Rocky mountain beeplant, or beeweed as the ranger calls it, looked scrawny, unpromising earlier, is now thick and blooming, claiming the attention of the bees and hummingbirds.

And finally another honeybee, who can't keep her tongue in her mouth while flying.

And finally another honeybee, who can’t keep her tongue in her mouth while flying.

You just never know what a day will bring, what joys and delights, what trials and fears. My friend has returned to the hospital with complications following West Nile virus. My aunt has had a second surgery for a fracture following her partial hip replacement. Both of them the dearest, kindest people one could know; neither deserving such suffering. I am doing what little I can do from here for both; and, I am doing my best to enjoy this gorgeous day. My “basic flaw” may be my tendency to believe I am never doing enough.