A forever home.

559ocotillodawn_inplace_foreverhome

 

Ocotillo Dawn is one of my early oil paintings – as ever the favorite subject – Dawn off my back porch.  A few weeks ago one of my neighbors was visiting for lunch and took a shine to it!  So, its forever home ends up being in Salton City, about a mile from where it was born.

 

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A life-in-the-desert moment.

I thought for some time that the hole that was dug under the fence at the south corner of my yard was a jack-rabbit construction.  The cottontails can get through the chain fence, but not the jack-rabbits, so they would need a way of getting in if they wanted to get some water from the bottom half of the birdbath.  But I did begin to suspect that hole was rather larger than jack-rabbits needed.  I was right.

This morning I saw a coyote walking down the street outside my window. He glanced over at the birdbath and looked at the water level, then continued along the fence out of sight behind the plants. A moment later indeed he reappeared but did not initially go for a drink.

coyote in my yard

Maybe he’s curious about the movement of the blinds…

He turned and walked round the house to the west and I lost sight of him – there’s no window on that side of the house.  The pigeons, feeding at the back suddenly scattered so I knew he was close.  Went back hopefully to the bedroom window and was rewarded.  Looks like android movies upload seamlessly to Windows10, so I hope this works for you!  I wasn’t able to upload it into my post, but I was able to put it on my website: CoyoteInYard

 

Silence, Trees, Weather.

Cloudy Sky

Salton City, August. Weather coming in, I hear the thunder getting closer. I hope it will clear before I go out for an arts meeting this evening!

Yes, 9 days since I blogged – I’ve been on the road for most of those.  I have seen a lot of skies, a lot of roads and was astonished by Mount Shasta – whose awesome beauty I was unprepared for.

While I was in Bellevue, WA, there was a lull at the fair, during which I was able to add to my list of sonnets.  One step further to that bucket list item.

Tree Work

The upper leaves spread up to gather light

The lower leaves reach out to seek the sun

The branches stretch and grow with all their might

Until leaves redden when the summer’s done.

The colorful flowers that bloomed bright in the spring

Are now brown crisps around a precious seed

that wait for autumn’s winds to find their wings

and fly to other grounds that might just lead

to sprouting from the earth when spring returns,

to rooting and to spreading and to growth

into a new tree; life’s desire thus burns

for life itself will not succeed with sloth.

Look at a tree and it will show you how

To plan tomorrow just by doing now.

 

Update from Salton Sea

I wasn’t able to attend the fundraiser/celebration on Earth Day, being as I was in Menlo Park that weekend, about 10 hours drive northier. Here’s the report that Celeste (yes, I do know just about everyone mentioned) wrote about the event.

Salton Sea Earth Day

seafromsonnybono

 

 

Finished product

In last month’s newsletter I reported on a local community art project….well…here’s the finished product…. the newly restored ‘Salton Sea Beach’ sign.

Desert version…

wetchristmas

Remains of the puddle from the last couple days.  The ocotillo is** actually blooming a little.

I’m dreaming of a wet Christmas

with every neighbor that I’ve met

May your ocotillo bloom red,

and my all your Christmases be wet.

desertstormatchristmas

Storm over the Badlands when we drove home yesterday.

 

A little heavy poetry.

A note:  Where I grew up in Wales, during the Cold War, the time for nukes to reach us from Moscow was supposed to be four minutes.

Range

Within the upturned cerulean cup,
across the Wedgwood blue waves –
the milk-not-plain Chocolate Mountains.
Above, the bright October sun blinds us to
flashes of falling silver
dispensed from those brown-growling speedsters above.
We are too far to see
spiky gray instant clouds scattering
puthers of pulverized sand,
but the earth reports back to us
as shuddering ripples under our feet.

The bombing range is in use today.

It is night time now in another desert.
I wonder if Aleppo hears the gray jets’ approach –
do they carry on with their ecru lives
as do I, under these bombing runs,
wondering if they are in range,
knowing there is no place to hide,
like we carried on under the timescale
of the black cold war,
that four-minute range to white nuclear destruction –
not jet to hear, no future to hold
just gone in sunshine, releasing
the range of emotions we carried with us,
the thoughts and hopes we nevertheless hewed out
in our pastel lives.

But accidents happen within
the rainbow range of human possibilities;
a hop, a skip, a crimson heart beat,
a jumpy peach finger tip and we are all in range
of the friendly fire that
could rain down twenty miles too far west, upending
a Salton City day into the beige earth around us
and the cerulean cup above.