Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Weather Breeder

Pebbles eyes the house from her pasture early this morning.
Clouds boil above the foothills, sunshine and shadows chase each other.

Mallards on the pond.

A golden wash of fleeting sun.

Clouds billow in hiding the rim of the mountains.

It is raining somewhere in the mountains above us. The smell of ozone and damp sagebrush is sharp on the wind.

As I stood on the porch watching the moving clouds, the rainbow faded, then grew bright again. It was not raining here, but the wind blew icy drops like pinpricks against my face and hands.
For several days the weather has been mild and lovely. Mid day warmth has called for opened windows. Since Monday the long-range forecast has been for the onset of cold. Last evening [Tuesday] J. phoned me just after supper to say that he and his nephew should be arriving back from their overnight trip sometime just before midnight. I summoned a burst of energy and waded into some long neglected cleaning while I waited for them. The west windows were open, the curtains barely stirring. Stepping into the gargage from the entry for broom and mop, I was enticed outside to admire the 3/4 moon. The air was soft, warm.
Today I woke before daylight and stayed still, listening to the wind moaning around the house. The cats thumped and skittered through the kitchen and living area, raced in and out of the bedroom. "Here comes the weather," I thought. [Wind early in the day and restive cats are both a good indicator of a wild weather day.] Leaving J. to a few more minutes of peace, I fed the cats their treat of canned food, scooped coffee into the machine and opened the curtains. In the east was a half-hearted rising sun. In the west, clouds surged, casting ever changing shadows on browning pastures and wind-bent trees.
I went out with the camera through a patter of yellow leaves. The old smoke scent of the weekend's forest fire, mingled with the lemon-eucalyptus smell of rain battered sage carried on a nipping wind.
All day we have watched sunshine chased by racing shadows, angry clouds, wind that blusters and then subsides to a riffle. As we finished lunch a burst of rain turned to a rattle of small hail.
At the quilt shop we kept glancing out at the darkened street. We spoke of coming winter, of comfort food and long evenings of sewing or reading. When I left at 5:15 the wind accompanied me across the wet parking lot, nipping meanly through my corduroys.
Grandson came in after dark to tell me that it is snowing. I am bundled in a big hooded sweatshirt that I gave my Dad several years ago. The cats are all asleep, worn out with ushering in the storm. Time to retreat to my cozy old chair with a new book.


  1. I am pretending I don't see or hear all the harbingers of fall and winter. I know I'm thoroughly spoiled because our winters are so mild. But I am totally addicted to sitting out on the patio in 75 degrees or above, I just don't want to give it up!

  2. Yet again wonderful photos and prose. I am there with you on every line of your writing.The discriptions of the scenes you had captured was just right, as I felt I was viewing it in person, with you.

  3. Beautiful writing, as always.

    I am beginning to get the "feel" of where you live now but it is so totally out of my remit it will be a while before I can "understand" it. With the closed-in river valley here, soft grassy hills, the windbreak of pine trees around Parc, on the opposite hill to us, the grey farmhouses sitting dourly half-way up the valley side, and most of this hidden by trees, apart from when I walk to the hilltop, our view from the house is so different. Even the trees are different, as here we have native oak, ash, sycamore, field maple, alder, and the more shrubby bush-trees of elder, hawthorn, hazel, holly, etc.

  4. This landscape of the interior west has an alien feel to it--after 11 years. The hardwoods [oak, white ash, maple, beech] would be far more familiar to me than these cottonwoods and pines. There is beauty, in a large, nearly over-powering sense, and then there are the endless high desert areas which I find a bit depressing. Writing these essays, describing where I am, helps to keep me sane--in a place where the landscape is too big for me.