Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Change up

Wonderful week away, in southern Oregon; watched many plays, took a few hikes, during one of which we came upon a gigantic western diamondback rattlesnake lying by the side of the trail. We were striding along, savoring the solitude, the vistas, the wildflowers, wind in the trees and a couple of grouse pairs exploding out of cover when from next to beloved spouse's footfall came a loud rattling. I instantly recognized the sound, and yelled at him to get out of there. As I jumped in the air, shouting a pithy nautical phrase, I looked down and saw an enormous, scaly sinuosity in an S-curve atop a flat rock, obscured from most angles by plants. It was as big around as my wrist at least, and probably a good four feet long. I couldn't see its head or tail, but the distinctive diamond patterning ran along its body. It was beautiful, despite its potential havoc. We hastened onward, and stopped for lunch in a spot with a wonderful view of snowy Mount Shasta and her progeny Shastina, but the loveliness of the view had a dark background for contrast, as we pondered snake bite first aid and possible scenarios for the return trip past the snake's spot. Every rustling in the undergrowth as we went on rattled me, and I begged to turn around. We found stout snake-deflecting sticks and breathed as evenly as we could. Fortunately the snake wasn't in the same place and we hustled by, but kept ourselves on alert until we got back to the trailhead. Other than that bizarre experience, we gave the trail the wildflower award, since late spring conditions had carpeted it with yellow fawn lilies, trillium, larkspur, angel wings, and many others.
When we were watching "Julius Caesar" later in the week, one of Brutus's lines struck us both:
"It is the bright day that brings forth the adder, And that craves wary walking."

Saturday, June 18, 2011


This event is usually not a whit sunny, and Saturday's parade was the ironical event par excellence; unrelenting drizzle, with occasional wind gusts, as we waited to join the parade. Just as hypothermia appeared to be settling upon us, we got the call and off we harched. Playing and strolling seemed to warm us, and the chill wet atmosphere hastened the participants' footsteps and the naked bicyclists' RPMs. The parade was over in record time, and our embouchures sagged in relief.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Slight signs

Spring teases us in batches, but in fact, extended strings of cooler nights are pleasant. We've been doing some urban hiking, complete with daypacks full of extra layers and umbrellas, just in case; we seem to be holding up all right.
Had our last marching rehearsal, in full dress; the evening grew dimmer and increasingly humid, but didn't break into rain until we were finished and away. Parade season is nigh.
Started reading a writer new to me, Patrick Leigh Fermor, known as "Paddy" to his friends, who just died at age 96. He wrote about an astounding journey he made at age 18, starting in 1933 and ending four years later, during which he walked from Holland to Constantinople. More on this amazing person later...

Monday, June 06, 2011

A bit out of step

Always running behind the times here; right now it's actually Thursday the 9th of June, but the way the days are blurring together, guess it doesn't much matter. One Tuesday the 7th we marked our 37th wedding anniversary by going to band practice and marching around and playing with our LGBTQA band comrades. At break we shared a big cake with everyone, and got many congratulations. I realize many of them would like the freedom we've had to bond legally. I am here to testify that I'll gladly work towards that right for any and all adults who love each other and want to commit to a long-term marriage. It isn't for the faint of heart, but it's worth the effort.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Purportedly it's June...

We suffered along with more coldness and wetness, until finally we were rewarded with a perfect weekend. We have decided we like the relative coolness and moisture, compared to places like Boaz, Alabama, where a band buddy recently visited his family and endured 98-100 degrees of heat and who knows what kind of concomitant humidity, only to return to the coolness and all-embracing wetness of the Seattle area and realizing he really belonged here. We will survive, while Arizona and other places perish in wildfires and swarms of killer bees. Mother Earth will punish the assholes...