I haven't been active on this blog very much recently and there is a good reason for that. Now that I have a dedicated photography site, much of my time and energy has gone into establishing that, and, as a lot of my activity is devoted to photography, that has tended to pull me away from here. Also, I am using Facebook much more for communication with my local friends and family, so that too has caused me to gravitate away from here.
That's a shame, really, because this blog still provides the best place to put down any thoughts that cannot be reduced to a brief aphorism or a photograph. There should always been room for that in my life.
What drove me today to post here was the feeling that I needed to get out of the house and into the garden. It's a beautiful and warm Saturday evening and the lowering sun, filtered through hazy cloud, is bathing the lawn and flowers with a gorgeous bright but slightly diffuse light.
I'm sitting here in an aging folding camping chair, now a dull bleached red rather than the bright color it once held, sipping tea from a large round mug that does not tip over on the long grass and marveling at the lack of mosquitoes. It's warm enough for them, and has been so for a few weeks now. There was talk when the extraordinary summer in March occured earlier this year that we would be overwhelmed by them come summer proper. It may yet happen, but the more this strange weather goes on, the more I realise that people are talking outside their experience and only guessing. We are in a new world of weather.
Maybe the mosquitoes are absent because of local bat activity. A bat got into the house through the tree-branch-punched hole in the bathroom for three days in a row last week. Strange it was to see this furry winged thing fluttering round and round the bathroom light. It didn't bother us, and returned to the roof through the hole once left alone but on the third night it decided the fly down the stairs before flopping – exhausted it looked – onto a laundry basket. That gave me the opportunity to swiftly throw a coat over it and carry the laundry basket outside. Once there, it flew away into the dark. I wonder if it will return? I hope not. As I wrote, it looked exhausted and I wondered if it had been unable to find a way out of the roof to the outside once it had ventured in through, presumably, one of the nooks in our damaged house.
We're now waiting for a local work permit to get repair done. Hopefully not too long a wait. It would be good to get the roof sealed before the real heat of summer hits us. That could be anytime now.
There's a patio party in the house behind. Raised voices and laughter suggest that alcohol has been flowing freely. This is the not the first time for this particular house – indeed, as soon as it is warm and dry I am surprised if I don't hear some revelry.
A mosquito! First of the evening. Just landed on my hand. A rather pretty black and white striped specimen. I squashed it. They are a bit sluggish still.
Another on this screen. Now I can see that all its legs are decorated with a black/white pattern but its body is black. An attractive insect if only it chose not to feed on me.
A jet overhead. First I've heard tonight. Lambert Airport has probably shifted its approach and departure flight paths as it does fairly frequently. The wind is picking up. That may be why.
The plane has gone and the party has quieted. Now I can hear birdsong, crickets and the traffic from Olive Boulevard one block south of me. The traffic noise is rarely intrusive. Not it was when I was growing up. My entire childhood was dominated by the roar of cars. I didn't really notice it that much at the time, but now that I lived a long time away from it, I wonder how I put up with it.
"Good Morning, Good Morning" – the old Beatles song is going through my mind. "I've got nothing to say, but it's OK". The first rock album I ever got to know well and it's still fun to listen to. So long ago now. How old was I when I heard it? 10, 11, 12? Something like that.
The party is picking up again. Another round of drinks perhaps. At my feet, my cat is sitting chewing on a blade of grass. No mosquitoes bothering her through her long black coat. None bothering me right now, in truth – perhaps word of my deadly response to the prior incursion has got around.
Time, I think, to refill my cup of tea.
The sun is getting lower. It will drop behind the cloudline soon. Already the light is diminishing. Another day coming to an end. A good day.
"Good Morning, Good Morning, Good…"