Saturday, July 28, 2007

Long Days of Summer

Each morning when I look outside my window, the sun is bright and the sky is blue. As the sun moves higher in the sky, the day gets very hot. When I go out to get my lunch, I walk on the south side of the street in the shade. Today, I followed my mother's example, instilled in me many years ago when there was no air conditioning, and it was stinking hot. I woke up early, opened all the doors and windows to let in the cool air while there was still some, and then did the laundry. And then as soon as the sun came around the corner of the house, I closed windows and doors and closed the curtains, and ceased any heat-producing activities.

And went for a ride in my air conditioned car. (I can remember telling the car salesman, "no, I don't need air conditioning.")

Everything here is dry. The grass is preserving its energy and has stopped growing. Before I cut the lawn a couple of weeks ago, what was growing in my back yard was chicory; it sprouted up about one to two feet high. The lawn looked like a bad haircut. But now, even the chicory has slowed down.

Life here is intense. And certainly in our forests. Starting yesterday, our view of the Kokanee Glacier was obscured:

The shopkeeper at the market heard that the fire was at Six Mile. The cashiers and tellers are the greatest sources of news - often more precise and available than radio or TV. Besides, we often get the nitty gritty because we are one degree of separation from knowing someone involved. I have spoken now to two people who were on the ferry last week when the explosion happened (the ferry we missed). And one who lived real close and woke up from the blast. Yes, life in a small community is very connected.

We are all anxiously watching the sky. The valley hums with helicopters bringing the crews and water up the mountain. I am grateful for those people who dedicate their summers to putting out those fires; they work hard. The irony is that the forest's misfortune becomes the fortune for the firefighters.

The summer is perhaps at its biggest intensity in the gardens. And Nelson gardeners are good at what they do.:

My garden, not pictured here, was planted late. I am looking forward to some serious salads in the fall.

I suspect most people are hanging out very close to the beach. This year, I have found a new one, at the opposite side of the park:

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