Monday, September 22, 2008
LA welcomes autumn
It's quite clearly the Autumnal Equinox. It's cold and foggy and I put on my sweatpants instead of the usual shorts this morning to do the school run and walk the dogs. People have their headlights on in the morning and you see them coming around the corners on Mullholland, yellow in the grey. East coasters like to think that LA is so bland that we don't have seasons, but they are subtle. We don't have the glaring Las Vegas show of changing colored leaves, but we have some muted shades of yellow amidst the ubiquitous evergreen oaks and the blue-grey eucalytpus. The dogs scamper and bound down the hillsides, beating me on the zig-zag trail because they take the black diamond route while I stick with my blue runs. When it gets very steep, they sit on their bottoms and slide and the puppy tumbles at the bottom more often than not. I walked today to the rainforest in Fryman Canyon. My daughter who is thirteen and a half and very literal of late, said, 'what? there's no rainforest in LA mamma, what are you talking about?' (this "what are you talking about" is a charming habit picked up from her father who, we like to joke, could tack on "you idiot" to every sentence he utters without changing the sense of the sentence). For me, it is the rainforest, and someone who puts the signs up in the canyon thinks so too, because there is a little wooden sign which states clearly "Rainforest 0.9 miles -->" Here the majestic eucalyptus reach up to the sky rivened with bark like sylvan maypoles and massive ancient oaks bow down towards the cavern in the middle, with ropes and chains tied to their biggers limbs by boys who swing on them. There are three or four fallen trees, stripped of branches, the giant trunks resting on each other so that you can walk from one to another like a Russian gymnast, across the creek. The dogs follow me this morning and while I wobble and stiffen and try to straighten my back and even out my shoulders lest I fall, both girls trot happily along the giant logs, tails wagging, and looking gaily in the other direction, without a care. Bean looks more and more like a lurcher and I'm wondering about her dalmatian pedigree.