Monday, February 23, 2009


Rain is pending. It's flirting with us. Sprinkles of it and then nothing. The dogs and I parked at the top of Laurel Pass and walked down to the Briarcliff Lane fire road, along the back of the houses and then back up the waterfall. The wild sage is sprouting and everything is a glorious green from the rains. Approaching the waterfall is a clearing, and old fence and a glade of willows (salix). Staring up at the sky I realized that the air is palpable today; hundreds of thousands of little willow seedlings are floating in the air like the opening scene of Fellini's "Amarcord." Wikipedia describes it thusly:
A young woman hanging clothes on a line happily points out the arrival of meninas or puffballs floating on the wind. The old man pottering beside her replies, "When puffballs come, cold winter’s done." In the village square, schoolboys jump around trying to pluck puffballs out of the air. Giudizio (Aristide Caporale), the town idiot, looks into the camera and recites a poem to spring and the swirling, drifting meninas.
It made me stop for a moment. It was very, very quiet except for the buzz of hundreds of bees, their legs fat and orange with nectar.

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