Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Adventures with flora & fauna in and around Laurel Canyon

This is a small thing in the grand scheme, a tiny little thing on a day like today -- the one year anniversary of the Gulf oil spill -- but my apricot tree, which I've been nurturing and talking to and gazing at every day, willing the little green furry apricots to ripen, hacking away at the fast-spreading black bamboo so it has enough light, pulling out weeds around its trunk, ripping out eucalyptus that stood in its way, has lost its main branch -- one that protruded out from the tree a good few feet for light, and was full of apricots, more than we've ever seen.  The branch was felled by a eucalyptus limb which stood above it on the hillside. I shouldn't care so much about these things, I know, but I do. I planted the tree seven years ago and this year promised to be bountiful. I know. These are bourgeois problems.

In other news, the lizard I found lying on its back by the dining room table, revealing a shimmering turquoise underbelly, the most beautiful tummy imaginable, that I scooped up on an envelope trying hard not to move it too much in case its back was broken, or paralyzed with fear by the dogs who like to chase such critters, was placed on a rock, sprinkled with water (a baptism of regeneration I hoped), turned its head, winked at me, and scuttled off.  Unlike my husband, I find it hard to kill insects in the house and so anything dying on me makes me uneasy.  Since watching "Rango," the excellent film starring Johnny Depp's voice as that of the eponymous lizard, I've felt differently about reptiles, and it is with great joy that I imagine my blue-bellied friend reuniting with his wife and children in under-rock land.

My friend Lisa's rescued boxer proved to be an excellent subject for this photograph. I was hoping to capture him actually licking the glass as he is wont to do, but he was bored with waiting for my camera to work and so he is barking at me in his most ferocious voice.  His name, by the way, is Bruno. He's actually very sweet, even though in this picture, he looks as if he might be guarding the gates of hell.

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