Thursday, June 16, 2011

learning a new world......

Several times now we have driven from Oregon to California and back, through the Siskiyous, over the high pass and back, from the old place to the new. In the road cuts one can see the strata of the rock, once deposited on the level, all heaved sharply up at an angle. What astounding force could have done this, and over how long? Moreover I learn that the strange greenish rock, the serpentine, is actually former ocean floor, and now here it is at 4,000 feet! A sense of the muscle and bone of the Earth takes hold, alive, flexing in ponderous strength and slowness beneath the thin skin of topsoil and green.
And then there is Mount Shasta. From certain vantages, one can see it even from Red Bluff, perhaps a hundred miles away. The snow never leaves it. And Mount Lassen across the valley. Maybe I will get to see some of Gaia's fireworks before I'm mulch!
I still know my trees in the distance....if not to species, at least to genus...the douglas-fir, alder, maple, cottonwood, madrone, and various pines of Oregon, and down in the valley the strange grayish pines, weird eucalyptus, and the odd blue oak...visibly bluish compared with some less common greener kinds...
And fruits. Our first scrounging from the new land is marinating in brine in the back room....olives from a parking-lot tree in Red Bluff.
--Alder (Bob)

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