Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Breathing Warm and Slow

“It was a quiet morning, the town covered over with darkness and at ease in bed. Summer gathered in the weather, the wind had the proper touch, the breathing of the world was long and warm and slow. You had only to rise, lean from your window, and know that this indeed was the first real time of freedom and living, this was the first morning of summer."
- Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

We have a family of Peregrine falcons in our neighborhood. A dead-topped pine tree by the front driveway gives a view of the El Cajon valley to the north.

A small canyon to the south provides a lovely updraft to the power lines, where they can survey the wildlife in the otherwise uninhabited (by people) canyon out back. Although Tech Support Guy can hear their cries from indoors, I have to sit outside to be sure I’m hearing their screech rather than hearing-aid feedback. Strikingly similar. The falcon sounds I find here aren’t the screeches I’m hearing out back, which remind me more of the petulant sounds my vocal cat makes when she’s being ignored.

Although the calendar might disagree, summer has arrived.

The house finches, spoiled by multiple bird feeders, have grown fat and lazy. This guy permitted me to approach quite closely before he made a leisurly two-hop take-off from the arbor. The finches have a very distinctive cry as well.

The antics of the finches are driving the territorial Anna’s hummingbirds to attempt suicide in my tsukubai. Either that, or he’s having a cool-down before engaging in vigorous climbing and precipitous dives to court the ladies.

On Memorial Day, my Easter Lily was still hesitating to open.

It waited until this morning before the first bud opened. The fragrance would be cloying in a perfume, but somehow in the summer morning air it smells just right.

This is a wonderful time of year to spend a cool morning outside with a camera and a cup of coffee and a good book. The first 7 lines of T’ao Ch’ien, Reading The Book of Hills and Seas, agrees:
In the month of June the grass grows high
And round my cottage thick-leaved branches sway.
There is not a bird but delights in the place where it rests.
And I too – love my thatched cottage.
I have done my ploughing:
I have sown my seed.
Again I have time to sit and read my books.

Martha in Michigan can take heart: rabbits can’t eat books.

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