I Can See Clearly Now, The Smoke Has Gone

This is what we were living with for 11-ish days …

Just before sunset

My phone camera didn’t do the colours justice. The sun was blood-orange red, and the sky a sickly yellow.

Then the wind changed, the temperature dropped below 30°C, and two days later the sky looked like this …

Blue skies, shining above

Unfortunately the air didn’t clear in time for Mrs Widds and I to avoid getting sick, probably that dastardly ‘chitis in our broncs. We did manage to off-set our timing though. Mrs Widds is currently clawing her way out of it and I just collapsed into it. Thankfully we prepared lots of chicken soup.

 

Fire

When the rain stopped, everything grew.

When the rain stayed away, everything dried out.

When the rain didn’t come back, the wildfires started.

 

I am blessed on my island in the middle of a lake in the middle of a rainforest, but I feel the heat in my bones.

The nearest fire colours my twilight in shades of orange and smoke.

 

No-one has died, tens of thousands have left their homes not knowing if they will have homes to return to.

This is my summer.

Ashcroft burning

Photo by Darryl Dyck The Canadian Press

Ashcroft BC

The Summer Tree

Since I got over my ‘chitis (bronchitis) I’ve been doing battle with one Dreaded Lurgy after another … however, today is Summer Solstice and the World has changed. (and may all my lurgys be behind me)

What a difference a few months makes.

The Winter Tree

… and … today, there’s a soft wind blowing, fat fluffy clouds (not the rainy kind – at last) scud overhead, and the sky is a brilliant blue.

The Summer Tree

The Summer Tree

 

EMEGHERD – Sunshine!

… And look at this …

Here comes the Sun

Here comes the Sun

I haven’t seen that many funny-looking yellow blobs in our weather forecast since the second week in December!!!

S’cuse me, I must hasten away and swoon!

Swooning

Swooning

(Couldn’t find an attribution for this fabulous photograph, but to whoever took it, I say ‘Thank you’)

Dear Carrie, May the 4th Be With You, Always

Because it won’t be the same here without you.

2140, KSR, and Time Travel

There are any number of films and books about humans colonising Mars, but the best of them, in me ‘umble opinion, is Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy,  Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars. (the best film to date, also ‘umbly opinionated, is The Martian)

Like all his books they’re not for the faint of heart. They are dense, deeply researched, heartbreakingly human, and unfathomably optimistic. (an optimism which admittedly has to be dug out of the quagmire of fallibility)

From the time I came across Red Mars not long after it was released, (heavens to murgatriod, 1993 – how time flies!) I’ve read every novel he’s written since then. The latest offering being 2140, set in a flooded Manhattan, New York, where rising sea levels have produced a new kind of New York state of mind.

Lets just take a moment to admire this gorgeous cover art by Stephan Martiniere

I want to have cover art this gorgeous – le sigh

I want to have cover art this gorgeous – le sigh

I got my copy from our local library and like most of their books it was the hardcover version, and weighed a ton. I had to make myself a stand from some little boxes and cushions to read the damn thing, but it was worth it.

By 2140, I’ll be one hundred and eighty-one years old.

Wouldn’t it be something, to live that long, healthily?

To witness all the changes that we’ll have to go through as our anthropocene epoch runs its course.

Is it possible with today’s level of medical/technology? Probably not, but I don’t have to get all the way to 2140 from here in 2017. All I have to do is get to where it can be done, 10 years, 20, 50 years from now. Each decade becoming a boost up to the next one.

Wouldn’t that be something!

***

The Piano Man himself and the original New York State of mind.

 

And for a little mellower version, this is Babs doing what she does best …

 

Eine kleine Nacht-Wandering

I was never afraid to go for a walk at night when I was a kid. Sometimes I’d take an old kerosene lantern, but if the moon was up, and it wasn’t too late, off I’d go into the darkness to have adventures. The night air was always full of mysterious noises, tantalizing aromas, and strange sights.

Not from my childhood. Last night – it was raining, of course.

Then I hit puberty and my fear of the night began. Not from any arbitrary awareness of the dark wildness that surrounded the property where we lived though. No, not that at all.

If you’re a woman then you probably have that sinking feeling in your gut that we’ve all experienced because you know what I’m going to write next, or a variation of it. You’ve experienced it too, to greater and lesser degrees.

If you’re a man, then you might suspect, and perhaps have some empathy and compassion, and I hope are actively working to change the culture that’s spawned it.

Back to puberty, and my best friend’s father suddenly starting to take an ‘interest’ in me. He stalked me. Day and night, then not at all until I’d start to have hope, thinking he’d tired of his little ‘game’. But the cycle would begin again.

There went my childhood. I survived it. But the night was never the same.

As a young adult I lived in a big city and learned very quickly where it was safe to walk alone and where it wasn’t, and when it was safe to walk alone and when it wasn’t.

It took me my twenties and goodly portion of my thirties to be able to reclaim the night. (Those ‘Reclaim the Night’ marches back in the 80’s were something to behold, weren’t they? … and if you never got to participate in one, then imagine walking with hundreds and sometimes thousands of women, in the dark, never alone, and with a big grin on your face)

I have my trusty little lantern, (battery powered and USB chargeable) and my walking stick, just in case my knee gets a little squibbely, and off into the night I go. (don’t worry I still have very good radar about where and when it’s safe to walk)

In the night there are always adventures to be had and wondrous sights to be seen. Like this little cedar tree, growing out the top of a fence post.

I have ambitions, I do.

I have ambitions, I do.

***

Here’s the real Eine kleine Nachtmusik, by Anna Maria’s wee lad Wolfie …