dailybell: Beginning of July- Up and Down

Monday, July 7, 2008

Beginning of July- Up and Down

7/1 AM Day # 183. Half way through the year!
OK. So this is really the middle of the year. Half way through. I had been thinking of ways to get further afield in the mornings and I still intend to try out some of the ideas. I can revisit the Ferry Terminal any day now. However, I am not running out so fast now. Since we got rear-ended last night, I am somewhat incapacitated. Because I can’t turn my head at all, I cannot drive for an indefinite period of time. And even though I was in the emergency room until after midnight last night, when the alarm went off this morning, I was actually grateful and almost happy to get up and look out at that grey foggy morning and ring a bell or two. So I will continue with some variations on the close-to-home observances for a spell.

7/1 PM Up on the Roof
The sky was really beautiful and pink again- I’m afraid it’s due to all of the fires. Norman went up on our roof to capture the last bit of sunlight that was visible beneath the encroaching dark layer of smoke and fog.

7/2 AM Many More Fires The microphone is set up in front of the house, and I have wandered off down the street to the right. The smoke is back. You can smell it. There are now 1460 fires burning. The break in the air quality and the momentary sunshine were the result of shifting weather patterns and not because the fires were being eliminated.

7/2 PM Surprise
It’s already pretty dark because of the fog and smoke even before the sun goes down. I started filming out front looking down the street and went out back to join Norman and ring a few bells. Once in the back, we started ringing our bells and all of a sudden we hear other bells in the air. I thought I was imagining things or else just hearing some random wind chimes. But it was our neighbors from 2 doors down. They were standing out on their porch ringing their bells, too.

7/3 AM Comme ci
Dripping. The trees were dripping fog.

7/3 PM Comme ├ža
It’s still foggy. California’s still burning. It looks about the same now as it did this morning. From fog to fog, it was nice in between in other parts of the city. After setting at 8:36 PM for the past 10 days, the sun has finally begun its retreat this evening.

7/4 AM I Missed It (again)!
I woke up at 6:30 AM- 35 minutes too late. This is the 3rd time I’ve missed the sun observance, and all 3 times have been in the morning. So…in lieu of the documentation for this morning, here is a link about the beneficial effects of fires. This is in a world with no people and what would be best for the trees.
Very briefly, here are 2 ways that trees and other vegetation benefit and actually need fire to propagate and thrive:
“Fire Dependence: This concept applies to species of plants that rely on the effects of fire to make the environment more hospitable for their regeneration and growth. Fire Adaptation: This concept applies to species of plants that have evolved with special traits contributing to successful abilities to survive fires at various stages in their life cycles. For example, serotinous cones, fire resistant bark, fire resistant foliage, or rapid growth and development enable various kinds of plants to survive and thrive in a fire prone environment.”

7/4 PM Fires, not Fireworks

We went to Berkeley to Carl and Sue’s house for a 4th of July BBQ. When we left our house, it was fogged in. But over on the other side of the Bay, it was sunny and pretty warm. Some people were evacuated from Big Sur today. The firefighters say that the fires in that region won’t be contained until September. So far, the effect in the Bay area is the air quality which you can see and smell.

7/5 AM Big Sur Smokes the Sunrise In San Francisco
I walked up to the corner this morning so I could look to the east and west. The air is smoky- most likely from that huge fire in Big Sur. There are still 300 fires burning throughout the state. All of the green areas on the map.

7/5 PM Sunset. Fire or No Fire.
With so many fires burning, it was a rare, clear afternoon out here by the ocean so we took the big bell out for the sunset. It was windy as usual and it didn’t smell like smoke for a change. A woman approached Norman and asked him why he was ringing the bells. He told her it was for the sunset. That wasn’t a good enough reason so she walked away to get into her car. When she was near, I invited her to ring the big bell at the back of the car. She asked if it was for good luck and I thought about it for a moment and then said, “Sure. Why not.” The rest of our conversation is obscured by the wind, but after I pointed to the sun passing below the horizon and said you can’t argue with that, she smiled. She liked the idea of people agreeing on something, too. So then she rang the big bell- several times.

7/6 AM
Heavy fog. Growing up in central New Jersey, I never knew about foghorns. I’d heard of them the same way I’d heard of “peas in a pod”. But I had never actually experienced either foghorns or peas that didn’t come in a can. After having shelled hundreds of pods to get a handful of peas, I now really appreciate peas in a can. Usually the fog burns off enough by 9 o’clock. So before I woke up so early everyday, I had only heard the foghorns late at night or in the evening if it was a particularly early, heavy fog. On of the unexpected delights of going outside at sunrise is the encounter with the morning fog. Heavy, white and wet it envelops the world and everything in it in a small and cozy wrapping. And then the gentle and insistent tones of the foghorns. Low, soft-edged and several different notes form a never repeating, random melody. It’s a wonderful alternative to the sunny experience. Peasoup with music.

7/6 PM
I left some of my bells and the camera in someone’s car this afternoon, so it will be audio only for the next few days. Since I can’t drive because my head is restrained, I will have to rely on the United States Postal service to return my treasures in good time. When I went out to ring this evening, someone else was already making some noise, so I just joined in with my cowbells.

1 comment:

Sharon C said...

Sorry to hear about your accident. Hope you feel better soon. It's amazing to me that you've kept up with the daily bell ringings! I'm enjoying your blog.