dailybell: Third Week of July

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Third Week of July

7/13 AM Sleepy People and Wide Awake Birds
This morning, we walked out front of Norman’s nephew’s house in Philadelphia. The trees around here are so big. Huge, beautiful old trees. And they are full of singing birds. So we quietly joined them (audio) for a few minutes and then went back to sleep.

7/13 PM Gaggle of Geese
It was less than a month ago that my father and I had gone down to this little island along the Delaware River in Lambertville. This time, the gate to the dock had a padlock on it, and we were unable to go down to the river at sunset. We carefully walked along a wall that edged the riverbank and rang for a few minutes in anticipation of the sunset. Just as we were about to leave, some geese who had been standing near us entered the river. So we rang for their little parade.

7/14 AM David and Goliath
Rainy morning in Lambertville, NJ. We’ve seen enough of the playground across the street and the Fire Dept looked pretty good in the rain. So Norman took shelter under a nearby tree, and we greeted the day from there.

7/14 PM
Another 12 hour non-stop flight from the east coast to San Francisco. This time, it was from Philadelphia. Reason? The plane had a gas leak. As we wandered around the airport waiting for the new plane to arrive, we saw the news about this weeks’ New Yorker and all the uproar on the television. At sunset, we paused at one of the empty gate areas that had a TV on in front of the window and accompanied both the sunset and all the hoo-ha.
Since I just got home an hour ago and decided it wasn’t worth going to bed, I am sitting here waiting for the sunrise before going to sleep. The birds started going about 15 minutes ago and the sun is due to come up in another 5. It’s a nice way to view the sunrise from the end of the night for a change.
Here are some links to the commentary about this weeks' New Yorker cover:
Daily Telegraph
NPR Roundtable
FOX News
Seattle pi
Aljazeera English
Huffington Post

7/15 AM
OK! I have greeted the morning (audio). It seems very dark today. Plus I haven’t figured out this new camera. It makes everything look dark. I was pretty foggy myself this morning and am going to bed now.

7/15 PM
It is dark outside. Something is wrong with the light. The aftermath of the fires? It’s just too dark too soon. Not stormy- it’s very still. Not foggy, either. It is simply not light enough just before the sunrise or sunset. It feels ominous.
When I was in Philadelphia, I smelled smoke and I wondered if it could travel that far. Here’s a link to someone in New York who wondered the same thing.Also the light was not right there either. The sky was hazy and the sun bathed the ground in a beautifully warm orange light. It looked like the light just before sundown when the sun is very low on the horizon. The light on the east coast was beginning to look like the light looked out here in the Bay area soon after the fires started. For the last few weeks, depending on the weather patterns, it’s been either gray or orange. But now it’s simply dark.
Here are some recent satellite images of the spreading smoke and a photo of the sky in Vancouver (less than 800 miles from San Francisco).

7/16 AM Ding Ding Ding Went the Trolley
Foggy and cold, as usual. When I woke up, I heard that one very loud, persistent bird out in the back. But by the time I got out there, he had flown off a ways and was much quieter. Norman was afraid to come out because Malcolm would run off, so he opened the door wide enough to stick his wrist through. And that’s how we greeted the morning (audio). Even the streetcar chimed in today.

7/16 PM Blessing Dead Fish
Today was Amir’s first day here. He arrived from India yesterday and slept for almost 20 hours. He’s surprised at how cold it is here. So we lent him a coat and hoodie and little cap to wear. This evening when we went out back to ring the bells, I invited him to join us. Unfortunately, he still feels obligated to accommodate us so he came outside despite being too cold. I would like to know if they ring bells in the mornings and evenings in the town where he comes from.

7/17 AM At Least I Don't Bite
Please excuse me for the lazy (yet intimate) sunrise observance from the bed. After taking some powerful meds before going to sleep last night, I was very groggy this morning. I wasn’t the only one- Malcolm did not like to be woken up so early and he let me know how he felt.

7/17 PM Changing the Cones on the Bridge
Norman, Amir and I walked onto the Golden Gate Bridge at sundown just in time for the lane changing truck to drive by. I chose to stop at this spot on the bridge because I love the sound the cars make when they drive over the joint in the roadway. It reminds me of people talking and complaining. We nabbed a tourist and rang bells amidst the wind, traffic and nattering tires.

7/18 AM Fog Dots
Those are fog dots on the lens. This heavy fog didn’t phase that one, lonely loud little bird who reports for singing duty (audio) every morning right on time.

7/18 PM Music Minus All

Amir and I walked down to the beach and arrived just in time to see the last smear of red vanish into the waiting bank of fog. It’s generally so windy down there that I’m not going to even try to record the sound. Imagine the sound of waves constantly rolling towards the shore. Now turn up the volume on that before you add the sound of the wind blowing so hard you have to yell to be heard. Into this mix we rang our tiniest bells.

7/19 AM Tree Holes at Sunrise
After two years, we are finally getting a tree in front of our house. To commemorate the occasion, I included the waiting holes in the sidewalk in this morning’s sunrise observance. It’s too bad the woman running for the streetcar couldn’t just zoom down on her way past the almost trees.

7/19 PM Baby Trees!
The trees are in! Five of them on our block. Thank you Friends of the Urban Forest. It sounds like it’s a good thing we planted those trees considering how hard the guy with saw is working to cut up those lucky few trees that didn’t burn in the fires.

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