Saturday, October 6, 2012

Being in the Haze

Rattlesnake Lake was beautiful again today, the ridges to the west of them shrouded in a salmon-colored haze as the sun set.  For a few weeks now, fires east of us have left us with stunning skies at sunset, orange moons, and hazy blue ridges in the distance.  NASA showed smoke blowing west, but it's still affecting our air.  I haven't had an easy time breathing when hiking any elevation gain lately, especially when Rachel and I walked our dogs.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. 

Today was a family affair.   Nick wanted to bring his Nerf rifle, but had to be satisfied with an army vest and goggles.  At least the goggles looked almost like sunglasses.  My boy hasn't quite grown up yet.  He worries that he's going to be too old to go trick-or-treating this year, but we told him he isn't.  I hope the people handing out candy agree.   I hadn't thought about how his friends feel about it.  I imagine they still want to head into the neighborhood that night too.  Some kids just seem to grow sophisticated faster than others.  Nick is not one of them and I'm glad of it.  I just hope he can enjoy childhood for a bit longer, but I can feel him straining against it and being reluctant to leave it at the same time.  The three of us walked together today.  We needed to get outside so we headed to the lake in hopes we'd get all the way around it.  Not a chance.  Today ended up being a day for dawdling, exploring, for taking our time.  It was nice.

The water around Rattlesnake is low this time of year.  It's obvious why.  The snow has melted and the rains haven't yet come.  The huge swimming rock is nearly beached and many of the submerged old-growth tree stumps are exposed enough for us to see springboard notches in them.  Most of them also look like they're wearing green hair, the nurse log effect.  I was sad to see that someone had filled a few of them with rocks from the beach.  That was the end of those new trees.  Sometimes, the eagles and osprey fish this lake, but not today.  Just fishermen in their boats. 

I wanted to be in a boat on the water.  Instead, we rambled around the lake along the South side, trying to keep our feet dry as we crabbed on rocks between the blackberries and the water.  My backpack kept getting hung up on the overhanging briars and brush.  My feet never quite got wet, but I almost stumbled into the water a couple of times.

I kept thinking about the huge rocks that were dotted here and there along the shore.  At some point, they'd fallen down from Rattlesnake Ridge.  When you head up the trail, it's littered with these rocks.  I'd hate to be here during an earthquake.  I'd hate to be here when any of them above let loose.  I wonder if it would make a noise, a warning, before it dropped?

The sky turned even more orange as the sun came closer to the western ridge.  It felt as though we were looking through an orange haze.  Well, we were looking through an orange haze, one that gave everyone a healthy glow.  The dog almost swam.  Nick threw rocks into the water.  I got some holes in my shirt from blackberry thorns that grabbed me and ate the last of my GoGoSqueeze.  Plus, I took a couple of pictures of Mike in silhouette as he stared out over the water that I liked.  Nick seemed to move too fast for me to capture. 

It may seem too slow to see, but he's growing up too fast for me to capture, moving off into the haze. 

Thank you for listening, jb

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