Another bizarrely warm January day.
I called Cal-Burn at 7am to see if we could burn some duff. January 15th.....not a burn day.
Two months ago we cut all the low branches and dead trees on the mountain, cut up the firewood and are waiting to burn the duff with the poison oak. Ladder theory: if there is a fire, it should not be able to climb up from the brush to the tree-tops, or climb down from the tree-tops to the brush. There has not been a burn day since the last time it rained: " You.r responsibility is not to burn in the rain, or burn wet brush. Thursday, January 15 is a NO-Burn day."
The mountain is drying up. Today we had dust on the trails as the dogs raced around. Grandpuppy actually skidded downhill in the dust on the Rte. 1 Home Trail.....the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
We are almost back to cornflakes in terms of walking off-trail. Snap. Crackle. Pop.
Pray for rain.....forget flooding and mudslides......
Puppy and I have been cruising the mountain so much lately. I am trying to run the legs off the dog. We have tracked him at 30 mph in short runs, and figure he cruises uphill at a minimum 15 mph. I used to worry about mountain lions.....even in the day. If I were a lion.....I would eat that dog....seriously gorgeous musculature. Tacos de Perro!
Today, the dog ran about 40 miles on two hour and a half hikes......Ripping through the poison oak the entire time.
I hate poison oak. This is documented, and one of the only reasons anyone at Tassajara speaks comlete sentences to me.
Poison oak is just starting to sprout..... and relish the warm weather, along with the sticky purple and the miner's lettuce.
When I hike, I don't take a faggy, hand-carved walking stick.....I take a machete. A really good, balanced, hard-steel machete with a leather strap that keeps it strapped to my arm. Hey, when you are climbing 60% mountains.....a groovy, hand-carved walking stick is of little use.
And the mountain lions are super hard to impress. Hand-carved walking sticks don't do much for them.....
I, and my sons, do not get poison oak.....unless it is pure sap, directly applied. Right now, I look like a scabies victim......lesions all over my hands and wrists. This is just from direct spatter from the machete from all the poison oak vines I have slashed in the last few days.......
Fuck poison oak. It is a mono-culture that kills all other plants.
And fuck George Bush while we are at it.....for the same reason. Though I can't prove that this moron ever rose to the level of culture at any level, much less monoculture.
Well, maybe chlamydia. I hear they culture that.....
I hear there has been a 30% increase in the last eight years.
But, there are still signs of spring, despite the drought. And, there may be a storm on the 20th.
Right now, there is more sticky purple flower and miner's lettuce than I have seen in 20 years.
In fact, this morning we found a field of densely packed miner's lettuce....Puppy and I.....and I had visions of rolling in clover with a loved one.....toasted by the midwinter sun.
Warm sun, sprouting beneficence.... If you have an erection lasting more than two seasons......call an arborist.
It was Ireland on the mountain......wall to wall green......
And, I had just been to the Consulate on Wednesday....to get my papers for my Irish passport....
I was so excited about the lush, sexual greenity that I raced back down the hill after two hours of hiking.....mailed two bills.....paid two bills....and convinced Amanda to climb back up to go for a "hike".
80% of all massages end in sex.
What are the figures for hikes? Gotta be in the ball park, right.......not to mention the meadow of miner's lettuce sprouts......
Well, not so much in Ireland.....apparently.
Regardless.....the signs of Spring were everywhere.
Puppy, completely exhausted....with sticky purple stuck to his magic nose.....Golden California sunshine pouring over his head......Where is Bennie when I need him? Or Conall.
And.....the Mexican mafia.....already poised for a bumper crop.
My junior high school Latin teacher....Mr. Knight from BD Billinghurst Jr. High School in Reno, NV.
....a veteran of Anzio Beach.....an Alabama guy, as it turns out...taught us a lot of Latin poems. What pops to mind, though, is an English one.
Roses are red,
Violets are neat,
You get a thorn with every rose....
But ain't the roses sweet?
Did I mention I carry a machete on my hikes?
I am still trying to figure out the Gaelic word for machete.........
Thorns or not.....the roses, and the miner's lettuce.....are still so sweet......