Sunday, February 10, 2019

Channeling the clouds on Elephant Mountain


This morning the mountain was completely enveloped in fog. It was a transcendental experience watching the lake emerge from the flat planes of the pewter mist, and the myriad possibilities of fog and light emerge and recombine minute by minute. I never grow tired of watching it. Why did I never find the time to seek out and observe such beauty? It fair takes my breath away. It seems I am channeling the master cloud painters Frangonard, Watteau and Turner—with the clouds posing like that.


Black/Elephant Mountain is made of Franciscan strata and pillow lava, volcanic extrusions from under the sea—a child of the San Andreas Fault. Meanwhile, down the valley, in the distance, I could hear the call of a flock of Canada geese on the move, and a cow bawling for her errant calf. The cacophany of wild geese grew nearer—They were accompanying a lone bicyclist, blithely unaware that the wild geese gods were overhead protecting him on that empty stretch of road. The redtail hawks are flying low, zoning in on the chickens that are digging for worms in the pasture. A flash of red against the green grass, and the intense yellow of mustard. Somewhere, just out of sight, the bald eagle is circling. Leaping bass make concentric coinage on the surface of the lake. Grebes bob on the ripples, tree swallows crochet the air. I may be living somewhat feral existence well out of my comfort zone, but I am doubly blessed when it comes to a matter of light and fog on a lake at dawn.

The bicyclist and his entourage of wild geese.
They followed him all the way around the lake.

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