I love the sun. It’s beautiful, colorful, and bright. But I also hate the sun, and hide from it. It is both lovely and frightening; joyous and angry.
The sun looks blue when you look right at it. If you put a solid thing between yourself and the sun, there’s a glowing corona. Even though it is too bright to really see the variation in sunbeams, there is a movement to sunlight that is hard to express.
A few days ago, I got a sunburn. Being a redhead, this is not an uncommon occurrence, but nonetheless, it always catches me by surprise. I wasn’t out any longer than usual, and I didn’t go to soak up rays. The problem was that instead of taking Sydney at 4:00 PM, we went out at 1:30 PM.
Being in a new place has its advantages. You can go see something you’ve never seen before. You can experience the wind on your skin from a new perspective.
One of the reasons I like having Sydney around, is that she is even excited about sniffing the same spots, day after day. I love walking in the park with her and feeling the wind from the Marina in my hair.
The last couple days, we’ve been doing some exploring and some re-visiting of spots we like. Some places never lose their novelty. Like the End-of-the-Runway In-n-Out by LAX. It’s a spot that is pretty awful in some ways. I wouldn’t want to live there, but it is fun to go and visit. Seeing the planes take off and land is pretty interesting. They all make different noises. Yesterday we went there after our mundane trip to Trader Joe’s, and there was a BIG plane landing, right over our heads.
The day before yesterday, we went exploring in the Santa Monica Mountains, and found a beautiful vista. It was on a path that was probably not official, since it went straight up– dangerously steep. It wasn’t the absolute tallest thing around, but it was pretty tall! There was all kinds of beautiful smelling brush, probably rosemary and sage, growing wild. H commented that he’d like to build a house there.
Some things are exciting because they are novel, some things because they are beautiful. And novelty isn’t always different. Sometimes novelty is just a dynamic. Things that move too fast can be fun, but it is hard to maintain an enthusiasm for them because it is the movement rather than the structure that makes them interesting.
California is really an amazing place. There is such a wide variety of plants, that I’m still finding new ones, or at least seeing them in a different season, they look different.
There’s the trees that are green in summer, but that in the late winter sprout enormous red buds that stand out from the end of ham-fisted branches. There’s the ones that look like bottle brushes in bloom, and have crazy baubles hanging when the red stamens that make up the brush fall out. There’s the trees that have smooth fluffy bark. There’s the wide variety of palms, succulents and yucca.
The other day on my walk with Sydney, these primeval pine-cone blooms or sprouts struck me. They remind me of a bird about to uncoil its wings.
Seeing them, I imagine some remarkable bracelets that are stacked beads like this, giant oddly shaped peyote stitch, or just stacked and couched beads sewn down to a cloth. I can imagine a crazy folded skirt, with pleats sewn up like this to add texture. I can also see these used as a roller in ink, to make mono prints.
Their texture is impressive. And the shock between the dark green leaves and the light colored stamens (or sprouts?) is quite striking as well. It says, “Come land on me, butterflies and bees, I’m full of nectar.”
It wasn’t just one of these but about 10 planted on the corner of a corner lot. I’d seen them without the blooms, and wasn’t impressed, but with these accents in late spring, I can understand why the owner planted them.