Last week Saturday was a day to remain indoors–I did not set foot outside all day long. This week Saturday was different. Pam and I hiked Bishop Peak in the early afternoon. It was sunny and breezy, perfect hiking weather. At the top we savored the views. It is very exciting to see the green tones returning to the California landscape. A little rain makes a large difference.
A panorama from Bishop Peak.
Sharing the view from Bishop Peak.
After the hike it was off to the next adventure. We went to the Performing Arts Center (PAC) on the Cal Poly campus and heard the San Luis Obispo Symphony. The show was titled “Out of this World” and featured works by Debussy and Holst. My favorite piece was Holst’s “Jupiter.”
In the PAC before the show began.
It was a good Saturday.
Oh, I almost forgot, I had a two pound carnitas burrito for lunch-dinner. It was that kind of day.
Life has peaks and valleys. It is good to savor the view from the peaks.
Today Pam and I hiked Valencia Peak at Montana de Oro State Park. We found the marker at the summit.
The marker at the Valencia Peak summit.
It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon. The views from the peak were very good. Soon after we reached the summit fog began to roll into Morro Bay, obscuring Morro Rock.
The view of Morro Rock and the Bay before the fog rolled in.
During the hike the air seemed still, but at the top of the peak the wind was cold and strong. It was a good setting to fly a kite. The winds were too strong for the kite, however, and it lurched drunkenly around the sky.
Flying a kite.
It is good to have moments to savor.
It was a good day.
In the past week we’ve had two days with rain. When you’re in a drought this is exciting. I found myself inhaling deeply, breathing in the wonderful scent that accompanies the gentle rain shower. The hills around SLO are already showing hints of green. Soon things will be bright and lush (though we’re going to need more rain to give the green an extended stay).
The Central Coast has been beautiful since I moved here. One of the largest downsides is the oppressive dryness.
When it has been dry for months on end, then I fully appreciate the rain. The sound of rain drops becomes music.
It rained today, and I am happy.
This year there is an estimated 34,000 monarch butterflies at the Pismo Beach Monarch Grove. Very cool.
And here’s a bonus photo that may be NSFW:
Whenever 34,000 butterflies congregate you can bet at least a few of them will be horny.
I’ve been happy and busy lately.
One of my work tasks right now is teaching a class focused on experimental design and analysis, with an emphasis on agriculture and horticulture. I’ve enjoyed the class, but it has been taking a lot of time. We’re about to inspect data sets and run t-tests in lab this week. This means I’ve been playing around with data handling. I’ve decided to use Excel for the class as much as possible, since that is software most of my students will have access to after graduation (while statistical software will likely not be readily available to most of them).
I’ve never collected a real data set that looked this pretty.
On another note, last night I was thinking about life. And I was feeling very blessed. It a wonderful thing to find someone whose presence and absence is felt acutely. In a previous chapter of life I wondered if it was worth voluntarily putting myself in a place where the loss of someone would cause pain. My verdict then was that loving in this fashion is the only acceptable way to live. Some losses may be crippling, but the temporary losses are fleeting. In fact, momentary separation makes the reunion all the sweeter. Just like experiencing the chill of winter for a moment makes basking in the warmth of a fire all the more glorious.
I think of these things in a chapter of life that entails work-related separations and reunions. It is one thing to wait for the unknown. It is another thing to wait for the known with a date circled on the calendar.