Normal Lows


One inescapable consequence of global warming seems to be extremes in weather conditions.  The storms have more wind and precipitation, the heat waves are hotter, the cold waves are colder, the droughts are dryer.  Meanwhile, the tides inch upward, and nature reacts to all of this somewhat subtly but in a manner that we become aware of over time.

We should probably appreciate anything “normal” or “average” on the infrequent weeks when it shows up.  This week, the meteorologists assure us, will be such a time.  This clearing morning sky may not agree.  In the meantime, I just enjoy what I can, happy for whatever pageant may appear.

Sometimes, it strikes me how the world is changing even as I accept it each day.  What I take for granted might be completely extraordinary a few years from now.  How many people really noticed, for example, when the horse was replaced by the automobile?  How many people my age, for that matter, were watching as great ocean liners and their city piers disappeared in the face of inexpensive air flights?

So I see this oil truck and _ well, perhaps that is in the same class.  Not only are new homes becoming much more efficient and insulated, but oil heat almost everywhere around here is hanging on by a thread, since natural gas is cheaper, cleaner, and more useful.  Will I miss deliveries?  No, not really, no more than anyone ever missed the horse shit all over the street when animals were finally gone.

Stone, plaster, stucco and tile all look more beautiful when wet.  Coindre Hall can take on aspects of being a real French chateau, at least if you squint a little.  Anyway, I enjoy the changes in the appearance of materials with the weather conditions.

A meteorologist on the news yesterday mentioned that our concern with weather is a recent thing _ from the 1800’s or 1900’s on.  Before that, people only spoke of seasons, as in a “wet spring” or “cold winter.”  It’s odd as that we were less and less affected by the daily vagaries of storm and sun we should become more and more preoccupied with them.  Perhaps another example of perverse human nature ….


Fog seems to be a kind of metrological confusion.  Oh, yes, it is just low clouds _ common enough.  And weather has no anthropological basis, confused or otherwise.  But after all that _ well it seems the water just can’t make up its mind whether to drip or absorb into invisibility. 

That brings out all kinds of responses from us.  Mysterious, enveloping, beautiful, annoying.  It’s hard
for me to make up my mind as well.  Here our inlet seems a tiny replica of the Golden Gate, while dark pilings hold reality firmly in place.


Solitary working boat in the harbor, not only surviving ice and cold but challenging it.  At times, this area can be as picturesque as Europe.  Of course, it’s all in the selection of the pictures and presentation _ but the Europeans know that too. 

I try not to be dogmatic about photographs. The essential fact is that any image capture is untrue to our actual experience and vision.  No matter how much you try to make it “realistic” it never can match someone on the spot.  So tricks, like zoom or fuzz or color adjustment are simply playthings added to what is basically a lie anyway.


Tiny red tugboat behind rusting orange crane, both unemployed until the spring.  The feathery rushes somehow survive all kinds of wind and rain and freeze for months.  They look a lot more fragile than they really are.

I can search for profound thoughts or follow logical trails to fantasy meanings, but often it is best to just let the mind clear.  Not try to think of why or how or what it all means, but simply appreciate what is.  That is not only this view but also the wind and temperature and sounds and contented feel of my musculature letting me wander along.


As I walked, unpredicted drizzle turned into unexpected rain into unusual sleet into surprise heavy snow shower.  Naturally, it all stopped as I reached home again.  One of those days when you just have to grin and bear it.

Big fat flakes rapidly coating everything bring out the inner child, delighted that the everyday world suddenly turns so magical.  Not just the images, but the cold patches landing on nose and lips, then melting.  The hush that falls from any falling water absorbing ambient sounds.  And the frisson of possible danger.  It’s important to listen to that voice sometimes.


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