The first hard rains of another winter and I am driven back indoors to warmth and my own thoughts. This season has been so beautiful. The rich growth of this bountiful world so abundant. I am more and more grateful for the days that bring me into the fields, folds and forests of our magnificent Sierra. As I get older I realize that I don’t have time to be in a hurry any more, and this gives me liberty to take the time to do things correctly and to appreciate the process, time to admire the pair of orange-crowned warblers that perch beside me while I am holding the prism pole, peering from behind blue oak leaves, the male flashing the flourescent orange of his crest patch to match the blinking lazar from the total station. Each project gives me new insight into the piece of this earth that I call home.
Kristen and I took a road trip this autumn, driving and hiking east across the mountains and the Great Basin through Nevada, and then over the Rockies, the many ranges of the Wasatch and the Medicine Bow and the Front range, all the way to the flat plains, and then back again. We woke one morning to a pronghorn family running into our camp, and watched wild condors soaring over The Doug-firs and aspens of Utah. When we returned the leaves were turning and it was time to work on the wood-pile and look ahead to winter. I love these rituals; sawing and splitting and stacking the logs in the woodshed and lighting the first fire of the season.