Followers and friends will know that I spent nine months at home this year, at first mostly near my mother’s (now former) home in New Jersey with some trips to my own home-base in Sonoma County, and then from June mostly in SoCo. The day I left my home to begin the travels which brought me to the desk in Dhaka from which I’m writing this now, I left earlier than planned because the friend whom I’d planned to be my ride to the airport was in an area that had fallen under mandatory evacuation, due to yet another devastating forest fire. That fire ultimately burned parts of Shiloh Ranch Regional Park, which had already been badly burned in the major fires just two years ago. I hiked up there less than two weeks before I flew out, and took the photo just below – where you see the charred part of a trail marker, left over from two years earlier.
You also see how very dry things are by the late dry season, making whatever vegetation there is ready fuel for any fires that do start. The photos I’m showing you here were taken on several hikes with friends (Howard, Nancy, Steve) and bike rides on my own, in many parks, trails and roads spanning a lot of Sonoma County between the end of the wet season / start of dry (the first photo in this post, on a bike ride in mid-April when rain might still fall a bit) to the one below, late October, late in the dry when we haven’t seen rain in more than six months.
I’m thinking of home on what’s still the end of Thanksgiving day, there in California – even if here it’s already Friday morning, that silly consumerist “black Friday” thing that American merchants get all excited about. Enjoy time with your friends and family, my beloved readers. They’re what’s truly priceless.
smw, slt has landed back in lovely Port Moresby, PNG after a 44-hour transit period from Lisbon – yep, whence we last posted as two of you visibly, correctly, deduced – and while we haven’t had time to sort all the photos from Lisbon which, trust us, will be gorgeous when we get around to posting them because…well, Lisbon is a gorgeous city…we have had a chance to color-correct two shots taken from the water during a dive trip back on Bootless Bay (which is virtually an extension of the runway of Port Moresby Jackson’s International Airport), and this has reminded me again of seasons. As if I needed to be reminded of such, since I was in Europe when the earth’s rotation on its tilted axis around the sun crossed that invisible line in the dimensions of space which mean that, here in the south, we’re into spring and back there in north, they’re (you’re) into autumn. In the tropics, as you likely know, these seasons tend to mean dry and wet more than hot and cold – though it does get delightfully less hot during Port Moresby’s winter i.e. June-September or so. And since I just flew in over it all again yesterday, and since I’ve had occasion over the 1.5 years I’ve posted from here to show you more than once a specific feature of the coastline of Port Moresby, I present you with brief and vivid example of the difference between late winter (late dry season) and early winter (end of wet season).
If you are viewing this in chrome (firefox has trouble with these layout templates, so tends to overlap photos and such), you should see a smaller, greener image of Pyramid Peak to the right or above this text. At the top of this post you see virtually the exact same photo, shot almost exactly three months later: small shot, June; large shot, September just before I flew out to Amsterdam. To everything — turn, turn turn — there is a season — turn, turn, turn… And, for me, the season has come to return actively to work, dig back into that stack of emails and planning for 2014 activities and all the work I love. Lisbon shots will appear in this space sometime soonish, I hope. But for now, those of you wondering where and how I am can imagine me in the late dry season with a big pile of work that I’m actually surprisingly eager to dig back into. I hope this finds you well whether you are beginning your spring or your autumn. Peace, out. (Oh, and btw if you’d like more dry-wet comparisons of where I am, hit either of the other posts where I showed stuff in and around Pyramid Peak, here: https://somuchworldsolittletime.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/coast-highlands-coral-sea-by-land-and-by-air/ and here https://somuchworldsolittletime.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/paul-takes-to-the-water-at-long-last/