Of all the plant phyla, I’ve always felt a particular affinity for the conifers. Those spiny softwood survivors have a diverse yet particular set of aromatic compounds that accompany them; I can chart a lot of happy memories to pine or cypress groves and their applied organic chemistry. Starting on the east coast, through the midwest, and finding myself in grad school on the west coast meant contact with a lot of different species. These ocean-wind-sculpted examples from Pacifica, California are particularly dramatic.
The DJI Phantom 3 quadcopter is giving me a new appreciation for Canton’s “small town America” landmarks, like the Appleton Arena. The way oblique solar rays reflect from its arcing roof puts the ice rink and the Grasse River in a reflective class of their own; nothing else in town is reflecting the sunset in the same way. Perhaps it’s appropriate that the ice rink and the flowing river, both full of water (though covered, in Appleton’s case) are the most reflective moieties.
The shapes of the hills of California are odd and impossible by the standards of the Northeast. In spite of my time spent there, my brain has still not adjusted to the angles—either in the distance or under my own feet when I’m there. On a charming horse farm that might be at home in the early twentieth century, the sunbaked scene is too real to be real.
I didn’t think the day would ever come but I’ve become nostalgic for my time in Berkeley. The coming of fall has got me thinking about walking to campus at the advent of a new school year. Walking up Channing, past this Buddhist temple every day. The temple never meant anything to me personally while I was in Berkeley but now I find myself missing walking past it in the mornings. Memories are weird.