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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

My day off – from blogging, that is – was very productive, as I hoped it would be. The big struggle over the past several days – weeks, really - has been to find a way into the narrative. I’ve tried many different approaches, but have finally nailed down something that works for me. That done, I’m galloping along, mainly because I am now free to draw on the blog entries that tell the tale of my stay here. They need re-writing, naturally, but my goodness it feels like coasting downhill after all the recent agonising.
Today I must have got a couple of thousand words added by early afternoon. Then I gave myself the rest of the day off. I realised that I had been lacking energy, and had been worried that I was bored, losing interest, or feeling my age, that this whole experience was beginning to pall. I am pleased to report that none of the above was true. It was just the heat. At midday today the temperature was 59, that’s a full forty degrees below last week’s peak. Forty. Remarkable. And guess who was suddenly straining at the leash? I speak metaphorically, of course. I am free to do as I please – although this morning I foolishly got into a conversation with Matt up at the ranch and found myself agreeing that it would be a breeze to shin up the ladder and paint the attic window and surround, plus the woodwork at the front of the house, and why not do the north wall of the garage while I’m at it? I blame it on the cooling breeze and grey skies, and am only relieved that I didn’t offer to fix the hole in his workshop roof too.

I had an excellent walk over the hills this afternoon. I didn’t got very far, but I was out some time. What happened, of course, was that I got waylaid by what was under foot.

I am going to risk suggesting that this is a species of marsh hyssop which, according to the good book, generally inhabits watery areas but “may persist as a prostrate plant in muddy places.” I could be hopelessly off-target. I am also in doubt about this rather flamboyant customer, but I think it’s a bush morning glory, the one that sends down a great fat tap-root several feet.

As for this, well, I’m afraid I’ve missed the boat as far as identification goes. This is its seed-pod, and I have no recollection of seeing it in flower.

I’ve tended to shy away from photographing grasses. I’m enjoying the variety of sizes, habits, colours and textures, but don’t feel confident about naming more than a handful. However, out along the limb I go… and suggest that this might be sand muhly. Not a favoured grass, as I recall, but attractive to the eye.

But all this talk of plant-life is mere flimflam. The news of the day is that I think I have finally found a genuine ancient artefact. I shall be listening for sounds of laughter as I claim this as a spear-head. Well, it looks very much like one, and it’s almost two inches long. I stumbled across it quite by accident when I was picking my way down a draw that had recently  been flushed by rain.

It may be a common or garden piece, and it may well have been crafted by an apprentice or a child, but I shall treasure it.

Tomorrow - or is it today? I get confused, so let’s say Wednesday morning - I am off to Gordon. I have a dental appointment at high noon, and with luck I shall get a haircut on my way through Merriman. I also have quite a list of painting accessories to pick up at the hardware store, but so long as the cool weather persists I shall regard those jobs as pleasures in store.

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