Lughnasa and the Labor Day Moon
Sunday gratefuls: Jon, Ruth, Gabe. All here to celebrate Grandma’s birthday. The specific Animals that gave their lives for our meal: scallops and a tri-tip steak. The heat. When it leaves. Jon and Ruth’s happiness with the gift of Ivory. (our 2011 Rav4). Gabe’s “Air hug. I love you Grandpop.” Rigel at home. The chance to cook for a crowd. Kate. Always Kate.
Didn’t do much for Kate’s birthday on Tuesday. Lots of stuff going on before, that day, and after. But we hit it yesterday. Grandkids. Scallops. The gift of empanadas from Jon and the kids. Rigel up and about. When they left we both collapsed, as usual. A good exhaustion. Happy to see them come. Happy to see them go.
Record heat in Denver. Hot up here, too. Not by other spots standards, I know, but we’ve become acclimated to a cooler day.
You can’t see the Mountains from Denver. Jon. All this smoke and haze, heavy particulates has obscured us. We’re still here. The haze is here and the smell of smoke hangs in the Air like a harbinger. It’s bad further west, but the Wildfire threat is extreme here, too. Humidity at 16. The Ground Water evaporates. The stress on Trees and Grasses grows with the lack of precipitation. A grim reminder that we’re all part of this Ecosystem.
Ruth said that Animals from the Foothills are fleeing into metro Denver. People have been asked to leave water out for them. Can’t do it here. Habituation. Which kills Animals rather than helps them.
The arid West is not the humid East. The Mountains are not the Plains. Whether we realize it all the time or not, our lives have Water as a disruptive actor. The lack of it. Water from the Western Slope, for example, goes to Denver through huge tunnels and pipes. The southern burbs of Denver have depleted much of the Aquifer that sits beneath them. Long periods of dryness lead to extreme conditions for agriculture, Wildlife, and our Forests. The Colorado River Compact promises more Water to its downstream users like Las Vegas, Arizona, and Los Angeles than actually flows through it.
Diane, my San Francisco based cousin, told me about the book, Cadillac Desert, long ago. That piqued my interest in Water. I’ve been fascinated ever since. The way the Plains states like Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and even parts of Oklahoma and Texas have based their economies on the Ogallala Aquifer, an enormous reservoir of mostly ancient Water that underlies them. No Aquifer, no amber waves of Grain, no fruited Plains. The Great Lakes. Now, the Colorado River.
Consider the Water where you are. It is Life itself. Worthy of your attention.