I mean the large zone of elevated atmospheric pressure which has blessed the Pacific Northwest for many weeks now, making this past summer’s Cottage Life a more or less weather-untroubled sun-bath. Me, I can’t wait for the rain (coming Friday they say).
The huge cedars and hemlock around our cabin are hanging in but they’re hurting; you can see lots of brown patches among the needles. I know perfectly well that winter’s winds will blow the dead bits down on the cabin by the bushel and clog our gutters and downspouts. There seems no technology that can address this.
I was sitting under the cedars and glanced up; my eyes were caught by an odd lighting effect as the slanting October sun caught the boughs and needles sideways.
When I got around to looking at the photos, I realized I’d sort of missed the trick of the light, but accidentally discovered that the trees are starwheels; and that if you look close, the rays bend. But I had to go to black-and-white to make the point.
It’s not all needles. In our temperate rain forests, the broad-leaf maple can hold its own with the towering evergreens, and creates a quality of softly-intense green light I haven’t seen elsewhere.
Fire · It’s what we don’t want to think about. These trees are all, no exceptions, on steep slopes, and if a bad one got going it’d walk right up the incline and not much would be left. But it seems we’ve been lucky this year, high pressure and all.
Water · I’m being a hypocrite here, because I’ve emitted lots of doleful words about the endless downpours and inadequate light of the Cascadian 50° North Latitude winter. But damn, that rain forest needs some rain, you walk in there and you can feel the great slow wooden thirst.
On top of which, this summer we did some renovations, and a side-effect was that a big nasty industrial machine cleared a substantial open space of its blackberries; we hastily sowed the bare soil with not salt but Coastal Revegetation Mix. Boy, that’s some hot stuff; in the complete absence of rain it’s managed to green up the space, living off dew I guess. Give it some rain and we’ll have some doughty allies in place against next spring’s revenant blackberries, curse ’em.