Saturday, June 21, 2008

under the wing

We are in a heat wave here in Central California. Things are, as they say, hot as blazes. The first fire of the year early this month in the Santa Cruz mountains saw thousands of acres burned and homes lost. Then it was Bonny Doon, also in Santa Cruz County. As our plane made its descent on the way home from our trip last week, our pilot informed us we might see some smoke to the south – there was a fire in a part of the Ventana Wilderness called The Indians. Number three. At least three more areas ignited to various degrees all yesterday afternoon.

So, when driving home from the dump (well, fair reader, it IS Saturday after all and you KNOW my family's habits) we were a bit surprised to notice clouds in the sky. Not just any clouds – these were quite clearly rain clouds.

There we were driving along in hot sunny weather while in the distance on three sides of us, the sky was dark, illuminated every now and then with wicked jags of lightning. Thunderstorms are practically unheard of here. Don't have the right mix of stuff in our climate.

I would say there was an electricity in the air, but obviously, that's redundant. Still, I was awed by the dark cloud formations directly ahead of us which looked exactly like a giant eagle with its head turned to one side and its enormous wings spread wide over us. As we drove it stayed just above us in a feathery embrace, dark wings contrasted against white puff.

By the time we made it home (about 15 minutes), most of the bird had morphed into other things, but its right wing was still distinct and reaching out above our house and the line of neighbors to one side. The thunder and lightning got closer until beautiful rain began in oversized drops plunking like witless parachuters on the front walk. The winds convinced me to turn off the ceiling fan for a while. I shut down the computer and dragged our 18-gallon rain catching tub to its most auspicious location before Mike had a chance to tell me I was crazy.

I'm out of practice with these matters. Indeed, the rain ended as quickly as it had started. I sent the fans spinning again and got my head back in the game: summer in Central Calif. We're not likely to see water fall from the sky again until at least October. Forgive me, I guess I was in the mood for some magic.

1 comment:

Dianne said...

Oh I love storm clouds! and these sound like they were magnificent.

I loved the image of the eagle.

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