May 8, 2009

Everything grows here

Last night I decided to trek around my immediate neighborhood on foot. It's a complete ghost town for most of the night, but the advantage is no cars and their night vision-killing headlights to worry about. Just utter tranquility and solitude in a beautiful tropical mountainscape, as green and lush as ever thanks to all the rain that fell throughout the winter. I made my way up the ironwood tree-lined road until I reached the irrigation canal which leads several miles into deeper wilderness. Followed it through a densely forested gulch, across a wooden flume, and over someone's backyard or two in a sneaky manner. Explored a plant nursery for a bit, took a self-guided tour through a mostly empty and incredibly expansive greenhouse, and headed down another heavily wooded road leading down into the valley and rejoining the canal. Since a long underground tunnel linked where I had gotten to with the flume I had crossed, and the water flowing through it was only up to my knees, I opted to just switch on my flashlight and follow the tunnel back.

I definitely savored the evening, though. Nature's air-conditioning was on and the breeze through the trees was pleasant. Not only felt pleasant, but sounded euphonious in the treetops as a gently cascading waterfall. The fallen pine-like leaves of the ironwood trees richly carpeted the ground, making it entirely conducive for wandering around shoeless. And of course the moon was shining brightly through an atmosphere of orographic clouds racing by several hundred feet above me, at times completely obscuring the sky and painting a ceiling of luminous silver. My idea of paradise.

Even after living here so long, I still don't take the scenery for granted. The drive to work is simply amazing. Over a mountain of green grassy hills and cloud forests, through a misty mountain town with rustic charm and an ever purifying crisp wind, giving way to a region of mostly barren cattle pastures of brown grass and sad-looking wilted trees (with which a little imagination could easily resemble somewhere in bumfuck Texas). Then up through fog-drenched upperlands which more resembles Ireland, with farm houses perched on hills of lush green, over a crest into upper elevation desert with a "lovely" Army base accentuating the worthless wasteland, then scaling above the clouds to a lifeless tundra landscape over 13,000 feet above sea level, where distant mountain summits appear as islands peering up from a sea of clouds. Watching the full moon rise above that celestial ocean at twilight was a spectacular sight, as were the wisps of clouds rising off the summit at sunset, a bright fiery orange that appeared as if someone had over-saturated them using Photoshop.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you haven't been taking things for granted! I wish I had free time to do things like this. Only one more final on Tuesday and it's summer time!

I wonder what the sky is like there. Take a picture one day if you can.