Sunday, August 08, 2010

In the last year...

A little over a year ago, Eli and I got on the Plattsburgh ferry, and rode across from New York to Vermont.

While looking through old photos I found that video today.

It is amazing to think how much as changed since then! The transition from California to Vermont was difficult in some ways, but it was very, very needed. Almost all of the last year has been amazing, even the parts that were also rather hard.

I'm going back to Vermont in 6 days. My project in Pittsburgh has been amazing so far, and in some ways I am sad to leave. However, I miss Vermont, and in particular, there are certain people I really miss. There are also new people to meet - including 8 people entering the grad program I am in. These are people I am going to be spending a lot of time with, and if they are anything like other people I have met through this program, they will be amazing.

This last summer has been an important and productive one, though it also had its difficult moments. Summer is actually my least favorite season, although I like it a lot better on the east coast than out west. In coastal California, summer is something to be endured, a hot time, where many years the only water to touch the ground between May and October consists of the welcome, but very sparse, moisture that trees and shrubs condense from fog. It is difficult for much of the season to be able to perceive a transition to better times.

In Pittsburgh, and also in Vermont, summer is more of an arc. Although late summer has its share of hot days and thunderstorms, the air *feels* different... the sun sets a bit earlier (this change a bit less welcome than others), and the animals and plants are just a little more rushed and frantic in preparing for colder times.

Sometimes they overreact, and are a bit too prepared.
This maple is certainly missing out on a lot of warm days in which it could store food for the winter. In all honestly, it is probably sick or drought stressed. Still, it was the first sign of fall in what has been a very long and hot summer.


skyrocket said...

I was just thinking that it had been about a year since you started your journey. It's like a lifetime away now. So much has changed and almost entirely for the better. Well ALL for the better really! What doesn't kill us...

Naturalist Charlie said...

Very true... very true. Despite my project going well I will be happy to be in Vermont again, oh man do I miss the people there! I don't know what I'm gonna do net year when many of them move away (and maybe me too? who knows.)