Lewis’ Blog

30 March 2010

Davis in April

Filed under: Davis, clouds, nature, plants, self, stars — Tags: — lewis @ 9:46 pm

It being nearly April again, I thought I’d post something I wrote last April that I just found in my notebook.

In Davis in April in this dry valley almost too big to be called a valley created by an inland sea flooded year after year by the Sacramento River by the American River by the Yuba River by Putah Creek the soil enriched over the centuries by silt these carried from the high mountains of the Sierra from the crumbling mountains of the coastal range from the hilly unknown lands to the north, in this dry valley I sit, and breathe.

I breathe the rich dry eair of Yolo County, full like soil of decaying plant matter of dung of carcasses, all these returned to dust and settled into soil, and sometimes blown in gusts to enrich this air.  I sit on a lawn a large and well-kempt lawn of the university which nevertheless is populated by a large variety of weeds, is strewn with oak leaves like the innumerable stars that can be seen from mountain-tops.  In a season these leaves will be dust and soil and compost, their ancient life force slowly absorbed by the roots of plants.

I sit under a cork-oak whose leaves are falling (it may be sick) and who provides me with a delicious shade on this warm April day, mixed deliciously with patches of sunshine.  The clouds too conspire to bring my life these ingredients, lazy flocks of cumulus humilis slowly floating eastwards from the sea perhaps to bring the high Sierras another dusting of snow.  It has been a dry Winter but not utterly devoid of water, and the reservoirs are middling full.  Spring has come unhindered, and Davis is full of butterflies now though bees are few this year.

I love this air that smells of compost.  I love to walk in the sun and in the shade in Davis in the springtime.  I love the university with its many workers and many students, and its many seekers of truth, or money.  Out of this good soil has been cultivated a great campus of learning and employ, by the grace of God.  Here has sprung up a community of people around the campus, and the old Davis needs all this too to survive — we all must love each other truly here in this earth, while we breathe the rich air, while we walk in the sun-soaked pathways of the university at Davis.

4 September 2009

stars etc.

Filed under: stars — Tags: — lewis @ 11:55 pm

Tonight the moon was full, and it was too bright to view through a telescope.  We got the moon right in the middle of the view, but it was so bright it made our eyes ache.  You could see it projected brightly onto the other person’s eye when they were looking.  Not a good night to look at the moon.

So we pointed the telescope at other objects in the night sky.  We looked at Jupiter again and its four visible moons.  They change configuration every night.  We looked at Arcturus setting in the west, and some other stars in the southwest.  I haven’t learned too many star names yet.

One name that I have learned is Vega.  I spent a good long time looking at Vega.  It was almost directly overhead, so the telescope was oriented such that I could sit comfortably on the ground.  I had pointed my telescope at a few different stars whose names I did not know, but when I got to Vega my attention was fixed.  Its light is particularly beautiful.  It is a clear, crystalline, watery light.  Lots of bright blue and purple.  I’m sure I’ll get to know lots of stars as I spend more time with this telescope but it’s going to be difficult to find one more beautiful than Vega.

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