So green is my valley, become verdant after our first heavy autumn rain. I hadn't really noticed as passage through our expansive low plain is generally accomplished by automobile, bus or bicycle. Always in a hurry to get from here to there, I missed how the scorch of an eternal summer was transforming from regulation California brown into shimmering emerald. My blinders, however, have been removed. Deprived recently of a vehicle, and only rarely boarding the county bus, I decided to hoof my way over the county thoroughfare in order to see what I had been missing while keeping my eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
Tuesday morning was crisp and cool, but the sun promised to warm quickly the pavement I trod and the air I gulped down. At mile 2.2 from home, the valley floor opened before my goggling eyes as clusters of oak vying for room and attention with cedar and pine acceded to the inexorable onslaught of an immense, sweeping table of flatness. Rising valiantly through the detritus of spent spring grasses was new, dewy pasture, carpeting untold acres of grazing land in green for at least another 7 months. In a bluish haze, embracing the valley but with distinct aloofness, appeared the upward sloping terrain, its turning gradually into our renowned foothills, now decked out in full autumn dress.
I had to stop and drink it all in. However polluted with noise the atmosphere became and remained from the infernal, internal combustion of early morning commuters' SUVs, pickup trucks, luxury sedans and sport coupes, I was totally oblivious. There was a ten second interval - it might have been fifteen - when I actually tuned into bird song. Otherwise, I was hooked on the view that I had somehow missed while driving the road day in, day out.
I don't envy my neighbors their fancy cars. Just their fancy walking shoes - boy, are my dogs barkin'!