Diary: Yin Black Sky

August 2015


Photo courtesy Sandro D. Vogel

A yin black sky threatens. Expressive sculpted clouds–like the swirls and rugged lines reminiscent of the American painter Thomas Hart Benton’s dramatic creations—scoot across the sky.

Simultaneously– I remember bobbing at anchor in Southeast Alaska and similar dark clouds racing—and us stuck in sea for it was too rough beyond the bay to boat back home.

If these Oregon clouds break and explode with water—it will seem, for a few minutes, like a normal season—not this drought-parched sunstroke of a summer.

It’s always rained hard here in August.

Annual great gusts followed by pounding drops — scouring the landscape to reveal base-scent of rich earth, flowers of all kinds, shapes and colors, and Bruce’s ripening blackberries.

A few days later …

It rained softly last night for five to ten minutes while we sat under the porch and listened. No downpour like I imagined might come last Thursday but didn’t.


Sunday’s moisture-dusting brought forth the everywhere smell of pungent clay and over-ripe cantaloupe, and it wasn’t quite what I hoped for.

Mulesprings Storm Scene
Mule Springs Storm Scene

Diary: Drought Song

August 2015



The land sings of deep drought—the stress is on. Crispy, parched melody –leaves of the white oak are brown and withering like it’s Fall—but it’s too early.


Songbirds pant and teeter in the wind on the telephone wire. The finch peer, seemingly with longing, at the prairie pond, but I am down there with three bird-dogs.


As soon as we begin departure, our fourteen feet flittering fine dust into a rising cloud that pins the dogs’ claws and gnaws its way between their toes and my toes inside nylon-rubber sandals.


The flash of departing dusty pink Capris pants, and the finch descend in a group — swoop to stand along the crusty demarcation line between liquid and earth. In unison the heavy beaks dip for one long sip.