Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends and the nation north of the U.S. I send them wishes for a joyous celebration and greater success and prosperity.
Today is July 1, 2021. A Thursday. Pale gold burnished the upper reaches of hills, trees, and mountains at 5:38 AM. It’ll fade away into night at 8:51 PM. Sunshine will deliver us to some mild heat — the low nineties — today. Smoke comes and goes to the valley from the Lava Fire by Weed, California. If you want to see the fire, head to Mount Ashland, just outside town, which offers a panoramic view of the smoke. Flames are visible at night.
The deepening drought delivered another depressing blow. Water limitations and drought meant the blueberries didn’t come in at our favorite u-pick-em site. We’d been doing this for over a decade. It’s one of our Ashland traditions. The blueberry owners are trying to keep the place alive and hope to see us all next year.
Also canceled for the second year is the July 4th Parade. COVID concerns, yes. Planning needed to start months ago and where we’d be now was too uncertain to plan. The fireworks are canceled. I’ve become ambivalent about fireworks. Loved ’em as a child. Now I understand what they do to the land and animals. Sadly, this year, the drought is too intense to risk fireworks. Locals are still reeling from Ashland’s near miss last September. Yeah, near miss, not quite. Two thousand homes were destroyed on the north edge of town. Talent and Phoenix were reduced to smoky piles of rock and wood in many areas, gutting the towns physically and emotionally. With those emotional scars still vivid, many are relieved that the fireworks won’t take place.
Without too much surprise, I bet, I introduce a song about summer, called “Summer”. By War, it was released in 1976. Some may claim that 1976 was a simpler time. It may’ve been for many. For others, it was a time like the rest, working to feed yourself, working to beat the heat, playing to relieve the stress, doing what you can as you face an uncertain future. Who sang, “The future’s uncertain and the end is always near”? That’s right, Jim and the lads, back in another century. I used to sing, “The future’s uncertain and the end is always clear.” Made me sense to me
Anyway, here’s “Summer”, a mellow reflection on the hot season. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. Cheers