Foggy Morning, Grieving Crows, Iridescent Dragonflies, and Big Buck

We had a real hot day (for us) a few days ago and I took a long bike ride to a pond deep in the hills. To get in the water I had to make a tunnel through the cattails. The technique is to wade forward and lie down on the cattails and they will accomodatingly bend over, and then when you can’t wade, you swim forward and push them down and pretty soon voila!, you’ve entered the pond through a cattail tunnel. Smooth pond surface.

   Being back in jock mode now that I’m home, intending to build back strength lost in recent months (years), I started out with my triathalon style crawl, smooth and steady. Jeez, it felt good, but after a while I decided to float for a while, and as soon as I did, 3 iridescent red dragonflies buzzed out from the shore like combat helicopters, skimming the surface and angling around my head. They’d go back to shore and buzz out again, I guess cruising for insects. Sparkling. Pretty cool. I decided to float longer. A little bird—dark on top, white on bottom, species I’d never seen—hopped down on a cattail 10′ from me. Didn’t register to him this was a humanoid.

  Then there was movement on the hill and a magnificent buck deer walked serenely across the hillside, oblivious of me. The full monte. Now I’m truly home.

   This morning on the highway, there were 3 crows sitting on the line, looking kind of hunched up, not normal. There was a dead crow on the road — never seen one that I can think of, and these family members were doing I don’t know what. But crows are powerfully intelligent creatures (see the book Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays by Candace Savage) and this was a strong scene.

   On the way back from yoga, the Beach Boys doing “Good Vibrations” on radio. Jeez, this is a masterpiece. Back in the day I never took them seriously. The only one who was real surfer was Dennis. They just seemed lightweight in my quest to be ever hip. I overlooked the soaring harmonies and intricate instrumentals. This is on the Mozart level.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

6 Responses to Foggy Morning, Grieving Crows, Iridescent Dragonflies, and Big Buck

  1. What a great day you had, we had a warm one too, it was 107 here in the north valley, not so pleasant.

    Funny, I went to Youtube just the other day to listen to Good Vibrations since I didn't have any of their music. My previous view of the band was exactly as you described, I never bought their albums and was not particularly interested. I was living in Germany in 63-66 and we really didn't hear the Beach Boys, it was all Elvis and Beatles and Stones. But a few years back the genius of Good Vibrations just clicked for me. Pure excited positivity, the underlying fount of all good times, you cannot possibly feel bad while listening to it. California Girls came out in 1965 and was conceived and written by Brian Wilson during his first LSD trip. Good Vibrations was almost entirely his solo project over the next year and was recorded in sections and pieces in various studios at great expense, really the first modern pop recording using the newly available studio techniques.

    Brian Wilson said that Pet Sounds was inspired as a response to Rubber Soul which he admired and felt challenged by. Paul McCartney has stated that Sergeant Pepper's was largely inspired by the Beach Boys Pet Sounds album and Brian's impressive studio techniques.

  2. Bayrider, wonderful response to a great post. I learn so much from you all. Now gotta go get me a Beach Boys album (yeah, I said it … album. Still can't say CD or "download" or iTune or iPod or stuff … just album!)

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