Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fog Walk

We've been under a heavy wet fog bank for about a week, now. This is the kind of low fog that just sits on the coast and comes in a ways through the Alemany Gap, a break in the coast range. We live in the Alemany Gap, or at least part way up one side of it. Normally this means that our neighborhood is like a tidal zone; it is always windy and the fog moves in and out several times on most days during the summer. Usually we get a break in the fog around midday for a couple of hours or even longer, and then fog wins out over the sun and we get covered over again. But we haven't seen the sun for the last week. Every morning our deck is covered in puddles, as if it rained. The soil under our eucalyptus tree looks like it rained, too. But because the moisure is from fog, it only rains under the trees, as the leaves collect the fog droplets that eventually turn into drops that fall to the ground.

It is hard for me to keep my spirits up in this kind of a fog. Around five o'clock, it looks like it's midnight above the Arctic Circle in summer time. The sky has a darkish glow, and I want to put on my car headlights. I feel myself starting to walk around with my shoulders hunched. I lose interest in doing anything in the garden. I wear my fleece pants and fleece sweatshirt and hat--inside. There's a heavy weight on my shoulders. Are there Dementors around? Maybe I need some chocolate, quick! I know I just have to drive 15 minutes over to the Mission and even if it's not sunny there it will be much lighter and brighter because the fog will be higher, but somehow that makes it even worse.

Yesterday I took a fog walk--since it's the only kind of walk I can take. I was up on San Bruno Mountain, where my son's trumpet teacher lives. His lesson is 45 minutes, and during it I like to walk around the gated community that clings to the side of this barren mountain. Since the mountain is part of the coast range, in the summer the fog piles up on the western side until it spills over the top onto the eastern side. I'll try to get a good photo of that--it's spectacular.

These photos are actually from a week ago, when it was foggy but not the wet heavy fog of this week. I had my camera with me yesterday, too, but everything looked different: gray and flat and dripping. I decided it wasn't a day for photos.

You can see Lake Merced and the ocean to the west. Yesterday all this was completely obscured by fog.

A thick layer of lichen on the western side of the tree.

Look who I met on my walk. This creature was really hurrying along with somewhere to go and took no notice of me. I see a lot of birds up on the mountain, especially raptors. I've seen kestrels, red-tailed hawks, and kites. Also snakes run over by cars.

Wow, a spot of color (bottlebrush flower).


Caroline said...

lovely pictures! When I was a kid I read a book called Fog Magic, in which a girl walks through the fog to her town in a previous century; sometimes when the fog here is getting me down, I think of that book, of the possibilities of fog, and it cheers me up a bit!

Daphne said...

I agree there are many creative and aesthetic possibilities of fog!