It's hard to believe we're several days into October. Although the days have shortened, whilst the sun is up we've been wilting through an ongoing heat wave. It's 99 degrees Fahrenheit at four in the afternoon, in my shady covered patio that serves as home office, entertaining space and general happy place.
A couple of months later and our jungle is softening the hard edges already. The cat and I just got a very rude talking to from a squirrel who was headed in to feast on the grains that fall from the bird feeder. Slinkie left her lounging post on the table, where she makes the most of the breeze, and took a step or two towards Mr. Squirrel. He found himself taking refuge in a tree that can't have been to his liking and was very clear about sharing his opinion.
Although only a dozen, or so miles away from our last home, we've left the proximity to the coastal range, where Nature's air conditioner, Fog, rolls inland in the evenings and where clouds catch and break open in normal rainy seasons.
The heat is much more challenging when there's no respite as dark falls. Fans are our new found friends. If the air is moving, you can fool yourself into pretending it's cool.
I swooped along in freewheeling solitary pleasure. Much appreciated after all the carpooling we've been doing since we moved. Radio and air-conditioning set to my preferences and beautiful effects of sideways sun-shortening shadows, making the creases and canyons disappear from the landscape, as the day got up. It was a reverse-commute direction, both going and coming. (Thanks be to Heaven!). The one small slowdown was due to trucks having to navigate around an S model Tesla, limping along with it's hazard warning lights on. Someone must have miscalculated their battery life or forgot to charge up before heading out into the boonies. Maybe they thought there were charging stations scattered between here and Los Angeles. Same planet, different worlds. There were only old Spanish Missions, National Guard gun ranges and the slow nod of the wellheads, competing to suck the earth dry of crude oil.
South of Paso Robles, the road out to the Pacific winds past a multitude of wineries, each named and designed for a different fantasy. It was still early and the only vehicle in sight was an old pick-up truck, in my rear view mirror. Suddenly, the pastoral view gave way to a sweeping Ocean-scape and twenty minutes later I was at my appointment. It was fun to catch up with their goings on. We haven't seen one another for a while. We fit easily into our professional groove and it wasn't hard to pin down what they wanted and see how to make it happen.
My clients took me to lunch at Indego Moon in Cambria. I had a leek and crusted goat cheese tart with a salad and a glass of white wine. Leeks are the secret weapon of flavoring. It was just right, crunchy over soft and tasty as can be. I then went off to show my face (and ID and credit card) at the little motel where we had reservations. It was too last minute to cancel our reservation and I'd called a friend who needed a break, knowing it was her favorite destination. She and her husband said "Yes" immediately and would be there to make use of the room, which I had to pay for anyway. I'd much rather see someone get some pleasure out of it than have it go to waste.
Back home by dinner time, I cooked rice and hard boiled eggs to get TAO back on track. I'd cancelled my riding for the weekend, thinking we'd be gone, and so have had some time on my hands today. I started the morning topping up the seeds for the finches and renewing the sugar water mix for the Humming birds. I've not had a Humming bird feeder before. I chose a deep red antique glass bottle design as I know they like red flowers. I measured out the powdered sucrose mix and used warm water this time to melt it together more easily. As soon as I hung it back up, there was the buzzing of wings and the flash of green-glinting neck plumage. A short aerial battle ensued as Hummers are quite territorial. One gained priority but the other wasn't far away and hovered until he had supped his share.