Creek Running North July 2003 Archives

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July 30, 2003

Leptocoris trivittatus

Becky wanted to paint our house yellow. I thought that was a fine idea. The old paint was flaking, peeling, coming off in whole house-sized sheets. And yellow is a good color to garden against, tolerant of pink, orange, scarlet,...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:26 PM

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July 27, 2003

Cool, clear water

We don't have kids. We don't plan to. But I still keep a mental notebook of things to pass down to a child someday. Some of them moral, some practical. Honest answers are easier to keep track of than lies;...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:13 PM

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July 25, 2003


The man who just delivered my pizza was older than me. I'm 43. I'm pretty sure that hasn't happened to me for 15 years....

Continue reading "Depression"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 06:43 PM

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July 22, 2003


This is how it is: Miklós was born too soon, or too late: his mother and twin died as he came wailing into the atmosphere. It took a bullet to shut him up thirty-five years later. Four years of forced...

Continue reading "Woven"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:32 PM

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July 20, 2003

Del Puerto Canyon

Two thousand acres of Del Puerto Canyon, south of Livermore, are burning. The canyon hasn't burned in decades. It certainly needs it. But I'm crossing my fingers for Michael Perez and Sue Byars, and their livestock....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:06 PM

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Isla de los angeles

Twenty-one years living in the Bay Area, and today's the first time I've ever been to Angel Island. Becky'd never been there either. We loaded bikes onto the ferry at Tiburon, crossed Raccoon Strait - where the Pleistocene Sacramento River...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:49 PM

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July 18, 2003


Walking up to the porch tonight at about 9:00, I heard crickets singing. Make that singular. I think there's just the one. And singing is the wrong word as well. You might call it chirping. A pedant would say stridulating....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:23 PM

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July 17, 2003

Out of its element

A kingfisher landed on the neighbor's roof this morning, half a mile from the nearest fishable water. It scolded me through the open window for a moment, then left. The lawn is in: the dog is happy. Now all that...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:38 AM

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July 16, 2003


[This entry is written as part of a collective writing effort on suburbs. Other works in this effort can be found at the Ecotone wiki.] Some months ago, I wrote a column for the Contra Costa Times on invasive exotic...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:38 PM

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July 14, 2003


"People are anchored in place only as solidly as the ground they till." — Steven Stoll, from Larding the Lean Earth; Soil and Society in Nineteenth Century America. We've decided to put in 200 square feet of lawn in our...

Continue reading "Soil"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:32 PM

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July 12, 2003


"What is it that sets us apart," she asked, "from sunset or sierra? What is the line between ourselves and the terrain from which we come?" He thought he knew, but something in her eyes transfixed him in a way...

Continue reading "Paleontology"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:48 AM

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July 10, 2003

Carquinez Strait

We spent the evening a few towns over, in Crockett, eating dinner on a stone patio a hundred feet above the Carquinez Strait. The Strait is a narrow channel, only a mile or so wide, where the waters of the...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:37 PM

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July 07, 2003


My brother in law came by today. We walked to the bay, where we found a six foot tide and strong wind driving waves against our shore. It was a momentous occasion. Becky's brother is still recovering from a nearly...

Continue reading "Prostrate"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:52 PM

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July 05, 2003

Mixed blessings

Pinole's fireworks display went on as scheduled last night, with amateur help from a few local teenagers. We watched a few minutes from our front yard, the large bursts clear and brilliant not a mile away over the bay. And...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:11 AM

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July 03, 2003

Pronounced "tool ease"

I bought a gallon can of Scirpus californicus from Berkeley Horticultural Nursery the other day, and planted it in a pot in our backyard with some horsetail and a bit of Vietnamese coriander. The pot has no hole in the...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:27 PM

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July 02, 2003

Where am I?

Walking near my office in the North Beach section of San Francisco this week, I passed two men standing on a street corner engaged in animated conversation. Not with each other. They were both yelling into cell phones, flailing arms,...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:01 PM

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