My word, I may have something here. Presently, I’m sitting at the table that I moved to the end of the…

[five minute later]

I apologize for the interuption, but as I typed those first few letters I was forced to break away first to physicalize my objection to a ‘skeeter that was prepping to take a sip of me from my arm and then to adjourn inside to locate the mosquito incense repellent coil thingees and also fire up the citronella oil-filled camping lantern. For good measure I doused myself with a dose of DEET spray as well.

Oh my but I do love the great outdoors. It’s some of the things that live there fulltime that leave me somewhat less enthused — especially when they make me the center of their attentions, parasitic or otherwise. Anyway, All engaged countermeasures seem to be keeping the resident bloodsuckers and other flying bugs at bay let’s try that again, shall I?

I’m sitting at the table I moved to the end of the path I built yesterday. I’m looking out over the backyard from beneath the shading boughs of a tree whose species I do not know. There are a pair of blue jays flitting about the yard, a squirrel chattering somewhere in the canopy above, and the sound of traffic augmented by the telltale sound of an MTA bus churning away what seems to be eastward. I hear a jet now. And the breeze through the leaves and the wind chimes respond cautiously. If I look over my right shoulder I can see Sunset Boulevard heading west toward the Junction. Above it are palm trees and above the palm trees rises a bank of Griffith Park hills traversable by the plainly visible scar of a fire road that switches back on itself. Mt. Hollywood is blocked by a bushy tree growing in the frontyard of the house a couple doors north, but I can just make out the observatory farther left through its leaves and branches. Dogs are barking, there’s the screech of wild parrots across the sky, and a hammer hammers for a few seconds and then is done. Then it starts again. Closer to me, the loquats are ripening and I can look down upon the excavation beneath the pile of river rocks that produced the World War II German army helmet I found yesterday. In the window of the breakfast nook Pumpkin looks out at me through the screen. Bumble bees buzz and a beautiful yellow and black butterlfy does two laps around the tree I’m sitting under before heading into the yard next door. Over my left shoulder there’s work to be done in the form of the pile of greenwaste that needs to be disposed of, the product of my trailblazing yesterday and the weekend trim I gave to the foliage draping the rear wall of the yard. But that clean up will wait for now. There are mockingbirds mocking and hummingbirds clicking and there’s peace in my valley for me right now under the cloudless pale blue of this midway L.A. day. I’m drinking a diet raspberry Snapple and finishing off the remains of a small bag of sugar-free York peppermint patties — not a taste combination that my palate is doing somersaults over, but it ain’t ruining the mood.

For only the smoke of a Leon’s No. 1 cigar to comingle with that of the citronella and the mosquito coil and the scene would be complete!

Actually it still needs some fine tuning. The table upon which the laptop rests lists awkwardly to starboard as does the plastic chair upon which I sit, one of its legs driven into the soft earth by a combination of gravity pushing down upon me pushing down upon it. And I’m poaching a neighbor’s wireless connection as here in the back forty I must be too far away and/or obstructed from mine emitting in the library near the front of the house.

But it’s still a marvelous little place to be that wasn’t here yesterday and one that I’m finding has the potential to conduct some creativity.