fruit-picking and more canaries on the rim

My friend Michelle from Durango is visiting me here in Fruita, Utah. (Yes, the Capitol Reef National Park employee community is located in a place called Fruita, after all the fruit orchards the pioneers planted a century or so ago. I’m in Fruita. Isn’t that cool? Although since I have screwed up the cooling system in my friend’s house and can’t figure out how to make it work again, it’s actually not cool at all, which is a pity this time of year.) We went to one of the open fruit orchards a while ago to pick some ripe deliciousness off the trees. Apples and plums were available in that particular orchard, although the plums seemed not quite ready yet–perhaps for canning? There were also peach trees, which not quite ready either, but we sneakily picked a few because they were so pretty.

What a lovely experience…picking fruit at the height of summer, the perfect lazy Friday afternoon activity. And only $1/pound, you can’t beat that. And waaay better than supermarket fruit, for sure.

Seeing this area newly through a friend’s eyes is also, well, eye-opening. (Snort.) I realize again how spectacular it is, how pristine, how stunningly gorgeous, with the red and cream rock walls framed against the impossibly blue sky with just a few little puffy white clouds drifting about for maximum effect. Photo opp indeed! We’re going to Panorama Point and the Goosenecks in a bit for sunset, to really dazzle her with this place’s beauty. Then to the Patio, the local pizza and (3.2%) beer joint, for dinner and perhaps some tunes as it’s open mic night.

I was just sitting in the living room and watched the neighbor across the street put out her cats, on leashes so they could safely roam the front yard and chew on grass till they threw up, just like good felines are supposed to do. They’re on leashes because companion animals cannot roam the Park unleashed, especially not those belonging to employees. My cat, stuck inside, watched them through an open (screened) window with utter fascination. She looked back at me a few times as if to say, Check it out, Mom! Cats on leashes. Weird!

I’m just enjoying this afternoon, sitting here in a glorious little red rock corner of the country, listening to the sprinklers (yes, it strikes me as quite odd that a national park in the desert has grass lawns in its housing area and the employees use water around the clock to ensure the attractive verdant color–and this in an area where there’s been a moratorium on water rights in the local selling community for a few years now), and being quiet and peaceful and accepting of it all.

Not too shabby.

Wanted to add too that I’m almost done reading Canaries on the Rim: Living Downwind in the West by Chip Ward, which I mentioned a few posts back. It becomes more and more horrifying, almost stupefying in its endless, eloquently written litany about the unthinkable idiocy that has been wreaked upon the West and its peoples by our lovely government and, even more so, military. Nuclear waste, scary stuff. I strongly, strongly recommend reading it. Then letting your blood boil. Then doing something productive with that anger. Some other recommended sites to check out, which I also list in my links, are Downwinders and HEAL Utah. Do something. Anything. Don’t just sit and let this sort of shit happen ANYWHERE in our country, or, indeed, the world.

I am still deciding what to do with my horror and rage. But I won’t let that freeze me into inaction, facing such a large, sprawling mess. One I am doing is right here, in blogging about it. Every little tiny bit is a start!

All right, off to watch the sunset. The sunset over the raped landscape. Hmm. I must say, as I read Canaries on the Rim while lolling (love that word!) by the favorite river the other day, I wondered what sort of horrors might be lurking in that favorite place of mine, beneath the waters. Hmm, something to investigate!

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