It takes at least four hours to drive from San Francisco to Plumas National Forest in the Sierras. The trip traverses the curviest of territories – a landscape of fowls and farms. We stopped by a roadside stand where bags of kiwis laid unattended. We left a dollar in a locked wooden box and ran off with the sweetest kiwis of the season.
By nightfall we landed in an unfamiliar hotel on the forest’s edge where we rested until the next morning when our trip would continue to where our carnivore grows in a valley full of butterflies and all sorts of flies, a veritable feast.
Our carnivore is a curvy one – it produces leaves that traps flying insects and digests it for nutrients. The leaves resembles a cobra from below, but its most impressive feature is not its namesake visage. The carnivore’s best aspect, in my opinion, is its micro-windows that makes it slightly transparent and wonderfully textured. It’s a small world inside that’s visible from the outside – complete with viewing portals and a death trap.
The wet valley that houses our carnivore buzzes in the early hours of morning, but as the day grows, as does the heat. We trampled and traversed the boggy muddy scene where we sweated and captured many videos and images in an exhausted haze. No amount of water would suffice. By the day’s end we were parched, burned, and relieved.
On our first day of filming I reenacted a dream I had a few days prior to our trip. In my dream I was a swimmer in a pool. While in my watery setting, my shin suffered a stabbing and my blood filled the waters I swam in. My field injury was less nightmarish, but eerily familiar. I was trekking through the muddy field when I was scratched in the shin by a sharp extension of a dead stump. It bled little but left me limping for a few days and lightly scarred even now. It was a strange sensation to be bleeding in a field where tiny deaths surrounded my every move.
We only spent two days in the heat of the Sierras, but it felt like a long stretch of sun. It’s funny how the temperature makes time a bit more like molasses.
The fog comes and goes in San Francisco, but when it goes, I soak up the beams and thrust my scarred leg into the rays for a touch of heat. In between these warm moments, there are bowls of soup and plenty of tea.
Isn’t it a strange summer scene? I know there are places that have ice cream summers but for me, it’s a soupy sight with small windows of heat such as this. I hope you are enjoying your summer’s light. I’ve started growing my wild yeast and it’s bubbling and full of life. I expect to have my own sourdough starter by the end of the week and a loaf by Saturday.