dishes done, house vacuumed, grocery shopping shopped. a break in the rain.
we went hiking, an impulsive, screeching left turn onto a shitty dirt road, then bouncing and dust-raising for a while until the road decided to end. trailhead littered with broken budweiser bottles and bb pellets, cigarette butts and oak leaves. we make it perhaps twenty feet before stopping for the first of unnumerable plant-checks: between the three of us, we figure we know nearly every plant in the county - at least the natives, and at least to genus - but sometimes it's hard to tell if you're looking at ceanothus fendleri
, and we're dorks enough to want to be sure. (it's a matter of opposite versus alternate branch growth and presence or absence of thorns, mostly.) we stop for a bondpland willow/narrowleaf cottonwood argument, and to settle an argument from last time (holly-leaf buckthorn, not shrub live oak, and i won). we look at lots of new baby growth, lots of herbaceous stuff i don't know, we splash around in a river that doesn't usually exist, we watch the clouds. we talk about plants. a lot.
and intelligently. this is some supreme nerdiness i've launched myself into, with real vocabulary and all. suffretescent and scorpioid are my favorites at the moment, though allopatric is up there. we're talking about starting an herbarium at the school (we've also talked about starting a natural history club. or, to be more direct (and accurate) about it, a nature geek club). we pulled off the freeway at your usual freeway speed
, skidding to a stop on the shoulder so that he could look at a flower. i find that i wish my professor last quarter had made us learn the latin names.
and what makes it really
geeky is that i'm not taking any classes in botany, biology, or, in fact, science at all this quarter. this is a purely voluntary dorkdom, and one that has actually been impeding my schoolwork.
but, and silke i know you're laughing at me, but i'm having a blast. its been a pretty rare thing in my life that i meet someone dorkier than i am, but of the two boys i went hiking with today, one is spending his tax refund on a microscope, the other has cut himself trying to dissect plants in moving cars, and they both ran down a ridiculously steep hill in an even more ridiculous state of excitement to see if the flower at the bottom was a verbena. (apparently, it was.) so i actually end up feeling a little bit dumb sometimes, which is good because it makes me want to know more. which is always good.
(plus, i've got the art bug in me, plus i'm performing
this weekend, plus i went dancing
last night, plus it's almost spring. my dad sent me roses for valentines day, did i say that? they've been wilting and the petals feathering my floor for the past few days. i finally went to hang and dry them, but then all the petals fell down like velvet confetti and now they're strewn about my kitchen. it's the weekend. hail eris and let there be light. i'm going to bed.)