I’ve been spending too much time inside lately. So I went out early this afternoon on a long, long walk. Up into the hills to the north of campus, then skirted the campus to the east, but below the top of the ridge. Then walked back down south of campus, near the Claremont Hotel, then walked back across town home. About 10 miles, in all, and I was back just as it was getting dark. There was a football game at Memorial Stadium. Cal continued its great season by coming back to win against Oregon. Wherever I was along the hike, I could hear at least the muffled roar of the crowd. I found one spot as I came down from the hills — must have been the fourth quarter by then — where I could hear so clearly that I could pick out individual voices. Also, wherever I went, a big red blimp with a Saturn logo was orbiting overhead. I think if I’d gone to the very top of the hills I might have gotten to a spot where I was higher than it was; didn’t quite make it that far, though. The blimp became my frequent photographic subject.
Also saw a natural phenomenon I’d never seen before: I happened to look up at a big pine tree that had the sun directly behind it. At the tips of several boughs, there was a very light veil of something — spider webs, maybe even a vapor of some kind — waving in the air. Another hiker came by and I asked whether she could see it to and whether she knew what it was. She said she hadn’t seen anything like it before, and wondered if the streamers were actually little clouds of insects (also, while we were standing there, a big red-tailed hawk came directly overhead, very low, and landed in a tree behind us; immediately, a little kestrel appeared and chased the hawk away, dive bombing the bigger bird as it sailed out over a canyon). I continued walking, and came to another line of trees silhouetted by the sun. Sure enough: the same little misty wisps of nearly nothing were dancing above some of the boughs. Looking closely, it did look like they were insects. I got a couple of bad pictures of what it looked like. The best I could do with my little camera, I think. Strange that in all my years walking around here I’ve never seen this before.