Sunday, October 01, 2006

While Strolling on the Banks

Today tastes like the chocolate Coca-Cola cake my mother would make for birthdays if you begged specially. The old formula Coke, not the "classic formula" they came out with after the fiasco of new Coke. It's not the same, I've tried the recipie on my own, in nostalgic moments when I can conveniently forget that the recipe calls for three sticks of butter, and a cup of sugar on top of the half-sack of minature marshmallows, AND the Coke, AND the box of confectioner's sugar. Oh, did I forget the two cups of pecans?

Yup, it's a recipe out of Hell's Kitchen--nothing but sugar and fat. No redeeming virtues at all. But ever so yummy--carmelized sugar and chocolate in one gooey masterpiece, ready to go right out of the oven.

Did I mention it freezes well and microwaves beautifully? That would be why I'm out in the morning, walking for an hour before I go to the gym for my workout.

It may be spring when the swallows come back to Capistrano, but it's fall when the waterfowl come back to Phoenix. One hears that irrigation canals criss-cross the city, which made it possible to farm a water-hungry crop like citrus, and still nourish lawns and golf courses so people who move here from greener pastures to get away from winters and allergies can recreate what they left behind--moaning about the unbearable humidity and thier everlasting allergies.

But it's one thing to see photos, and another to live in a city that was laid out by Bradbury's golden-eyed Martians. Raised canals cut gouges through farmland turned suburbia, with parks and fields lying low beside them. In summer, when the monsoons have been niggardly with their moisture, the fields are irrigated--flooded--with water drawn from the canals, grass swaying under three inches of water soaking into the soil.

And having water available brings its own little ecosystem. In the winter, its common to see ducks going about their business on the canals, finding places under bridges where the current's surface flow eddies, dabbling after weeds that found cracks in the cement liner to grow, flapping out onto the banks to go to work on some grass humans planted in a backyard poking under the fence, or in a park.

So the school by my house had irrigated the soccer field over the weekend, and a little pond lay in the lowest spots. The ducks, bless their little webfooted hearts, had noticed water and grass--which meant that there must be worms and other good things. They were paddling about on the pond, oblivious to the skeletal goalposts and backstop sprouting from the surface like Excalibur.

No comments: