Friday, May 15, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

By the skin of my teeth

I spent last week in the verdant hills of the Central Valley, approximately 30 miles from Fresno. The last round of botany surveys (on this project) sent us to the east side of the valley, among the mariposa and datura, and the intoxicating perfume of orange and lemon blossoms wafting up on warm breezes from the citrus orchards below. Last week I hiked from the foreground of this photo (actually, about a quarter mile from it) to the bottom of the last big hill in the background. Only a couple miles, as a crow flies, but it felt like forever when climbing a hill with a 45° pitch for a half mile.

You can see by the angle of the tree trunks and fence posts to the hill the steepness of my climb. I had the worst of it, being on the steepest side. I just put my head down and wove back and forth in a tight zigzag pattern to keep from sliding down the dirt cow path (I still ended up sliding, and grabbing the wooden fence post to break my fall yielded a stout splinter in my thumb). If I stopped too long to catch my breath, the mosquitoes would get me, so I really had to keep moving. I cursed under my breath the entire time, but felt like a complete champion at the top. It'dve been a tough stroll for anyone, but pregnancy adds the sweet nuance of being at 5000 feet above sea level - the shortness of breath we experience from the ongoing surge in progesterone makes even normal tasks feel monumental.

I'm still finding myself too nauseous to blog about food, or even look at photos of it (sorry about the slack in my commenting, but I assure you I'm still visiting), and I'm still pretty iffy on eating much but ice cream and fruit (I've moved on to a cantaloupe-with-a-little-salt kick), but I find that what really helps with the puky feelings is staying active and moving around. Not always what I want to do when I'm tired, but even puttering around the garden for a few hours helps.