The storm is over, and early this evening I took my dog, Gracie, to the big field across from the cemetery in Moss Landing. A couple weeks ago, I walked through the cemetery. It was older than I thought. I found a very worn headstone, whose italicized inscription I could barely make out:
Aqui Yace Josefita
Jose y Romana Boronda
(born 1886, aged 19 years)
Fallecid el 2 de Julia
I wonder if they were related to the Borondas–the big family that built several “Boronda Adobe” houses in the area during the early 19th century. Perhaps, as Robert B. Johnston wrote, it was the very same family “that collected at weddings, baptisms, birthdays, where much hilarity, verses and songs prevailed. They made a lot of noise…healthy, exuberant spirits…” The older names (dating to the 1860s) in the cemetery seem to be mostly Irish, Spanish, or Mexican.
The humidity has been high; just before twilight, the mist began rolling in from the bay. The field, brown and dry all summer, felt damp and spongy.
What I thought were big patches of green grass suddenly sprouting turned out to be mats of salty pickleweed. The land here is built up from marsh, after all. Gracie, who is a grass gourmet, didn’t find much to her taste. I was thinking of foraging for New Zealand Spinach, but it’s probably too late in the year.
We took the not-so-secret path to Moro Cojo Slough, and found that the rainstorm had broken up the bright green algae that ordinarily blankets the slough during summer–revealing big swaths of still, black, mirror-like water.
At the south end of the field, near the highway, the little boat that holds the Captain’s Inn sign was tipped over, blown a couple yards north. The wind also knocked down the wire fencing around the construction site for the buildings-that-will-never-be-finished (they’ve been working on these for — what? Over a decade now?).
True to her nature, Gracie found a small pool of muddy water, and wallowed. By mid-December, the field will be too smooshy to walk over. We’ll have to find another place for our strolls.