Several days ago I turned sixty-four. Family members joined me for a celebration at a piano bar. The entertainers included me in their version of the Beatles’ song, “When I’m Sixty Four.” Thanks, I think. At times, I’m aging not so gracefully but for the most part am healthy and happy.
Checking the statistics for this site I see just over 3100 views, a small but dedicated number of interested people from around the world. The number of countries shown reached seventy-three. Brazil continues to lead after Canada followed by the U.S. and Italy. Thanks so much for your patience and interest. The numbers lift my spirits.
But as summer moves on, I admit this quest and my obsession with it has cost me dearly. Relationships suffered, personal injuries followed and soon I could be homeless. In the first year of searching I often joked about building a house in the forest. My camping episodes could become a permanent residence. But for the immediate future I appreciate my family in close proximity as do they.
I’d better head back to the forest soon before any fires sweep through the area. The woods are so dried out and only the larger, named creeks are still flowing, the smaller tributaries ran dry quickly. At the base of steeper slopes the pine needles can be a meter deep, little wonder how explosive forest fires can be. Most of the areas feature an abundance of dead trees as well. Some of the larger trees I’ve seen show signs of previous fire damage. It might be nature’s way of renewing the forest but with homes and cottages scattered about, the fire concern is always high. Fire is unforgiving.
“Gold fever is a communicable disease.” Pierre Burton