Michaela Byrne, who lives in our neighborhood, sent in this photograph with a lovely tribute to our weather. Her website is at michaelabyrne.wordpress.com
The fog has been rolling in this week in great white sheets, rolling over the hills. My neighborhood has such a tangible relationship with fog. We embrace each other, work into the depths of each other. Fog swirls around our streets and wisps through the corner of our chain link fences. Sunlight fights the buildings to reclaim its hill top territory, and the fog races through the terraces, desperate to flee. Forest Knolls, Crestmont Street, Diamond Heights, Golden Gate Heights, we are the first thing the fog truly touches when it rolls in from the ocean. We provide the surfaces and the touch for mist to coalesce, dropping off the moisture gathered a thousand miles away. We are the islands where blue butterflies still roam, the sanctuaries for coyotes and the smell of eucalyptus dust, foxes and jasmine. And we are also the final resting place of San Franciscan latitude fog.
The bright Noe, Castro, Mission owe these standing hills a debt of gratitude. We pay with our drenched sweaters and drenched in sweat climbing to our ear-popping homes to enjoy a view that fifty percent of the time is erased from sight by fog the color of a blank page, like an erased world, so that those bright districts can have shadows and open air cafes. We are the inhabitants of this cool piece of landscape.
In the last week, we’ve had some dense fog, and Twin Peaks is a great place to watch it scudding in on the wind. I was up there the other day, slowly circling the peaks, when a woman in a car pulled up beside me and rolled down her window.
“Does this road only go to the lookout point?” she asked. I explained that it continued down to residential areas on the other side. I don’t blame her for asking. The fog had settled in, transforming the place into an isolated gray mountain, with little indication we were in a city. We could have driven into … the Twilight Zone.
One indication we hadn’t: joggers, dog-walkers, and bike riders. There weren’t many up there, with all that fog, but there are always a few – diehards or fog-lovers.
To them, I have a request: Please wear bright light colors, preferably with reflectors, especially toward evening. Twilight sucks all the colors out, and the fog even more so. The dark red hoodie isn’t bright in fading light, it’s nearly black. The person in navy blue was nearly invisible, so also the bike-rider in gray. If I can’t see you easily… All it takes is one careless or distracted or confused driver to ruin your whole entire day. Please stay safe.