June bug in flight

A Saturday Morning Stroll Through Southern Monterey Park

Thunder rumbles.  It’s coming from the west.  Heavy grey clouds dominate the bright sky.  The air is balmy and humid.

I pass a man that is using an electric hedge trimmer.  Two minutes later, I pass another man doing the same thing.  Thunder continues to roll.  Heavy rain drops fall sporadically.  The storm moves northward.  More elderly men tend to their gardens.

Lightening flashes.  The intensity of the thunder grows as the storm crashes into the San Gabriel Mountains.  Two lightening bolts streak from the sky at a 90 degree angle and strike the populated valley below me.  Thunder cracks.

A multitude of clumsy iridescent June bugs make their annual appearance as they zigzag over neighborhood gardens.  I try to catch a flying one with my telephoto lens.  Its flight is erratic and elusive.  Finally, I get my shot.  Rain drops resume to fall on me.

I often see the same elderly man walking from Montebello to Monterey Park.  He wears a v-neck white undershirt that is large, worn thin and droopy.  He wears shorts and always carries a bag.  Usually, he uses the bags to hold the litter that he picks up along the way.  He is bald on top with grey hair covering the sides and back of his head.  Today, he reveals his home to me.  The tall European man lives in a 1960s era apartment complex on the 200 block of South Ramona Avenue.  I watch him walk toward the back of the property.

This is a block away from Barnes Park, where old Chinese folks are practicing t’ai chi.  A small, old and balding Chinese woman eyes me with curiosity as I snap pictures of street and window signs, plants, a helicopter, and a local Catholic church.

The sweet smell of baking cha siu bao, Cantonese barbecue-pork-filled buns, comes and goes.

An old red barn house among condominiums is barely visible on the eastern facing hillside along Atlantic Boulevard.  Elaborate scaffolding wraps a medium density apartment complex that is being erected.  A variety of succulent plants populate a front yard.  A lizard darts passed me on a wall.  It appears and disappears like a ghost.

The plum tree on my usual route is no longer bearing fruit.  There are none on the ground that I can snack on.  I am feeling hungry.  Perched on a street sign, a bird swallows a worm.

The storm quiets.  The cloud cover begins to dissipate as the sun burns through and exposes patches of the brilliant blue heavens above the metropolis.  My perspiration is light.  My mood is calm.

Stephen Legaspi

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