Monday, February 23, 2009

So It Goes

I'm looking out the window and it's pouring down rain. Out on the bay surfers are lined up waiting for turns to ride the stormy waves. The pelicans have returned. Schools of something silvery must be running just below the surface in that world we can't see. Out of this sea, dolphins surface. One after the other. I watch them. Even the surfers give up riding the waves to sit on their boards and watch them. The dolphins are rising up and diving down again just before the break.

I grab the camera, but have already learned that there is no way to anticipate where a dolphin will come up out of the water. I don't even try to get a still shot, instead I turn on the little video function and shoot at the waves for ten seconds. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Well okay then. I turn the camera off and go back to whatever it was that I was doing before the rain and dolphins caught my eye.

Later in the day a hawk scares a few birds quickly out of the trees. Then, it flies straight onto fence railing in the yard. Wow, what a great shot, I think. It sits there for a second, then another. I grab the camera, zoom in and try to focus. It won't focus. Oh damn. The camera is still set for video.

So it goes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Light in Storm

4:28 pm

5:21 pm

5:26 pm

5:31 pm

Monday, February 16, 2009


Before the rain started, the wind came on fast and strong. Gulls, sometimes in flocks of twenty or more, sailed the currents silently past our window. Their grace belied the wind's fierce buffeting.
Soon the rain began pelting the windows, making clear shots impossible, washing out almost every bit of color, and rendering the morning a stark view in black and white.

The storm finally arrived.


Can I admit something, just among the few who stop by here to say hello:

I don't understand Facebook. I don't know what function it serves. Is it a public conversation? With everyone? What are the gifts we send there? What does it mean to poke someone?

I'm not completely happy with Obama. In your heart of hearts do you believe he is working to serve our interests or theirs? We watched Bill Moyers interview Simon Johnson, and it doesn't look good for those of us interested in representative democracy.

We are temporarily living in a family home on a cliff above the bay. It is more than a million dollar view, it is a multi-million dollar view. It bores us to tears. We feel like misfits in the leisure class. We don't understand the concept of escapist second homes. The cliff has eighteen homes; they are empty most of the time, visited only by gardeners and housekeepers.

We dug up a small piece of the yard and planted carrots, beets, onions, shallots, kale, and spinach. It feels like defiance against conceptually polite flower arrangements and fountains.

We are too old to be this unsettled.

It feels like a storm.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: The Trail

We walk through the oak forest to the redwoods. Before, between, and beyond are meadows where the wild things roam.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: The Bobcat Edition

Definitely embiggen these photos. You will be glad you did.

1. Soon after we saw the bobcat on the trail right in front of us, Roger whistled very lightly. It turned to look at us.
2. Then, we all headed down the trail together. Bobcat ahead of us, unwary.
3. I whispered, Hello bobcat, very quietly. It turned and looked at us again.
4. We watched it leave the trail, turn right and walk into the meadow, heading off into some tall grass and bushes. (If you click on this pic, you'll see the Santa Cruz boardwalk in the distant background. Roller coaster is off to upper right. This is why most people come to Santa Cruz.)
5. Suddenly the bobcat pounced quickly on something in the bushes.
6. With hardly any obvious effort it had burrowing ground squirrel in its mouth.
7. It walked off to enjoy its lunch. We continued down the trail.
8. Yes, we know we are very lucky.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A Preview for Wordless Wednesday

I said to Roger just the other day, when we were walking in the Pogonip, "Every time I look down across that meadow I think I'm going to see a bobcat."

Then, on Monday, there it was.

Monday, February 02, 2009

What's Coming

The weather has been unseasonably warm here on California's central coast. Some crazy high pressure system has parked over us (again), and we are warm and dry. Sure, it feels good deep into our winter bones, but we know how we'll pay for it this summer-- with water rationing. We've been reading stories about it everyday in the local paper. It's hard not to love these balmy days, blue skies, temps in the 70s, but we need rain. Bad.
We've lived here long enough to remember when "northern" California was considered wet, wet like Oregon wet. Roger was born in this part of California; he has spent much of his 66 years within 50 miles of here. The coastal redwoods here are at least twenty times older than he. They thrive in the coastal foggy damp environment. That dampness is long gone. Now we are watching the parched land dry and crack. Day after week after month after year.
On these beautiful sunny days we walk the Pogonip, a 640 acre piece of land covered in redwoods, oaks, and coastal prairie. Here the red-shouldered hawk cries out to its mate. We watch as she flies over, and they fly away together. The hummingbird leaves a tippy top branch and darts above us where it hovers and watches every move we make.
Off in every meadow, especially the ones we don't ever see, the coyotes, bobcats, and cougars roam. They see us, so think they know what's coming.

All photos taken last Wednesday January 28th.