Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: What We've Been Seeing

Red-breasted Sapsucker
Western Bluebirds
Yellow-rumped Warblers
Pileated Woodpecker
Mountain Chickadee (at the nestbox!)

We're expecting our first real winter storm of the season. We think we're ready for 6 to 10 inches of snow. Wheeee!

Monday, February 20, 2012


We drove over to the coast last weekend to help unload a trailer of Roger's mom's stuff into the beach house (above photo view from the upstairs bedroom window at sunrise). We stayed for two nights with no internet connection and no TV. Talk about feeling disconnected. But it was good to focus on the task at hand. The Capitola house has been in the family since 1938 and has been the repository for unwanted-but-can't-part-with stuff for all that time. We had to toss a ton of really really old ghostly stuff to make room for just plain-old old stuff. We shopped for new silverware and dishes, frying pans, and sheets. Some of the sheets and pillows had been ghosting around that house for more than 40 years. There's lots more to be done (new toilets, kitchen faucet and sink, and a fresh paint job on the house) in time for the memorial service we're having for Roger's mom on Memorial Weekend there in May. It will feel much less ghostly by then.
Whenever we drive to and from the coast we always take the same highways and always stop at the same vista point. We've been doing this since the late 80s. The place we stop is Lake Herman Road, just on the north side of the Benicia-Martinez bridge. It's an interesting place because there's a Ghost Fleet of Navy ships rotting in the water there. We've always found something eerily beautiful about these ships, like remnants of a dying culture still present in the moment. Sadly, though, we did just learn that the ships' paint is peeling off into the water poisoning the wetlands with millions of pounds of toxic waste. Our ignorance had truly been bliss for years.
On this most recent trip, I mentioned to Roger I thought there must be a Lake Herman somewhere up the road. Something we had never explored, but might want to. So, when we arrived home I actually remembered to google "Lake Herman Road" to see if we should take a look. The results shocked me. The first page of entries about Lake Herman Road was about the Zodiac Killer and his first two victims (high school kids on their first date) on that very road in 1968. What a creepy surprise.
Yes, there is a lake on Lake Herman Road, and it looks like a nice spot for a picnic. I wonder if we'll ever do that knowing this ghastly ghostly history. Would you?

Monday, February 06, 2012

Living The Old Way

Wow, have we been quiet or what? I don't think I mentioned here that my mom arrived on January 9th, and we've been hanging out with her for the month. It's been a great visit. She got to see her first bobcat walking down the road, and this very fine juvenile Cooper's Hawk that was hunting our yard.
She's also been watching the deer come and go and enjoying their sudden interest in being my friend. While I do scatter sunflower seeds and millet for our ground feeders, I don't really consciously toss anything for the deer (or squirrels) to eat. I expected the squirrels to come and munch, but the deer were a total surprise. The other day I went out in the early morning to scatter seed under the big cedar tree, and I scared the momma deer and her twin yearlings. But instead of high-tailing it down the hill, they stopped and looked at me. I said "hello" and momma started walking toward me. I was shocked. I moved away, and she came over to the tree and started eating the birdseed. She blew my mind. And then, she did it again Sunday morning. I surprised her when I came out the little garage door, and instead of running away from me, she watched me go to the cedar tree and scatter seed. She walked over. I walked away. It is not my intention to be her human friend. I don't think that's a good thing for a deer. Her behavior is entirely her own initiative. I suspect there must be other humans feeding her.

Other than that, the sun continues to shine day after day in these clear mountain skies. The word now is that we are entering into a critically dry period. We're hoping for rain, but it is unlikely we'll get anything that could make up our deficit. It'll be interesting to see what the summer will be like after such a warm and mild winter.

We're taking my mom to the airport on Thursday. She's going home with her brand new Kindle Touch. We've stocked it full of good books for her to read. She's planning on moving up here to live with us as soon as her condo sells. We're looking forward to it. Multi-generational living is like living the old ways. We're glad to turn the clock back a few hundred years on human relationships. Modern life can be so silly.

So, how are you?