Sunday, April 27, 2014

Illness Has No Metaphor

Roger recovered. I got sick, sicker than I've been in years. In bed for more than a week. Life gets very very small. This view out on to the deck is all I've seen. Four black-headed grosbeaks announced their arrival. A cranefly stayed on the screen for two days. Some warblers mad-dashed it around the yard from oak tree to oak tree. The robins stalked everything out there. A handful of tall daisy-like flowers blew in the breeze. Two and half inches of rain fell on Friday. My throat still hurts. I'm a terrible patient.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Colors

We had our rush of yellow daffodils last month, and the yard lit up like the quintessential dream of spring. The flowers are already gone, and nothing is ready to burst forth in bloom to remind us of the season. So we've been out finding other splashes of colors in our world.

This California Tortoiseshell showed up last week and hung around long enough for a quick photo. It's already a bit bedraggled by time, but still, that orange color is a welcomed sight.
The Western Bluebirds have been coming to the yard at dusk and hunting for food. And luckily for them there's plenty here for them to munch on. They typically catch ground-dwelling insects such as grasshoppers, caterpillars, beetles, ants, wasps, and pill bugs, as well as eating spiders and snails. We hear them chattering away to each other as they fly from roof to pole for a better view of the yummy yard buffet!
One morning we noticed a duck in the pond. From a distance it was hard to identify. We knew it was a male of some species because we could see some hint of color, and just assumed it was a mallard. It wasn't until later in the day that we remembered to look again and more closely. What a grand surprise it was to see this wonderful, astonishingly beautiful wood duck. It was around for two days. We're hoping it will find a mate and use the nest box Roger built for wood ducks a few years ago. (You really need to click on the photo to get a sense of this guy's colors.)
Roger had his minor surgery last Wednesday (April 9th) to remove that squamous cell carcinoma bump by his eye. It was the surgery he was quite squeamish about because of its location. It all went well, and here's a photo of his black and blue eye a few hours after surgery.
But now the eye has taken a back seat to the rhinovirus that is currently knocking him out. Somewhere in his travels to doctor and dentist offices, and the travails of surgery and anxiety, he picked up a virus. I've never heard Roger cough so much in all these 25 years we've been together. He's definitely on the the mend, but damn I think he's had enough health issues on his plate to last the rest of his days. So, universe if you're listening to a small voice on a small planet whirling in this galaxy, I'm shouting "Knock it off." LOL!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Low Tide Walk

We did get to take a low-tide walk while we were in Capitola. It is one of our most favorite things to do. We knew we were lucky that our visit coincided with even this minimal -0.2 tide. That was enough to get us out there and walking. I found the below photo online that shows you an aerial view what the beach typically looks like.
The cliff face above the bay
If you click on it, you'll see why this stretch of beach is really only accessible at minus tides. The path from Capitola Beach heading south east has a sign warning walkers not to go this way. It's dangerous for so many reasons. The cliff is literally crumbling into the sea. But it is such an enlightening beach to walk to see the fossil layers in those cliffs, we always take our chances. We also always hope there won't be an earthquake while we're out there. That would be the absolute end of the bums.
How the cliff face crumbles (with Roger doing size perspective!)
This is what the debris looks like after a bit of crumbling. I wrote about it here, when I took this photo in 2009. But when we have a chance to see the beautiful cliff walls, we just can't stay away.
The stratified layers on the cliff face
On our most recent walk, the tide was not nearly as far out as it is in the above photo (taken in December 2008), but it was out enough to let us take a look around. The sand was so high there were no tide pools visible. None of our favorite fossils could be seen in the big rocks strewn about the beach. But we did get a good look at how much erosion is happening here at the top of the cliff.
Backyard cliff face erosion
If you click on the photo, you'll see the fence that probably wasn't always suspended over space like that. It's an interesting view of the ongoing erosion here. I look at the light pole just a few feet away and know its fate. Just hope that there isn't someone down below when that thing comes down. Who ever expects to get hit by a light pole when they're out taking a nice walk on a beautiful beach? Certainly not us.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014