Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Just A Moment

Out for our first walk of the day, looking south a half hour after sunrise. The low radiation fog just coming up from the rain soaked pasture. A truck zooms on the two lane road between us and the bay and the mountains and the sky. An ordinary day begins. 

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Other Side Of The Fence

Lately when we've been out walking I've been drawn to these plants and flowers that show such persistence in their search for the light of the sun.
Or maybe they're just winding their way and suddenly find themselves on the other side of their world.
They get such a different view of life.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Packed With Surprises

We were walking our favorite trail at the marsh the other day and noticed a man carrying a very interesting looking pack. From where I was standing, it looked like an unusual pack with a lovely picture of birds on it. That's when I noticed that the birds actually moved. So I photographed it.

He and his partner came up to the trail and told us that this is a "cat pack" that people often buy to bring their cats out on walks with them. So, they bought one to bring their birds out on their walks. They had tried taking the birds out one at a time on a leash, but preferred this so the birds could be together.
He told us that all animals like to have an opportunity to be outside and have a look around. They really enjoy the view. We told him that we really enjoyed this view as well.

I think those birds are going to learn how to talk, and they're new song will be, "Take us to the marsh! Take us to the marsh!"

We do get to see the most interesting and surprising things sometimes.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Dorian Reminded Me

I hadn't thought about this in so many years, but the news about Hurricane Dorian reminded me of the one night in Boulder, Colorado January 1982 when my then-husband and I  experienced  Chinook Wind. This is how NOAA describes the event:
Chinook winds are downsloping, warm, and dry winds that occur on the leeward, or sheltered, side of mountain ranges, such as the Rocky Mountains. Chinook winds are fairly common during the winter months and often bring extreme increases in temperatures to the region as they move from west to east across the mountains. While these winds bring warmer temperatures during the winter months, they can often be devastating, with sustained winds and gusts sometimes as strong as those produced by tornadoes and hurricanes.
On January 17, there were numerous reports of peak wind gusts in excess of 100 mph in the area. NOAA’s Environmental Research Laboratory, now known as Earth System Research Laboratory (ERSL), measured a 118-mph gust on its roof before the power failed. The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) at Table Mesa in southwest Boulder recorded a maximum wind gust of 137 mph just after 2:00 a.m. MST on the roof, 600 feet above the city. During the second high-wind period, NCAR recorded a 130 mph gust. In all, 20 gusts of over 120 mph were clocked at NCAR between 1:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. MST.
Boulder bore the brunt of the damage during the January 17 windstorm, which was one of the worst in the area’s recorded history. An estimated 40% of all buildings in Boulder suffered at least minor damage between the night of January 16 and the morning of January 17; about 50 homes were damaged badly enough to be uninhabitable. In one instance, a gust completely unroofed a home, with the roof sailing over two adjacent houses before landing on a third. The winds also hit the Boulder Municipal Airport especially hard, destroying about 20 small planes. Several utility poles snapped, and thousands of electricity customers were without power. The wind also caused erosion damage to about 50,000 acres of farmland in Boulder County.
We were wakened by the roaring sound of something we could only describe as a train barreling through our little house. It was 2:00 am, and the sound went on and on. We had no idea what was happening, but got out of bed trying to figure out if we were safe. All night long the wind blew with that sound.

In the morning we got in our little Volkswagen Rabbit and went out to take a look at what had happened. The damage had the equivalence of an EF2 tornado and was evident everywhere we looked. This is some of what we saw and photographed.

It reminded me of an earthquake, that unbelievable moment when where you happen to be changes in a radical instant without warning. We were lucky that there was no damage to our little rental. We could resume our regular lives having experienced something that was truly unforgettable. To think about the people of the Bahamas and what they endured for more than 40 hours is truly unimaginable.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

What We Did Instead

We had planned to walk into town on Monday for the annual block party. It's quite a festive event with music, food, art, and a silent auction. But for some reason when it was time, we decided to go to the marsh instead where it's quiet and the air is cool with bay breezes.

We've been out to the marsh a few times in the past couple of weeks and I haven't taken  a single photo. Not one. It's still a nice place to walk even when nothing calls to me to grab my camera. So I was truly surprised and delighted to find a few things that called my attention.

Here's what we saw in our hour-long walk out there. First thing to call my attention was this Marbled Godwit. There were lots of them out there looking for food in the incoming tide.
We walked farther on along the rocky path and this dragonfly caught my eye. The wings flashed white in the afternoon light. I liked how it blended in with the stones.

Then the river otters popped up in one of the ponds. The fish were jumping like mad, and the otters were hunting for their lunch. I really think they were looking at me and trying to convey their discontent with my annoying presence.

We were most happy to see the Brown Pelicans. We hadn't seen them in more than a year, and it occurred to us that we hadn't even seen any the last time we were in Capitola in March. So seeing pelicans was such a good sign. (They had twice been driven nearly to extinction and were saved by the Endangered Species Act.)
 But it was this moment that made my day. I shouted a thank you to this bird for posing like this.

While I was reading about Brown Pelicans, I learned that this is called a Head Throw -- "it occurs when a pelican throws its head up and back, way way back! The head throw is thought to be a way for the pelican to stretch the skin of its gular pouch — its throat — in order to maintain its flexibility and health..." I love learning something new like this. 

Oh yes, we were glad that we had decided to head out to the marsh!