This stuff looks really different, and is such a lovely, um, lettuce green!
Nice long walk this morning and the ocean was deeply blue, not turquoise, with very little green at all, so this was a great contrast.
Walking at low tide is so much more interesting and physically easier, too. The deeper sand that is the only beach available at high tide is much more resistant than the hard-packed sand that is exposed at low tide. There are many more rocks, shells, and critters to be seen at low tide. The bright light yet cool temperatures of morning add even more pleasure.
The sky is often moody and so am I. How I wish that were not so, but I am prone to unhappy introspection. I do wonder at people who seem to be perpetually cheerful. Are they truly always cheerful, or do they do their moods only and always in private?
Do a mood. I like that notion. That gives me more of a sense of choice. I can do a mood — or not. Maybe I can delay a mood? Maybe I can even avoid a mood? Could I possibly UN-mood?
Moody skies are much more attractive than moody people. I try to UN-mood when I write here. That is good. I would like to practice UN-mooding more! And there is some healthy pink there, even in that moody sky, yes?
Three-mile walk this morning in perfect weather. I love these colonized rocks, and I guess there are some sea creatures that like the urban environment. They don’t have to rent Car-to-Go, hunt for parking spaces, nor tolerate their neighbors’ smoke/music/barking dogs. There’s no excessive truck traffic with its accompanying fuel fumes, no train whistles, and no drunken sidewalk carousers in the wee hours.
And that’s not saying I didn’t enjoy downtown living. I did. And I like going back there to do things. It has an energy and vitality that I miss. And convenience, too. Sophistication, perhaps. And — I’m glad I live here, where I can walk on the beach nearly daily, now.
We might try a city again sometime. Or something we haven’t tried before. I’ve never lived in the “country.” I know I’d enjoy the quiet — but not the isolation. The nature — but not the inconvenience. But who’s to say? I’m game…
We weren’t down there, today, though. We went downtown for a friend’s birthday party and walked a bit near our old haunts. Not that I haunted anything, I don’t think.
It’s funny being downtown. I remember all the things I liked and all the things I didn’t like. We met someone who moved from here to Chicago, right on (in?) The Loop. She loves Chicago, not needing a car, having a view from the 29th floor, having a balcony, having four kinds of public transportation in her block, and all the cultural opportunities plus a reasonable cost of housing in a new condo building.
I thought (but didn’t say,) “Wonderful! Except for the weather! Great to have all that easy transportation and museums and shopping, but who wants to bundle up in winter clothes and worry about the ice and snow and slipping on the sidewalks…or the heat and humidity and storms and mosquitoes?!” So I am definitely weather-spoiled. And ocean-spoiled.
This was the last song of the evening around the campfire at summer camp. It was cooling off in the mountains, by the lakes, at night. Singing around the campfire was my favorite activity. It was dark. We were all anonymous, all equal, all the same. It smelled good. We were pleasantly tired. I didn’t have to be athletic to sing around the campfire. I didn’t have to be socially adept. I didn’t even have to sing well, just not too loud! I didn’t have to be anything, I could just be.
I would like to sing around a campfire again some time.
Walking on the beach at sunset tonight had some pleasant surprises. First, these two lovely structures…and then three pods (?) of dolphins diving in the waves. There were possibly a dozen of them, out just where the waves formed, flashes of shiny black too quick to photograph, but out of the water just long enough to catch our eye.
Several people gathered at the view point deck to watch them. The campground seemed nearly full. Lots of cooking, setting up bedding in tents, kids running around, two girls playing a beanbag game, one guy sitting in his deck chair with the pose of the king of the mountain; many dogs, including an enormous one of indeterminate breed lying peacefully in his doorway but obviously not one to mess with. There are over 200 campsites and it seemed very urban in its density of people, structures, and activity.
We can’t imagine ourselves RV-ing, yet when I said I was curious about them and we should go to an RV show, I got agreement!
I didn’t walk on the beach today. The fires continued.
One reporter said, “Yes, the four California seasons: fire, flood, earthquake, and drought.”
I’d never heard that before.
The seasons seem to me to be “warmer” or “cooler.” “Warmer” means lows in the high 50s or low 60s, highs in the 70s (and sometimes low 80s) where “cooler” means lows in the low 50s, highs in the mid-60s. I have a slight preference for “cooler.” And there’s often “early morning fog burning off by 10 (or 11 or 12,) with sunny or partly- cloudy skies for the remainder of the day.”
There were 9 fires today. They were probably set rather than accidents. People were afraid. People were evacuated. People lost their homes and businesses. Firefighters, police, and other public officials were put in danger.
The smoke was in these clouds over the ocean. An ironic beauty.
Previous Mr. P. was at the Oceanside Pier. This one was posing for us this morning on the beach. It was windy. It was already very hot at 9 am; we are experiencing the Santa Anas still, through Thursday.
The heat and wind feel odd to me, nothing like heat and wind in the midwest. The wind doesn’t accompany a storm; the heat doesn’t come with a bucket of humidity. Still, it made breathing and walking a much more athletic endeavor than usual. We were tired and sweaty after an hour even though we shortened our usual walk.
Mr. P., however, seemed unruffled. Though what he was doing there was a mystery. Where’ s his tin cup for tips?
It was way too big to belong to anyone else. Except perhaps Mr. Hawk. But pelican is more likely.
There are feathers of all sizes on the beach. This one is about 10-12″ long. Our mantel contains a collection of shells. A basket has an assortment of tubular shell-like objects. An end table has rocks assorted by color and a few little towers. Another end table has a green glass bowl of shells. Another mantel holds some of those gnarly twisted roots. All seem achingly beautiful to me.
I’ve never had so much of nature in my house. And now I guess I could start a feather collection. Somehow, though, feathers seem even more intimate, like skin perhaps? I would find them cruel, I think, like deer heads and pinned butterflies. No feathers.
I don’t know what this is, but it is beautiful. And the color was even more intense and electric in person.
It is Mothers’ Day and I adore my children, who are far away and cannot walk the beach with us this glorious sunny windy day. And I miss my mother, who would have so liked to walk on the beach every day as I do.
Walk on the beach, smell the sharp sweet air, feel the wind: rejoice!
These deposits seem to form on shells but I don’t know why. Nor what they are. They look like icing. I used to call it frosting. Icing, frosting, it doesn’t matter. It’s pretty, and just one more mystery.
There’s so much I don’t know about these treasures of the sea. There’s so much to learn about treasures. And the sea. So where would I look up “icing on shells?”
Can you see the small white dots, like dotted Swiss (a kind of fabric) from the 50s? We’ve seen them and can’t figure out where they come from. They are powdery and dry and about 1/2 inch in diameter at the most. They usually appear in clusters of 50-100, sometimes dense around an object, sometimes more spread out.
So today we got out our intellectual detective kits and discovered that they don’t appear near the cliffs. They are often found near the tracks of the patrolling lifeguard jeep and sometimes near footprints.
Conclusion, to be tested with further evidence on other walks: they are kicked up by the motion of the tires/wheels on lighter, dryer sand, and are sprayed outward onto the darker sand. They also seem to form around footprints of runners (deeper footprints), which probably also ends up with sprays of lighter sand.
Any other ideas? They don’t seem to be creature-related, aren’t ant-hills, are very thin and ethereal (nothing under them when you touch them, no bug or hole) and perhaps only 10 or 20 crystals of sand deep.
The wind and water arranged this and presented me with a lovely painting. The large leaf was lying just so against the rock, the smaller one nestled under it, tucked away. The strands of sea grass trailed delicately, the darker under-sands exposed in a halo around the entire composition. The shadows provided just enough contrast and the forms complemented each other pleasingly. Painting 101, anyone?
At the Oceanside pier with visiting friends, we were delighted by these self-possessed, proud birds who posed for us. We kept expecting to be asked for tips as they strutted and turned and twisted their flexible necks, rearranged themselves to face us, showed a profile, tucked their beaks, and dared us to come closer.
When she did indeed get too close, my friend was surprised by this bird, who fluffed into majestic flight, flapping nearly into her hair, with a bigger wingspan than one would expect.
A highlight of a glorious, windy, sunny-cloudy day!
Why are miniature versions of things so endearing? Is it because babies — for their survival — *must* be endearing? This nearly looks alive. It is soft and prickly-looking at the same time. Will it grow into an adult tumbleweed?
The other day, there was a large one on the highway and it came sideways into the lower part of my car, making me duck instinctively. I realized that had it come toward my windshield, it could have hung there and obstructed my view — frightening image.
Babies — all innocence. Adults — the potential for danger.
I wanted to say, “moon shadow,” but it wasn’t. It was this morning, under unseasonably burning sun, and this salt-whitened, wind-whitened branch stuck out from the edge of the cliff, glowing, begging me to notice its artwork on the sand.
“Moon Shadow” is also the name of a song. We were in the car for a few hours today, coming and going to an art fair, and listened to music from the late ’60s and early ’70s. We were fortunate. We came of age in the time of the strongest, most powerful music, music that stirred, music that incited, music that soothed, and music that still moves me viscerally. I don’t need to understand the words or the complex structures of these ground-breaking artists; the emotional content literally reverberates at the gut level, wrenching and deepening and burning its wistful anguish into the soul. They had grace, these musicians, and gave it to the world.