Surf scoters

birding bodega head

So on Sunday we drove up to Sonoma county, along the coast.

It was fantastic — brisk but sunny. We stopped to see the tourist sights (think that movie about birds) and then to buy some fabulous bread, and then crab sandwiches. K and I went home while everyone else carried on to get oysters.

It was a perfect excursion.


It’s raining out!

This happens so rarely that I don’t really know what to do. This was going to be the day I worked in the garden. Actually, I was going to go for a hike this morning and then garden all afternoon.

I guess I could go outside and see — sometimes it looks like it’s raining, but then you go outside and it’s not really so wet —

Or I could read a book . . .

Bird ID

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On the way to work this morning I identified two house sparrows. One was at the top of a tree and one was on a power line. I think the one on the tree is the same one I saw two days ago sitting on the travel agency.

They are quite loud.

Hey, I’m going on a snowshoeing trip on Sunday! Hard to believe there is any snow left in this part of the world, but I guess there must be.

All part of my plan to conquer all parts of the globe. Just polishing my skills.


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I am going home in 5 minutes.

Here’s today —

I’m wearing summer pants — could possibly be taken for pajama pants, I think — and a long-sleeved turtleneck. It’s a good combination.

The bus driver this morning was on such a tear that I got to work 5 minutes early. I escaped out the back door and watched her turn the corner and careen down the hill, the remaining passengers bouncing around inside like loose peas.

I slept so soundly last night. I think I was exhausted from my 20 minutes at the gym yesterday morning. But I’m not so tired today, so I must be improving.


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So —

This is the one spot in my garden that actually looks kind of nice — purely by accident. I managed to get a few things planted there last winter. It actually looks a bit nicer in real life — the eye tends to excise those empty plastic pots where some dahlias died last fall. And the poppies and the geraniums really do look nice together.

Anyway, I think I am feeling better. I’ve been making summer plans like a madwoman, and that’s actually a good thing. I think I’m calling on the vestigial skills I have from trying to put together many summers’ worth of camps for two kids with different friends and different interests.

So there is a buttload of family activities going on, but I think I have that almost nailed those down and then I’m going to move on to matters of personal interest, including possibly a trip to Mono Lake to see some birds.

Doesn’t that sound like fun? I think that sounds like an intense amount of fun. I think there are few places more beautiful than the eastern Sierras

So — that’s good.

Emotional weather report

Remember this?

late night and early morning low clouds
with a chance of fog
chance of showers into the afternoon
with variable high cloudiness
and gusty winds, gusty winds
at times around the corner of
Sunset and Alvorado
things are tough all over
when the thunder storms start
increasing over the southeast
and south central portions
of my apartment, I get upset
and a line of thunderstorms was
developing in the early morning
ahead of a slow moving coldfront
cold blooded
with tornado watches issued shortly
before noon Sunday, for the areas
including, the western region
of my mental health
and the northern portions of my
ability to deal rationally with my
disconcerted precarious emotional
situation, it’s cold out there
colder than a ticket taker’s smile
at the Ivar Theatre, on a Saturday night
flash flood watches covered the
southern portion of my disposition
there was no severe weather well
into the afternoon, except for a lone gust of
wind in the bedroom
in a high pressure zone, covering the eastern
portion of a small suburban community
with a 103 and millibar high pressure zone
and a weak pressure ridge extending from
my eyes down to my cheeks cause since
you left me baby
and put the vice grips on my mental health
well the extended outlook for an
indefinite period of time until you
come back to me baby is high tonight
low tomorrow, and precipitation is

Emotional Weather Report — Tom Waits.

So, yeah.

Feeling a high chance of squalls — or to be honest, hurricanes and tornadoes — regarding summer planning, except — I rethought some things, and talked to some people, and it looks like there may be a chance of making some of the things I was dreading a lot more fun, and there may be a chance of adding something purely because I feel like doing it, and it’s looking a little bit more like sunny days with no chance of precipitation at all. Or maybe a chance of rain on a day I don’t need to go anywhere at all. So that sounds a lot better. Hurrah.



I think I am not really better yet, because when the bus driver drove past my bus stop this morning I nearly cried.

It’s also not making the planning of family vacations any easier, either (see yesterday, but now there’s more, on the other side). I think I’m going about it all wrong, actually. I think the thing to do is to figure out what I want to do first.

Apparently, what I want to do is this. Or this.

And since it appears that N has a job in South America for the next two years, starting in September, that second one is not completely out of the question.

Time for a shift in thinking.

summer plans

Summer seems impossible.

Part of the problem is that part of it needs to be spent with family members, and getting anything planned is proving difficult. The thing is, too, that I could so easily think of 10,000 amazing things to do with that time. There are two events a week apart. This is what I want to do in between.

  • Rent a cabin on the St Lawrence river
  • Go to Toronto
  • Go hiking in the Adirondacks
  • Go to one of those parts of canada that have no roads. Go there in a canoe.

Hmm. Maybe it’s not impossible — maybe if we planned it the balky family members would come alone? Who knows — anything is possible.


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I took this picture for M, who I believe is using it to make a painting. She’s getting close to the end of the paintings and prints for her show at the beginning of April.

Suddenly things are hopping around here. We’re going to Ohio for M’s show, and back again for her graduation. We’re going east in late June for a memorial for K’s mom. I should go to Arizona to visit my grandmother. N wants us to come and travel with her a little bit. My mother wants me to drive with her from Arizona to Denver. Meanwhile, I’ve been eyeing hiking trips to Alaska. Assuming we make it through spring, it’s going to be a wild summer.

It all seems a little crazy at the moment, but it seems likely to shake out to be something interesting.

We have our last birding field trip this weekend — I think we’re going to have to sign up for more.