The Shape of Things to Come


Deadheads. Old sprinkler heads dug up on the grounds of our Kaiser Permanente branch. (We went for flu shots.)


They are removing all the sod and capping off the sprinkler lines due to the drought.


Trying to get a few shots as it was today that I can reshoot when the new landscaping is in. I’ll bet it will be attractive.


Out with the old!

Our next stop was the Theodore Payne Foundation in the San Fernando Valley, to get some ideas for our own drought tolerant landscape. Cool place!

Well, hot place, but great volunteers, plants, wildflower seeds. We were a little overwhelmed on our first visit, but we’ll be back. We’re members now!

Blood Moon Story


I know it’s very late, but I keep thinking about the recent lunar eclipse.  I love this photo that my friend Gary Lynch took.  To me it looks like an egg coming to life.

Inspired by all my friends who were out and about on the night of the eclipse, I stepped outside several times to see what I could see.  When the eclipse started, the moon was obscured by clouds, but by the time it was full the clouds had parted.  Thanks to our relatively dark skies, I could still make it out as a faintly reddish black circle over the hill behind the house.

I carried a chair to where I could sit and watch the show as the shadow of the earth slipped away from the surface of the moon. At first it was just an intellectual idea. I knew what was happening.

But as the shadow receded to about a quarter coverage, it really hit me.

“That’s our shadow!  That’s my shadow up there.”

The sun was right behind me, on the other side of this big beautiful soft-centered rock. I was on the face of my planet, gazing across thousands of miles.

It struck me that this is an event many of us showed up to with great anticipation. Imagine if it took you by surprise.

It’s harvest time and you are counting on a few nights of moonlight to extend your work day. You’re in the field. Your family is around you.

You’re digging up potatoes when the light starts to fade. Maybe someone you know has seen this before, maybe not. You stand in the soil with a half-full sling of potatoes hanging on your hip, looking up.

The moon slowly disappears. You are not confident that it will come back. Your child comes to hold onto your leg, her own small sling on her own small hip.

Everyone gathers at the center of the field to watch and pray that the light hasn’t gone forever. When it begins to come back, it feels like a miracle. Everyone sings a moonrise song. It starts out slow but ascends to a joyful chant as the recovery becomes complete.

You bend to your work again, praising the shadow you cast upon the ground. You wonder if the moon needs to make a point from time to time, that we sould pay attention. That we should practice gratitude.

Roadrunner Run-In

Great shot of a juvenile roadrunner by Bill Hubick of

Hydra and I saw the strangest pair of little birds just off the fire road on our morning hike today.  Very small, but somehow they ran like roadrunners.

“What are those little birds?” I asked, “And why are they doing a roadrunner immitation?”

Then they stopped and looked around and flipped their tails around just like grown-up roadrunners do, but without the crest on the back of the head rising.  Babies!

We watched them for a little bit, but didn’t have a good camera with us. I found this shot online and the photographer, Bill Hubick, was kind enough to give me permission to use it. (Thanks, Bill!)  There are a lot of great bird photos on his site. You should check them out.

Here’s a shot I took a while ago of an adult roadrunner actually running.

And another adult on our back deck.

The Way It Was on Sunday


Went to the shore just south of San Buenaventura State Beach on Sunday to spend some time with myself.

Watching this guy paddle by reminded me of the days when Hydra and I did a little ocean kayaking.  Makes me wistful for gliding over water.


Looking south from where I sat on my little blanket, with carryout coffee, orange juice and a bagel.


Looking to the sea, past the breakwater.


Looking north from atop the breakwater.  See the drifts of rounded stones along the strand?


Trying for a different perspective.  Looking back to shore from the water. It takes a tiny bit of courage to stand with your back to the rolling ocean.

This is when the cuffs of my shorts got wet. Seems no matter what length of pants I have on when I go to the beach, I tempt the fates and get them wet.


Looking down, where the waves slowly work to turn a rock like this into sand like that.