Beach Creatures

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Some creatures remain calm.

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Some creatures expertly photobomb. (Actually, I think this was a happy accident.)

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Some day-camp with gusto.

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Worn out from photobombing, this one flat out enjoys the sky.

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Some give their kid a big sandy belly.

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Others race the waves.

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The wisest beach creatures follow up with ice cream. McConnell’s is amazing!

It was breezy and the ice cream was fresh.  We took our cones outside and they started dripping like crazy.  We sat at an outside table and Kitty’s ice cream just flowed over her hand onto the concrete below us.  She’d managed to avoid getting it too much on herself, when she decided to pour the last little bit out of the cone into her spoon.

The little ice cream dam inside broke and fluid ice cream splooshed out of the cone, bounced off the spoon and splattered all over her new purse and pants.  We laughed so hard!  I’d be about ready to stop laughing and then the image replayed itself in my mind and I’d start up again.

A couple who were also enjoying McConnell’s stopped to ask us what was so funny.  We just gasped, trying to tell them.  They had their sweet cocker spaniels lick up the ice cream for us.

Thank goodness McConnell’s has a nice, clean restroom!  (P.S., I see that they are expanding to Studio City soon. )

Shots are all from the lovely Saturday Kitty and I spent exploring the Seaward Village/ San Buenaventura State Beach area of Ventura, CA and beyond.

 

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Way Out West

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One of our neighbors was working with a new trio of horses.  Our western view is obscured by a near hill. This is across from where our bank of mailboxes for the neighborhood is.

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Looking the other way from next to the mailboxes.

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Looking east at sunset.

Blood Moon Story

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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.

The Way It Was on Sunday

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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.

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

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Looking to the sea, past the breakwater.

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

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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.

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

Poppy Power

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Stalking the wily California poppy in the western Antelope Valley. We knew the bloom was at its peak earlier in the week, so we took off after I finished with work around 4 o’clock on Thursday.

We found this dirt track off of Lancaster Road. That’s just how brilliant the poppies are!

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The track turned at a fence. Pretty sure that’s the California Aqueduct between us and the hills because we encountered some water gates.

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Yes, I lay down in the weeds to get this shot. And earned a pants-load of little stickery things in my jeggings. (I need some hiking pants!)

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I love the silky look of the petals. You can see it on the upper petal of the far right flower.

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Fences. I took lots of shots of this one.

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Another view of the flowers with the aqueduct between us and the hills. You can see how the trees burned in a wild fire a few years ago.

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Wonderful time to be in the desert. This will all be a lovely sepia before too long.

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Looking north, I think, toward Tehachapi. You can just make out a congregation of modern wind mills at the base of the mountains, to the right.

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Wind power has been a thing out here for quite some time.  We also saw new banks of solar panels along our way.

 

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Last poppy stop, a little ridge Hydra noted on the way out.

For the geologically inclined amongst you, the blue ridge to the right is, I  think, Ritter Ridge. separates the beautiful Leona Valley from the Antelope Valley, and it’s also known as the San Andreas fault ridge. The Leona Valley is basically ground zero for the the plate boundry between the North American and Pacific plates. It’s gorgeous, with lots of grazing land, fruit orchards, vineyards and lakes (aka sag ponds, where the fault meets an aquifer and viola! water!)

Who’d have thougt I’d end up living on a different tectonic plate than I grew up on? Not me!

 

 

 

 

Bird in the Hand

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This little bird crashed into one of the windows and was lying stunned on the sidewalk when Hydra went out to look. It doesn’t happen often, luckily.

Not sure what kind she is. I think she has a little crest.  Anyone have an idea?  My awkward Google searching wasn’t helpful!

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Hydra put her on the front porch of this bird house.  A few hours later she was gone. Hope she’s okay!