Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Draggin 2021, Plus The Autumn Leaf Of The Day #7


"Don't drag your feet in 2022. Drag a corpse instead.
 It's the only way to kill 2021."
~Anthony T. Hincks
See that stair goblin. It's not a ghost or a monster or even 2021 sitting there, it's my sweet child Joey. He loves cuddles and smiles. He loves to take mad dashes up the stairs, around the bedroom, and then back downstairs to the living room and kitchen. He, and his brothers, Hendrix and Dylan, are the light in my life. The people who provide me with joy and meaning. I get to take care of them, and in return, they take care of me, well actually, us. Now that my dear hubby is retired, he gets to spend every day with them. 
My life is small right now. As my last friend has passed away, and it's difficult to make new friends, but it's okay. In some ways I am kinda glad it's just us. Last year was a shitshow. The thought of never seeing 2021 again never fails to make me smile. Say it with me, it was the year of one of the worst moves I have ever had, and hubby and I both got Covid-19. We missed most of the birds on the Pacific Flyway, and someone stole Christmas packages off our porch, with both of us sitting in the living room. But I think my favorite, OH MY GOD moment of 2021, might have been when someone totaled our new SUV and the cars belonging to 5 of our neighbors, one beautiful morning last October. Sigh. what a year.
So if I could, I would drag 2021 behind my little red Mini Cooper. I would take it straight over the Altamont Pass, and through a corn field, before finally drowning it in the delta. But I can't, so when something comes up that even remotely has to do with 2021, I pretend it is nothing more than a residual haunting. A ghost that sometimes floats through the room, says boo, and then disappears out the wall of our kitchen. The ghost of 2021 will rise up from time to time, and I will get the wiggins, but then it will stop and I will be fine. At the end of every day, I know Joey will be on the stairs, waiting to walk me to be and tuck me in, and all will be right with the world.


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

He's Home, And Autumn Leaf Of The Day #6


"I've always marveled that geese can feel a call stirring, rise on hardy wings to engage it, and without contemplation, compass or map complete the feat. And could it be that they achieve this astounding accomplishment because far too often contemplation. compass or map rob the call by sterile analysis when we should liberate the call through expectant obedience."
~Craig D. Lounsbrough 
He's home! My favorite of the species of goose. The king himself. The Greater White-fronted goose has finally arrived in lower Sacramento county, after a long trip from Siberia. I have been checking, pretty much since the end of August for it, at all the usual spots. Cosumnes. Woodbridge. Stone Lakes. Even the Clifton Court Forebay, with no luck at all, but on Sunday, there he was, relaxing in the water off Desmond road. Visiting all those places paid off by awarding us at least one new bird each time. And if there wasn't a new bird for this year's file, there may have been more than one moment of deep cute, such as a mother Grebe, floating happily in the water, with one of her babies on her back. Sigh. But knowing he is back moves me a little more toward normal. I am thinking about my projects, and not about painful memories. I am planning to set a new goal to find. The Caspian Tern, or maybe a Black Oystercatcher. So many birds await!
Clark's Grebe with baby.



Monday, September 26, 2022

Canada Geese, Late In The Day. Plus Leaf #5


"If, of all the seasons, there is a season in which a person completely forgets himself and constantly watches the magical environment, it is undoubtedly autumn!"
~Mehmet Murat ildan
 That old familiar song... honk... honk honk. I am not completely sure what the geese are saying, but it sure sounds like, I love autumn, to me!



Sunday, September 25, 2022

The Red Dragonfly Of Summer And The Autumn Leaf Of Late September


"Autumn was San Francisco's summer. The days were bright and warm, scented with drying leaves and fading flowers and the ever-present salt air."
~Susan Wiggs
The Lost and Found Bookshop
 Finally, a dragonfly. I hoped to be able to photograph one over the summer, but either it was too hot to think about venturing outside to do some photography, or when I did get out to the delta and it's sloughs, there was nary a one to be found. Ironic that I saw some along Desmond road yesterday, happily dancing about in the late afternoon sun. Autumn isn't exactly their season. Or is it? I don't know much about them, except that they are pleasant little creatures to photograph, and they eat nasty things like mosquitos. Anyway, I have had several days in a row of happiness, and I hope to keep up that momentum. I just want to be happy again, which I think I will be, I just need more time I guess.


Saturday, September 24, 2022

White-faced Ibis In The Autumn And Leaf #3


'Or maybe spring is the season of love and fall the season of mad lust. Spring for flirting but fall for the untamed delicious wild thing."
~Elizabeth Cohen
The Hypothetical Girl
Oh my, the sight of White-faced Ibis flying over the freshly mowed farmland of Desmond road... sigh... took my breath away. It would not have been as pretty in any other season. Autumn carries a magic in it's life, and hopefully one day I will be able to explain it and you will understand why I feel so alive right now. I mean, damn, White-faced Ibis! A beautiful country road in the Central Valley, the warm autumn sun, and the birds are only beginning to visit!
Of course I am drunk on happiness!


Friday, September 23, 2022

Autumn Leaf Of The Day #2


"That old September feeling, left over from school days of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air... another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that autumnal beginning as if last year's mistakes had been wiped clean by summer."
~ Wallace Stegner
Angle Of Repose


Thursday, September 22, 2022

Welcome Autumn And Leaf Of The Day #1


 "But when fall comes, kicking summer out on it's treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his favorite pipe and lights it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since he last saw you."

~Stephen King
 Salem's Lot

"But when fall comes, kicking summer out on it's treacherous ass... ."

Has there ever been a better description of how it feels to finally be rid of brutal summer days? It's finally here, weather that isn't 114 degrees! Yep, we broke records again this year, but the leaves that are still alive are off to a beautiful start. Life. Is. Good. Mostly.




Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Goodbye Summer, And Thanks For The Cheese!


"One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day... ."


What a fantastic day. Autumn is in the air. I am actually feeling better. I am able to eat more foods and, oh yeah, a little bit of American justice took place. History will play things out the way it will, but for right now it seems Donald Trump is finally getting his, and as the end of summers go, that is not a bad way to celebrate. Do worry, no hopes are raised, but I am guardedly optimistic, which is better than I have felt in a long, long, very long time.

With this post I am back to posting regularly. Daily leaf and bird photos as my feathered friends find their way along the Pacific Flyway. Good things are ahead, and it's magical.


Saturday, September 03, 2022

Blue Heron, Gone Fishing


"Creativity is the Blue Heron inside us waiting to fly;
 through her imagination all things become possible."
~Nadia Janice Brown
 Meet the second bird in my series of posts about the gorgeous birds of 2022, the Great Blue Heron. I have seen a lot of them so far this year, which is in contrast to last year when I only saw perhaps 4 or 5. It's nice to see that their numbers have increased here in the valley. Great Egrets seemed to be increasing in numbers as well. I have no idea what that means for the upcoming Pacific Flyway for this year, but it will be fascinating to watch!

September 3rd 2022

Thursday, September 01, 2022

105 To 87


"The month of August had turned into a griddle
 where the days just lay there and sizzled."
~Sue Monk Kidd
 The Secret Life Of Bees 
August sizzled, with many days hovering around 100 degrees, and now September is beginning around the same. I hate the summer, and never bought into the "fun in the sun" nonsense. Do I like the beach? Absolutely! I LOVE the beach, but I love the beach in May and October, otherwise it can be beautiful for other reasons, like winter sunsets and photographing incoming storms. Photographing lightning coming off the Pacific ocean can be beautiful and challenging. I tried it many times when I lived in the Bay Area, but as I was discussing in my last post, the delta is drying up, so those opportunities are not presenting themselves as before. Is there any good news on the horizon? Yes! As with most Septembers, autumn will be shoving summer out on it's treacherous ass (see my favorite quote by Stephen King) soon! The projected forecast for 10 days from now is a high of 87 degrees! Hope is on the way! I love autumn!

September 1st 2022

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Cobbler Crust


"It looked like the world was covered
 in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon."
~Sarah Addison
First Frost
I know I push autumn to start early every year, but as I looked around at the YOLO Bypass Wildlife refuge yesterday, it really seemed that autumn had crossed the seasonal threshold sooner than usual. Not that I am complaining, mind you, I was simply pleasantly surprised. I always enjoy the arrival of my favorite season, but global warming has me terrified, and I know that what I saw yesterday was not a matter of the seasons having a bit of rivalry, but rather a matter of the earth saying "fuck you humans, you're causing my early demise, so here is a visual." Yolo was dry, and devoid of plants and birds. I only noticed one dragonfly, and I was there for over four hours! Everything is changing, rapidly, in the valley. My usual go-tos for birding opportunities along the delta were all dried up early this year. It's not going to take long before California won't be California anymore. 
 That all being said, we had a good time visiting the refuge. There were some lovely residents still keeping a watchful eye until their friends return. The Pacific Flyway returns in about a month, and hopefully we will see some natural correction in the weather soon too.
August 30th, 2022

Sunday, August 28, 2022

European Starling


"On the single strand of wire strung, to bring our house electricity, grackles and starlings punctuated an invisible sentence."
~John Updike
Yesterday, while traveling along Woodbridge road, I spotted what I thought was a new bird, well, a new bird for me anyway, but as it turns out it was simply the juvenile phase of the European Starling. Birds are so interesting. I love learning about them, and seeing their different patterns. The Starlings are a particular favorite of mine. I can't wait for winter when they will be back in great numbers. I love watching them fly together in their strange and beautiful smoky sky dance. It's downright magical. 


August 28th 2022

Friday, August 26, 2022

The After David Is Released

Andrew Harnik 

 "A president cannot defend a nation
 if he is not held accountable to it's laws."

~DaShanne Stokes

The title of this post is, "The After David Is Released." It refers to an SNL skit that aired just after the 2020 election. See, a young woman in Michigan claimed, through a signed affidavit, that election irregularities had taken place and that she had been a witness to it. The lady was pretty unbelievable, and because of that, she ended up in a skit about her testimony and subsequent statements to the press. I never forgot that in the skit, Cecily Strong referred to the woman's signed statement as an "after David" rather than an affidavit. It made me laugh. Those were better days. Some of the elements of Donald Trump's BIG LIE were actually laugh out loud funny, such as Rudy Guiliani indicating that he would be holding a presser at The Four Seasons, which turned out to not be the famous hotel, but rather The Four Season's Landscaping company. The owners were just as astonished as the rest of us. Huh? Anyway, this post isn't about the subject of the BIG LIE, it's about Trump having taken classified documents into his civilian life, and stored them at his resort home in Florida.


What the actual fuck? Just another day in the dumb Trump experience. So, for the sake of history, here is the government's redacted version of the recent warrant issued for the search of those documents at his club. Part of the justification for the warrant, was the signed affidavits of several individuals who claimed to have knowledge of the mishandling of the classified documents. I am not including the full PDF, because it somewhat lengthy, but history will bear the full story. And if I have nobody still following my blog, I have the full PDF that I can personally reference. Either way, it's all good. So, here are the first few pages, just for history sake. I, for the most part, like posting about current events. I got used to it, due to microblogging on Twitter, so it seems natural to continue to post about it here. I wish I was posting about some good news so bigly that it would take several entries on my blog to share it, but unfortunately this is where we have been since Trump announced his candidacy in 2015. Rolling around in the surreal, disgust and fear. This is not how I expected to feel when I reached the slightly over ripe old age of 60.

I've been semi-retired from bitching about Trump, and politics in general, since Joe Biden took office but this is something different. It's history. Unfortunately.


The affidavit is over 30 pages long. There was no mention of anything related to the nuclear program, but then a lot is redacted and it's common knowledge this affidavit does not contain all that was sealed in the warrant, so my nightmares continue, and I pray he never gets anywhere near the White House ever again, but I know, deep down, that free will is a double edged sword and God isn't going to send my Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl, just because I pray for it, or make the Republican party grow a soul, if its not their free will to do so.
And thereby lies the tale.

August 26th 2022

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Western Meadowlark


"Some birds are not meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place, rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure."
~Stephen King
Rita Hayworth And The Shawshank Redemption
There has been a lot of happy colors in this year, so I really need to remind myself about how lucky I am. In an attempt to remind myself of all the real joy in my world, I have been tip-toeing through the photographs I have done in the wilds of the San Joaquin Valley thus far. I seemed to have organically done a lot of groups of the birds that were in the greatest numbers, rather than taken a one and and done approach to my photography and bird counts. So, for the next few posts, or so, I will be showcasing these beautiful and vibrant birds. Up first, the gorgeous Western Meadowlark, which I mostly found along Desmond road, in lower Sacramento County. This bird really seemed to love my little red Mini Cooper!