The C word. It’s a scary word. I’m facing yet another abdominal surgery. I’m about ready to tell them just put in a zipper. I should be hollow and as my sister says ring like the Tin Man. No appendix, No female organs except ovaries, no gall bladder. So I guess the trouble makers who got left behind decided they needed to cause a problem. A 13 cm problem.
So this yesterday I went for a walk with two friends to one of my favourite places, the Sepulveda Wildlife Refuge in the Sepulveda Basin. If this really is an El Nino year then it may be the last chance we get until spring. It’s where the overflow goes when the water backs up behind the Sepulveda Dam.
It was beautiful and my loves, the white pelicans were there. They only come for a month every year. They are so beautiful and they are huge. Over 3 feet tall if they are standing on land.
I was surprised there were no Great Blue Herons out, there were egrets and a number of Night Herons but no Great Blues. I was glad to see the Osprey, usually there is a mated pair but I didn’t see the mate but he had a fish he was enjoying right under a vulture who was drying his wings up in a tree. There were several out, some were out soaring and looking majestic.
We saw BunniHoTep hightailing it into the brush, otherwise known here as an Audubon Cottontail or when I was in class at CSUN an Audubunny.
It was chilly but beautifully sunny and clear. The colours looked sharp because the air was so clear. Tons of cormorants and some mallards and one white duck that had somehow wandered in. Lots of turtles and fish putting their heads up.
It was a great day for a walk with Elizabeth and Tagh. The best kind of healing of all.
Coot giving us the stink eye
Sepulveda Wildlife refuge
This weekend I found myself dealing with my grief by taking pictures. Every time the stress level got too high in the house and I couldn’t do anything about it, I used my camera.
A camera can give you distance to look at any number of things. The piece of land that Heron House sits in is so beautiful and the same tree can look so many different ways depending on light and seasons.
There was a person in the house that quite actively hated me even though I had never even met her before so I avoided her by going outside to be peaceful and ground. I try not to fight with unarmed people and she was definitely unarmed for a fight even though she kept picking them with everyone. The only theory I have about this person is that she is very jealous of what she can never have. I don’t do jealousy, somehow that was left out of my makeup, anger, yes, jealousy, no. I just don’t understand the need for it and when it comes in to play, I tend to vacate the field. There is no point when someone perceives you have something they want and can’t see a way to obtain. Lost a few lovers that way but what’s the point? To be eaten alive with blackness or live a life of love away from it? I choose number two. On the other hand, threaten my family by trying to take something that was never yours to begin with? You get both barrels of the shotgun if you do that.
Anyway, as you can see from the photos I posted, I went out in all weathers. The druid in me finds peace in trees and in the weather, in changing skies and geese migrating overhead, in following a bull frog’s croak in the underbrush.
There is a tree covered in moss that I love to see. The light gets got in the moss and becomes magical like it’s caught in the dryad’s hair. Paths wind up hills and dales, paved and unpaved. Steps to Tir na Nog that disappear into the mist. A camellia confused about when it should bloom erupting in pink showers next to a fiery Japanese maple. Pine trees that lean in with protective stance and a red tailed hawk screeing from a tree. Snow berries with shy smiles that glow in a dark bush and light spangled branches after rain showers. The last calendula in the garden bravely glowing in the dark forest. A maple that is beautiful with and without its finery.
I’ve now visited in every season. Still haven’t been there in the snow. Maybe someday.
One of the signs it’s going to rain is birds facing the same direction. It rained about 10 minutes later.
I can’t wait to be up at camp and I’m hoping my body is going to cooperate and I’m going to take some Imodium with me just in case. I’m not supposed to take it since for a person with gastroparesis, it’s kind of counterproductive and quite frankly can hurt a lot even the children’s dose but if I have to I will.
There is nothing in this world that can compare to morning at high altitude up in the forest. The air is different. It feels differently to the skin. The sounds are different. The wind in the trees sounds like nowhere else I know. The air and the earth feel more alive and that quality is evident everywhere you look. The earth smells wonderful and clean even at the end of a summer on the cusp of winter. Fall is fleeting and short in California mountains. The oaks may turn colour and aspens and alders but mostly the cedars and the pines and the evergreen oaks don’t change much but you can tell the quality of light is changing. The sun is lower in the sky.
Morning begins at the tip tops of the trees over the eastern ridges and the dawn chorus raises its voice. You pass from a moment of absolute silence to the screams of Stellar Jays and the dee dee dee of the chickadees and the tapping of the woodpeckers hiding yet another acorn to farm for the winter.
The sun creeps up and then spills over the trees into the valley and it’s magic to watch it move. All nature in the valley is part of a giant sundial charting the sun’s morning path
I always raise my face to the sun’s morning kiss in the mountains, there is nothing better in the world.