morro bay getaway

Morro Bay Morro Rock from the Elfin Forest

Natal bottlebrush (Greyia sutherlandii)

Twisted oak trunks in the Elfin Forest #elfinforest #morrobay #lososos

Azure Bush Germander (Teucrium frutican azureum)

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Just spent a couple of days exploring the back roads of the Central Coast with the Guy + dog. So much green. Wildflowers out early. Horses and bunnies and turkey vultures. We had a beer at Parkfield on the San Andreas Fault. We drove over the Santa Lucia Range from inland to Big Sur, and descended into an ocean of cloud. We visited the Leaning Pine Arboretum and discovered new plants. We earmarked lots of places for future exploration and adventures. I love the way every experience begets more; there is no end to the wonder of this world.

dan blocker to the pier

IMG_2479

Untitled

About to be swamped

Untitled

My girlfriend A and I took a little break from beach hiking while she went and got married. We were back at it this past weekend, hiking from Dan Blocker Beach to Malibu Pier. The tide was rising, which was not ideal. But we didn’t want to wait another week so we went anyway. It meant a lot of rock scrambling, and some unsuccessful wave dodging.

Some folk who live beachside on the Malibu coast strongly discourage ‘trespassers’. But it’s our legal right to traverse the beach/rocks up to the high tide line, and even higher if it is unsafe closer to the water. Which it kinda was, in a few places.

We happened upon a baby sealion up on the rocks, who we hope was OK. No mama in sight, but it didn’t look injured, as far as we could tell. We clambered on, getting wet up to our crotches. How we laughed.

walkabout malibu to mexico

IMG_2392 Untitled IMG_2439

IMG_2368

Untitled Untitled Inspired by this book, my girlfriend and I spent a second day walking the coast, over rocks and tidepools, under soaring bluffs, along empty sandy stretches between point and pier, past stinky seals lounging in the warm winter sun. Counting our blessings with every sandpiper, every anemone.

lunch break

IMG_1334

IMG_1336

IMG_1324

Children in neon swimsuits, squealing. A plane and a kite, both soaring. Cartwheels. I kick off my sandals and sink into the warm sand.

A brother and sister are carting small pails of water to dump into the hole they dug. Running down to the waves, trotting back with their watery loads, over and over. Why didn’t they dig the hole closer to the shore, I wonder? But they are not concerned with efficiency, just with the joy and freedom of being out of school, of being able to run in the sun, back and forth.

She is panting. He asks, do you want more? Yes, she says. Much more. And after that, let’s go play.

euphonious

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

The night before L’s last finals. On the way to help her study, I get dinner at Chipotle. I try to Shazam the background music, but there’s too much interference from the ambient noise. I check the app’s Top 100 list, and note that I’ve never heard of most of the acts. I could blame my ignorance on old-fogeyism, but actually I haven’t followed popular music since my early teens. I watch the brown, long-legged girls in their short shorts and white tank tops giggle as they fill their cups with fizzy sugar water. I was never one of them, though at one point, long ago, I wanted to be.

Then a few hours with my own long-legged girl. My red-headed stepchild. We drill vocab. Aesthetic. Ascetic. Prodigious. Ponderous. Desecrate. Elucidate. Depravity. Autonomy. We roll them in our mouths, euphoniously, and find links between word and definition, ways to remember.

This.
This is the girl I was.
This is the girl I still am.

public declarations of love make the world a better place

Public declarations of love make the world a better place

It’s not uncommon to find love notes in the sand, but I came upon this one in a local park today, and it really made me smile. I imagined a kid (aged 8 or 10) running ahead of his or her mother and quickly scratching the message in the pathway, for her to come across a minute later. And I felt the responding swell of love and joy that she must have experienced upon reading these simple words, publicly declared. I continued my walk with a spring in my step.

And that’s why PDAs are good for all of us, participants and observers alike. The beam of love that’s aimed at one person cannot fail to shed light on those around it. So go for it in public: cuddle, kiss, hold hands, stroke hair, write your love in the sand or in the sky. Others will surely smile. You’ll be making the world a better place.

new years hike

Flowering plant that looks a bit like Pacific Wax Myrtle

At first, he said he didn’t want to go anywhere too steep. But then he urged me to the summit, when I might have turned back earlier. We got a great workout and the view was lovely. A perfect way to start the year.

friends and food

At last my longtime friends came for sunset-viewing and dinner. About time :-)

I need to feed more people in 2014. There hasn’t been enough of it lately. But cooking and serving up to a table of friends just feels right sometimes. A lot of the time. Except when I don’t want to :-)

home

Untitled

Travelling is fun. So is coming home.

xoxoxox

pip

Tunnels under the Georges Head battery #military #history #sydney #australia

My last half-day in Sydney was spent with the favourite-family-that-is-not-my-own. As a teenager, I babysat my neighbour Pip in Weetangera. Decades later she moved to Pasadena and we became adult friends. She now has three kids who, for some reason, regard me as a fairy godmother who bestows them with unique handmade gifts.

Snakes and Ladders

Blue thing

Hopscotch

Car caddy

IMG_1815

As always when I spend a night with Pip’s family, I felt very hugged.
It was a wonderful ending to a full-on two weeks.

%d bloggers like this: