Thursday, May 14, 2020

Beautiful Deadly Blossoms and Bees

Yesterday while painting on the Patio, there was a loud buzzing on the east side of the house. I ran over and peered around the corner, and there was a bee swarm flying around like crazy. Calling out to Scoschi, Scoschi Sscoschi House , into the house !!! the sliding door was open and she came quickly and we made it into the house without being stung. That is a good thing, for I'm allergic to bee stings.

Shaking and breathing hard from the Adrenalin surge, we both sat on the sofa and looked out side. There were no bees to see, but we stayed in for hours to make sure.

Going to Wiki, I found that bees can fly up to 15 miles an hour, and that I should run at least 100 yards to outrun them. 84 I walk about 2.5 miles an hour, and I'm not a football player how can I do this 100 yard run. So what to do if I'm out on My morning walk at there is a bee swarm coming at me?

Contemplating this, Scoschi and I are walking up San Dimas toward the place where we always stop at the end of San Miguel Court to survey the Valley. There up ahead on the sidewalk are beautiful white blossoms. Scoschi walking ahead of me makes a run for them. She has never seen them before, and being a puppy, all is fair to sniff and possibly eat. I recognize the blossoms as Oleander blossoms and call out to Scoschi “no no”...she stops and we make a wide path around them, they are so lovely...

Oleanders are deadly to people and pets. One leaf can kill a dog. Any part of the Oleander will make a human sick and possibly kill if enough is ingested. The smoke can also kill or make you sick. It is said that the Roman soldiers used smoke to kill their opponents. Along the freeways you can see these bushes with their beautiful white and pink blossoms waving their cane in the breeze.

Still contemplating the bee episode, I look around and though it is only 6:00 AM the sun will be up and the warming flora will attract the bees. The flowers in the many gardens are splendid in their water color compositions , but the bees will come. WOW...walking is supposed to be calming and a time for introspection on the bounty of nature and the melding of our human self. Blossoms and Bees, and calming Nature, how do I come to terms with the paradoxical elements of these two thoughts swirling round in my brain?

So here I am...walking in my beautiful Rancho Hermosa neighborhood with thoughts of mortality making me fearful. Hmmmm...then the thought of fear its self being the Stop, and think that never have you seen a swarm on any of your walks. The Oleander is not a threat to Scoschi because you are ever caring of what the little one can smell on our walks. So think calm. Pondering my own advice, we come to the end of San Miguel Court, the sun is blasting its way onto this new day, and the day will be a fine one because I have kicked the fear over the fence and watched it vanish into the rays of the sun. It will be a fine Day.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

May Grey and June Gloom
Actinoform Clouds

These two ladies who make up our spring and early summer weather patterns have returned today with their usual impact of depressing emotional status. I have experienced these weather patterns for decades, and like clockwork they return year after year. The cloud cover is deep and lasts for hours if not the entire day. The Actinoform cloud can be 300 miles wide and for this reason, we cannot see the edges, so it is just the entire sky. This year, the first 8 days of May were sunny and joyfully warm. this going to be the new normal with our planet's warming? I guess not, for today Miss Grey is back bringing the feeling of another day without the golden sunshine that is our San Diego promise.

Miss Scoschi doesn't seem concerned, she has spotted a rabbit on walk descending  the San Dimas hill. Energy streams from her little body, and little emotive sounds of hunting glee are her letting me know that if I did not have her on a leash, well, out of sight would she be. The rabbit escapes under a bush and dashes under a car out of sight. Scoschi undaunted struggles to climb the bank and attack the bush. Miss Grey seems unrelated Scoschi's emotional being for her instincts of the hunt are bred into her. Maybe this is the same mental need we have that the sun is bred into us for our daily energy lift. I know that seasonal affective disorder is an important recognized state which can cause depression. This usually happens in the short winter months, but for some, it can happen in the months of May and June.
The Blanket of Actinoform Cloud

My focus today is to keep up the daily routine of “the Walk”. The Walk has become an increasing need, for the isolation of our current social distancing is keeping us well, but the isolation does build up a tension of angst. The longer that this isolation continues, I believe that the walk will become exponentially important. The calming effect of the drumbeat of resounding footsteps is the sound of good health and body maintenance. As I look out at the San Luis Rey Valley smothered in it's grey blanket overhead, the day seems heavy and lacking in energy. 
July comes with Time 

The Good News... I have an energy charger with me in the form of a little Rat Terrier called Scoschi. She looks at me as if to say, why are we stopping, and why can't we find another rabbit ? I smile, and the smile generates the mental awakening that today is a gift of time and time is the most precious possession we have for our human existence.   

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

San Luis Rey Valley 

Little Cat Feet
Fog Rivers in the San Luis Rey Valley

In California when we think of Fog, we picture in our minds eye, San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. Here in Oceanside we have coastal fog throughout the year, and sometimes it is so dense that it is unsafe to drive. Sometimes the Fog goes inland and can become a hazard to all. Driving in these conditions is for the folks who, I guess have x-ray eyes. I can remember one time when I was in collage, living in Whittier, my future husband Robert and I exited a movie and we could not see across the street. I lived about 1 mile from the movie theater so I walked next to the driver's side of the car so we could follow the white line in the middle of the road, and I could direct the way and Robert drove. We never saw another car, or human being. It was like we were in a world by our selves and creepy to the max. I have read that in London they have fog such as this.

This morning at 6:00 AM Scosche and I set off down San Dimas and all was very quiet, the sky crystal clear and it felt like a Santa Ann condition was brewing. We used to call these conditions Santanas but the weather forecasters mostly call the condition Santa Ana. Rounding the bend in San Dimas, I could see the Valley stretched way in the distance. Rivers of Fog were curling through the San Luis Rey Riverbed, and in the subsidiaries winding their way to the riverbed. Magical it seemed, just like the Bay in San Francisco, but much more serpentine with the entanglement of the fingers of the fog in the riverbed.

The effect is surreal. The air is so clear, the mountains and hills stand out in stark purple relief, and down in the crevasses of the Valley, this whiteness, winding its way on little cat feet. So quiet, not a sound, not bird song, little Scosche looking at me like what is it, this feeling of another world within the real world. We spend time here, looking at the Valley, listening to the silence, and breathing the sweet morning air seasoned with the new growth from the rains of last month. This melding of the senses, with the blending of misty fogs and breathing in the beginnings of a new day, must be what Thoreau was writing about. Letting the soul of Nature seep into our human self, and the replenishment that this quietude brings. And so, I linger.

Now, blasting over the top of the Palomar Mountains, comes the sun. Intense it is these rays of sunshine, a visceral flooding of energy into my aging self. Young once more in my joy of this new day.

Time to go, for the day has begun, and the little cat feet down in the valley will slowly hide and become the morning dew on the meadows below...

Note: There are 7 types of fog

Saturday, May 2, 2020

At San Miguel Court overlooking the San Luis Rey Valley, and Scosche looking for a rabbit...

Butterscotch Walks
Scosche Joy

May I, 2020

When we moved back to Oceanside in 2009, my Beagle Buddy, Beaureguard was only 3 years old. We did morning power walks at 4:30 AM five days a week. The San Dimas Hill was not a problem then, and we had surprises of bunnies running across our path. This did present a huge challenge for me even then, for he at 30lbs had the strength of a little bulldozer on premium gas with after burners. He did pull me over one morning, and lucky was I not to break a leg. I lost my sweet Beau last December and these months following his passing left me bereft and a profound loss of joy for my morning expeditions.

Yesterday, I found Butterscotch. She is a very small Rat Terrier. About 12 pounds, she will not be a concern for my staying upright on the morning walks.

Hmmm... about the name Butterscotch. She is a princess, tiny little feet, big brown eyes, one ear up, one ear down a little, and a white vest for her Sunday best look. Scosche will be my love name for her, it's short and she comes prancing to me. Scosche means little...she is every inch a little joy. I think she might be a purebred, but with the one ear not standing upright, not good for show. I rescued her from the Oceanside Humane location, and brought her home, she is my new walking buddy and so much more. Love streams from her small body, and energy beams to my old self reviving my spirits to be a hopeful person once again.

Dog walking has many advantages. You meet new people, your dog gets to socialize, there is no timeline for fitness walking, and the energy melds between you and the pup and the stepping out seems to be easier and happier. When Beau was older, I did two walks. One for his outing adventures were start and stops, and one for my fitness training. I think that this program is one that will be revived for, my little Butterscotch Princess does take her time, and there are many stops along the way. I will try her on the morning power walk to see if she can keep up, but she being only 1 year old, it might not be her game...

I have often wondered about the why a dog is part of my essential makeup to my inner world. Why is there such a comfort in the nearness of this warm loving being next to and beside me walking where ever that may be. Once upon a time, I journeyed to Northern California for three weeks in my Ford 150 Van. I took my German Shepherd with me, her name was Miss Waldo. For the many miles on this adventure, she would sit in the co-pilot seat next to me, watching the passing scenery, noticing the cows, and other farm life that I could not really pay attention to, for I was driving. She on the other hand let me know when there was something really important to stop and take in, and this was a benefit, for taking in the new, and unexplored was really the purpose of my trip. It was with a start one day, when I looked at her, and realized that she was a dog, for her presence had been one of a silent companionable conversation with a being of wonderment and understanding about our journey.

Loyalty and trust are two of our most wanted attributes in human relationships. They are the most difficult to find in our human connections. These inborn attributes in our dogs may be the source of our connection with our canine friends for it is unquestionable. It's just there. There is one other attribute that is for me the most important of all, and this is Joy. It greets us morning, noon and night when we call them, when we come home, and in response, they give us that look that shines in their eyes that says, I Love!  Unconditioned.

May 2, 2020 6:30 AM

We did brave the long walk this morning. She out paced me every step of the way. Prancing, dancing in the new morning, looking for rabbits, and ready for adventures in her new life at Rancho Hermosa.        
Home again ready to play 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

                                       Oceanside's Back Country...Douglas Drive

Walking “Wild”

Walking, or sometimes referred to as "The Wild", is a lecture by Henry David Thoreau first delivered at the Concord Lyceum on April 23, 1851

April 28, 2020, 9:30 AM
Reading has become my other way of walking here in Rancho Hermosa. I'm rereading some of Thoreau's writings and lectures. He wrote an essay on Walking which I had not read before, in the same wondrous way as he wrote about Walden Pond, this lecture is about human nature as it interacts with Planet Earth's nature in a good way and in some ways not so good.

He describes how he seeks out the forests where no one has walked before, and the places where the soul of our environment seeps into our open minds with the walking becoming the vehicle of transferred transcendence.  He tells of the sometimes when the brain keeps turning over the problems of the day so that he is out of his “senses”. Our senses so necessary to be open to the songs of nature. We can look but do we see? We hear, but do we listen? We breathe, but do we inhale the essence of the wild?

I remember when we first came to Oceanside in the year of 1991. We lived near Reynolds school, and Douglas Drive was a road where in places the “wild” still existed. There was a bog, filled with the rushes and reeds of a smelly dark atmosphere where the croaking of the bull frogs gave you chills. They did sound like some prehistoric scary thing waiting to lurch out the bog and wangle their “wild” from anyone who dared to come their way. I did listen to these sounds of the bull frog, and it was a sound of majesty of his place. I did indeed inhale the essence of this place, it was a place of primeval. Is this place still there, I don't know, it is too far to walk from RH and so I will drive today and see if indeed, the wild is still here in Oceanside.

11:30 AM
The swampy bog is still there. There is a pond-like serenity about it that has been born from the this months rains. The White Egrets regal in their whiteness, wade the shallow waters. There is now a fence along Douglas Dr. which is foreboding in it's progression along the roadway. There is only one place where the fence has been cut apart wide enough for a body to pass through. I think about it, this wild place, where there are no paths or places where anyone has trod, but this time, I will pass. It seems like I could get stuck in the muck and then where would I be?. I don't know who owns this particular parcel of wildness. It is the same way on both sides of Douglas, it could be the City.
Douglas Drive Pond-Bog

The ecosystem of today's towns and cities are so much different that in the day of Thoreau. He would be amazed and probably devastated at the way humans are crowded together in the Cities like New York, Hong Kong, and Wuhan China. With the crowding comes the devastation of our environment. We have poisoned our Good Earth. What we walk in now is a planet in crisis. The new normal will bring so many more devastating events, and what we want and what we need will have to become pared down from the harmful habits of the the past, “the more, the bigger, the newer, the cruising, the flying, and the many things we have considered to be our rights to do, to essential changes of common sense to save our planet Earth's ecosystem which sustains our human lives.

There are Paths in Oceanside maintained by the City and Non profit organizations.
El Corazon: “This mile-long nature trail along Garrison Creek at El Corazon Park was opened May 2, 2016. To access the trail head, enter the park at 3210 Oceanside Blvd. at the Agriservice and Moody’s street entrance, just east of El Camino Real. The trail will be open to the public Monday – Friday, 7:30 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and closed on Sundays. This slice of rural life in the heart of Oceanside offers the chance to soak in peace and tranquility
El Corazon
You will have to scroll down to find this text”.

San Luis Rey River Trail
The City Bike Path “The San Luis Rey River Trail. This trail is a Class I bicycle trail which is open to pedestrians as well. The trail is 7.2 miles, one way, from the Neptune access (west end) to the eastern-most point on the College Bridge. The trail follows the path to the San Luis Rey River. This relatively flat trail is safe for all age groups, is completely separate from motorized traffic, and is free of stop signs and traffic lights”.( It is best to have a buddy with you as there are homeless camps prone to this area near the city.)

The Buena Vista AudubonBuena Vista Audubon Society is canceling all its programs & closing the Nature Center through at least April 30 to prevent spread of the coronavirus. The health and safety of all of you takes precedence. We will evaluate the situation at the end of April and give updates. ALL BIRD WALKS ARE CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. While our nature trail remains open, we advise against using it as it is impossible to maintain social distancing and we want everyone to stay safe”.
The Buena Vista Audubon lagoon...
It is my intention to go back to the Douglas site, slip through the fence, when further into the summer and the waters have receded, to walk in this wild place. A place where the definition of walking is one of uncharted paths, and the feet will decide the pathway of the “Wild”.

Friday, April 24, 2020

A 2000 Year Old Hug

Today is Friday my Cinderella Day. If you are a woman who is the home caretaker you know what that means. So this morning sitting on the deck with coffee and paper, I looked at the treetops from my perch, and admired the huge very tall Norfolk Pines in our neighborhood. Procrastinating the Cinderella chore, I dreamed about the five years we spent living in Eureka CA. An Artists colony, it was a new experience in so many ways. The most splendid way was a miracle in the center of town.

Sequoia Park is a magical place located in the very center of Eureka. It is a place of the old, majesty, and spiritual calm. I can't really think of these giants as trees, for their very force of being is beyond what we think of as a tree. You can't climb them, you can't sit under them for a picnic, and walking around the bottom of the tree packs the earth so damaging their ability to absorb moisture. So, I walked on the paths, and sat beside the banks of fallen giants, and let the mystery of these beings seep into my soul.

One winter day there was a hundred year storm. It is said on some of the internet pages that sequoias can't be blown down. This is false. In this storm event, many of these giants toppled and crashed to the ground blocking the paths and the one maintenance road. It took two years to clear the paths and roads and in that time the park could only be accessed by foot. I would take my black German Shepherd and walk around the fallen ones, so large that I could not look over the trunk. The Shepherd was very wary of these walks, for there were wildlife in the park becoming more overt in their presence. We did tread very softly on these days and did not venture too far into the park. The silence was truly deafening.

I did hug one of these giant beings one day. It was a moment of true melding of thought and vibrations. Don't ever doubt that these wondrous living monuments of our planets gifts have no soul. They do. I have felt and absorbed the presence of these giants and it is a lasting part of me. Today I watched a video of the Park in the center of this faraway place called Eureka, and tears came. Wishing that once again I was drifting through the magic of a place called Sequoia Park.

The walking through memories today will be my post. Sometimes, a walk such as this brings into sharp focus, our lives of where we have been, and the now of who and what we are back to Oceanside, on the deck, watching the little hummer nest, and knowing that somewhere up in Northern California, there is a place where time stands still and that the ages are encapsulated there, residing in a tree named Sequoia...    

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Dawn in the San Luis Rey Valley
and Memories of the Getty

Ten years ago when we first moved back to Oceanside, the finding of Rancho Hermosa was like coming home again. They say you can't go home again, but I disagree. We first moved to Oceanside in 1991. I became very involved in the Arts Community and at last I found home.

Now, in the year 2020 I walked at Dawn. I used to run up and down the hills of Oceanside at dawn, but now, walking is just right for the calmness that comes with a slower pace. This morning the hills and faraway mountains were like a pastel painting. The shading of pale lavenders in the background, the hills in front of the mountain shading to purple and then to dark blue. It was like walking into an impressionist painting.

Last summer I was fortunate to visit the Getty Museum with my daughter Laura. The very best part was the room with the impressionist paintings by Van Gogh and Monet. The Haystack of Monet captured my heart. The blending of his color pallet is without peer. Lucky me, there was a bench which I could spend time to gaze upon this masterwork. Many folks were walking by the painting and just clicking their little phones not looking at the real painting.
At the Getty, Monet's Haystack
 I could see him in my minds eye, there, in his place of easy solitude doing his work. Timeless in his own world, we see him now in our world of the 21 century, of teeming human endeavors which leave little time for such contemplation. The colors imprinted in my minds eye, have given me joy and peace knowing that this beautiful piece of human art work is in a place where the great works of art are there for everyone to see. The Getty immortalizing this human being who created his work for the world to know and love.

Turning the corner from San Dimas onto San Miguel, the view of the valley, and the mountains beyond, made the sudden intake of breath like drinking fine wine. Magic It was, another mystical world apart from the madding course of covid-19, this world of silence with the changing colors rushing to the breaking Dawn. The Valley can't be put into a museum, but it is in the museum of our presence if we only look and pause to breathe...

The lavender silence now was broken with the neighborhood mocking bird. His little self perched atop a fence singing forth with his hearts desire to welcome this ethereal day. Now, the colors were changing so quickly for with the coming of the morning sun, the precious moments of pastel colors were fading fast. The little bird's song quickened with his young energy and I knew that it was time to go home again.

Turning the corner from San Dimas onto San Pablo, my shadow was there before me...the colors somewhat the same, but the shadow's elongation of my human form was a foretelling that this day would not last that long, the shadow knows, as I remember...the Haystack of long ago...