Friday, November 7, 2014

Morning Walk, November 7, 2014

  I'm sure I do a post like this every year…the Harvest Moon at sunrise/moonset on the Monterey Bay….
  It moves me enough every year to actually haul along my little camera so I can get the shot, which always ends up being a zillion shots…but really, why not? So beautiful to be out before the moon goes down and the sun comes up.
  For some wonderful reason, November is the time. The moon is huge, the weather is bracing, but not yet cold-cold…and it's still. So still.

I see you, Moon.

  There have been hundreds of seabirds hanging out at the nearby lake, and they all take flight out over the ocean as dawn starts to break…
  This morning, I tried very hard to catch them in my little lens, but it's tough to do!

Moonlight reflection on the bay…pretty.

  My routine is to run up and down the hill several times, at a reasonably good pace. While I do my "laps" the sun starts it's thing, and the colors can be breathtaking. Today, it was all soft pastels, as there weren't many clouds. 
  As I get to the top of the first hill, it seems the moon has gotten even bigger.

Big ole' Moon.

  Sun isn't up yet, though…
  Johnny calls this view of Mount Toro the "Sun Alter", and I get it. That sun will make it's first peek in just a few more minutes…..

"The Sun Alter"
A wonderful spot to stop and reflect on the day ahead of me.

  We listen to books while we do our laps…Johnny walks, I like to run…it makes me a child again. I want to wake up in the morning and have an hour or so of childhood, to start my day.
  All I need is a bowl of Captain Crunch, and I'm there, baby.

  We end up passing each other a few times while we do our thing. There is a good group of us out there at this time of day, especially on the weekends. Today was quiet, though…we had the place to ourselves, for the most part….

Johnny hoofing it up the hill, as I make my way down.
I didn't know this would be such a pretty shot of the fence….

The sun has just broken over the mountain, and it's shining on.
Johnny and I have traded places….

The top of the hill, where we watch the sunrise.

  Even though I see this scene over and over, year after year…I never get tired of it. The sun making the most of it with shadows everywhere. The moon just getting bigger and bigger as it gets closer to setting down...

The sun at our backs, the bay just down there a bit….

Almost down, the moon is ready to call it a day.
It will slowly flatten out and disappear….

  This morning I was surprised to see this massive fog bank tumbling towards us. It just didn't seem like it was going to be a foggy day! I guess the sun beat it back, because it's perfect out right now.
  This is so much more typical in our summer months.

One moment it didn't exist, then bam!

  We have all been so concerned about our lack of rainfall…it's been a true disaster here in California. Last week we had a whole day and night of soft rain, creating the most fantastic perfume in the air, as well as plumping up all the thirsty and very dry dune plants. 
  I swear, it was only a day or two after the rain that the grass started coming up. You just know those little seeds have been waiting for this one moment to sprout….

The very first of the "weeds" along the path.

   I love how the plants look in the early morning…the textures are lovely at anytime of the day, but extra gorgeous as the sun is coming up. Plus, they are so happy to have had some rain!

Early morning Artemisia, one of my faves.

  After months and months and months of drought…years, really…it's been worrisome to see even the toughest native dune plants dying off….

Usually these would be at least somewhat green….

  It is very special to see some life back in the dunes…some green coming on, along with the greys and such. I don't expect lush rainforest action, but seeing the native plants beginning to come along feels pretty good.

Native Buckwheat with it's pal, Artemisia.
Just look at the color of that new growth!

  I don't know, or have forgotten the names of many of the natives around here, but there are some real standouts that I look forward to enjoying each year. 
  My pal Mary has been involved with a group of folks who collect seed, grow off the babies, and then plant them in the protected areas along the bay. I helped a few times, way back when…and I think of these dedicated local heroes every time I am out here in the dunes...
  Thanks, Dune Restoration People!! One Million Thank-yous!

This is what they bring to those of us who walk/run/ride the trail….

It's just so beautiful….
Thank you, Rain!

  I just had a call from Mr. J, back at home…the fog has landed in our very own garden. It sure is sunny where I am…

This fog bank finally made it to our house, up the hill. 

  Back to the loveliness of the dune plants…..

Those leaves look nice and juicy.
I'm thinking it's a native verbena of some sort.

I liked the way the shadows were playing here.

Some little flowering whatchamacallits….
It looks almost like wild mustard of some sort.
Mary, forgive me my ignorance, please….

  Then I get caught up in the texture of it all. I mean, who wouldn't? With the sun just so, and the new growth just so…it's perfection….

I love this so much.

  Last, but certainly not least… we look forward to our Hawk. 
  We have named him/her Hawky-Hawk. We look and look and look. Hawky-Hawk has several places to perch, so we get the chance to spot her every morning, pretty much. If we go more than a week without seeing Hawky, we get nervous. But today, Hawky-Hawk was catching some warm sunshine and looking for mice, as always, in a favorite spot…..
  Honestly, I think people must think we're nuts…the way we yell out and talk to Hawky-Hawk. Hello, Goodbye, See you tomorrow…it goes on and on. 

  Sigh. I'm so glad I have my dear husband to be a total weirdo with. 

Howdy, Hawky-Hawk!!

  Well, until sometime next November…or most likely from Panicale, here's to the early morning walking routine. I can't recommend it enough.