Morning Visions

Waking heavy-limbed, my first conscious thought is If we were not meeting Sally and Molly at the beach this morning, I would surely sleep for another couple hours.

But we are meeting Sally and Molly, so up I get and Marcia gets up, too.

I splash some water on my face and traipse through the quiet house to my office, and espy a beautiful doe just outside my window, her browsing ground so very dry, and at least another month until the rains come, if they come. As I take her picture, I am keenly aware of how parched the earth.

in the Cotswolds

On my computer I find an email from Marion in England, recently returned from trekking in the Cotswolds. She has sent several pictures of what are called kissing gates, clever designs that allow humans to pass through, but not livestock. I’m glad to see things are not so dry in England.

Vito in Switzerland

In the same email batch is a missive from Clare, Marion’s daughter, with pics of Vito looking happy to be in Switzerland. Though I miss Vito and Clare and Nick, I’m relieved they are living in Switzerland now, away from the fires and smoke and political chaos and rampant pandemic in California and America. The Swiss have been quite successful, so far, in containing the virus and political chaos.

baby lettuce

I visit the orchard before we leave for the beach, and I’m pleased to see our final lettuce planting of the year is coming along nicely, the big tub keeping the babies safe from voracious redwood roots.

nearly ready

The apples look ready to eat, but they are hard as rocks and will need another two weeks to ripen before we pick them.

Molly at river’s edge

Big River Beach is half in shade when we arrive, the air wonderfully free of smoke. Hallelujah. Nine in the morning, the air is already quite warm, and I think ahead a few days to the weekend and the predicted heat wave that will bring thousands of people from inland towns and cities to the coast.

Molly in Big River foam

Molly chases her ball out into a great expanse of foamy surf, and I think of the arctic ice sheet breaking up and melting away as it will now more and more every year.

emerging from the waves

Molly’s exuberance lifts my somber mood. Hurray for life!

Molly in the river

We walk up river to complete our morning sojourn, and Molly has one last swim in the green blue waters of Big River before we head for home.

Morning Prayer


Foggy Beach Dog

Probably wouldn’t have gotten out of bed so early today because it was foggy and cold, but I’d arranged to meet Sally and Molly on Big River Beach for a walk and flinging the ball and so forth before the beach got too crowded with dogs and tourists. Here’s a sequence of photos to show you how things went.

leaving the house on a foggy morning in August
heading down the hill I see the guy who walks his two black dogs here every day
where Little Lake meets Highway One, the only traffic light in Mendocino
heading south on Highway One
entering Big River Beach state park
the beach parking area, just a couple cars here today so far
Molly waiting for Sally to give her the okay to get out
Molly tiny in the distance waiting for the slow humans to catch up
walking along beside Big River
Molly went out into the waves in pursuit of an intriguing harbor seal
emerging from the waves with her ball
negotiating a challenging swell to get her ball
heading back the way we came
one last long swim to get the ball
galloping on the flats
back at the cars
one pooped pup
getting back on Highway One heading north
steep uphill
passing the empty elementary school
home again
rinsing the sand off my feet

Beautiful as performed by Todd and Marcia