January 2022 | Early Days Photo Journal

So far, January has been sending out pretty good vibes. I know we’re only five days in, but things seem to be looking up for sure.

#wordlesswednesday

A Day in the Life: A Naked Lady and a Wandering White Egret

Or how I became the spirit human to a wandering white egret. Do you have a spirit animal? I’m sure we all do, but today I became a bird’s spirit human. At least that’s the story I told myself.

(I’ll not bury the lede and confess that I’m NOT the naked lady, just in case you were curious.)

I don’t know if it’s because of the lingering full moon energy coupled with another Santa Ana heatwave, but this was a strange and interesting Sunday.

I’ve been able to increase my mileage according to the doc’s plan, as long as my foot doesn’t hurt. It can be bit sore, but if I start limping, that’s my cue to give him a call. So far, so good.

On today’s walk, I got a late start and didn’t want to walk to the beach because that’s about 7 or 8 miles round trip, much more than the five miles he approved.

I walked up and around the lagoon. On the way back, I saw one police car and then two and when I saw the third one, my interest was piqued and I decided to follow it. They seemed to all be parked on a street that leads to a lagoon beach.

I stopped and asked a neighbor what was going on and he said he heard there was a naked woman wandering around the area. I then walked up to a police officer and asked him to corroborate what I heard, and he did. I exhorted (strongly encouraged) him to be kind to her since the police dog was there too, and it probably was some sort of mental health issue, not a “let’s unleash the hounds of hell” issue.

By the way, when did cops start dressing like urban warfare combat fighters? The ones I saw today were dressed in FULL ON body armor, in FULL ON FIGHT MODE to what was probably either a domestic or a mental health situation. They were incredibly intimidating looking for a little beach town, way too hard core.

I decided to move on and continue walking out of respect for whomever it was and whatever was going on. Sometimes I hang around to document possible police misconduct, but there were other people gathering, so I felt it was okay to leave.

After walking for another block or so, this is what I saw.

Yup, a beautiful white egret simply standing as still as a statue. S/he took a couple of steps…do you have any idea how SLOWLY egrets walk? It’s like doing a mindful walking meditation with Thich Nhat Hanh, something I’m not at all good at, ‘cos I’m not patient. At all.

But this time, I slowed down to enjoy the moment. S/he walked across the street SO S L O W L Y, turned his/her head and seemed to beckon me to follow, so I did. I stayed a couple feet back and every so often, s/he would turn to look at me and continue.

When it seemed as if (I’ll just call it a female, cos that’s the vibe I got) she wanted to cross a street that’s a bit busier, I went out in the street to warn traffic and to escort her safely. A mom and her two kids joined me and we all followed this queenly white egret up the street. Cars stopped to watch and it was so joyous and so delightful to participate in the Queen Egret Parade. The mom and kids went back home but I continued on our journey together to shepherd this magnificent bird.

I felt as if she was a bit timid, a bit unsure about where she was, and needed me. When we came to a clearing with a field and tall trees, I decided it was time for her to fly. I raised both of my arms outstretched like wings and silently communicated to her that it wasn’t safe on these streets and she needed to fly.

And she did. I watched her circle the area and land in a tall eucalyptus tree. Another egret flew by and my hope is that they all ended up back at the lagoon, safe and sound.

Honestly, I feel like in that moment, I became the spirit human to this pure white egret wanderer.

I don’t have any new information about the naked woman, and I’ll update if I hear anything.

It’s only 11 a.m. and I’ve already had a magical day. It’s time to put a clothes in the washing machine and check the video to see if my coyote or bobcat came to visit. For me, that would be the icing on the cake.

Check out how S L O W L Y she walks.

My Cinderella Moment

My poor little foot is finally healing properly because I FINALLY stopped re-breaking it since I didn’t know it was broken. It hasn’t been easy due to the fact that I HATE inertia coupled with the fact that I am an outdoor girl who NEEDS to keep moving. But I did and now I’m nearly ready to resume full activity.

The lingering issue is that my shoes might have contributed to the break. They had a lot of miles on them and had lost their cushion-y gel protection, which meant I needed to research and purchase new athletic shoes.

This is where Cinderella enters stage left…

There are SO MANY new brands. Asics had been my go-to brand for a decade, but I needed something more cushy and supportive, but NOT orthopedic, oh hell no.

I tried on all sorts of shoes…Hoka, New Balance, more Hoka, different versions of Asics-in all price ranges, until finally FINALLY, the nice person at Roadrunner suggested Brooks for high mileage walking. Hmmm, this was a new one, I had never worn Brooks, but research revealed they’re a great brand.

This is my Cinderella moment. I tried them on and they fit perfectly. It’s not a glass slipper but I’m more than satisfied that I’ll be able to hit the ground running as soon as my next x-ray. Plus, they’re CUTE, right?

Introducing my new Brooks. I’m not sure why the style is called “Ghost“, do you?

Danger?

On this beautiful new moon Lion’s Gate day, I woke up extra early to walk to the beach and back, about six miles or so. I like to get home before the blazing sun gives me heatstroke.

As I walked past the house of a friend of a friend who’s a Shamanic practitioner, I heard her voice in my head saying, “You’re in danger.”

I mean, I heard it as clear as if she was standing next to me. I actually looked around to see if she WAS there. It was absolutely the furthest thing from my mind. I was focused on a spectacular morning, walking to the ocean, and awesome exercise.

In the old days, I would have ignored these voices, messages, warnings, but I have learned to pay attention.

“Oh well” I said to myself. “Forewarned is forearmed.” Right?

A couple blocks further, I noticed about five crows sitting on a fence. I swear, one of them looked right at me. I said, “Hi cousin”, because that’s how I always refer to my crow family.

One by one, they flew in front of me and away.

Hmmm. This was a bit strange but not dangerous.

I continued to walk. On the next block, I saw smoke billowing out of the garage roof of a house on the corner, It didn’t smell like barbecue-type smoke, so I knocked on the door. I knocked and knocked and no one answered. I walked back around the corner in time to see five foot flames and a woman throwing a bucket of water on them but it seemed as if that wasn’t working. At this point, other neighbors came out and we all called the fire department at the same time. The fire was quickly extinguished but it could have been really bad because the garage was packed with things and the entire house could have been lost.

Was that the danger I needed to be aware of? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire???

I continued my Odyssean-like journey to Lake Pacific. Not only were there no waves, but I didn’t see whales or dolphin, either.

Walking home, I looked down and saw a crow feather. A few feet away, I saw another, and this one I picked up and put in my backpack.

At a four-way stop, I crossed the street in the crosswalk. There were cars at all the stop signs, but I was clearly in the middle of the street when a car decided to inch forward, ignoring the obvious fact that my visible body was right there. I looked at the driver. He looked at me. I said WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK ARE YOU DOING and other un-princessy things like that. He continued, as if to hurry me along.

OH HELL NO.

This former Detroit ghetto girl still has the ability to be a stubborn beeyotch. I slowed down to a snail’s pace — so slow that a sloth would have won the race — while the people in the other cars gave me a thumbs up and shook their heads at the nerve of that entitled Range Rover. WTF was that all about?

When I eventually made it to the other side of the intersection, I wondered if THAT was the danger I needed to protect myself from?

The remainder of the walk was uneventful. I’m home now, the sky is blue, it’s sheets changing day. Maybe I’ll spritz a little Chanel on my thousand thread count linens to greet me tonight and envelop my body in the lingering fragrance of Chance.

Another Day, Another Sunset

Walked the beach last night and the sunset was spectacular. No Green Flash though, and no whales or dolphins either, but it was the first warm evening with a hint of the summer to come.

The beach was crowded with happy people emanating positive thoughts and cheery greetings because it appears that we are collectively anticipating the rise out of darkness.

I had a fun chat with an adorable high school boy who had come out of the water after the sun went down. I told him how I used to pick up my son at the beach and he would be the only one still out in the water after dark. If you listen closely, I bet you could hear faint echoes of my voice yelling at him, “GET OUT OF THE WATER NOWWWW!” I sent the young man on his way with the admonishment to stay safe ‘cos moms worry.

Another day, another sunset. Mother Nature is magnificent.

Unlikely Friends: Egret and Ducks

On my walk today, I looked through the fence into the culvert that drains into Agua Hedionda Lagoon and saw a pair of white egrets. One flew away, but I was able to snap a pic of this beauty. Look closer and you’ll see he’s sharing a bit of land with two ducks.

And then this other handsome sun-glistened mallard decided to swim over and join the fun.
Co-existence peacefully without social distancing!

The late afternoon light intensifies the male’s colorful plumage that helps them attract females.

Maybe they’ve forged a friendship while they forage together for food. It could be possible even though I learned that egrets (and herons) can and do eat ducklings, but I watched their interactions for quite a while and didn’t observe any aggressive or frightened behavior. It was all peaceful and serene, just like my wishes for happily ever afters.

Is this on your “To Do” list?

BE HAPPY!

I hope everyone had a lovely 2020 sort of Christmas, even if was different than in the past. I can totally relate!

BE HAPPY!

I first saw this little journal about a week ago a couple blocks away on one of my walks; I picked it up and placed it on a fence just in case the owner was searching for it.

BE HAPPY!

I saw it again on my Christmas Day walk, resting on a bed of rocks, and love the message so much I took a photo. Two simple words, but incredibly profound.

If it’s still there today, I’m rescuing it. At that point, it’s meant to be mine, do you agree?

BE HAPPY!

(That’s not merely a suggestion, it’s a great mantra for 2021.)

(Some) Creatures Great and Small

With a nod to All Creatures Great and Small by veterinarian James Herriot, this is what my Sunday looked like.

We started off the day at the beach and I’m beyond sad that I didn’t have my good camera with me so I couldn’t capture the magic of a school of dolphin jumping and splashing in the water. I’m sure this paddleboarder was happy because they seemed to follow him wherever he went. Trust me, there are about six dolphin in this photo.

On the way home, we saw a bit of an odd sight…check out these seagulls that shouldn’t have been this far away from the beach. They usually only fly inland when there’s a storm, so I have no idea why they were flying around in circles and then perched on the telephone lines.

Today was a work project day in the garden, cleaning up around the rosemary and lavender. I sat down for a minute for a wheatgrass break and this little alligator lizard stopped by to say hi. I scratched his back with a stick and he allowed me to take these pics.

All in all, a great Sunday for creatures great and small.

Walk with me again

Join me on yet another Odysseus-like journey through my town. I’m not sure what I’m searching for, but maybe like Odysseus, I’m trying to find my way home, facing challenges along the way.

This was an interesting morning.

When I began my pilgrimage, there was so much fog! It was coming down from the heavens like rain. Super cool for walking, not so good for curly hair, but I like to look on the bright side so I braided my curls and wore a hat.

Check out the Halloweeny spider webs on this pine tree, brought to life by the heavy fog.

For a while, I was a few houses behind a woman who was walking her Rottweiler. I was actually across the street, but couldn’t help but notice that she was roughly pulling on the poor creature’s leash/collar. The collar was one of those mean ones that have little barbs in them. I was already upset that the dog had a cropped tail. I believe that sort of mutilation is outlawed in other–more humane–countries, as is that nasty hurtful collar.

OK, I said to myself. Don’t say it, I said to myself. You know what to do, girl, I said to myself, keep walking and don’t speak. Don’t say a word this time, I said to myself. Just DON’T, I said to myself. Look away, I said to myself. Take a deep breath, I said to myself. You can’t protect every animal in the world, I said to myself. This might not go well, I said to myself. Take another deep breath, I said to myself. Mind your own business, I said to myself. Slow down your pace so you’re out of hearing distance, I said to myself. I mean it, have some impulse control; this time just don’t say it, I said to myself.

And then the woman and her dog slowed down, so they were within the range of my voice.

What do you think I did?

Yup. I really did. I couldn’t help myself. I TRIED really hard to get my Zen on, but my one little inner voice was joined by yet another little inner voice and the words spilled out…

“Umm, excuse me, but I couldn’t help but notice how you’re jerking your poor animal’s neck that way with that awful chain around its neck. It looks really painful from my point of view.”

“She needs to learn to listen. It’s just a little pinch.”

I said…”Well, you might want to learn another more positive method of training that poor girl because as I’ve observed during the last two blocks, your way isn’t working out very well.”

I concluded by saying, “I’ve trained a lot of animals, and actually think those types of chains with the hooks on them are banned in other countries. It’s abusive. You might want to research using a harness which doesn’t choke your beautiful dog.”

Well, she didn’t say anything else to me because at that point she walked up a side street, in all likelihood to get as far away from me as she could.

To her credit, we didn’t get into a screaming match. Walking away was her best choice, as she would have lost.

I took a deep breath and felt good that I had spoken truth and possibly opened her brain to a nicer way of training. Or not. Maybe I just ruined her day. Either way, job well done, in my opinion.

I looked down and was rewarded by a treasure! This is the most beautiful hawk feather. I carefully picked it up and placed it in my backpack. I think this might be a tail feather, don’t you?

At the beach, there was the usual non-compliant non-mask wearers, but I wore mine, took my ocean photos, and turned back to walk home.

No wave too small if you’re on a SUP.
Still foggy, but beautiful.

The lights were out at the intersection of Carlsbad Blvd. and Tamarack. There was utter chaos with cars and pedestrians, near misses, and impatient drivers. I crossed the street, defying a white SUV who was inching slowly toward running us all down, and saw a few police cars show up to direct the shitshow, so I thanked them for saving our lives and continued on my way.

This was a new sign at the railroad tracks. I swear there’s a deeper, more profound meaning here, but I can’t figure it out. I don’t have a clue. What do you think?

I stopped at RiteAid and bought a couple of cute Halloween decorations to add to my display ‘cos they were on sale.

Six miles or so again. Except for a still sore left arm where I had the injections, I think I’ve fully recovered from the horrible side effects of these vaccinations. I’m no closer to answering life’s existential questions, but the song that came on as I was almost home was Sting’s If I Ever Lose My Faith in You, and I’m even more confused.

Happy Sunday!

Walk With Me

Sights around my little town.

I saw an abundance of crows; not sure why, but quite a few of them joined me today.

Hello, friend!

This sign was posted a few blocks away; not a very nice person! I hope she’s caught and the dog is found unharmed.

Poor grammar; incorrect use of “they’re”…should have been “their”, but I’ll allow it this time.

When I got to the beach, I was astonished to observe how many people were walking so close to each other in public and absolutely defied the “Wear a Mask” order.

I encountered no one during my walk but I wore a mask when I crossed the street to stop at the restroom. I observed many non-compliant people huddled together on the seawall and sidewalk, pretty much 90% were NOT wearing masks, so I turned right around and went home. My own mask didn’t seem like enough protection and I didn’t feel like yelling at them.

They are not being good neighbors or visitors to our city.

The County of San Diego requires face coverings to be worn anywhere in public where you could come within 6 feet of someone you don’t live with. Face coverings should be worn in addition to, not instead of, all of the other health precautions.

At last, a couple photos of early morning surf before I walked back.

How was your Sunday?