Twas the Fourth Day of Christmas

spiral-ornament-1Twas the Fourth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me, snuggles and sleeping in late.  It is frosty outside, though the bird bath didn’t freeze.

The Christmas ornament reflects back to our front yard where a California Poppy has started early. The poppy is my harbinger of spring, and it’s way too early.

Here on the coast it rarely freezes, but the photo below shows a time when it did.  My son grabbed a handfull of frozen bird-bath water for one of my all-time favorite shots.  It does get cold here.

taylor-birdbath-1

 

 

Kauai Roosters

There are roosters in Kauai.  If you’ve been here since Hurricane Iniki hit in 1992, then you may know that it blasted the island with 170 mile per hour winds and did some $1.8 Billion in damage.  I heard a stat yesterday from a Taro Farming Tour that the wind meter, mounted on the mountains above Hanalei Valley, broke off when the wind registered 200 mph.

Most locals agree that wild chickens proliferated after Iniki destroyed chicken coops, releasing domesticated hens, as well as roosters being bred for cockfighting.

The Roosters are bright and colorful.  Startling in their beauty with iridescent feathers.  They strut around town with the contenance of a king.  They seem to sleep from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m.  Other than those hours they are active with their loud cock-a-doodle-do.  Some of them sound like rooster imitations; like me imitating a rooster.

While the NeNe is the state bird, the Rooser is clearly the most widely recognized.  During a visit to Lydgate Beach Park we saw a new family of chickens.  The chicks were fresh from the egg, tiny, and following mom in a nice neat line.

The birds have total range of the island.  Restaurants, shops, parking lots.  Check out the short video of Roosters on the prowl.

New Brighton for Fun

Remember New Brighton?  We’ve had so much fun there, but that was in summer with warm water and small surf.

Yesterday the surf was unruly up and down my coast, but there were hints that it might settle down in the afternoon.  It was a play day and my gills were dry so I gathered my gear and hit the road.  Every beach had monster waves, but I was not going to any beach, I was going to the one that might be small enough for me.

Santa Cruz was on fire with wild waves from the west side to Capitola.  When I arrived at New Brighton the tide was low, and there were no fewer than 40 surfers riding smallish fast waves, with not A SUP in sight.

(SUP is an abbreviation for Stand Up Paddleboard.)

So I waited until the tide started to rise, and watched the surfers leave one by one until it was my size, and uncrowded.  I caught a couple of waves and had plenty of paddling.  Good thing too, since the storm is back today with heavy wind, strong surf, and sideways rain.

High Seas, Big Moment

Today my spirit was buoyed by a large ocean at high tide.  The pier was closed as huge surf pounded the coast.  Our local KPIX TV camera crew was on hand, and got wet as wave after wave breached the sea wall.  They interviewed me with my wet camera in hand.  You can see the video here.

About the wet camera.  I got a new Lumix camera that  has a “Worry-free splash proof / dustproof” body.  Guess I’ll find out about the splash.  A few year back I lost a Nikon D200 when large surf caught me by surprise and buried me and the camera with one big blast.

Today a man in full rain gear held the sea wall guard rail tight.  I caught a shot of one large wave completely cover him up.  Then I ran, but not fast enough.

Check it out.

 

Bye Bye Boston

Blog post

We started and ended our New England adventure at Logan where water surrounds the greater Boston area. It was odd to have the ocean so near yet not be aware of its presence, it’s scent. But the leaves left me longing for more.
The stately yellow tree on Letti and Dan’s quiet little Cambridge street was my favorite. It must have peaked the week we arrived. In the early morning light it simply glowed.


One windy afternoon we returned to find the street littered bright yellow. The stairs to our neighbor’s porch wore a fresh dressing from the fallen leaves.


Returning from a week in Maine where I found flannel-lined jeans and an extra thick beanie my best friends we found our tree quite barren. The wind and chill had shaken the color right out of the hood.

 The final image hints at winter with blues and cool pastels.

  We’re headed for warmth and paddle boarding in the Florida Mangroves.

The Speckled Ax

If the waves were larger, if the temperature was higher, if the wind would lie down I’d get in the water. Or so I tell myself.

We even saw paddle boards, yesterday, at the L.L. Bean mothership, where I went to buy boots but left with a bright blue non-spill mug with LL Bean stamped on the side.  I’ll curl up with it this winter watching waves while wondering just how cold it would be in Portland.  I might even ask my iPhone.


Outside L. L. Bean, in the breeze, I couldn’t pull my hands from the warmth of my flannel lined pockets to touch any one of the boards on display.   But today, while Donna stretched herself back together at Portland Power Yoga, I started a post from the Speckled Ax and felt like I’d come full circle and don’t really know why. A double cappuccino and salted chocolate donut can do that.

the speckled ax

Cooling Water

My back’s been out since trying to move cinder blocks for the outdoor shower drainage.  I’d heard they were only 5 pounds, but they seemed more like 500.  When the back is out there’s still plenty to keep me in the game.  We walked the length of Linda Mar at low tide.  It was one evening away from the harvest moon that peeks out tonight.  Slipping and sloshing through the clear cool water, still wearing shorts, but with a light down vest to keep the body warm.  The water is cooler in late September, but there’s still a lot of talk about el nino’s warm, wet winter.

There were dozens of surfers, one stand up paddleboarder, and a large number of kids playing in the surf and wading at the water’s edge.  Jingling bells announced two ice cream carts strolling up and down the beach.

Donna and I walked hand in hand and from time to time I shot video with my spanking new iPhone 6s plus.  I am pleased with the new toy and tried out the iMovie app for the following recap.