Thursday, March 14, 2013

February Journal

It's a new day. This one is gray. Above me, milky clouds spill into pools of powder blue. Through my French doors, in my view across the canyon, morning light is lifting at the horizon. In the foreground, jays and crows flit and coast from the eucalyptus to the pines. We are in the path of changing weather: a storm is on its way, and after three days of luxurious sunshine with temperatures tipping 80 degrees, we're heading back to winter.

Two days ago, I took myself to the Goleta Slough. There, I watched mallards, widgeons and bufflehead, swimming and diving n the water. Egrets, knee deep in the runoff, stirred the sand with their feet. A long billed curlew -- a pretty little thing -- appeared young, fresh and ladylike, even with its enormous beak: a narrow arcing quill that extended in front of it almost the length of its entire body. The bird held the instrument high and paced through the shallow waters like royalty.

The slough is a wondrous place and close to the top on my list of new priorities. Lately, when in town, I've been visiting Santa Barbara's bird sanctuaries at least twice a week. I would have gone yesterday, and perhaps today too on this President's Day weekend, but Saturday, on my way home, my gray Toyota began acting up. It started making noises, much like the birds I'd been watching. I could hear chirps reverberating from the stone walls as I took the narrow curves on Alameda Padre Serra. They seemed to be emanating from a source beneath my car.

As I drove, the bird calls intensified, and when I descended down to the round-a-bout, and began to hit my breaks, the sound turned into a grinding screech. At this point, I told myself, "If you make it home, don't drive this car again this weekend. Take it in as soon as you can." And so, once home, 
I was housebound.

When my neighbor, Pat, heard of my demise, she offered to take me "anywhere." With me as her captive, she brainstormed the possibilities: "Michael's and Aaron Brothers are both having sales, do you need art supplies? Are you sure you wouldn't like to go? What about Costco -- they have great barbecued chicken?" Dear Pat will always drop everything in order to don her chauffeur's hat.

I, on the other hand, like to retreat, to lessen my activities, to pull in the reins and explore what I find underneath my plans. Kind of like those egrets stirring the sand beneath the water. In the wonderland that is Santa Barbara, I can find magic in a walk around the block. But, come to think of it, that could be said of almost anyplace if you slow down and nose your beak into the soft sand.

This brings me to Calle Corta, a steep hill a few blocks away from my house. The top of Calle Corta, delivers vistas of the ocean, the city and the descending coast. On this dishwater day, the colors of Santa Barbara's landscape will not pop. Today, there will be no panorama of Mediterranean blue. Instead, the ocean will sink into yellow-gray and practically disappear. Anacapa Island, one of the smallest of our eight Channel Islands, will not look a diamond shining at the edge of the horizon, but will instead, seem like a little chunk of coal, a blip rising from the yellow-tinged rim of the sea. Even so, I'm going to rouse my mental walking stick and delve into the adventure of this nearby hike.


Hello you lovely folks. It's great to be back in touch. At this time, I"m still involved with my project, which I can see now, is going to continue through the end of the year. I have decided to stick with my blog for the time being. In order to accommodate my other work, I will post an entry every other month. For this I have chosen the date of the 15th. This should give me time to travel as well as to check in with you, say "Hello!" and post photos and words.

And oh, at the moment SB's getting fog. This wreaks havoc with my WiFi reception. Please forgive me if this causes any lag in my posting and answering your comments. Hopefully it won't :)

As always, my fond regards,   ~   Aneet

***My next post will be on May 15th <3 nbsp="">