Friday, April 22, 2016

Moonrise and Rainfall

There is a full moon rising behind me as I type. It's slashed with dark bands of cloud as it climbs. Beautiful.

The kids at camp were a bit rough around the edges this week, but the verdant surroundings and the sounds of Spring made up for it. Some of the kids were helpful and thoughtful, which helped make up for the ones who had a tendency toward the opposite end of the spectrum.

One of this kids wrote this on his feedback form:

Apparently I look like a German man.

On the other side, he explained that his cabin leader possessed an excellent face. What an odd kid.

With some help from the kids, I made a mandala with oak woodland detritus. It turned out nicely, and different from the ones I've helped make in the Redwood forests.

Today, it rained. I never know when the last rain storm of the season will hit. This might have been it.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Busy Spring

Turning my schedule on its head seems to have impacted my writing time. It's not like I don't have free time, it's just that by the time I get home from work, things like dinner and relaxing are usually in the forefront of my mind, not writing.

I guess I picked a bad month to try and be more creative too. It's not that I haven't been creative - my job more or less demands it - but the kind of on-the-job creativity isn't something I can share here, unless I take to wearing a GoPro. Come to think of it, that might be interesting...

I've also picked up my guitar a few times, but as of yet, I'm not even back to the level of relative incompetence I achieved the last time I tried to teach myself how to play. I was going to do some drawing this month too, but haven't yet.

The weeks are are broken into quickly digested bite-sized chunks by my camp schedule and the weather has been a pendulum, with ninety degree days giving way to cool, rainy ones and vice versa. Our friend Jack was in town this weekend, and stayed with us for a couple of nights. We went to a show, did some hiking up at Chris and Kate's place (which is basically a mountaintop aerie), went out to eat, and just sat around and caught up. It was sort of like being a teenager again, hanging out with friends (who I've been friends with since I was a teenager, come to think of it) and not having anywhere in particular to be.

After the hike, Kate went to ride her horse and encountered a large Gopher snake. I mention this because Jack, Wayne, and I encountered one too, dead in our front yard. We got back and saw Jeanine and Eva talking with a neighbor and leaning over it. It's very unusual to find large snakes in suburbia, and we figure it was either run over by a car or dropped by a hawk. There were no visible injuries though. It's a mystery.

Also recently, one of my coworker friends had a beach clean-up birthday party. There was a clean-up event already going on that day, and a bunch of us joined in. I found some Easter eggs that had been missed by egg hunters. Odd.

A girl visiting the beach with her family recognized us from camp and got her parents to take some pictures while she posed with us. We're like rock stars sometimes. Also, I figure it's good PR when campers see us picking up trash on our days off. Ha.

Speaking of camp, here are some recent photos taken while I was working:

The Calisoga spiders are reappearing. This one is a male. The tell-tale hooks on the front legs are the easiest way to determine this.

On cool days, I've discovered that there are lots of critters under the extra pool heater panels. The panels are black, which of course means that they absorb heat. Here are some finds from last week:

I do love Ringneck snakes. The top Ringneck picture contains five of them.

The Rattlesnakes are back in the chaparral too:

At our Cupertino site, there is water in the pond. During most of our recent drought, it has simply been a concave meadow. It's nice to see water (and attendant amphibians) there.

And Shelly was in the compost today, "helping". Shelley doesn't have a whole lot to do with us, but she loves the compost.

In addition to all of this marching around and doing things, over the past few weeks, I've been hit with a series of mild colds, or perhaps I'm finally developing allergies. It's weird being out in the sunshine all of the time too. Fun, but weird.