August 29th, 2015

great blue heron

Soft Rain

This morning I wake to rain.  Soft rain.  A treat.  A spider web outside this room shines in the light.

Yesterday and the morning before I woke in Inverness on Tomales Bay.  I watched the moon at night, stars in the morning, and then, the coming light.  Eight egrets were feeding in the water at low tide.  At high tide, the water lapped below the deck.

We went to see river otters at Abbott's Lagoon and we did.  First we found their scat and their long slides in the sand where they slide down the dunes into the lagoon.

Then, we sat on a ridge and watched and waited and ate, and watched and waited and ate.  The Great Blue Herons set the pace, standing, alert, awake. "Patience," our guide, Megan said, "Patience," and then, Chris saw them.  Two heads in the water, mother and child, and then on a rock, mother and three babies. We watched and passed binoculars back and forth, exhilarated and thrilled.  Mother and child swam right below us, looking up, showing their teeth as they chomped.  The lagoon is rich in fish and otters like to eat.

The beauty of Abbott's Lagoon with all the plants and birds would have been enough, and it was a thrill to see the river otters too.  Two of them then came back into the inner lagoon.  They are living right now in the willows, protected, hidden, reasonably safe.  It appeared the babies needed time to rest before the journey back to willow land.

It was hot at Abbott's Lagoon which is most unusual.  It was t-shirt weather and when I read John McPhee in his book Coming into the Country about a headache from too much Alaskan sun I could identify.  It was good to tuck into shade.

The icing on the cake was the poem posted on Panhala the morning of our trip.  It was Mary Oliver's poem "Almost a Conversation".  One can only feel blessed.
Book Cover

Listening to Silence

To a bird's song I listen,
     Not for the voice,
but for the silence following after the song.

        - Yone Nocuchi

Today, with the excitement of soft rain, I found myself listening between the drops.  There are many ways to stretch the day on the length of our ears and arms.