Lifestyles of the Destitute and Obscure

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Tag Archives: nature in suburbia

Running in the Rain and Enjoying Nature

IMG_0299The rain sprinkled my face and the wet chill in the air made me feel alive.  I went running this morning, not letting a bit of rain (thanks, God, for listening to California’s prayers) deter me from a workout and a little freedom.  The sound of rushing water beside me and the honking of Canadian Geese above me– a soundtrack for the morning.  Oh, sure, there was the sound of car tires sluicing the water on the city streets, too, my feet were slapping wet asphalt, and the water wasn’t a forest stream, but the rainwater in the drainage channel.  Still, it was the sound of water and birds, even in suburbia.  Nature’s there, trust me.  You just need to look around.

Almost as cute as my twins

Almost as cute as my twins

As the rain streaked my face and I pondered the invention of windshield wipers for glasses, a couple of squirrels darted across the path in front of me, as if daring me to catch them.  I ran past the Intermediate school, and watched the Canadian Geese (on a stop-over from flying north early or coming south a bit late, I wasn’t sure) necks tall and straight.  The were high-stepping across the wet basketball courts, prancing with their black, webbed feet as if they wished they were  carriage horses.

Northern visitors in suburbia.

Northern visitors in suburbia.

I realize that the Northern California suburbs are not the backwoods of Virginia, nor the majestic High Sierra, but I can’t get there right now.  I love a good, dirty, sleep-on-the-ground backpacking trip as much as the next hippie, but since I’m still performing as the human cow, I won’t be gone from my babies for more than a day at a time.  There’s a backpacking trip in the works (summer 2015) to visit my brother’s final resting place in the mountains, and I hope to get all the kids back to the beach again soon, but right now, we don’t go far from our suburban homestead.

And that’s okay.  There are geese and hummingbirds, crepe myrtle and daffodils to be enjoyed right here within the neighborhood back forty.

Migration Paths in Suburbia

DSC_1308We may live in an apartment complex in an uninspiring section of suburbia, but we have a bit of nature here and there—landscaping notwithstanding, and there’s a beautiful plenty of that around here.  We have a wide variety of fowl species fluttering about, from the crows in the tops of the cypress trees in the courtyard (I have fantasies of having a stuffed one atop my bookcase over my desk, Edgar Allen Poe-‘The Raven’-ish style) to the little sparrow-esque twitter-ers in the lower trees.  The occasional hummingbird will zip over and check us out as we wait for the elevator down to the carpark, and from the sounds above in the early morning, it seems as if we live in a Canadian Goose flight path, going south in November and now heading back up north again in April.

DSC_1306The other day, this little darling duck made a stopover on her migration path to our pool.  As I recall, she and her mate were here last year, too.  Her drake, however, was nowhere in sight this visit.  Has she been widowed?  I hope not.  My daughter and I were so glad to see her, that we galloped down the stairs and then tiptoed quietly to the fence to get a picture.  The neighbors must have thought we were nuts.  The feeling is mutual, but come on, it’s not every day that a duck lands in your pool.