December 25, 2015

Half Moon Bay on Christmas Day

I heard the birds on Christmas Day ... Oh, wait—that's a different song.

Pelicans swoop around a cliff at Mavericks Beach, Princeton-by-the-Sea, California.
How would I spend this day, the first Christmas not celebrated with Mom? This, our favorite time together.

Cliff reflected in a tide pool at Mavericks Beach, Princeton-by-the-Sea, California
Answering the innocent question “What are you doing for Christmas?” has been hard, this year.

I thought and thought. I thought some more. A hike, I'd decided. Something local.

Then a good friend suggested that I join her for a walk along the coast near Half Moon Bay. Low tide exposed the rocky beds, and cliffs basked in the rays of the afternoon sun.

Heron silhouetted at low tide near a pier at Mavericks Beach, Princeton-by-the-Sea, California
Egrets and gulls hunted their dinners, children and dogs scrambled and splashed. A stately heron stood apart.

More than a century and a half has passed since Longfellow penned those words, hauntingly apt in our time.
For hate is strong,
and mocks the song
Sun rays extend from the Doppler radar sphere at Pillar Point, Princeton-by-the-Sea, California
Of peace on earth, good-will to men.
It was, for me, a day of peace.

December 23, 2015

Ho, ho, ho!

A day off from work, my cold behind me, and the sun shining ... time for a bike ride!

The holidays are upon us, ready or not.

The local park is bedecked in lights for a nightly show. By day, the sun teases a glow from bulbs here and there.

It's fun to cruise through the show at night, headlights off (!). Some displays are animated, like this penguin who slips down the roof of an igloo.

Our group headed for a chilly canyon, its road wet and slick with fallen leaves. Recent rains have revived its dormant creek, a most welcome sight (and sound).  I will admit, though, that tackling 39 miles with 1,920 feet of climbing after six weeks of slothfulness feels more like “Ow, ow, ow” than “Ho, ho, ho.”