If we were having coffee, I would tell you we can feel the season changing here. There is a chill in the air which is not at all unpleasant. It feels like a time to slow down and take stock as winter approaches. I want to pause and take time to think and not write. Writing is like talking for me and I need to be quiet and keep my thought to myself for now. I am taking a break at least until the New Year.
I would say that waking up with no obligations of any kind for the day is a dream scenario. In fact, when I wake up, I often ask myself what day it is and do I have anything I have to do, appointments or planned activities. If my day is free, I feel relief. If I do have something on the schedule, I usually check the time and calculate how much free time I have before I need to get ready to go. How much free time I have to do the things I like to do. Like leisurely read the morning papers with coffee and toast. Do the NYT Wordle and Spelling Bee. Check the weather report and gaze out my patio door to see if the nesting birds have returned, (they haven’t returned yet).
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I took another walk the other day when it was 92F, feels like 96F, and a bit humid. All quiet on the roadrunner front but I did see a few critters on the ground that would make good roadrunner snacks.
They were pretty large and at first, I thought they were locusts. A little research led me to identify them as pallid-winged grasshoppers. I tried to get as close as I could without them seeing me, but they flew off. Roadrunners would have to be pretty wiley to catch them.
You can see from the photo above that these grasshoppers could easily camouflage themselves.
Took a longer walk today, 91 F, feels like 91F according to the weather report. Ever wonder how they determine what the temperature feels like? I imagine a weatherperson standing outside and saying, ‘Hmm, feels like ______.’
During my walks, I can hear insects buzzing but cannot always see which ones are making all the noise. The wildlife often stays hidden. Did see a couple of roadrunners today. They can pop into view unexpectedly. They usually spot me and take off pretty quick.
We had an interesting speaker at my book club meeting this week. Her topic was Jane Austen who is one of my favorite writers. Usually, this topic would have held my attention, but I spotted a large roadrunner through the picture window behind her. I was tempted to call out, there’s a roadrunner behind you, or run over to the window and grab a photo. I didn’t do it, though. I don’t think she would have appreciated it.
*If you really want to know, the weatherperson determines how hot it feels by using ‘the heat index.’ This is the temperature combined with the relative humidity. You can see the chart here and read more about it. When they say how hot it feels they are referring to shady with light wind conditions according to National Weather Service. If you are in the direct sun or there is a hot wind blowing that is going to feel much hotter.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you it felt really good to walk outside today. The cloud cover kept the heat down in the 90s. I could hear the roadrunners with their distinctive rachet-y call, but I did not see them. I did see something on the side of the road. It wasn’t moving and I thought it could be dead. I was not going to get close to find out. I knew we have them here, but this is the first I have seen.
It makes me want to be more alert when I take my walks from now on.
With the temperatures being uncomfortable, I have been mostly indoors this week. I begin my day with the NYT Morning Newsletter online. I read the snippets of news and proceed to do the Mini Crossword, Wordle, and my favorite the Spelling Bee. I usually read the LA Times and Washington Post as well. I keep busy the rest of the day with genealogy research and reading novels. I am into The Ruth Galloway Mystery series by Elly Griffiths and have almost finished a book by John Grisham, ‘The Street Lawyer’. Both authors know how to create interesting plots and characters. I have several more books waiting for me.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you it is good that I managed a morning walk today when the temperature was still below 100 F. The only other people out were some gardeners and the pickle ball players. The slight breeze helped keep it cooler along with a smattering of cirrocumulus clouds. It felt good to move. I had gotten out of the daily walk habit when I was away from home last week.
I was thinking about the roadrunners as usual and had doubts of seeing them, but I spotted one up on top of a wall. And then there were two. I was unable to get a shot of them together. I did manage to get a photo of one climbing a tree again.
There is something that I did not notice when I was taking the photos. It looks like another bird in the crook of the tree. It is not moving. Could it be a dead bird that the roadrunner killed? If you click on the photos, you can enlarge them.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have resumed my daily walk accompanied by Google Fit which is counting my steps. I did a good loop around the community enjoying the sunshine. The temperature was below 90 F with a slight breeze, compatible with walking. I kept an eye out for roadrunners. I did see one at a distance heading into someone’s yard. I saw two fluffy white-tailed bunnies who quickly hopped away. On the way back I was admiring the green Palo Brea trees and almost missed the tiny hummingbird perched on a thin branch. He didn’t wait for me to take his photo.
“When you see a black hummingbird, it signifies change, rebirth, and spiritual transformation. You can move to a higher realm of awakening. A black hummingbird also means that you might face a challenge that can bring setbacks in your life. If you are persistent and confident, you can overcome those setbacks.”
If we were having coffee, I would ask you if you have noticed lately that bananas go bad within a couple of days of coming home from the store? I end up with more bad ones than good ones. I usually eat one banana a day but still can’t eat them fast enough.
I have started to buy green bananas in hope that they will last longer. We bought a bunch today and I noticed they had a plastic wrap around the stem. I have heard that the plastic is there to keep the bananas from ripening too quickly. I hope it works.
Since Spring arrived, I have seen more roadrunners around the neighborhood. One visited our backyard the other day. I was able to get a photo through our patio door of the roadrunner on the wall. I look forward to getting more visits.
Even though it’s Spring the temperatures have been high this week. It’s supposed to get to 100 degrees F this afternoon. Cooler weather is forecast for next week, mid-seventies to mid-eighties.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you I turned over a new leaf, tea leaf that is. I’m having a cup of honey chai turmeric this morning. I do have coffee available if you prefer.
The weather continues moderate here and good for walking outside. We did have some wind the other day which kicked up quite a bit of sand into the air. But none of the extreme weather like I read about in other parts of country and world. Life here continues mostly indoors.
Our book group is starting up again this month. I had already purchased three new books and I am in the process of starting to read the third one. We will meet on Zoom but the plan is for in person in March.
The three books:
‘The Sentence’ by Louise Erdrich
‘State of Terror’ by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny
‘The Dark Hours’ by Michael Connelly
The book group book for this month:
‘The Vanishing Half’ by Brit Bennett
Of the two books on the top list that I just read; ‘State of Terror’ is the page turner. ‘The Sentence’ centers around a haunted bookstore in Minneapolis. It includes current events like living through the pandemic lockdowns and protests after the killing of George Floyd. The bookstore is able to remain open and sell books by curbside pick-up and sometimes home delivery. I picked up a couple of books curbside, but now I order them online for delivery. I did have a book arrive damaged recently and had to go to the local Barnes & Noble to exchange it. I didn’t expect to see so many people in the store, all wearing masks. Like in the book, bookstores are a balm during these times.
If we were having coffee, I would be having herbal tea. It is a habit I have developed after being advised to give up caffeine. The paper tab attached to the tea bags I use has sayings or words of advice printed on it. So, every morning I get words of wisdom with my tea. This morning’s selection said
Inner peace creates peace in the world
I do aspire to find inner peace since there is plenty going on in the world that makes me feel upset. Like reading about the ‘son of Omicron’ in the paper. I did read an expert’s opinion that it was not a son but a sibling. But whatever you call it, it’s not good. This kind of news keeps me up at night. It’s constantly being required to adjust to this pandemic on into the future.
On the local front, some indoor exercise classes have resumed here. Everyone is required to wear masks, but I am not ready to start up with it again just yet. I have lost my trust in the management here since they allowed people to go maskless in those same classes a few weeks ago and then they had an outbreak. I will continue walking outside for now. Walking does contribute a lot to my inner peace.
And so did harvesting our grapefruit tree this week. I did not realize how many grapefruit were on the tree because they were hidden from view by the leaves. We had over 50 grapefruit. I gave nine away so far to the neighbors, so only forty-one to go.
If we were having coffee, I would still be having herbal tea, mango ginger to be exact. I continue on with my daily walks. I am noticing more people out doing the same thing. Not sure if it is the moderate temperatures or that our indoor exercise classes were canceled due to Omicron.
The roadrunner was out for a morning walk the other day. He usually walks or runs everywhere, so this was not new for him. If he had a pedometer or smart watch, I wonder how many steps he would record a day? Probably a lot more than me.