The Spring is Upon Us, Follow my Only Song

Late Winter in the Bay Area is like early Spring in other climes with real seasons. Not that seasonalness is something that has tried and trueness anymore. Still, I know the world as it was, and the harbingers of Spring are the House Finch people blarbling out their mating song on my front stoop. It’s the tender, heart shaped offerings of Miner’s Lettuce. It’s catkins and birds in pairs, sourgrass everywhere and an internal impulse to move and do that doesn’t have quite enough support yet. An urge that feels like my three year old, who is always ready to go half an hour before her parents, and stands at the door with her hat and boots on, yelling, “I’m reaaaaaady, come ooooooon.”.

Fern and I have taken our restlessness outside the last two days. First, to Heron’s Head.


She was pointing to the water, “Look Mama, look!”. I couldn’t see, I asked What? “The Sun dancing on the water!”

Oh that. She proclaimed it “glittery”.

We’re fond of our shadows.


Hi Super Fund site.

I’m not very much fun to be with out in nature right now. That sense of exponential growth and the diminishing wild is dogging me, like San Francisco wind in March, creeping in through the seams of my usually optimistic windbreaker. This is partly what the coming changes require. Grow accustomed to one loss, get ready for the next, celebrate the tiniest of victories. By the way, you’re going to this, right? And if not, then you’re coming to SF to join me in this, yes?




Find the Kildeer.


I realized on our walk that I don’t know my Bay Area marine birds very well. And then I found…A Field Guide to 100 Birds of Heron’s Head.

So. Rad.


American Wigeon.

Spotted Sandpiper. These are little birds, slightly bigger than a sparrow. So cute.



I am always burgeoned by gentle reminders of other folks who care, and as we came across signs, I wondered if they left these offerings with the same bedfellows of grimness and joy swirling in their hearts.



Then, Princess Godzilla came along.




The next day, we went to the Southwest.


Ok, actually it was the Randall Museum.

Meditate on the softness of Barn Owl feathers.




Corona Heights is lovely on a sunny day.


My house is in the left hand corner.


Fern spotted a wild feline.



And went feral herself.


Stray chocolate too.

I am half aware that This is mid-winter blues. The bottom of the barrel of the dark season. Even though our mild weather allows for trees to wake up in January, it is still a time of bare bones and rest, grey thatch on the hillside and cabin fever on the inside. I try to give grace and honor to what feels like the stark reality of OhMyGodWeAreSoFucked and HumansAreDestructiveParasites, while at the same time re-membering that, come April, the wildflowers, those once-a-year dear friends, will arrive for their visit. Barring the extreme pessimism that has hitched onto my coat-tails and asks, “Will there come a time when severe weather will make them obsolete”, I attempt to pull out of my small human mind and into the heart of the Earth. I make room for the unknown, for change and for hope that the greater system at work still has secrets up its sleeve, unbeknownst to science.

We are getting up to Shasta on Friday, where I hope that being with the Spirit of Land will heal what too much time in Civilization can wreak.


Is Spring showing her petticoats where you live?

p.s. So much thanks for your wisdom and insight on my last post. I encourage you to read the comments, as it is a treasure trove of ideas and inspiration. There are some good chuckles in there too. I am about half way through commenting back and hope to get to all of you in the next few days. You people rock my world. What would I do without you? Thank goodness for us all.


6 thoughts on “The Spring is Upon Us, Follow my Only Song

  1. I love your girl. She has such spirit. I even love that she is impatient with you. Fern announcing the glittery sea reminds me of Oscar. On holiday we went to a pebble beach with such a rough sea…..he ran down to the edge and stopped with his head down, when i came over he had an amazed face on and asked “can you hear it? wait!…..the noise mum, listen to it” – it was the sound of the wave moving to and fro on the pebbles…a crackling drawn out sound, up and down. He was right, it did sound so profound.
    I’m glad you are getting out to assuage your cabin fever. Mid Winter blues, i remember where I was last year. In Sunny California. And still Winter went on for too long. I have some sun to send to you. the first blackberries have been made into jelly; and i saved you your jar so that i could return the gift of Summer.
    Mary i worry for the world too. I hope that your hopes come true. That there is a magic wildcard held by something more powerful than we know.

  2. So many cool places that girl gets to go! And she gets to grow up oogling shorebirds like, ho hum normal stuff, just another willet.
    Also, you might love the book Crow Planet. I just finished it and it’s about the intersection between wild and urban and crow biology and how to have hope when the planet is fucked. It has marygood written all over it.

  3. i hope your optimistic wind breaker gets you through these windy days…

    mine feels a little permeable at times….

    “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.
    It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.”
    -Mary Oliver

    i’m learning to be more accepting, and CURIOUS about it. (thank you.)

    indeed, spring feels like she is showing her petticoats, but then i have to remember that what i think is spring is really just what a mild winter is. i think. or climate change.

    the mustard and the dill are coming around, the sweet pea grows green and shrubby yet from the ground.

    i love the little godzilla… whenever teddy constructs anything, and little ground dweller linky comes near he shouts, “gonzilla, gonzilla!!!!”

    it’s so great to see your bird photos…..glad you’re brushing up on your sea birding.

    i WilL be there the 17th.

    hopefully not using too much fossil fuel to show up and be heard…the irony.

    and i will down in march for the bay area’s anarchist book fair…fun fun fun, those anarchists sure know how to partay!

    maybe we’ll bump into each other.

  4. What are those yellow flowers in the fourth photo down? They’re everywhere here, and I don’t have any clue as to their name. When I ask, they won’t tell me. I guess they think they’re too pretty to talk to the likes of me. ;]

    There is so much about your words that I love. I’m feeling it, too, though I’m more insulated atop the mountain.

    The photo of the barn owl with a little lense flare, looking coyly away from the camera made my heart do a little bump-a bump of joy.

    Princess Godzilla knows how to rock a tutu.

    Love you.


  5. “Grow accustomed to one loss, get ready for the next, celebrate the tiniest of victories.”
    This resonates like a clear bell in me right now. Midwinter here in the northeast isn’t so bad, the sun shines for longer every day, it is cold. Losses happen, in one life, in a few, to all of us together. I try to keep celebrating as I tense for the next wave of sadness, anxiety, trying to prepare for a changing world, on every level, that cannot really be anticipated. We keep trying and keep living. Thank you for the consistent reminders to celebrate all that is beautiful and worthwhile.

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