She Loved Coffee and I Loved Tea and That Was the Reason We Couldn’t Agree

What? What? A post on a Friday? I know, it’s been ages. I’ve missed posting on here more frequently, actually. And I wanted to sneak this one in before my “big” article next week and the subsequent guest posts.

Besides, what better way to start the weekend, than with a little subversiveness?

Hey Tea Party, guess what? This janky sign is so San Francisco. You can almost hear the yawn that went into writing it. Out of the frame on the left, the “barrier” had been left open as a walking path.


It’s Beach Season here in the Bay. Baker Beach might technically be a part of the National Park Service, but it’s pretty clear who takes ownership. There were 5xs the amount of people by the time we left.

We walked through the empty parking lot (everyone had left their cars around the parameter) and began the short descent down to the shore. Halfway there, I saw something out in the water.

Something big. And close to shore.


I shrieked and we ran down to the water’s edge, just as they headed towards deeper water. They came close again by the end of the visit, but I’m making you wait (like 3 minutes) until the end of this post.

The artic terns were migrating through.


They hover in the air, looking for fish…

And then drop like a missile.

And the dogs on the beach barked in greeting whenever this friend appeared…

Sea lion.

Just like the fox and squirrels on the White House lawn, animals are taking the government shutdown as an opportunity to rewild public spaces.

Fern experimented with gravity and impermanence, making her mark in the sand for the waves to nibble.







Since moving to SF in 1997, I have only seen our harbor porpoises, small brown cetaceans, a handful of times. The whale migration can be spotted from our beaches too, and I’ve seen spouts down in Daly City. But never have I seen a bottlenose dolphin off our coast.

Until two days ago…



Such a thrill! Fern was mildly interested, but had a hard time spotting them. Then yesterday, apparently tired of hearing me talk about it, she announced, “I don’t really like animals”.

Me: Oh really?

Fern: No, I only like fancy stuff.

Me: Dolphins aren’t fancy? They’re shiny and blue.

Fern: Oh yeah! And sharks are black! So sharks are fancier than dolphins.

And there you have it folks. This is the astounding accomplishment of engaging your daughter in environmental education.

She has great taste in rocks though…


Have a great weekend!


4 thoughts on “She Loved Coffee and I Loved Tea and That Was the Reason We Couldn’t Agree

  1. Hahhahaha Heather’s comment! I too absolutely love the picture of Fern jumping up in the air, flying for her moment. A few “setbacks” aside, I think she is going to grow up to be the most amazing plant and animal lover. Kids have different views of things, a perspective sometimes as foreign as a grasshopper’s or a dolphin’s. A while back I found myself trying to explain the industrial meat system to a 8-year-old and felt perplexed beyond belief. Happy travels. I’m off to read your spine-tingling-ly exciting new post. And may be do that test Heather linked to.

  2. those artic terns!

    rebocca solnit wrote the most lovely passage about them in an orion essay
    i copied it here in the first paragraph:

    how amazing to see them… the animal people are making themselves seen,
    what a migration.

    today i heard the warble of autumns gone by and looked up just in time to see the sand hill cranes, and i cried.. they’re so big, and so high up in the sky, dozens and dozens of them.

    fern looks like a dancer in those photos, and i love her appreciation of fancy things. sounds like teddy. ‘new, shiny, clean..’
    he knows how to set himself apart from his momma.


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