The Living Wren

After several days spent huddling around the twinkling tree, eating caramels and toffee, it was time to get the blood flowing. On the day after Christmas, we shook out our old bones, piled in the car and drove north, to Mt. Tam and Phoenix Lake.

Phoenix Lake is a small reservoir for the town of Ross. No swimming allowed…

…Unless you’re a river otter.

Despite being a heavily frequented trail by joggers and mtn. bikers, there was a lot of flirting from the wildlife.

Hmmm, a nest…no sooner had I wondered who’s it was when I received my answer.

Swooping to perch right next to us. A Red Shouldered Hawk.

Such photos are becoming gratuitous on this blog.



The woods were full of robins, feasting on Madrone Berries (more on that next week), flickers, and this Hairy Woodpecker, who I’ve captured for you in the worst photo ever.


The woods were also full of whining and the smell of PBandJ.


Not whining, but probably day dreaming about the toffee back home.

We came upon several of our favorite trees and did some collecting. Because you can never have too many…they just feel so good in the hand and seem like they could be used for so many things…conkers being one. Which reminds me, I need to fish them out of the backpack before they compost and I discover their shriveled selves three months from now.




Our cozy xmas nest began to lure us back home, so one more gander around…


She’s onto me with this whole camera thing.


…and then it was back to loafing around and playing with new toys. One of which is high tech and belongs to me…via a big, generous surprise from both our families and for which I am still bowled over with gratitude. Our Christmas morning itself began at 5:30 am and had a leisurely pace all the way through 11am. Fern was excited, but composed, and didn’t mind taking breaks, which allowed for breakfasts of whole wheat sourdough french toast and second cups of coffee.

It was such an absolute treat for us to stay home this year, to discover our own traditions, rhythm and pace. The city is so quiet and calm on Christmas, I had no idea. It was truly magical.

Jeff and I had visions of creating a winter wonderland for Fern to wake up to, by draping white sheets over everything and hanging stars from the ceiling. But then even after bleaching our “white” sheets are really more like blotchy “grey” and hanging stars from the ceiling? Ain’t nobody got time for that…not after wrapping presents with the help of two glasses of wine. We laughed at our fail, but in the morning light, a transformation really had taken place and there was the magic of Christmas, after all. (Also, see Fern hugging her big gift request…a stuffed carrot from Ikea. Are you sure there isn’t ANYTHING ELSE you want, honey?)




Still feeling exhausted from last years Raggedy Ann fiasco, I gave myself a break this year and only made her one present…a sleeping bag for her friends. Now all her stuffies can take their naps in style.

As for me, I will be enjoying (and adjusting to) my new technology for a while. But perhaps best of all was the very last gift, a surprise that Jeff brought out from under a couch cushion. I took one look and burst into tears of joy. Maybe not such a big deal to some of you, but for me, it’s been a dream for years…


As for the title of this post, it is for St. Stephen’s Day, or Wren’s Day, as it’s known in Ireland. The sacrifice of the traditional wren I find quite heinous, so here’s to celebrating and releasing the old year, on its own wings.

Tell me about your holidays…


4 thoughts on “The Living Wren

  1. oooo, i loved this sweet meandering post. just what i needed after fighting with david on date night. ha. i grabbed his computer and for some reason typed in your blog’s name to try and shift my mood. swing the mood, i can count on you friend for that kind of help.

    so what did you get? i’m thinking iPhone, but it doesn’t seem quite right. email me!

  2. seems like a wonderful day! much love to you all!

    oh, we hung out the other night in my dream! it was great to see you, even if it didn’t really happen šŸ™‚

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