First Blush

Reflections and sightings from [almost] daily jogging at dawn

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Sunrise 5:49 am: Rhythms of life

By greeting the sunrise day after day, year after year, the Dawn Joggers witness many cycles, particularly as pertain to campus life on Stanford. A clear sign that graduation is nearing are the bright yellow signs that get affixed to abandoned bikes. As many of these bikes look near new - and their neighbors escape similar tagging - it's difficult to determine why one bike is deemed abandoned and another is not. The DJs hope that the unclaimed bikes go to "good homes."

On another rhythm note, the female DJ wonders if the male DJ was trying to send her a message by taking a picture of the "slow sign" with her still a speck coming up the road.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sunrise 5:50 am: Back to the hometown routine

After crossing the Atlantic westward yesterday, the Dawn Joggers were easily up with the sun this morning. Cassie was first out the door on their way to Lake Lagunita to find out just how low the water had gotten. As they had forecast, it was down to just two large ponds but big enough for a new family of ducklings (very small specks in upper left of picture). Now they'll worry about the water staying long enough for the young ducks to grow large enough to fly.

Time of sunrise mystery: at least it's a mystery to the female DJ, who knows the further north, the earlier the dawn at this time of year. So why does it get lighter in San Franciso (latitude 37 degrees north - time of sunrise, 5:50 today) than in Paris (latitude 48 degrees north - time of sunrise 5:54 today)? And just for the record, sunrise was at 4:41 in London (51 degrees north) today.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Sunrise 4:51 am: Scuttling homeward

The early dawn of London got the Dawn Joggers up in plenty of time to catch their plane back to the Bay Area today. Over dinner last night (at the very good 11 Abingdon Road in Kensington) they picked their favorite hike with the unanimous choice the hike up the Grand Luberon to the goat farm. They also agreed their was no better way to end the trip than tramping through the Kent countryside. The lambs pictured personify "on the way home."

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sunrise 4:52 am: Lunch at Watermill House

Returning to a place first visited on their honeymoon 25 years ago, the Dawn Joggers took the train to Benenden, Kent, to visit their good friend Kent Barker, now a radio and video producer, at Watermill House. The male DJ had met Kent when they where both English Speaking Union fellows and Kent's parents, Anthea and Felix, had taken him under their wing while he was at Taunton School in Somerset. The female DJ remembers thinking that Watermill House was the most enchanting "real" place - meaning people she knew actually lived there - she'd ever seen. And it's charm remains, this time along with a lively two-year-old cat named Marmite. Kent's grandfather, Anthony Raine Barker (1880-1963, the after lunch three-mile walk included a stop at the church/village cemetary), purchased the 15th century yeoman farmer's house in 1935 and immediately began restoration of what was then two buildings. Work was stopped when war broke out in 1939 and a sign was posted requesting that the house be saved for posterity. In a history of Watermill House put together by Anthea, it's noted that "the idea of putting this in German was shelved as defeatist." Such was life in the the south of England during the war years. Walking from Watermill House, the surrounding Kent countryside was in spring glory, complete with lambs and open fields with foxes running from glade to glade.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Sunrise 6:03 am: Culture shock to the soul

The Dawn Joggers actually rose at dawn in order to catch a plane to London. The weather report of "scattered showers" translated into the typical English steady rain - not unexpected but a bit of a shock to the Provence kissed soul neverthless.
Undeterred they set off for lunch in St. James Park and watched the amazing variety of waterfowl jockey for position when a food sack appeared. They had Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Park near to themselves on their after lunch six mile loop walk - even on this, a holiday weekend. Back to the hotel (the very nice 41 - a bit of London secret) drenched, only to have the sun appear. Yes, England.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Sunrise 6:04 am: La Coste is not just a polo shirt

The Dawn Joggers set off from the mas today with map in hand headed for the hill top village of La Coste, site of the Marquis du Sade's decaying chateau (pictured). It was a near perfect 7 1/2 mile loop - sunny through vineyards and orchards on the way up and down through pine forests studded with bories (ancient stone dwellings). Lunch was Provence at its simple best, fresh salad and rosé on a terrace looking out to Bonnieux. The modern world interjected itself on the walk back to La Grande Begude (all yours for £3 million) when the male DJ got a text message from his good friend Kent in the UK concerning lunch plans in Benenden on Sunday. Tonight it's back to Le Mas Tourteron (also pictured) where the cooking of Elisabeth Bourgeois wowed them last night in a picture perfect setting. It's one last taste of Provence before London tomorrow.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Sunrise 6:05 am: Ascension Day at the Abbaye

Today is Ascension Day, a holiday for the very secular French. The Dawn Joggers began their day attending Mass at the beautiful Abbaye de Senanque, a Cistercian monastery founded in 1148 and, after ups and downs, resurrected in 1989. They were far from alone in thinking that a hike from the Abbaye to the hilltop village of Gordes (about 7 miles round trip) was a good idea, and much of the fun of the morning was spent with fellow hikers - all French - studying the map to figure out whether to go left or right. After lunch in Gordes, they set off for what was supposed to be an easy walk back to the Abbaye. Easy in mileage but challenging due to terrain. The wind came up as the emerged from a lovely valley filled with the most amazing looking butterflies (many of which seemed to accompany them as they walked). Amidst very strong gusts, they picked their way slowly along a scree strewn 12-inch wide path immediately adjacent to sheer cliff that dropped to a deep gorge. (The walking book suggested admiring the caves built into the cliff side but it was all the female DJ could do to put one boot in front of another, being careful not to look down). They later found out they were on the butterfly path and that one section seemed better suited to them than humans. Tonight it's off to dinner at big deal chef Elisabeth Bourgeois' restaurant. Review tomorow.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sunrise 6:06 am: Lunch on a goat farm

The Dawn Joggers both agreed that today's 10 mile hike was the reason they both think France is a superior country for walking. They had a taste of everything - history, vistas and great food. The walk began at Fort du Buoux, now in ruins with sign after sign warning of dangerous cliffs about to give way at any moment. Where in the states could they enjoy their country's history amidst such precarious circumstances? Then it was uphill to a Grand Luberon peak and a stop for lunch at a most unusual establishment, Ferme Auberge du Castelas, a working goat farm. They joined a half dozen French families/hikers for a communal meal featuring goat cheese at various stages of ripening topped with lavender honey (not sickly sweet like American honey) as well as fresh greens and cured meat. The male DJ spent half of lunch trying to figure out the ingredients of a superb vinaigrette and the other half comparing notes with the life-minded Frenchman to his left. After meeting one of the goats, it was march uphill to a higher peak before descending back to the fort.

Some observations: The DJs are surprised to find mostly French tourists and relatively few Americans. It was extremely windy today with fierce guts - does a form of the famed Mistral blow all year long? Cherries and apricots are in season, well ahead of what their season is on the West Coast. (The mas where they are staying has a cherry orchard and they plan serious picking tomorrow.)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sunrise 6:07 am: Haricort verts in three sizes

Today was supposed to be a short, easy day for the Dawn Joggers but the restaurant at the goat farm on the top of a moutain couldn't take them for lunch until tommorow, so they set off for a 7 1/2 mile hike about a 90 minute drive away. Most restaurants in the area are closed for dinner Tues/Wed, so they returned not long ago with picnic dinner supplies but that's getting ahead of the story. So in no particular order they report: La Grande Begude, the mas where they are staying is quite lovely and very satisfactory but fodder for a novel. The exterior is Provencial but the staff is French, Argentine and Peruvian (as well as a French toddler who acts like Christopher Robin)...Crestet (pictured), a village on their hiking path is current winner of cutest darn village in France. Not a real village as there is no commerce except one small tourist cafe and it appears that few live there full time. But extremely charming nevertheless...France is so civilized in their attitude about dogs. The DJs had lunch (best crepes ever, the verdict from two people who aren't crepe fans) with a very well mannered Airedale whose owners turned out to be Swiss. (Each morning they have breakfast in the courtyard with the mas dog, a Golden Retriever or the French cousin thereof)...The DJs found you can find great fresh food, including even bread, early in the evening and avoid the French version of supermarkets (Casino or Inter Marchè). Well, it did take quite a few stops and a far degree of luck. They stumbled on a fruit and vegetable farmer's market that had a few cheese stands (haricort verts came in three sizes with the smallest costing the most just like in the states). Some tapenade and olives at small store just down the road. And even an open bakery. All together, the perfect picnic after another great day in the countryside (lots of vineyards, lots of orchards, lots of wildflowers, lots of hilltop villages with chateaux).

Monday, May 22, 2006

Sunrise 6:08 am: First full day of walking

After a light breakfast on the courtyard of the mas, the Dawn Joggers set out for their first full day of walking, logging in just under 10 miles. Hearing it got hot later in the day, they first tackled the Colorado Provencale. Then after lunch they walked along a ridgeline near Lagarde d'Apt where lavendar is grown - sounds of cuckoos and sightings of glowing green lizards. Another quick post due to dinner reservations and the challenge of typing on a French keyboard.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sunrise 6:02: Off to Provence

The Dawn Joggers boarded the TGV this morning at 10:20 for the just under three hour journey to Avignon. By the time they picked up a rental car and drove to Goult, it was midday and quite warm, so they hung out at La Grande Begude, where they are staying, until it cooled off. The mas (farmhouse) is indeed grand; their rooms on the third floor are not much smaller than their home in Menlo. Goult is located within the boundaries of the Parc Naturel Regional du Luberon. They didn't need to go far for their first hike; a well-marked trail ran along side the mas boundary, and they used it to climb out of the Vallee du Calavon for some scenic vistas. Bright red poppies are everywhere.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sunrise 5:01 am: All night dawn

Wow. Sensory overload. It never really got dark as the Dawn Joggers crossed the Atlantic (polar route) and with sunrise at 5:01, it was already very bright as their 747 made land somewhere in northern Scotland and headed down over the Midlands before landing at Heathrow at 7:00 am. Awesome view of the Houses of Parliament, London Eye and all of central London from the air. By 8:30 the DJs were at Waterloo station in time to catch the 9:09 Eurostar to Paris. That got them into Gare du Nord in time for lunch. They choose a brasserie near their hotel facing the Place des Vosges. While eating (yes, that is steak tartare, a female DJ sinful indulgence) they were serenaded by the Aurore Voilque Quartet who specialize in jazz swing featuring a violin. Ah, Paris!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Sunrise 5:55 am: Last look at Peninsula spring

In advance of long plane flight, the Dawn Joggers chose long Big Dish run this morning. It served as their farewell to spring on the Peninsula. By the time they return, the hills well be brown, Lake Lagunita will be a pond, the wildflowers will have faded. To their amazement there were even more tiny frogs today than yesterday - so many it was impossible to keep jogging without squishing them. Clearly a case of nature insuring a species survival by producing initial quantities over quality. Tomorrow:
First Blush reports from the road.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Sunrise 5:56 am: Small and large friends

Bernie the four-year-old German Shepherd is an early riser - and a fairly new member of the dawn community. The Dawn Joggers have been passing him and his master Peter for the past six months. They're returning from their walk just as the DJs set out. Peter reports that Bernie spends much of the rest of the day snoozing. Bernie is a very dignified dog, happy to give you a nod and to be the recipient of admiration.

When the DJs hit Lake Lagunita this morning, they encountered the annual frog invasion. They are pretty sure it's annual, although they have not seen always them. But they were out in full force this year. Hundreds of the smallest frogs, all hopping along the levee, eager to make a dash for the underbrush at the sight big feet. Much care was taken so that none were stepped on.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sunrise 5:57 am: Some couples keep on walking

Only yesterday the Dawn Joggers were celebrating 25 years of greeting the sunrise together. Today they spotted a new bench near the bike bridge that crosses San Franscisquito Creek from Stanford property into Menlo Park. The gold plaque says the bench is in honor of Leland Stanford Jr. It was placed there by Dr. Herbert L. Abrams and Marilyn Abrams "for pleasant walks after 80 years old."

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Sunrise 5:58 am: 25 years of dawn jogging

It was 25 years ago today that the Dawn Joggers were married by the Rev. Cynthia Seagal Samuels at Eddy Park in South Pasadena. Soon after, the female DJ joined the male DJ on his morning runs, accompanied by their two dogs, Maisie and Stamper. This ongoing ritual has been one of the most joyous aspects of their life together. It's a time when they can just be, when thoughts can be shared, and most important, they can observe, comment and marvel at the beauty of the dawn. Through God's grace, their wondrous gift of love and companionship will continue for another 25 years.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Sunrise 5:59 am: Mysterious sidewalk art

This the time of year that messages start appearing all across the Stanford campus. There are the various end of year performances, student elections, and more than the usual number of parties. All are promoted via posters, signs and chalk on the sidewalk. Sometimes there will be student art installations. The Dawn Joggers wondered whether the precisely placed paper clips they came upon close to the main quad were art - or just careless litter?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sunrise 6:00 am: Mother's Day on a new lake

The Dawn Joggers and Cassie headed to Oakland to celebrate Mother's Day with son John and daughter-in-law Julie. They were first treated to mimosas, macadamia nut waffles and chicken apple sausage and then headed off for a walk around Lake Merritt.
The female DJ was not the only mother parading with her offspring. There were multiple familes of Canada geese with goslings of various ages. One goose that didn't look the the others was doing a noisy job of alerting the rest to Cassie's presence. Any who were enjoying the shoreline quickly took to the water once they spotted the dog. One group seemed to have formed to share parenting duties and was shepherding 26 goslings. Also sighted as they circled the Lake were egrets, mallards, gulls and cormorants. This was the first time the female DJ had been to Lake Merritt since she was a child and would visit adjacent FairyLand on a Reid family outing. It retains its charm with vintage lightposts and rowing club and will soon be getting a $198 million facelift, the most extensive in its 137 year history.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Sunrise 6:01 am: Action, color on Big Dish

The Dawn Joggers got to the top of the hill where Big Dish sits to discover the gate open and lots of activity. As it's long been a not-so-secret desire of the male DJ to work on some Big Dish project, he trotted over to see what was going on. A group of students explained they were using the Dish as a platform to test a prototype Mars Rover landing system. They'd rigged a pulley up to the nose of the antenna and were preparing to hoist their prototype up. Then they would drop it and small pyrotechnics would open the parachute and then an air bag, which would land the Rover. The DJs moved on before the experiment was completed so cannot report on its success.

This will be the last Saturday for three weeks the DJs will be jogging the Dish. (First Blush will be going on the road, with reflections and sightings from France and England.) They know that when they return, the hills will be brown and the mustard will be gone. One particularly large mustard stand is on the Juniper Serra side of the Dish land. Last year this same area was covered with blue tarps in an effort to sterilize the ground and reduce non-native plants . The result this year is an abundance of very tall mustard - well over five feet high.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Sunrise 6:02 am: In the company of coyotes

Another hallmark of the Dawn Joggers 25 years of jogging at sunrise is being in the company of coyotes. When they lived in Southern California and jogged around South Pasadena and San Marino, it was not unusual to spot a coyote running down one of the dry concrete floodways that came down from Angeles Crest. This past year they've seen many more pairs of coyotes than usual. They suspect that they're seeing a mother and her near adult pup. Given the legginess of some of the coyotes, they also think some of the mountain lion sightings have really been coyotes. This morning they came close to tripping over a pair - or so it felt. The male DJ was ahead of the female DJ and Cassie and had stopped to take their picture as they came up a small knoll. Soon there was a tremendous commotion and only 25 yards away sat two coyotes in the tall grass. One continued to move away but the other stood her (?) ground and yipped and yipped as if to say, "Stay away from us."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sunrise 6:03 am: Life on the lake

As they approach their 25th wedding anniversary in a few days, the Dawn Joggers know they are very lucky to have found each other. Who else, they realize, would be quite as compatible in reveling in the small delights they see early each morning as well sharing the camaraderie of the "dawn community regulars." So, it was not a surprise when the female DJ heard the male DJ wonder, as they walked up the steps to Lake Lagunita's levee, "Will we see the new ducklings?" It was actually more of a concern than a question. Seeing new ducklings and then not seeing them again was not acceptable. The newest family was spotted where first seen on Tuesday, at the boat house end of the lake. A report of the sightings was shared with the two Stanford employees who take their coffee break at lakeside along with Judy who was just coming up the steps.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sunrise 6:04 am: The greatest baseball player ever

No, the Dawn Joggers were not at Willie Mays Plaza this morning. The female DJ was at the Giants/Cubs ball game last night. And so was Willie Mays himself, there to take in his godson's shot at tying Babe Ruth's home run record. (It didn't happen thanks to a great catch by the Cubs centerfielder Juan Pierre.) So a little musing on the Say Hey Kid seems appropriate.

There is no more important baseball player in the female DJ's life than Willie Mays. As a child, her Uncle Bill taught her that Mays was "best player in baseball" and that San Francisco was blessed to get the Giants rather than "the Bums." (She can't recall how long it took her to realize that the Bums were actually named the Dodgers.) To her, Mays in his prime personified the perfect joy that watching America's pastime can bring to fans. She is forever grateful that she saw him play and is not alone in believing that he is not only the greatest living baseball player but the greatest player ever.

Willie Mays also introduced her to racism. She had taken to heart the "best player" moniker so remembers being confused when she heard adults talking about the stir Mays' purchase of a home in Atherton (wealthy and white) was creating. From a child's perspective, she didn't understand why everyone woudn't be thrilled to have Willie Mays in the neighorhood. It was the female DJ's first exposure to white people's deep-seated prejudice against black people.

Willie Mays turned 75 on May 6 and the Giants are planning a pregame celebration on Saturday. For those too young to know much about Mays other than as godfather to Barry Bonds, sportwriter John Shea provides a great overview in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sunrise 6:05 am: Finally, ducklings

It had all the markings of another disappointing morning at Lake Lagunita. There were only a couple of coots visible when the Dawn Joggers and Cassie climbed the steps up to the levee path. By the time they were halfway around, the male DJ had started grumbling under his breath about "all the Katie, Angelina and Gwyneth ducks" taking off for the more upscale - and tranquil - environment of Searsville, which is located within the protected Jasper Ridge preserve. But as they rounded the corner near where the boathouse once stood, a real family appeared: eight fuzzy ducklings being paraded about by a proud mom. When Cassie joined the male DJ at the lake's edge, the father, who was some yards away, made a beeline to his family and flapped his wings. Of course, Cassie has always been much more interested in herding than retrieving.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Sunrise 6:06 am: Old firehouse stands proud

The Dawn Joggers have been passing by the Old Firehouse on the Stanford campus for 15 years. Its one of the few wooden structures on campus and now houses the LGBT Center. What they didn't know is that for much of its history, Stanford had student firefighters who lived in the firehouse dormitory. According to an informative article in Stanford Magazine, about 1,000 students served as firefighters over the years until 1976 when the Stanford fire department merged with the Palo Alto fire department. During the 30s, they served under a pro named Robert Dugan who had fought the fire that followed the Great Quake of 1906. One alum who worked for him recalls practice would take place on Sunday afternoon when Dugan "would turn the young men loose on a five-story wooden tower (used to dry out hoses) behind the firehouse for an exhausting session of ladder climbing, hose pulling and rescue work." Another alum, Bill Bamattre, got a job as a student firefighter to help pay tuition and living expenses in 1971 and it changed his career path; he now heads the huge Los Angeles Fire Department.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sunrise 6:07 am: Portola ranch trails with friends

The Dawn Joggers and Cassie met friends Sara and Peter, along with four-year-old Labrador Riley, for a loop hike along the Spring Ridge, Blue Oak, Sunrise, Los Trancos and Black Oak trails of the Portola Valley Ranch system. There were only hints of the various grasses starting to turn brown and the stream that drains into Los Trancos Creek was still running. While color photography shows off the greenness of the hills and all the wildflowers, the male DJ enjoys doing close-up black and white studies, too. It's a return to his roots as a press photographer who mainly shot features not news. That was in the era of film, and he would often spend hours (deadlines premitting) in the darkroom working with the negative and print. Today he uses a Leica Digilux 2 and will still work on a shot he particularly likes in Photoshop. The fern shot appearing today is as it was taken.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sunrise 6:08 am: More musings on non-native plants

The idea of eucalyptus being just a big non-native weed was still on the female Dawn Jogger's mind when the DJs passed a giant dead eucalyptus stump in the area of the Big Dish near Piers Lane, which had, until recently, been leased by Stanford for many, may years to a local rancher. This morning the old stump, about 30 feet in diameter, was teaming with birds and lizards. Its nooks and crannies had clearly become satisfactory housing. Just beyond the eucalyptus stump stands what appears to be a Mexican fan palm. The planting of palm trees - another non-native plant - in San Francisco has become a matter of some contention as reported in today's Chronicle. The palm plantings began after the Loma Prieta earthquake and have cost the city $1.9 million. Interestingly, historians believe the first palms appeared in the City following the Great Quake of 1906.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Sunrise 6:09 am: High-priced Peninsula real estate for quails

Last Sunday the Dawn Joggers were walking around Woodside and saw a one-acre lot close to the town center listed for sale at just under $3.5 million. While the "quail condo" they spotted this morning at the Arastradero Preserve takes up considerably less space, it still may rank as one of the world's most expensive pieces of custom-built bird habitat. The sign explains that the "condo" was constructed because a fire in 1985 destroyed much of the native plant cover, making it difficult for quail to hide from raptors. Thus, an unnatural shelter was built until "native vegetation has grown back." All this brings up a question: how much should humans interfere with nature? And what is actually "natural?" The 600-plus-acre Arastradero Preserve was formerly a ranch, not undeveloped open space. The ranch owners, here and on other ranches and farms (like what is now Stanford University) on the Peninsula planted non-native plants, most notably eucalyptus. In fact, the same organization that built a manmade quail habitat, killed a large eucalyptus tree on the Preserve. The DJs, who make extensive many of the wonderful open space areas on the Peninsula, applaud restoration but wonder about consistency when it comes to human interference.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Sunrise 6:10 am: Crazy coots taking over lake

The thick fog bank that appeared yesterday over the Coast Range remained firmly in place while skies over Lake Lagunita were clear. The coastal fog is the Peninsula's natural air conditioning, keeping temperatures 10 degrees or so cooler than farther inland and sometimes creating very breezy conditions. Not a concern for the water fowl feasting on the abundant grass now poking through the surface as the lake recedes. The Dawn Joggers were pleased to spot three more mallard ducklings this morning, although the coots still seemed in control and in greater than usual number. They was also displaying considerable fractiousness for no apparent reason. Something about being "crazy as a coot?" There are a number of theories on the reasons for this expression. The coot's voice is described as "quarrelsome high-pitched twittering" and one nature writer speculates that the way they make their way on water and land does appear demented. Meanwhile the National Wildlife Magazine points out that it's the awkward way they take flight that earned them the "crazy" designation while pointing out their effectiveness in warning each other about incoming predators is, in fact, quite sane and very rational.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sunrise 6:11 am: What's a clown flower?

"These are cheery," remarked the male Dawn Jogger as the two DJs passed a bushy plant with shocking pink blooms near Roble Field. "They're clown flowers." That got the female DJ to ponder what a clown flower is. Is it that flat flower which squirts water that clowns carry around? Or is it something that reminds the viewer of a clown's face? A quick search revealed that there is actually something called a clown flower, sometimes planted as part of a hummingbird garden.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sunrise 6:12 am: Many signs of change

The Dawn Joggers ran into Judy this morning at Lake Lagunita ( down two feet from its high water mark) and discussed the unsatisfactory year it has been for ducklings. She, too, had not seen the one solo baby they'd all spotted a week ago. Today there weren't even any mallards just a few coots. The receding lake was not the only sign of change. The tall grass was starting to turn brown in patches and more parts of the campus had been mowed. What had reappeared was a new pile of dirt, origin unknown and purpose undiscovered, across from the horse paddocks. Will the massive dirt hauling trucks be next?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sunrise 6:13 am: Introducing Chloe, another new friend

The Dawn Joggers had encountered Chloe the miniature dachshund once before, just before the chronicles of their morning outings began. They knew she lived with her master at the same new housing complex as their other two new dog friends, Caesar and Toni. But they hadn't spotted her for months and had taken to asking, "Where's Chloe?" every time they jogged by the complex. Their luck turned today and there she was, looking like she'd been enjoying the tall grass, which is about the same height as she is.