First Blush

Reflections and sightings from [almost] daily jogging at dawn

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunrise 6:53: Up in the mountain air

The Dawn Joggers headed up from lake to mountains, doing a couple of walks in Bauges Natural Park. The first was in meadowland where they could hear the sound of cowbells tinkling in them distance, reminding them of the wonderful sheep bells in Majorca. While the male DJ was in a "Berkoesque" mode, as he explains in his blogpost, he was channeling enough of times with Booka in the High Sierras to shoot a couple of scenics. Later it was into the forest and a surprising number of very rustic chalets - and a more surprising visit overhead from a paraglider. Tonight its off to nearby beach club that seems to fancy itself the local version of Club 55 in St. Tropez...


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sunrise 6:52: On the move in Annecy

People were already in motion this morning when the female Dawn Jogger did a loop jog along the bike path and lakeside trail. It was after 8:00 am but the sun was just making its way from behind the eastern peaks that make the view from their rental house so spectacular.

The area around Lac D'Annecy seems constantly alive - land, water and sky. There's every imaginable kind of boat from pedal to steamer; people take to the air via parasailing and hang gliding. On land, they walk, jog, roller blade and cycle. No one seems to sit still.

Thinking they'd avoid the crowds of the market days (Sun/Tues/Fri) in Annecy, the DJs headed into the town that sits on the northern most section of the lake. They landed in the middle of the monthly antique market but made their way nevertheless, taking in the ambiance of this picture postcard perfect setting, including the famous medieval prison that sits in the middle of the Thiou River, which flows out of, rather than into, the lake. After a good lunch, they walked to the lakeshore, where a vintage wooden motor boat was taking off with its passengers (human and dogs).
Great people watching all day long...


Friday, August 29, 2008

Sunrise 6:51: On the shores of Lac D'Annecy

The Dawn Joggers headed out together this morning for a walk along that part of Lac D'Annecy that borders the village of Saint-Jorioz where their very comfortable and spacious rental home is. Just beyond the village beach and harbor is a protected nature area that borders the Roselieres foot path. They saw lots of flora (tall reeds) but little fauna except for two swans that vexed the male DJ who was trying to photograph them. Later they ate lunch at a pleasant restaurant also along the shore. With most of the European vacation time over - and temperatures in the 70s - this is a great time to visit this part of very pretty part France (that was once part of Italy - Napolean III was given Savoy as a thank you for something or other). The food is fresh and French...


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sunrise: x:xx: Arrival at Lac D'Annecy

For the Dawn Joggers, sunrise today was sometime in route over the North Atlantic.
A cloudy, foggy Frankfurt greeted them at their 9:00 am arrival. It was far prettier in St. Jorioz where they'll be staying for the next week plus. From the porch they can see both Lac D'Annecy and the beginning of theAlps. Tomorrow starts some exploration...


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sunrise 6:35: Farewell Dish

Yes, the Dawn Joggers are taking off again. Back to France, this time to a village near Lac Annecy in the French Alps (although only about 1,500 feet). They plan the same drill as in May, puttering about the French countryside, doing a bit of walking (the male DJ has set an ambitious goal of four miles) and eating. So with the long flight and travel ahead, it was a perfect morning to get the kinks out with a Dish run. And a pretty morning at that...


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sunrise 6:35: Troll garden by the lake

The Dawn Joggers' marriage has been glued together by a bit of myth and fantasy, not the detrimental delusional kind but rather the fun and frivolous variety. Armies of Nips guard them; blue lobsters peer into the windows at night. And the troll who lives at Lake Lagunita is responsible for the beautiful wildflowers that cover the Stanford campus each spring. So it was really not a surprise this morning when the female DJ discovered a troll herb garden between the now dry lake and one of the dorms. She's hoping that it will be planted and flourishing when the DJs return from France...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunrise 8:34: Back to school today

Back to school day has been big in almost every neighborhood the female Dawn Jogger has lived - on Hillview Drive growing up, on Wayne Avenue when son John was school age and now on Oak Knoll Lane, just down the street from a K-5th grade school. The parade of parents and children - many on bikes this year- seemed less boisterous tha unusual. But he backpacks fuller than ever. On the way back up Menlo streets after her loop across campus, one neighborly family on Bay Laurel was giving out "Back to school donuts" to passerbys. Everyone seemed to be making the stop...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunrise 6:33: Creek loop walk

The male Dawn Jogger was disappointed in his time today but it was the first time he walked the San Francisquito Creek loop (about 2 1/5 miles) without his walking stick.
The female DJ was being silly. But glad to be walking together...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sunrise 6:32: Cousin visit

There were six Reid siblings who reached maturity - Hazel, Duncan, Claire, Edith, William and Stuart - and came with their father, a granite cutter, and mother (who had been the postmistress in their small rural town of Knowles, CA) to San Francisco in 1922, while the City was still rebuilding from the Great Earthquake of 1906. Today, four of the siblings' offspring (first cousins) are living - Barbara, Leah, Judy, the female Dawn Jogger and Billy. The last few days have featured cousin visits, first in the Sunset district where they found the house their grandparent Reids lived in the top flat with Stuart while daughter Hazel and her husband lived on the bottom. When the duplex house on 11th Avenue was purchased they're not sure, but all have childhood memories of family gatherings there. They admit they might not have found the house if the distinctive bricks had been painted over as so many others in the vastly changed Inner Sunset neighborhood had. Today Leah joined the DJs for a Saturday walk.jog in Baylands...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sunrise 6:31: Sign snatchers

One dark October morning four years ago, the Dawn Joggers were putting their running shoes on when they heard a loud crash. Hurrying out through the back gate, they saw a car stopped in the middle of the street about two houses away from them. The driver was inspecting the front of his car. It took them awhile to figure out what had happened.
In an attempt to 'take out' the DJ's Kerry for President sign by driving over it, he'd hit the rock just behind it, which he probably didn't notice in the dim morning light. The DJs have always put their signs on the Oak side of the house (more traffic) near the rock in their lawn (although they'd never thought of it as a decoy). Evidently the sign snatchers of Menlo are back at it. The female DJ noticed that their Obama sign was gone this morning when she headed out on jog. A neighbor reports her is missing too...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sunrise 6:30: Glowing monster

It's still dark now when the Dawn Joggers' alarm (aka KFOG morning show) goes off. (And the depressing thing is that it's only August and there are so many dark mornings ahead.) That means the sun is not officially up when the female DJ starts off on her jog. Like yesterday, she was greeted by a tethered monster in her driveway, part of construction that will, as the male DJ says, "put up a moat" that's supposed to make it safer for the children going to school. When she snapped a photo with Clario in the predawn light, it glowed...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sunrise 6:29: Misty morning on the Dish

Sometimes "all the news that's fit to print" (aka report) is slight. Such was the female Dawn Jogger's Wednesday Dish run. It was grey and misty and people were sparse.
One woman provided a dash of red...


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sunrise 6:29: Painterly scene at the lake

The female Dawn Jogger had a hunch it would be a morning of changing colors the moment she hit the second third tee of the golf course, heading out across the second fairway. The color wasn't on the eastern horizon but rather displayed as pink hues in the western clouds. The richness and palette of colors - earth to sky - was striking viewed from the lake's northwest corner. And the sky continued to change as she circled the dry lake bed....

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunrise 6:28: International household

Noting that the sun rises 10 minutes later in northern California than in southern California, the female Dawn Jogger did her usual Monday jog across the Stanford campus and back up through the streets of her Menlo neighborhood. She spied a different flag unfurled on the same house that displayed the Spanish flag when Spain when the European championship. The new flag was accompanied by a "Welcome Home Gabriel" sign, and she presumes it may be tied into the Olympics. What nation the flag represents she has yet to identify...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunrise 6:18: Party to dawn!

The sun rose just after six in Encino, CA this morning only a couple of hours after the crew celebrating friend Christine's birthday went to bed. So the female Dawn Jogger thinks that party-to-dawn can qualify as a First Blush experience. Christine (in black) danced professionally and was joined by many of her hoofer friends including Sandy and Susie (white pants). The 'tinis flowed and the music pulsed...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sunrise 6:26: Quick Dish dash

The female Dawn Jogger made a quick Dish dash this morning as the real dash of the day is flying down to LA for friend Christine's birthday party. Looking forward to some laughs with the Bruin gals...


Friday, August 15, 2008

Sunrise 6:25: Forbidden fruit

It was neighborhood run morning for the female Dawn Jogger. And there's always the unusual site. One resident on College Ave. made it clear (in a crooked way) that it was not ok to eat the fruit and had put a net over the nectarine (?) tree to make that clear. When was it ok to snatch fruit or flowers from other people's yards?...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sunrise 6:24: Waiting for breakfast

One of the enduring aspects of the female Dawn Jogger's Tuesday/Thursday lake run is the swing past the horses stabled in the Red Barn complex. For years about a dozen horses were housed in an adjacent field that had a small shed for shelter. More recently a large paddock with individual stalls was built in the middle of the field. It's a cheery site to see the horses munching away on their morning hay when she jogs by. This morning, the hay truck must have been a little late. They were all standing alertly waiting for the first sign of the truck coming their way. Just to underscore, horses are really great animals...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sunrise 6:23: On the same timetable

With the sun rising later every morning, the female Dawn Jogger is taking off from the bottom on the Big Dish on Wednesdays about the same time as the sun is rising above the horizon. Makes for pretty light on the various oak trees...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sunrise 6:23: Last of the holdouts

Lake Lagunita is officially gone. The final small pond has dried up. But the female Dawn Jogger noted that there were a few holdouts, including the pair of white ducks (one is more hidden in the grass. She was never able to figure out what breed they are (nor had she seen them in previous years). Unclear if the remaining three are consulting about to next steps. Or discussing flight paths...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunrise 6:22: Breed change

There are things that are unusual but regular. If the unusual stretches beyond its prescribed criteria, it becomes a bit puzzling. Such are the sights along the 5 mile loop that takes the female Dawn Jogger well across the Stanford campus, cutting back to the creek through the arboretum, and then back home along Bay Laurel and other Menlo streets. Over the years, a Golden Retriever is sometimes tied up in the front yard of a house on Ambar. There's always a fresh water bowl and plenty of shade, but all in all folks in Menlo don't tie up their dogs in the front yard. That's what makes it unusual. The female DJ has long posited the theory that this is a visiting dog who, for whatever reason, is banned from the house and backyard. This morning a woman and her daughter were standing by this house as the female DJ approached, looking at the front porch. The Golden Retriever had transformed into a Bulldog. The three women looked at him long enough that he waddled across the lawn for a scratch. He was not at all concerned about being tied up...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunrise 6:21: Really all about last night

While the male Dawn Jogger did his "Heidi" exercises this morning before church, the female DJ did a quick loop jog down one side of the creek and back up the other. Two friendly kitties greeted her but wouldn't sit for the photo. All moot really as nothing this morning was as exciting as cheering on Giants outfielders from the last 50 years at the ballpark last night. Kevin Mitchell (on jumbotron) and Willie Mays (the greatest outfielder of all time on any team) spoke. So did Barry Bonds, who came "home"...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Sunrise 6:20: Washboard Dish morning

The Dawn Joggers are heading out this afternoon for the Giants/Dodger game - which includes a 50th anniversary tribute to past Giants outfielders (will Bonds appear)- so they did separate outings to speed up the morning. And both almost broke existing speed records (male DJ account here). The female DJ did the 'washboard Dish' run - where she enters at Piers Lane and goes up twice, then down, then a sharp wedge up, back up to Dish and down to Piers entrance - a little over 5 miles - in just over an hour, which is good for her. Of course every other jogger on the hill passed her...


Friday, August 08, 2008

Sunrise 6:18: Mystery topiary

The female Dawn Jogger set our around her neighborhood this morning on the look out for signs of 8/8/8 and all its supposed luck. Instead she came upon a very large topiary in a front yard. As she approached she thought it was a horse. Then on further inspection a dog. But the Mohawk like hair cut stopped her. What is this mystery creature?...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Sunrise 6:18: Beach volleyball hits the lake

When she thinks about beach volleyball (which frankly is very infrequently), she thinks ocean. But does beach volleyball need an ocean beach or just sand? Were the two young women along side Lake Lagunita playing volleyball - or beach volleyball. The only things the female Dawn Jogger knows is that everyone else was just sitting around watching this morning a bit after dawn. Guess this Stanford summer camp rises early...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sunrise 6:17: Looking for some color

There had been a pretty sunset last night and the female Dawn Jogger was hopeful that she been treated to an equally pretty sunrise. But the cloud cover was too great and just a sliver of light was on the horizon near the East Bay hills but no color. She's still puzzled by the lure of the Wednesday Dish run and how much she looks forward to it...


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sunrise 6:17: Mystery of the random bicycles

There's been a white framed bicycle tethered to a pole on the corner of Sand Hill Road and Oak Avenue for years, but today the female Dawn Jogger noticed it was gone. She's not sure how long it's been absent but she's guessing not too long as she keeps it on her radar. Stanford is home to hundreds of bikes and there are bike racks all over the campus. Yet the DJs have long noticed that there are some riders who, for whatever reason, don't want to "park" in the racks but randomly lock their bike to some pole or tree. One old bike was spotted near the tennis courts and Red Barn today...

Monday, August 04, 2008

Sunrise 6:16: Mysterious dig continues

What appears to be an archaeological excavation on the Stanford campus near Frost amphitheater continues and expands to include more digs. The gate was open this morning when the female Dawn Jogger ran by, and she crept inside the chain link fence, ignoring the No Trespassing sign in the hopes of speaking to one of the participants. But no one was around, so why they've chosen this spot and what they're looking for remains a mystery. Has the return of Indiana Jones made archeology sexy again?...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sunrise 6:14: La belle rencontre

The Dawn Joggers headed out to Arastradero for their Saturday walk/jog, the first time the male DJ had attempted trail walking without a cane. (Success.) On her first loop down (there are three up and downs on the 5-mile loop), the female Dawn Jogger encountered a spirited horse galloping up the trail towards her. The rider stopped to chat and she met Belle, a 'quarter horse who really is a sweet girl,' according to her owner. Always partial to horses, the female DJ thinks Belle is particularly good looking...


Friday, August 01, 2008

Sunrise 6:13: Still missing "our girl"

For 12 of her 14 years, Cassie the Australian Shepherd accompanied the Dawn Joggers on the early morning runs, mostly across the Stanford campus. Seven months after her death, both DJs continue to miss her, never more so when running solo on one or her favorite routes or a particular place where her boundless joy would be much in evidence. Roble Field, where she would "herd" the small peeping birds in the predawn light, is empty without her. The DJs think she's now running in endless green fields...