First Blush

Reflections and sightings from [almost] daily jogging at dawn

Friday, October 31, 2008

Sunrise 7:34: All Hallows Eve

This morning the female Dawn Jogger has to put up with some sprinkles along with the dark on her hunt for well-decorated homes set for the trick or treaters tonight. One house on Princeton was completely covered with cob webs, spiders, and skeleton. The dim light didn't make for good photo possibilities but did increase the spooky factor. 1100 Hillview Drive has its pirate flag from last year and ninja type characters on the lawn. Booka and Nan would be so pleased...

Evening update: Did everyone forget trick or treating this year? In all their years in Menlo Park, the DJs never witnessed such a dismal turnout, greeting only a couple of dozen youngsters at the door. Of course, the important moment was Grace making her Halloween debut as a pumpkin...


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sunrise 7:32: Being late pays off

The Dawn Joggers radio alarm didn't go off this morning (well, it did but the volume was turned down), so the female DJ left the house 20 minutes later than usual. The late start had a pay off - a pretty sunrise looking east from the west bank of Lake Lagunita, a sight she would have missed if she'd been on her regular schedule. The woman how prays at down from the lake bed is now a regular...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sunrise 7:32: How dark was it on the Dish?

Really dark and fairly foggy. But it didn't deter the Dish regulars or the female Dawn Jogger. But the end of Daylights Savings time can come soon enough...
Update: hear that Windows screens show this as big black hole rather than the nuanced photo that appears on Mac screens.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sunrise 7:31: Mid-campus light

The renovated White Plaza on the Stanford campus has retained the podium area where signs and banners are hung - and has sprouted new concrete benches. In the long morning darkness that extends through most of the female DJ's run, it was one of the few lights. It's so dark that evening the nocturnal animals often spotted at dawn are missing...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunrise 7:30: Skeleton as companion

The female Dawn Jogger realizes that she should be glad that it's not cold. In fact today's dark morning was quite mild due to the overcast. It wasn't until she was almost home that a little light appeared. It made very a spooky Halloween-is-almost-here outing with the usual good group of ghouls and goblins as companions. Mr. Skeleton is an annual in one front yard...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sunrise 7:28: Fall migration at Baylands

The Dawn Joggers headed over to Baylands on a cool fall morning that turned warm. While the male DJ introduced friends David and Ricki to the area on an out and back walk, they female DJ did her usual loop run, checking out "who" was "in town." While she counted a dozen or so white pelicans and geese, the show stoppers - at least measured by the number of binoculars and telephoto lens - was a large flock some species of waterfowl. Even her trusty Bay Area bird guide didn't yield a clue as what what they were. Next time, she'll ask the enthusiasts...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sunrise 7:27: Hope and community

It was all about coming out of the darkness and seeing the sun's first light this morning. The female DJ had missed her Wednesday Big Dish run due to the early UCSF appointment, so made up for it today, hoping for a good sunrise, and she was not disappointed. Heading home along Alpine, she was stopped by Madison's mistress who wanted to share the news that she'd run her first marathon last weekend - and that it would be her last ("too much pain!"). It was one of those dawn community moments...

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sunrise 7:26: Found art expands

Is someone just accumulating junk? If so there would be more stuff, the female Dawn Jogger thought this morning when she went to investigate the red objects that had been laid at the foot of an arbor that sits on a eucalyptus stump adjacent to the new jogging path. Guess it doesn't really qualify as found art in the Marcel Duchamp sense - more akin to junk art. The question - is it finished or a work in progress? She'll keep an eye out...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunrise 7:25: "Wow!" walk along the Embarcadero

It was before official sunrise that the Dawn Joggers headed up to UCSF today, and by the time they arrived at the radiology unit at China Basin, the sun was not only shining brightly but warmly. While the male DJ spent an hour in the MRI machine, the female DJ headed out for a walk to the Ferry Building and back along the Embarcadero. With the morning light and very blue skies, everything was showing off at its best, including Cupid's Bow, which debuted to rave reviews of local critics in 2002. On the way back to the imaging center, she walked along King Street to take in the new Orlando Cepeda statue and Wall of Fame. Just ahead of her a man, appearing to be headed to work, stopped and touched the Cepeda stature, making her wonder if it was a daily ritual. And yes, neuro-oncologist Dr. Susan Chang gave the male DJ a "thumbs up" report...

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sunrise 7:24: Bicycles - stop?

The female Dawn Jogger ran by a large blinking sign on the Stanford campus this morning urging bicycles to stop at stop signs. Good luck - it's hard enough getting cyclists to stop or obey traffic rules, so seems really unlikely that bicycles will get a mind of their own. Both DJs has learned it's just better keep out of their way. Stanford might want to take on another crusade with its workers in cars (the female DJ presumes mainly going to the hospital, given the early hour) who don't stop for pedestrians crossing in marked cross walks. Great sunrise this morning but Clario didn't get the shot...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunrise 7:23: This witch is everywhere

The female Dawn Jogger thinks that when someone speaks the words "the simple truth is" usually something more complex than simple is about to be conveyed. But on weekday mornings between now and Nov. 2, it serves its purpose: the simple truth is that it is way too dark to take a picture during 80% of her morning jog. That's when the neighborhood Halloween decorations come to the rescue. And this witch seems to be everywhere this year...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sunrise 7:21: Pretty morning on the Dish

The female Dawn Jogger headed off this morning about an hour after sunrise for a Saturday Dish run. It's the once a week she can actually see the terrain in daylight.
But the West side of the Dish - up from Piers Lane - still had an eeriness to it. Always a good workout. And always fun to photograph the Dish in different light...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sunrisse 7:20: Not much stirring

The female Dawn Jogger got up for a run in dark - and it seemed no one else in Menlo Park thought it was a good idea. Lonely on the streets if not for Mr. Spider. The DJs have skeleton and ghost lights up...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sunrise 7:19: Moon above again

So this is the way it will be until the short reprieve in November when daylight savings time finally ends. Running in the pitch dark, the last few days guided by moonlight. Without the moon, the female Dawn Jogger would have needed to alter her route. Like yesterday, she waited for enough light to get a moon shot. At least it's not overly chilly...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sunrise 7:18: Moon guidance

Unlike yesterday, the moon was still high in the sky and provided welcome light as the female DJ started out in darkness across the 1st and 2nd fairway on her way to run the Dish. She'd worried that the Dish would be closed as fire danger has been high in the Bay Area, but with winds down it was open. The sky finally got light enough for Clario to capture a moon shot. That's her second favorite oak...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sunrise 7:17: Uncooperative moon

During the night, the light from the almost full moon flooded the Dawn Joggers' bedroom, giving the female DJ hopes of having a pretty moonlit dawn run. But no such luck; the moon - although very pretty - was already too low in the sky to help illuminate the predawn darkness. She's hitting the lake well before sun up...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunrise 7:16: On a witch hunt

The Dawn Joggers read about the Salem witch hunts over the weekend (part of their Saints books, when you're not a witch but are burned at the stake, you become a martyr and sometimes a saint). And they noticed on their walk to the Art for Obama event yesterday that once again witches prevail in the front yard Halloween decorations. With it so dark on most of her run across the Stanford campus (limiting the ability to take photos), she figured a good witch hunt on the way home was in order. This good one is on Oak Avenue...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunrise 7:15: "You got the doll!"

The Dawn Joggers had been intrigued about the "Art for Obama" fundraiser being held at two homes in their neighborhood since receiving the invitation, so took advantage of the warm afternoon to combine it with a walk. It was a pleasant way to get in a little exercise while supporting the candidate. The fun surprise was that the female Dawn Jogger came away feeling like she'd won the lottery, been named prom queen, and appointed CEO in one fell swoop. The exclamation was nonstop from almost every man and woman who saw her with her prize - all uttered with enthusiasm mixed with a bit of envy, "You got the doll!" Of all the art on display for purchase - the entire proceeds going to the Obama Victory Fund - it was an incredible cloth rendering of the candidate himself by local artist Terry Tsu that captured her attention. Still counting on Nov. 4 (Grace's birthday!) being the most important day in American history in her lifetime...


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sunrise 7:14: Autumn in Arastradero

The big wind storm arrived as predicted yesterday and it was still gusty this morning when the female Dawn Jogger headed out for a run up and down the hills of the Arastradero Preserve (while male DJ got some mileage in on the Alpine walking path). The promise of great visibility was fulfilled with the brown hills and blue skies playing off each other. It was so clear you could imagine if not really see hikers going up Windy Hill (pictured). A couple of gusts caused the female DJ to right herself...


Friday, October 10, 2008

Sunrise 7:13: Haunted dream house

There's not a whole lot more to do in the darkness than look for spooky stuff. The female Dawn Jogger's dream house adjacent to the San Mateo bike bridge was sparingly decorated for Halloween in fitting with its sleek and simple design. The spiders are placed just so...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sunrise 7:12: First glow at the Lake

It's dark enough when the female Dawn Jogger runs across the first and second fairways of the golf course that she imagines critters peering out of the bush as she goes by. She certainly can't see them. The sun is still not up when she hits the north side of Lake Lagunita but there's an initial glow to set off the big crane. Today the lake bottom was covered by a tule fog...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Sunrise 7:12: Favorite Dish pose

The female Dawn Jogger has taken this shot of Big Dish dozens of time. It features her favorite oak tree and they appear to be posing together. This morning the sun hadn't quite come up but there was enough light to capture the pink sky and the walker's pink pants. The morning darkness is having an effect on the Dish exercisers, who are fewer lately...


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sunrise 7:11: Brightness in the fog

Add heavy, low-lying fog to a late sunrise and the result is "really dark" - so much so that the female Dawn Jogger had to alter her route to take advantage of some of the lighted paths on campus. Even then she couldn't see much in the distance, and Clario's attempts at taking the a shot of the fog bound lake just produced photos with water vaper droplets the most visible object. Time to switch themes, bring some brightness into the gloom. The poster cylinders rarely disappoint...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sunrise 7:10: Halloween slides into Menlo

A few houses had sprouted Halloween decorations the last weekend in September, but the female Dawn Jogger was correct in her assumption that much more decorating would occur this past weekend. The Dawn Joggers themselves had made their annual visit to the Webb Ranch pumpkin patch, sad that Cassie was missing for the first time but happy in anticipation of Grace's visit for the carving ritual on the holiday itself. On her Monday jog across campus and back home on Menlo city streets, she spotted a house on Bay Laurel that was fully into the pumpkin theme with pumpkin lights wrapped around some trees and more lining the driveway. The DJs hear that Grace will be a little lamb...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sunrise 7:09: Grace on Sunday

Breaking the usual chatter about things seen at sunrise, the female Dawn Jogger is featuring Grace, who turned 11 months old yesterday. Both DJs - and Julie, John and Grace - attended the memorial for cousin Kelly in Potter Valley. In a great tribute and expression of support for her family, the whole town turned out for the day. Grace got her first sniff of cattle grazing in surrounding fields...


Saturday, October 04, 2008

Sunrise 7:08: First storm passes

It rained lightly all night, stopping just before the female Dawn Jogger headed out for a quick run around the neighborhood. The DJs are heading to Potter Valley for Kelly's memorial...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sunrise 7:07: Pretty good show

The female Dawn Jogger was treated to a pretty good if not fabulous sunrise this morning on a special Friday Big Dish run. It's still dark when she first heads up the hill but good pinks were showing by the time she got to the top of the ridge. The hue changed as the sun approached (although she never saw it come up over the horizon). The featured photo is taken from just beyond the bottom of the Dish itself...


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sunrise 7:06: Final insult to the old path

Not long after the male Dawn Jogger's diagnosis in Fall, 2006, the old and familiar jogging path that they'd used for well over a decade for their sunrise jogs was demolished so that a practice golf course could be built. Only one stretch of the old path remained, near the Red Barn corral and adjacent to the far end of the practice course. The female Dawn Jogger noticed heavy equipment in the area when she jogged by on Monday and Tuesday. Today another stretch of the old path was gone; in its place a long six foot trench to lay pipe. She's presuming it's just a temporary situation...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Sunrise 7:05: No waiting this morning

The sun hadn't made its appearance over the horizon by the time the female Dawn Jogger made her way to the Big Dish - and unlike last week, there was not waiting for it. By the last Wednesday in October it will be so dark, she figures it will be just her and the night creatures on the Dish hills. The predawn light is stirring early risers like hares and deer. And it's great to be in a climate where shorts and short sleeve top are still wearable the first day of October, not to mention wide open spaces to run in. The sun was turning the western sky pink...