First Blush

Reflections and sightings from [almost] daily jogging at dawn

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunrise 7:05: Cruisin' the estates of Woodside

After an early morning visit to Menlo Farmer's Market with the male Dawn Jogger, the female DJ took off for a good leg stretcher up Raymundo Road, past tons of great horse property. This area was less explored by the DJs as most of the adjacent parks are off limits to dogs - and walking with Cassie was always the priority. Much construction has taken place in the years since the last time she walked in the area. A new favorite house was near the top of the hill, taking advantage of an open hillside that looks East towards the San Carlos Hills. Its sleek modern design and fine stone work don't show off well in the photograph (and also marred by red truck). It really was stunning...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sunrise 7:04: Arastradero trail running/walking

The Dawn Joggers headed out to Arastradero late this morning with the ghost of Cassie by their side. It has been some months since they explored the preserve separately but together - the female DJ jogging a five-mile up and down loop while the male DJ did an out and back of a couple miles that also included a couple of good climbs. This was the first time he was off road without either walking stick or ankle brace - a successful out. They agreed that trail walking/running is a good workout...


Friday, November 28, 2008

Sunrise 7:03: Post turkey day workouts

With no reason to rise and shine early (this being a holiday), the Dawn Joggers did a blended workout. The male DJ headed for his regular Friday session at the Page Mill YMCA while the female DJ headed off by foot to join him there. Her just under six mile route took her across Stanford to Campus Drive East, then along the Dish path that parallels Junipero Serra Drive, before heading toward Page Mill through the housing that's just south of campus. The male DJ was just finishing his tough workout by the the time she arrived. Is is all for naught when you have omelettes after?...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sunrise 7:02: Thanksgiving in Menlo

Thanksgiving Day began for the Dawn Joggers with respective walk/jog around their Menlo Park neighborhood. Mornings of a holiday are always so incredibly peaceful - few cars on the road, people quietly walking with family and dogs. It may all mask the preparations going on inside people's homes. When they got home, the male DJ got busy with the sweet potato/carrot side dish, a standard from the Silver Palate cookbook while listening to KFOG's annual "Gobble Gobble: 10 songs that are just turkeys" (Gimme Dat Ting by the Pipkins was given a "lifetime achievement award"). Grace will be arriving for her second Thanksgiving celebration...

PM update: Grace made her visit to Tinker Park, which is adjacent to Hillview School and only a couple of hundred yards from Nan and Booka's house on Hillview Drive where the female DJ grew up. She'd taken her cousins there when they were toddlers and they took son John. Grace went down a small slide all by herself, with increasing delight at each ride. Later she nixed the turkey offered - but loved the pumpkin pie...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sunrise 7:01: All quiet Dish top

Walkers and joggers were very sparse on this morning before the national day of feast and thanks. It wasn't the rain keeping people away - it will hasn't developed. The female Dawn Jogger spotted the yearly grazing herd a couple of hillsides away - always a cheery site. She gives thanks her Wednesday dish runs...


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sunrise 7:00: Sailors take warning

Rain is predicted in the Bay Area today - a storm coming up from the south that's predicted to dump plenty of moisture before it arrives locally. To match the weatherman's prediction, the sky was red. Red skies in the morning, sailors take warning...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunrise 6:59: Glow in the dark cat

It's almost reflective vest wearing time again. The female Dawn Jogger came close to putting one on this morning. Sadly, the light-filled mornings of November will soon give way to December's darkness. All the best for seeing things in the dark, such as the feline figure she spotted in the middle of a lawn near Governor's Corner. It was big and it stayed motionless while it watched every move the female DJ made. There was something about it that didn't say "domestic cat." But she couldn't quite talk herself into "bobcat" either. The bummer was there was not enough light to get a good picture. Only two eyes glowing the the dark...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sunrise 6:57: Pretty day on Windy

Rising late, the female Dawn Jogger called an audible - deciding to go for a long hike after breakfast rather than jogging before eating. She hadn't done to the 7.5 miles Windy Hill loop for over two years - too long. And the day couldn't have been prettier...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sunrise 6:56: It's Big Game time

The big bonfire at Lake Lagunita may be a thing of the past, but there are still small signs of Big Game fever on the Stanford campus. Students still sleep out on White Plaza near the countdown clock and a fountain near Hoover Tower still runs the Cardinal red (or is it Bear blood - a pep rally sign close by urged "make the Bears bleed." A mystery of the morning: two young men in hooded sweatshirts tore down a Beat Cal sign that had been stationed at the intersection of Lasuen and Escondido Mall - an occurrence the female Dawn Jogger just missed photographing. Where they visitors from across the Bay - or just bored Stanford undergrads. The first Big Game was played in 1892 in San Francisco...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sunrise 6:55: Teammates head out

Yes, the female Dawn Jogger adores horses, thinks they're the prettiest creatures on this earth. So it's a treat when there's early morning activity around the Red Barn. On her jog today she caught two members - horse and rider - of the Stanford Equestrian Team heading out from the paddock area. The sunrise was pretty in the background...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sunrise 6:54: Fast but foggy

After a week of gorgeous weather with above average temperatures, a thick marine layer returned today, making for a gray Dish run. So run, the female Dawn Jogger did, taking five minutes off her usual time. But she still didn't beat the gang of male cyclist she sees every Wednesday to the Sand Hill light...


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sunrise 6:53: Drumming for victory

During her dawn outings the female Dawn Jogger is always looking for "the moment" or "the incident" - some scene that captures that morning's outing. So when she finished her loop around Lake Lagunita today and looked east just as the sun was making it's appearance over the trees (with the tule fog gleaming white on the lake bottom), she thought she'd found it. But then a moment later, she came upon a giant drum outfitted with all kinds of rigging. If it had been utilized to beat the Trojans into submission, it failed. Maybe it can try to again this coming weekend against the Bears...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunrise 6:52: Trees begin their Fall show

The liquid amber trees in the Dawn Joggers' neighborhood are mature, most planted 50 years or more ago, and they appear to each have a mind of their own. Even those side by side getting the same kind of light and water will turn colors at different times. While most are at their peak between now and Thanksgiving, one recalcitrant tree across the street doesn't really get down to business until after Christmas. The sun is just starting to make the leaves glow as the female Dawn Jogger makes her way along Menlo streets in the home stretch of her morning outing. It makes for pleasant viewing - and a nice way to start the day...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sunrise 6:50: Wow morning on the Dish

Was it really November 15? It was hard for the female Dawn Jogger to believe it could be that late in the year, given the balmy temperatures topped by crystal clear skies. It was at least a three bridge morning - the often "missing" Bay Bridge clearly in view from the top of the Dish. And she could even imagine the Golden Gate - and may have spotted the Twin Peaks towers. Other Dish walkers and joggers were already shedding layers though it was still early morning. Even a squirrel seemed surprised by the warmth and appeared to be taking a sun bath in front of his or her home. Now it's time to put the family room back together and stop living with boxes...


Friday, November 14, 2008

Sunrise 6:49: Stuck on the moon

Not a cloud in the sky this warm November morning (looking toward an even warmer day). So the female Dawn Jogger kept her focus on the moon framed by some of the newer science and engineering buildings on the Stanford campus. Getting booted as movers are here...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sunrise 8:48: A morning to look to the skies

The female Dawn Jogger didn't have to go far to - just down the block on Oak and to third tee of the golf course - to get rewarded with a colorful dawn. Even the campus gardening crew were taking note. By the time she was on the far back of Lake Lagunita, she got the second payoff of the morning - the full moon setting in the West. It was a morning of atmospheric conditions with lots of tulle fog in the lake bed. The juxtaposition was listening to protest songs sung by Mavis Staples on the iPod...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sunrise 6:47: Drippy Dish morning

With extra warm weather for this time of the year predicted, the female Dawn Jogger was surprised to find a drippy foggy morning when she went out to get the morning papers before taking off for the Wednesday Dish run. By the time she got to the top, it was close to pea soup (but she's encountered worse). Great to see all the green grass sprouting. Springtime may mean green in some parts of the country, but it's winter green in northern California...


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sunrise 6:46: Running companionship

It was a reunion of sorts this morning for the female Dawn Jogger as she hooked up with with Dawn Community member Judy (blue speck in the photo) on her jog to Lake Lagunita and back. They caught up on family activities and more important, their excitement of Obama's election and disappointment over the passage of Prop 8. The lake banks have turned green...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunrise 6:45: First pair of the season

The heavy rain a week ago started San Francisquito Creek flowing again and this morning the female Dawn Jogger spotted the first duck pair of the season (with the female bottoms up so to speak) under the San Mateo Drive bike bridge. It's been awhile since she's seen ducklings in the creek...

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Sunrise 6:43: Coastside brings memories

The Dawn Joggers headed for the coast near Half Moon Bay yesterday for an overnight, escaping the fumes of a hardwood floor refinishing in progress. That presented the opportunity for the female DJ to jog this morning along the bluff tops on trails first discovered as outings with Cassie. She hadn't been along this particular stretch for some time but was amazed at how much was familiar including one particularly muddy puddle (Cassie couldn't resist any body of water that wasn't over her head) and one particularly gnarled cypress. Heading home they stopped at Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero for "half and half" - 1/2 artichoke and 1/2 green chile soup. By the time they made they're way home the long way through Loma Mar and La Honda, it was raining in the redwoods. Now if only their contractor had told them that they couldn't have the heat on in the house today...

Friday, November 07, 2008

Sunrise 6:41: Sunrise on the Dish

The female Dawn Jogger started up the Junipero Serra side of the Dish this morning and turned around and captured the sun's rays. Everything continues to be bright...


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sunrise 6:40: Earllier dawn not perfect

Since the Stanford academic year began, the female Dawn Jogger has seen the "prayer man" on her Tuesday/Thursday jogs around Lake Lagunita. He sits on the dry lake bed, facing East. This morning - thanks to the earlier sunrise - he had completed his prayers and walking back toward the campus. The light of these November mornings necessitates an earlier wake up for him...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sunrise 6:39: Yes we can!

It was a "pinch me did it really happen?" kind of morning. The first hint of light was in the sky when the female Dawn Jogger's radio alarm went off. And yes, Barack Obama really was President-elect of the United States. As Congressman John Lewis put it, "a great leader for our nation and for the world." So the female DJ made her way up to the Big Dish in the light, thinking about how proud she was of America. And thankful for the millions who took "yes we can" to heart...


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sunrise 6:38: Looking for a "God shot" on election day

There was the usual good pink display at sunrise this morning but the female DJ was looking for something that said "God's grandeur" even more and liked the way the sun shone through the clouds about a hour after official sun up. Today will be special. It is Grace's first birthday and will hopefully be the most important day in American history in the female DJ's lifetime. Writes Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in a letter to Episcopal dioceses and parishes: "As you prepare to vote, I urge you to consider how the Reign of God - a just society - particularly as explicated by the Hebrew prophets and by Jesus, can be made real in our own day...As caretakers and steward's of God's creation, each one of us is responsible for the flourishing of the rest of the human family. As in all elections, on 4 November we have the opportunity to continue working to reconcile and heal the world..." The DJs believe deeply that Barack Obama is the person to help our country get there. Birthday pix of Grace to come later this afternoon...UPDATE:
The DJs celebrated Grace's first birthday at the fabulous new Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. With all to see and do, Grace gravitated toward the jelly fish (go figure) and practicing her crawling up and down stairs skills in front of the coral reef. Things that didn't move - like the famous white alligator - went unnoticed. The big thrill for the female DJ: a huge butterfly landed and planted itself firmly on her arm in the rain forest exhibit. She hadn't been such a show stopper since assuming ownership of the Obama doll at a fundraiser...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sunrise 6:37: Let there be light!

OK, the female Dawn Jogger admits it was pretty awesome to be jogging again in the light, and she realized she forgotten how pleasant it is. She encountered a woman who walks to work at Stanford at Sand Hill and they admired the nice sunrise together. By the time she was mid-campus, the sun was streaming on Hoover Tower, which was nicely glowing against the gray sky backdrop. Of course, taking a photo of the first running water in San Francisquito Creek was obligatory...


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sunrise 6:36: Remembering the departed

Today marks All Saints Day, and the Dawn Joggers heard the names of people who had been close to them but who died in the past year read aloud at Holy Trinity's 8:30 service - Kelly Edie, Priscilla Graham, Hubert Pryor, and Mike Spillane. All Saints Day can be a somber Sunday with full requiem Mass but today's sermon by the Rev. Coryl Lassen took a celebratory tone, telling a number of saints' stories based on Robert Ellsberg's excellent book, All Saints. New this year was a traditional Mexican Day of the Dead display at the back of the church. As the Sunday insert explained, "In Mexico death is considered just a part of life. On November 2, families, especially in rural villages, go the grave sites of the departed and set up a picnic feast where they toast the dead and remember stories of their lives." So, too, they DJs remembered...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Sunrise 7:35: Weird warm rain

Maybe it was the off again/on again light rain that deterred last night's trick or treaters, but like yesterday evening, it was remarkably warm for this time of year when the Dawn Joggers headed out for their separate Saturday outing. By the time the female DJ got to the top of the Dish, walkers and runners were shedding layers while also buffeting themselves against the wind gusts. It was windy enough that the light rain would dry almost before falling. Now it's turned rainier and colder...