First Blush

Reflections and sightings from [almost] daily jogging at dawn

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sunrise 7:25: Foggy end to the year

The world was gloomy and drippy when the Dawn Joggers awoke this morning. While the sun is setting a minute later a day, it's also rising a minute later. Add very thick fog to the darkness this morning. The male DJ headed to the gym while the female DJ repeated her run from last Wednesday, going up and over the Dish from Piers Lane entrance and out at Stanford Ave., continuing on to meet the male DJ at the Page Mill Y. Even at close range, it was hard to make out her favorite oak tree...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sunrise 7:25: Barely a creature stirring

As was true yesterday, there were few out and about during this mid-holiday week, even though the female Dawn Jogger is running later than usual. A Great Blue Heron was hunting for breakfast on the second fairway of the golf course (but the light was too dim to get a photograph at the distance the crane required). Later she passed a horse out for a morning walk...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunrise 7:24: Where did everybody go?

The female Dawn Jogger is on a relaxed holiday schedule for the next couple of days, getting up without an alarm going off. But she was still ahead of most everyone else it. With exception of the usual Stanford gardening crew - this morning cleaning up from the big Christmas wind - she was quite alone. On the way back through Menlo, her only company was a flock of crows who scattered to the treetops as she jogged by. The peace is kind of nice...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunrise 7:24: Back to the Dish

After three days away, the female Dawn Jogger decided to see if the recent rains had resulted in any water in Lake Lagunita (nothing but a few puddles) and get a workout by going up and over the Dish. Unlike her run on Christmas Eve morning, this time she had lots of company...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sunrise 7:24: Bulls on the hillsides

There are still some open fields in the Carneros region - the Dawn Jogger's cottage looks out on one. Shortly after dawn this morning the female DJ looked out the window and spotted a black bull along with a few horses - and hot air balloons taking off in the distance. But by the time the male DJ was up and dressed, they'd disappeared. She found the horses and bull 'over the hill' when returning from her morning jog (but no sign of the hot air balloons anywhere). While the black bull stands out on the green hillside, she liked the looks of a mottled tan bull who took one look at her and went back to grazing. Heading back to the Peninsula in a bit...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sunrise 7:23: Jogging the rolling hills of Carneros

After what ssems like weeks of rain (closer to days), the Dawn Joggers awoke to bright sunshine streaming through their cottage in the Carneros wine region that straddles the Sonoma and Napa vallys. The male DJ headed to the well-equipped fitness center while the female DJ took off along the back roads dotted with the vineyards of the Carneros wine alliance. From the age of the vines, she's guessing that many of the ranches she passed were once home to sheep and cattle (carneros means sheep she discovered in a good history of the region found here). But like her cousin's land in Potter Valley, most has been taken over by vines planted by big and small wine making companies. That didn't prevent her from spotting a traditional farmhouse along her way...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunrise 7:23: It's all about Christmas - and Grace

This daily musing has long been about the "first blush" of dawn - and the sights and sounds of jogging close to sunrise. So just to be "of record," the female Dawn Jogger is using a photo the male DJ took just before dawn this morning looking out at FDR's presidential yacht, the SS Potomac, and the lighted wreaths adorning Jack London Square seen from their hotel room where they spent the night. But as the many photos show, it's really about Christmas spent with 13 1/2 month old Grace, seen first arriving for Christmas Eve services last night at St. John's in Oakland with parents Julie and John. It was a particularly festive and child-filled celebration - with Grace as pleased to be trying out her walking down the center aisle as anything that was going on with the service. The big hit from Santa, discovered this morning, was a new tunnel to crawl through, but attention was given to each package received, particularly if it was a book. She and her Dad liked her Elmo pizza man (the rest of the assembled adults weren't too sure about Elmo anything). But on Christmas morning, hits could come from anywhere, including a big blue box that was just the right size to sit on - and a cup holder that was fun to blow into. It was an excellent family-filled 24 hours. The DJs have now escaped to the Carneros section of Napa/Sonoma, where the skies have cleared and the temperature is chilly...


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sunrise 7:23: Misty Christmas Eve morning

The female Dawn Jogger had Big Dish almost to herself this morning - a bit surprising in that it's a day off for a least a portion of the working population. Was the light rain scaring people off - or the holiday bustle? Like she'd done over the Thanksgiving break, the she ran from home to the Page Mill Y where the male DJ was working out, taking a bit longer route this morning that took her to the top of the Dish from Piers Lane and then out at Stanford Avenue - a good workout in anticipation of the eating to come. The male DJ was just starting his bike exercise done standing up...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sunrise 7:22: Menlo after the rain

There was still a light rain falling when the radio alarm went off at 6:00, so the female Dawn Jogger took her time setting out this morning. Looking West she realized she'd missed a pretty sunrise that would have been seen more clearly from the lake, but the trade off was seeing all the colors of the colorful liquid ambars in her in the light of day. Scott, Chris and Tiger Lily set off for their walk at the same time, and the female DJ passed them as they all headed back to the house for coffee and more visiting. No break on the long hours of darkness: hours of daylight today the same as Sunday and Monday...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunrise 7:22: Pretty after the rain but darker

The female Dawn Jogger heard more people talking about the "longest night of the year" than usual. But if those who are fretting about the lack of daylight think they are over the hump, they're actually in for "more of the same" and potentially the feeling that it's even darker today. That's because the sun rose a minute later this morning (before many are up) and will set a minute later. But with the latest rain storm having blown through, it was a pretty and clear dawn, featuring a crescent moon. White Plaza on the Stanford campus glimmered in the predawn light...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunrise 7:21: Advent moment

It was not a "hit the trail" morning - or at least not in the earthen sense. The Dawn Joggers rose with the sun on the day of the Winter Solstice and headed to Berkeley where Felix Leon Valentine Perry was to be baptized by his grandfather - and the DJ's good friend - the the Rev. David Perry at St. Clement Episcopal Church. Like other liturgical churches, the Episcopal Church is in the season of Advent, a time of waiting and reflection symbolized by the Advent candle (in the photo), which is lit each Sunday leading up to Christmas. But as the Rev. John Kater preached in his sermon this morning, God's surprises continue to be at work. Like the surprise of a grandfather answering his grandchild's question during the service...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sunrise 7:21: Sightings of the season

A heavy frost was sparkling in the break sunshine when the female Dawn Jogger set out on her Saturday Big Dish run this morning. As she headed down Piers Lane, she was greeted by a Christmas elf, part of an organized Team in Training run that was just coming off the Dish. Tomorrow is the winter solstice - the shortest day and longest night night of the year. But a review of the sunrise and sunset times in today's Chronicle show that it's the same today as it is tomorrow. Whatever the case, the sun is low in the sky, which makes for a very long female DJ shadow...


Friday, December 19, 2008

Sunrise 7:21: Sights in the avenues

The Dawn Joggers headed up to UCSF predawn this morning and the female DJ continued her tradition of walking while the male DJ has his head in the MRI machine. (News was good.) She listened to the final morning broadcast of KFOG DJ Dave Morey, who - as was true with so many listeners - had become a "friend" of the DJs over the years. About a mile into Golden Gate Park, she realized her radio batteries were starting to go - and not wanting to miss a minute of the farewell festivities - she head out into what she knew as a girl as "the avenues." Both of her parents lived in what's now called the Inner Sunset growing up - and her grandmother and uncle lived in a duplex with another aunt and her husband on 11th Avenue when she was a youngster. She found the batteries at a Rexall drug store (she didn't realized the chain still existed!) and then passed an even older shoe repair shop. The icy of the morning was coming upon a home adorned with Christmas ornamental balls...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sunrise 7:20: Beware of ice

With temperatures in the 30s this morning the female Dawn Jogger wasn't surprised to see lots of frost but puddles frozen over in ice are always a bit surprise in the Bay Area. While skies are clear, the cold is expected to hang around for a bit, fitting for the Christmas season. The male Dawn Jogger is working to get a good photo of their newly decorated redwoods. His latest efforts...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sunrise 7:19: First cow sighting of the season

The female Dawn Jogger has seen signs of this year's cattle herd in the area surrounding Big Dish but this was the first morning she got to check out some of the "guys." They'll be around for the next three or fourth months and are quite comfortable co-existing with the walkers and joggers. She also saw some snow on the ridge just south of Windy Hill...


Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunrise 7:18: The light of Christmas trees

When running in the dark at this time of year, the Dawn Jogger finds cheer in coming upon a lit Christmas seen through a window. This is even more true on cold, rainy mornings like this one. The DJs didn't decorate an indoor Christmas tree this year, but led by the male DJs persistent efforts, they now have new lights in their 50 foot tall grove of redwoods. They really do look quite spectacular and one neighbor, out to get the morning paper this morning said, "Great job with the new lights. Thanks"! Passing on the heritage of lighted trees was important to them both, but particularly to the male DJ, who blogged about it yesterday...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sunrise 7:16: Sparkling on Dish

It rained a bit overnight, so the female Dawn Jogger was treated to clear skies and long vistas on her Saturday Dish run. She set out just after 8:00 and on this busy holiday season morning, she had lots of company, including more than the usual number of joggers, who are always outnumbered by walkers. The up and down and up and down is a good leg stretcher...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sunrise 7:16: Truck in Christmas colors

Few early morning sights surprise and cheer the female Dawn Jogger than a shiny truck cab. She came across one all decked in Christmas red smack dab in the middle of the Stanford campus, where few other vehicles ever go, thereby lending an air of mystery about its mission. The chrome was extra shiny...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sunrise 7:15: The Dish peaks over the horizon

It was cold this morning - and the forecast is for frostier weather and maybe snow to come. Wouldn't that be fun. The female Dawn Jogger did an uneventful trip around the Lake and spotted Big Dish on the horizon in back of the golf course just before she got bsck home shortly after dawn. It really was all about the frost...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sunrise 7:14: Hello mister coyote

The Big Dish area continues on its recent streak of surprises, the first of which this morning was how warm it was on top, given the very frosty temperatures at ground level. Then as the female Dawn Jogger headed down towards Piers Lane, a coyote appeared about 50 yards to the left of her, ambling across the open field. He crossed the path in front or her and continued on his (or her) way, checking the human out from time to time. He was almost the exact color as the field and, given his tan coloring, the female DJ can understand why some people may be mistaking coyotes for mountain lions. Clario the camera did its best to get a shot but the coyote was a bit too far away...


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sunrise 7:13: Back to the routine

The female has not been in her regular jogging routine for a few days - doing the Dish on Friday, a shortened Saturday and not typical Sunday outing - and then yesterday's coast side run. But it was back to Tuesday basics today - across the very frosty golf course and around Lake Lagunita. That later sunrise means the "prayer guy," who appeared at the beginning of the school year, is just getting started as she completes her circle. It was colorful this morning...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Sunrise 7:13: Aussie surprise

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On the way over to the Half Moon Bay yesterday the Dawn Joggers remembered that it was Cassie's birthday. Their Australian Shepherd dog, who died in January, would have been 15. She loved coming coastside with its very different smells. So it was with Cassie at her side and her father in her mind that the female DJ set out on a coastal bluff this morning. It was well after dawn, and late enough in the morning for the sun to have broken through. Given that it was a Monday, she thought she'd have the trail to herself, so was surprise when out of nowhere appeared a red merle Aussie and its housemate, a half Border Collie, half Aussie who liked to play fetch. A good start to her own birthday...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sunrise 7:12: Alone with the sculpture

The female Dawn Jogger deviated from her usual patterns the second morning in row. After doing a short Menlo run and finding lots of jogging company but not much else going on yesterday morning (can't get too far from home with Grace in the house!), she headed across Stanford this morning, a rare Sunday outing. Not much happening on the campus either, all the better to take in some of the public art. The Sieve Of Eratosthenes by American sculptor Mark di Suvero is adjacent to the Cantor museum, a promised gift of Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro - and part of the Passion for Collecting exhibit. Good morning for quiet thoughts before church and an afternoon outing...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Sunrise 7:11: Endings and beginnings

The female Dawn Jogger's father - known affectionately as "Booka" thanks to grandson John Hubbard Getze - died yesterday on his namesake's birthday at age 97. Remembrances flooded in - about his golf prowess, his love of the outdoors, what a gentlemen he was - but from many friends and family, it was all about 1100 Hillview Drive, the brand new home he and Ede bought in 1951 and lived in for the next 50 years. "Those Hillview Drive memories...." said cousin Leah. "Those chocolate chippers," said friend Alice. Both of the DJ's parents loved that home and made it welcome haven for all of those who gathered there for any occasion.

So, on a frosty morning - the first of the season - the Dawn Jogger deviated from her regular Menlo route to go past Hillview Drive, to salute the gift of a wonderful home to grow up in, tethered by loving parents. She knows - finally - that John Hubbard is united with his dear Ede. He was the last of his generation to die on both sides of the family - his two sisters and all of his brothers and sisters-in-law having gone before him. There's some finality to that. A generation at its end.

But there are also beginnings. Granddaughter Grace spent last night with the DJs and it her smiling face that the female DJ saw soon after sunrise this morning. She likes hanging out in the kitchen. And loves music and books...

Friday, December 05, 2008

Sunrise 7:10: Jog later and see the sunrise

The female Dawn Jogger set off 15 minutes or so later this morning and the pay off was seeing the sunrise from the top of the Dish. This was also the first clear day this week - so temperatures were crisper. She's doing a Friday Dish run in anticipation of a much shorter outing tomorrow morning when granddaughter Grace will be here. She's arriving this afternoon for an overnight while her parents get away to celebrate John's birthday. Son and John and the female DJ are both Sagittariuses...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sunrise 7:09: Meet Dodger

Dodger, a Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix who was a rescue dog, and his owner Chris are fairly recently additions to the Dawn community. They're offing heading out, as they where today, as the female DJ is nearing the end of our her loop. Chris reports that Dodger is a great companion and "the nicest guy." Good breeding, thinks the female DJ...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Sunrise 7:08: Surprise at Dish top

The tule fog was so thick and wet this morning that the female Dawn Jogger had a hard time finding the newspapers in front of her house. Just as challenging was making her way across the first and second fairways of the golf course - she could only do so because she'd learned the bumps in the grass and sort of where the cart paths were located. The foggy conditions stayed with her as she climbed up to the dish. She passed few joggers, but a family a hares, maybe feeling safe in the mist, ate their breakfast just to the side of the pathway. Once she got to the ridge top, she could barely make out the Big Dish itself. But just minutes later she was in for surprise - blue skies at the very top of the Dish. Once over, she descended again into the ground fog...


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Sunrise 7:07: Graffiti bench

A year or so ago, a new bench was installed along the west bank of Lake Lagunita, replacing a dilapidated board between two posts. It's the spot where the Dawn Joggers used to see two Stanford workmen meeting every morning for cup of coffee. (The female Dawn Jogger is a bit too early nowadays to determine if their ritual is still happening.) With not a lot of photo opps on yet another dreary, misty morning, the female Dawn Jogger snapped a picture of the new bench, now covered with dorm graffiti. Awaiting the rains so that the lake can return...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Sunrise 7:06: All about the fog

Sometimes the weather is the whole story as it permeates the a dawn jogging outing from start to finish. This morning it was the dense, drippy fog. Between it and the darkness it was almost impossible to get a photo, much less an accurate one The fog droplets were the prominent element captured by the slow speed flash. The new iPod Shuffle selection bluesy roots music fit the morning perfectly...