First Blush

Reflections and sightings from [almost] daily jogging at dawn

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sunrise 6:15: Snapping the moment

The female Dawn Joggers sees rabbits - actually usually desert hares - a couple of times a week. She suspects a den near the golf course trail she uses to get over to Lake Lagunita. They just aren't the posing type and run away quickly. But this morning she came upon a whole group of rabbits eating their breakfast on the Alpine side of Big Dish. The were just far enough away to not be bothered by her so she strained the limits of Lumio the camera and took a picture. The result was a recording of the moment, not a real photograph. Later, in a field adjacent to the golf course, a Blue Heron did sort of pose. It was a good morning outing before taking to the skies later today...


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sunrise 6:17: On the move

The world seemed on the move to the female Dawn Jogger this morning. Lots of ducks flying in to the lake (such as it is this year). More than the usual number of joggers making their way around the lake's perimeter. There was even a spring version of last fall's prayer guy, although seated in a different place and facing not quite east. When she hit the roadway between the practice golf course and the paddocks, she stumbled upon a good size palm, presumably being transported to a new home on campus. Tomorrow the DJs will be on the move...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunrise 6:18: Five miles of unexceptional

The female Dawn Jogger feels like those souvenir t-shirts that say "My grandparents went to New York and all I got was this lousy t-shirt." Her five mile run across the Stanford campus was like that this morning. Gray skies so no pretty sunrise. Not a student in sight (of course). No activity. No interesting leftovers from "Admit Weekend." Had to settle for a mystery woman photographed who knows when or where. Some place on campus, just before or during WWII...


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sunrise 6:20: Chris walks the Dish!

Like last Saturday, another milestone was reached today by the Dawn Joggers. After an absence of close 2 1/2 years, they walked the Dish together, starting from the gate near Junipero Serra and Campus Drive East. The female DJ thinks the loop is somewhere around 2 1/2 miles, but it's not so much the distance as the numerous steep ups and downs. The male DJ (shown taking a photo of the female DJ) feels very accomplished. "This was a big deal to me," he said...


Friday, April 24, 2009

Sunrise 6:22: Construction progress at Oak Knoll

Menlo Park schools have been a big part of the female Dawn Jogger's life. She grew up on Hillview Drive and attended Hillview School when it was a K-8. Now she lives on Oak Knoll near Oak Knoll School. Both of these schools - as well as Encinal - are or will be undergoing major renovations. The Oak Knoll project changes green scape and traffic patterns and features a much larger multi-purpose building, facts that kicked up significant neighborhood dander. Now it's all dust as construction has started in earnest. The female DJ used her morning outing to capture the progress. Menlo Park is known for its excellent schools...


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sunrise 6:23: A week full of skies

It's been a week full of interesting skies and dawn light. This morning both its tones and shape changed throughout the female Dawn Jogger's run around Lake Lagunita (which was surprisingly free of water fowl). Seems there's little chance of ducklings this year...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sunrise 6:24: Earth Day salute to Booka

The female Dawn Jogger's father - known as Booka, the name his 15-month-old grandson game him - was born this day in 1911. Given his love for and how much he treasured nature's gifts, the female DJ thinks it's perfect that Earth Day is celebrated on his birthday. An ideal run this morning would have been along a Sierra ridge top or to the top of the hill on her cousin's ranch where his ashes were scattered a month ago. But the female DJ made due with the Dish and the blessing of another sunrise. Booka was most at home in the out of doors...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sunrise 6:25: Wow - what a sky!

The female Dawn Jogger is once again discovering the difference between the moment and the moment captured by camera. When she took today's photograph between the first and second fairway of the golf course this morning, she would have reported that it was "quite light out" and that what caught her eye was the glow of the sun. The camera doesn't show the light but instead captures what she missed - the wonderfully nuanced colors of the clouds, which show off much more dramatically in the camera's eye. This is about the time the male DJ lectures her on brain versus camera processing...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunrise 6:27: The brightest front yard in the neighborhood

Adding to the cranky foot, the female Dawn Jogger is working to head off a virus of some kind, so taking it easy today. Given the warm weather, she decided a little sunshine might do her good, so she took a stroll around the neighborhood. As it did last year (and maybe in previous years), this house gets the prize for the brightest front yard. If not the most natural, too...


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sunrise 6:29: Making it to the top - together

The female Dawn Jogger's cranky foot (making walking more sensible than jogging) and the male Dawn Jogger's increasing strength and stamina combined this morning, and the result was a hike to the top of Arastradero Preserve, something they had not done together for well over two years. The victory for the male DJ was not just that he walked a mile or so up - and then down, which is more difficult for him - but that at least half of the trail was on uneven ground, requiring steadiness and dexterity. It was great to share the view and wildflowers...


Friday, April 17, 2009

Sunrise 6:31: Colors of Easter

No need to dye eggs when the spring tulips are at their show off best in perfect Easter colors. The female Dawn Jogger is enjoying the bright early morning light...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sunrise 6:32: How does your [whimsical] garden grow

There's a front yard in Menlo Park that has long displayed many touches of whimsy, including one of the famous cows from Chicago. It's clear that the homeowners are not timid about expanding to the fanciful adornments of copper insects, gnomes and birdhouses. The female Dawn Jogger noticed a proliferation this morning surrounded by spring blooms. Setting off the scene was frost on the roof, unusual for this time of year...


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sunrise 6:34: Another what is it, where is it sighting

Some of it has to do with the light. The sun is rising early enough that the female Dawn Jogger runs most of her route in fair to good light. That means some structures that she seen in the dark are now illuminated. So, like yesterday's building, she took a photo of a structure that appeared a few months back and sits somewhere on the Stanford campus. Again, she's betting most of her fellow residents of the Mid-Peninsula won't be able to figure out what it is and where it's located. Not sure of merit of this current game - or how long it will last...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sunrise 6:35: Could this be Menlo Park?

Like one time last week when she took a different route around the Stanford campus, a alternate Menlo Park route this morning presented an unusual scene to the female Dawn Jogger. In fact, she's guessing that most fellow residents wouldn't recognize the buildings as being in the town limits. When she showed the male DJ the photo she'd taken, his response was, "Is that someplace in England?" Making it harder to identify is that most people don't view it from this vantage point. Really no fun in saying what or where the buildings are...


Monday, April 13, 2009

Sunrise 6:36: Just ahead of sunrise

The sun seems 'full steam' on its path to rising earlier each day - sometimes two minutes ahead of the day before. The female Dawn Jogger is still setting out ahead of the sunrise, but the gap is closing. Another couple of weeks and the sun will have her beaten...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunrise 6:38: Surprises of Easter

The female Dawn Jogger headed out for a pre-church run this Easter morning (Grace will be attending - warranting a special edition of First Blush later today) and got surprised. The forces that be at Stanford were allowing the water from another reservoir to flow into Lake Lagunita, which was filling. This was Cassie the Australian Shepherd favorite spot to play and splash - and both DJs had remarked over the last couple of days how much they still miss her. Then when the female DJ descended the steps from the lake levee down to the dorm area, she came upon not one but two Blue Herons hunting for breakfast. Maybe there's a nest in the area...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sunrise 6:39: A not very nervous herd

It looked to the female Dawn Jogger that the whole herd of young cattle was gathered around the paved road that leads up from Piers Lane to the Big Dish this morning. And quite a few were in not much of a hurry to move away from their human interlopers, including one guy who was distinctly colored. At least it made for easy pix...


Friday, April 10, 2009

Sunrise 6:41: Look for signs of Easter

The female Dawn Jogger went out around the neighborhood this morning looking for signs of Easter, particularly of the floral kind. And while there are an abundance of flowering trees pretty much at their height, there was no "ah-ha Sunset" moment. As she headed home up the dirt path by the Creek, they clouds were pretty - kind of a good Ascension day photograph. Of course, we're getting ahead of ourselves...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Sunrise 6:42: Good year for poppies

Whatever the factors involved, the Dawn Joggers think there's been a bumper crop of poppies this spring. The multitude of poppy stands amused them for much of their journey from the Bay Area to Potter Valley a couple of weekends ago. There's a good group in teh rocky area adjacent to Lake Lagunita that the female DJ passes by. They have opened yet - need a little more daylight, if not sunshine, for that. Their bright color is nevertheless cheery...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Sunrise 6:44: Showers and a mystery

The rain was mostly gone when the female Dawn Jogger set out on her Wednesday Big Dish run. As she approached the gate into the Big Dish area - across Junipero Serra from some campus dorms - she saw a young woman dangling a pink jacket, almost like she was mad at it. When she caught up to the woman, she saw that was also carrying a good size shovel on her shoulder. What she was planning to dig up - or bury - will forever remain a mystery. On her decent down the back of the Dish towards Piers Lane, it was easy to track the rain squalls coming in over the western hills. They missed the female DJ. She only got sprinkled on...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Sunrise 6:45: The cheer of a bright sunrise

Thanks to the presence of some clouds, the sun really lit up the sky this morning, a show that continued for much the female Dawn Jogger's run around the lake this morning. It was a good start to what's going to be a full day...

Monday, April 06, 2009

Sunrise 6:47: Hidden chimes

For no particular reason other than it was a nice spring morning and it seemed like a good idea, the female Dawn Jogger altered her usual Monday route this morning. As often happens when she does so, she stumbled upon something new, three cylindrical chimes hung from a tree behind The Knoll. She's wondering if they ever get played. Given the right atmospheric conditions, it would be possible to hear them at the DJ's house. They made one sound this morning, thanks to a gently push by the female DJ...


Sunday, April 05, 2009

Sunrise 6:48: One with nature

The female Dawn Jogger knows that her weekday runs around Lake Lagunita weekdays are in suboptimal (pre-sunrise) light, but it really hit home this morning, when she did the route a couple hours later. It just seemed nature was everywhere - including a Blue Heron in the adjacent field - and it was all glowing green. She's not sure when the ducks and geese are going to give up on the dwindling water...

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Sunrise 6:50: Surprise encounter

Even with a full afternoon ahead (going to see a little preseason baseball) the Dawn Joggers decided to head out to Arastradero Preserve while the grass was still at its greenest and the wildflowers were in bloom. The female DJ does a loop that takes her up and down three times, so its a good workout. After coming down from the loop in one of most southern parts of the preserve (near the main entrance), she was surprised to see the male DJ. He was in the midst of his longest hike since diagnosis, which included two big up and downs. Naturally, he was feeling pretty good about it...


Friday, April 03, 2009

Sunrise 6:51: Catching the sunrise

The sun first poked over the horizon while the female Dawn Jogger was heading up the hill to the Big Dish this morning but the display held long enough for her to snap a shot looking east from the foot of the radio telescope. The Bay had a nice glimmer, too...

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Sunrise 6:52: Ms. Robin is back

The show was at the beginning and end of the female Dawn Jogger's run this morning - right in the DJ's backyard. A robin - the same one that built two nests last year? - is once again building a nest in their patio umbrella. This year's nest is very eclectic, lots of dangling ribbons and scraps. The male DJ had seen a little bird interfering with the robin's building attempts, and when they'd gotten back from their weekend away and there was no progress, they figured the robin had gone elsewhere. All the progress has been in the past 24 hours. There's another nest on top of the wreath on the front porch...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Sunrise 6:54: In the pink this morning

The female Dawn Jogger went out to get the morning papers (a ritual slated to change if the pundits are correct) and realized that she was missing the full impact of what looked to be a pretty sunrise. Instead of her Wednesday Dish run, the DJs are headed to UCSF for appointments. She could still see the pink glow through the trees, even if not the full panorama...