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love will keep us together

Friday, April 6, 2018

Atom Heart Mother

Red winged blackbird

It's been a tough couple weeks for me, even tougher for some of my friends. I have two friends in hospice and another who I had almost lost hope for but who is fighting the whole thing hard and who I think might just miraculously kick the shit out of his medical problems before the whole thing is over. Toughest son of a bitch I have ever met but was very, very close to cracking.

I am not going to go into the ins and outs and whos and whats, I must respect their privacy as I would want them to respect mine. But I drove up to the Bay Area this week to see two of them. Perhaps they are cooler with the whole thing than the rest of us are. Eats me up and the guilt of not going when I had the chance would have been devastating. So I went. For me.

In any case the last three days has been a shuttle between hospice and hospital, you feel helpless about your inability to do much but I know that just being there and listening was good for all concerned. Hurts to see my friends in pain. The suck part of aging, watching your friends and loved ones die.

Stayed with Michael. Great friend, has been so wonderful, so generous over the years. We went out birding the last day, at Coyote Point. Was cold and dreary but managed to have fun and grab a few shots.

I am no shorebird expert but I believe that this guy on the right is a black bellied plover. Pretty.

Kerry B. was joking with me about the whole bird obsession of mine. I think it seems silly to some.

I like to process data and learn about new things. When my brother Buzz and I were ten or eleven we both memorized the World Book.

Didn't have television for a lot of our childhood but had a voluminous library and my mother instilled a big drive for knowledge.

And so I now need to know the complete bird taxonomy, to be able to identify all of the species that I can. Part of the general obsession. Way to challenge my brain.

The bird to our left is a male bufflehead. I think I got a couple shots of his penis. Quite prodigious. I had no idea.


Saw all manner of herons and egrets including a tricolor heron. This big blue was quite large and had beautiful long plumage on his beard. it was dark and I didn't have my super great fast lens but did the best I could under the circumstances.

Not sure I grabbed any exceptional shots but it was just nice to be back with my flock after all the misery and tsuris at the hospital.

Sometimes a heron needs to fly.


Caught a cute little belted kingfisher, don't see enough of them in these parts.

Don't really have time to go through the rest of my shots right now. Will let you know if I find anything good.

Had breakfast at Nini's with Warmboe yesterday morning. He suggested I take the 198 home, a little used country road between San Lukas and Coalinga.

Oh, my god. Probably the prettiest drive I can remember taking in California. Words and even pictures can not do it justice. Can't wait to go back. Two hours to do 52 miles, just left me wanting more.

Very Atom Heart Mother. From simple pastoral meadows bursting with poppy and lupine to high mountain lakes with pristine ancient oak forests. Bill saw huge herds of tule elk. Cattle, horses, the beautiful Priest Valley. So much to still discover!









Next time.

One day I will go back and capture this place properly, when I am not tired and have some time to spend.


Mostly downhill from there, literally. Wishing all of my friends, happiness and health.

Padma Sambhava

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