Monday, September 16, 2013

Standing on Hills, Sleeping on Water

Boulder, Colorado, is one of the most beautiful and amazing places I've ever lived. From long bike rides up Left Hand Canyon to music festivals in Lyons,  poetry classes at Naropa to an introduction to Ashtanga at The Yoga Workshop, Boulder made long lasting impressions on me. So it's been that much more surreal and heartbreaking to read the news and watch footage about the devastating floods going on right now. The Daily Camera posted a page on ways to assist the long recovery ahead.

Here in California, life continues to be likewise shaped by the landscape, albeit the San Francisco Bay, and of late,  Marin County, definitively another one of the most beautiful places in the US. Having spent last Friday evening playing music in the Beer Garden of Hoponk-Novato, we started out Saturday on Kwame's sailboat, and made our way back up to Marin, this time over-water, to Paradise Cove, an idyllic inlet offshore from Tiburon. I've never slept on the water before and am happy to report it's not only possible but enjoyable. And, wow, what a morning view to wake up into.
Thank you weather gods for shining so benevolently on San Francisco this weekend...please send some love to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Speaking of hills, I've found a way to spend a good chunk of time every other week in The Golden Gate National Recreation Area, atop Hawk Hill. Heeding a call earlier in to year to reboot my involvement with bird conservation efforts, I started my apprentice year as one of many volunteers with The Golden Gate Raptor Observatory who are helping with GGRO's work counting and studying the annual hawk migrations through the Marin Headlands.  I first visited GGRO many years ago as a natural-history studying college student doing work for the Predatory Bird Research Group.  After being around the world and back a few times since then, it's gladdening and eye-opening to catch up with the immense amount of work, research and knowledge the GGRO has done and gained over 30 years of monitoring and tracking the annual raptor migration.  Last week, standing high above San Francisco, watching as  the Mt. Diablo fire expanded and contracted while America's Cup sailboats meandered over the water and the weather changed from minute to minute, I felt at once big and oh-so-small as we hawk watchers counted falcons and hawks, osprey and vultures soaring, hovering,  flapping and otherwise making their way over the hills and water for points beyond. Stunning. Soul satisfying, and hopefully, a bit helpful.

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