Showing posts from December, 2021

Meadow: The Creek in Chaos

The creek has burst its boundaries after the big rains, and is dancing past dumpsters and  carving deep ravines through the now lush-green meadow. I walked with a childlike friend who grinned into the big puddles and whooped over the roaring waterfall at the crossroads bridge. "It's like therapy to me," she noted, "to see the wild chaos after a big event, as part of nature's plan. It makes me feel like what's happening inside me isn't so weird at all." Yeah, I totally get that.We came across yet another fallen tree and adopted some branches to bring home for the holidays. Across the ravine, a woman and her dog had to crawl under branches.  Out by the front of the park, someone had lovingly festooned a snag with shiny bulbs. Trees are falling, trees are dying. Nature's not keeping up. I had a long conversation the other day with Tim Vendlinski, the Oak Saver. Read this article ! This is Oakland. We need to plant a thousand

Sanborn Drive: On a Roll!

It took some coaxing to get my mom up to the park today in the fog, where we could give her her birthday present. At first she was trepidatious of her new rollator (we're calling it her roly poly) but soon she wouldn't stop for anything but the season's first mushrooms. Mushrooming is a family tradition, so seeing my old mom, aunts and uncles on their knees trying to identify today's featured fungus was a fun blast from the past. There was a group of them that Google Lens helped identify as either Russula cyanoxantha or Booted Knight (Tricholoma focale). We rolled past a flurry of activity up at the native plant nursery; Friends of Sausal Creek is a group that protects the watershed and propagates native plants (other than funghi). They have workdays every Wednesday and today, in the eerie fog, they were merrily plopping little seedlings along the fence where informative labels will tell you what they are.  We got as far as the funeral pyre (there wouldn't be much

Lookout Point & Elephant Barn: Music & Memories

Most days I spend here are in solitude, but today in the park it was practically a party. Celebrating my friend Suzette's completion of her Master's Degree, we got Muffalletas and tea from  L’Acajou Bakery & Cafe  (Epiphany! Must try!) and picnicked in the park. There was the sound of a horn, from far far away. Suzette had never been to the Park before so I gave her the tour. When we arrived at Lookout Point and peered over the rocky edge, there was a fine young man with a gleaming trombone, smiling up at us. Soon we were chatting in English and in Spanish. Cuban trombonist  Obrayan-Calderon  (Obryzon), plays in bands all over the Bay Area and even recorded with  Fantastic Negrito . Soon Suzette, who sings backup with  Nott the Hoople , was chatting him up and networking about music gigs. I hummed a few bars of "Joaquin Miller Went Walkin'" and he tried a lick or two.... now I think we'll need a MAMBO version...! Then Suzette and I started brainstorming ho