One of the perks of visiting my former dentist was that I got to take a walk on the nearby beach afterwards if so inclined, which somehow seemed to be every single time I had an appointment.
Thus, parking the car and walking across the road past the dune grass protecting the beach, I see the fog rolling over the hills above the city in the distance as it likes to do. Rather polite, not intruding on the East Bay today. Taking off my sandals as I reach the beach, I walk down to the water’s edge. The small rhythmic sloshing waves make for a lullaby sound. On my left several seagulls are napping on the sand, occasionally opening an eye to make sure my distance to their resting position is adequate. A few deem it necessary to increase that distance by flying up and landing a few feet further away. Just to make sure I suppose, perhaps having been privy to the occasional unwelcome encounter or being chased.
The morning sun is coming out now on this side of the bay. Very few people are out and about this morning as it is a weekday. A sandpiper hastens it’s walk as I draw near, the tiny thin legs almost a blur. The smell of sand and the salty bay are a delight to the senses. My toes and feet are happy too, unencumbered by footwear.
As I turn around to walk back I see the rhythmic waves permeated by sunlight as they roll gently onto the shore. It is mesmerizing translucent light. I stop to watch. It reminds me of the time I was on an island off the coast of Venezuela, where my son Patrick and I walked on pure white sand and saw thousands upon thousand of seashells with a turquoise equatorial sea as the backdrop.
As if on cue, a brown pelican approaches, gliding effortlessly about a foot above the water right past me to snap me back to reality. What a humorous creation. God had fun with that one, although the fish may have a different opinion on that.
I forgot to post this (from four summers ago), but better late than never: The salmon you see pictured here, is a sockeye salmon, I’d say perhaps a good two feet long or so. Now I would like to say he was caught at the end of my fishing pole, but that would be a tall “fish story”. He was however so kind as to accompany me back from the seafood section of a mostly fancy “organic” supermarket. The price per pound for a whole fish was substantially less than that for fillets, so it was an easy decision. Not only that, but to me, a fish as a whole fish is so much more enjoyable to look at. After being wrapped by the fish monger, I proceeded to the check-out line and playfully held the fish package up to my shoulder, pretending it was a baby and that I am burping it, much to the checker’s delight.
Once in the kitchen, the salmon was first washed of course, then scaled, stuffed with various herbs, before being wrapped in fig leaves, awaiting it’s final destination on the BBQ. Another fine culinary treat by my son Patrick.
Thank you God for making all the fish in the sea – especially salmon.
My miniature potted agapanthus dropped its last cerulean blue blossoms just a few weeks ago. I cut the stalks, which are now hanging on my apartment door, bound together by a red rubber band procured from a bunch of broccoli after cooking it. A simple decoration, and a reminder of summer gone by.
The silk tree in the half wine barrel bloomed very late this summer, beautiful to behold, the delicate pink blossoms are a bit reminiscent of the flowers of a bottle brush tree.
When I water all my potted plants in the evening, bees migrate towards the drops of water, happy to drink I’m sure after a day’s work of gathering honey. We get along just fine. I hear meowing upstairs in a very distinctive tone as I water: I have learned to recognize this sound – if means that my cat Calvin is transporting his stuffed mice and/or hedgehogs around and distributing them in the apartment. I am amused. He just doesn’t seem to understand that I cannot see that from downstairs. He is praised later on though for his thoughtfully distributed presents.
On a culinary note: having picked up some grapes from the farmer’s market, I discovered a recipe for fish with grapes, which turned out quite well. Some of the wineries up in the wine country had their workers pick grapes at night during the hot spell we got here in California several weeks ago, a humanitarian gesture on the part of the growers. During the extreme heat some of those grapes turned to raisins on the vine, a fact not gone unnoticed by the birds I’m sure.
I was standing at the fish monger’s counter at the supermarket yesterday, waiting while the customer in front of me was getting their complicated order. There were some delicious seasonal specimen on display, including halibut, ahi tuna, and cod, all of them fresh and wild caught, but all a bit above my budget. The trout however looked really good too. Once the customer in front of me received their order, the fish monger turned to me and thanked me for my patience. I proceeded to order the trout filet which was on sale, and he told me “you know that’s by the piece not by the pound”. I affirmed this. He then added an extra filet at no charge (I’m guessing because I waited patiently) much to my delight, while telling me a story of going fishing recently near Mammoth Lakes, and catching his limit of trout, but having to run with his catch, after hearing somebody shout: “bear coming your way”. Another fish enthusiast it seems trying to obtain his daily limit.