I first noticed the couple because they were at the pond at Pepperdine, feeding the...turtles? Usually it's the ducks that get the attention, but this woman was crouched at the water's edge, her husband taking photos with his phone, as she hand-fed six or seven of the dozens of turtles that make that pond their home.
It was kind of amazing because the turtles are notoriously shy, will leap from the banks into the water the minute they feel the ground vibrate with a footstep. But for her, they crowded around, waiting and jostling and taking tidbits from her hand. It was just so unusual.
And, as it turns out, so was their car.
To everyone who wrote regarding the recent (mis)adventures of the baby Labrador, thank you. The foreign objects have been safely removed, she suffered no physical harm, and is wondering what all of the fuss was about.
Yes, this is an x-ray, and yes, there in the upper left quadrant of the stomach, that short, straight line that you see is indeed a sewing needle. And yes, it's Daisy who, in the process of chewing up a spool of thread, swallowed not one but TWO needles, one of which somehow made it safely through her digestive tract and out her other end, where it was removed by someone who is not getting paid nearly enough. But this second needle is refusing to budge so our vet, the wonderful and brilliant Dana DePerno, will use a scope to retrieve the needle later this morning.
There goes Daisy's college fund.
Headed out with the dogs this morning during a lull in the storm, which turned out not to be a lull at all but a strong and steady rain. Walt was fine in his raincoat. Daisy was fine in her naturally water-repellent fur. The humans were all fine with their jackets and umbrellas. And apparently the wild parrots were fine as well, perched on the topmost branches of the tallest tree, quietly chatting as the mist rose and the rain fell.
They need a lot less water than you would think, which is why they so often struggle here in sprinkler-crazed Southern California.
On rainy days -- and boy is it profoundly satisfying to be able to use the plural when it comes to rain -- the mountains look like this:
One of my favorites, artemisia californica, is growing like mad right now, making the most of the fits and starts of this strangest of rainy seasons.
Oh how I wish you could smell it...
When it's raining, Walt actually waits until he hears the sound of his raincoat being unfolded before he commits to going outside.
The baby Labrador, on the other hand, is completely drip dry.
We all broke out laughing when the genius who had been aggressively tailgating our car on PCH, and then every car in front of us, turned out to have the vanity plate 'WIZDOM'.
That's how it felt this morning, like walking through a watercolor, everything pale, everything muted, everything leaning into the coming rain.
Every time Walt begs for sympathy because Daisy hasn't yet learned the concept of personal space --
You'll almost never see other hikers here, even though it's right next to a popular trail. Lots of parrots, though, and hawks and finches and mysterious stirrings in the underbrush.
There's talk of a storm and a new look to the clouds so perhaps (Walter's ready to rock his raincoat) we'll get more than a drop or two this time.