Category Archives: Small Pleasures

In The Peaceful Valley

When we first moved to Santa Barbara County, we lived for a year or so in a little  apartment on a horse ranch on the outskirts of Solvang, and we used to enjoy wandering from there through miles of fields … Continue reading

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Light and Shadow

It had been a busy day of errands and a doctor’s appointment, and we decided to have dinner out. The restaurant we chose is an unpretentious storefront place in a strip mall in Goleta, but we like it fine. We placed … Continue reading

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Here and Now

I’ve been sharing posts about our travels, drawing upon the notes I scribbled into my journal, and little by little, I’ll get through the trip. But on this bright October morning I want to write a few words about here … Continue reading

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A Palmier Moment

Picture a window in a fourth floor apartment in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, a tall narrow window that opens like a door to a ledge bound by a wrought iron rail. The ledge is almost a balcony, and I … Continue reading

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Vernal Pool

We saw it from a long distance, glistening blue in sunlight, a sapphire set in the green. It’s a vernal pool, an ephemeral pond, an evanescent wetland offering habitat to plant and animal species that can flourish nowhere else. Nobody knows how many … Continue reading

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The Bread Bakers

It sort of started with Jeanne, as many things do. She used to be my neighbor, and now she lives up north in a misty place, perfect for bread baking, which she has taken on with her usual zeal and … Continue reading

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In Pursuit of Perseids

It’s just the way I am. If there’s going to be a meteor shower, I want to watch. And so last night I hauled a sleeping bag, pad, and pillow out onto the deck. My original plan had been to … Continue reading

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The Return of the Bike Girls

Thirty or so years ago, still new to California, I fell in with a group of friends who rode bicycles. They did other things as well, of course, but riding bikes was the theme of our time together. We met regularly … Continue reading

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There’s This

Above we see Nick (visiting from Wales), Rebecca, and Guy on a morning stroll through a canyon in the Santa Barbara north county backcountry. If a passion can be described as patient and gentle despite its intensity, that’s what these … Continue reading

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Notes

I spent time with a hummingbird this morning, both of us drawn to the orange cape honeysuckle whose trumpet-shaped flowers rise above the wall of the deck at the front of the house. The hummingbird sipped at nectar as I sipped my coffee … Continue reading

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