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Summer's here...

We had a lot of late rain this Spring, and California is green from head to toe. (LA has had 2-1/2 times normal rainfall.) Around here on the trails the grass is high and the poison oak is leaping out. Creeks on the mountain are high, waterfalls pounding. Things in the garden kicking into acclerated growth. The earth feels alive and pulsing.

We've got bantam chickens this year: Auracanas, Rhode Island Reds, and Partridge Rocks. There's one rooster, a beautiful Auracana. Who protects his harem: if I go into the coop and a hen gets alarmed, he'll attack me. I mean he weighs maybe two pounds. I weigh 150, 75 times his weight. It's about the same scale as me attacking an elephant (13,000 lbs.). Dude!

On Saturday mornings I've been running with a group of mostly gazelle-like runners on the mountain. We've been running on trails I haven't been on before, some steep uphill climbs, smooth single track trails through the redwoods, rocky downhills, fire roads. For 3 months I've been struggling, not in shape for this group, but the last couple of weeks have felt better. I'm not so far behind now, and the scenery is spectacular. We run for 1-1/2 hours min., some people go 2, even 3 hours. Right now pretty much all the runners I know are training for the Dipsea race -- the oldest cross-country race in America, and right in our back yard. 7.2 miles, starting with 672 steps up out of Mill Valley, down into Muir Woods, up over a flank of Mt. Tamalpais, then down through meadows and canyons to Stinson Beach and the Pacific Ocean. It's romantic. Runners get into a serious relationship with the trails and the views and the difficulties (and the shortcuts) of it all. This morning I just got back from my last run on the trail until the race two weeks from now. It was foggy and cool and I didn't encounter a single person. It was a great run. Went down to the beach and looked out at the ocean, bought some scones at the local bakery, and am signing off for now because I'm getting ready to leave for 4 days shooting photos of builders in Vermont and then to NYC for the big Book Expo. Ciao...