Mud And Snake Bites

I had a dream I was bit by by a snake last night, what does that mean? It was buried in the ground, head first, and then a friend came along and unearthed it. I was leaning against a tree as it crawled up my body. I stood motionless except for my left hand which I put in front of my face. It slithered up as I stood passively and then it bit the hand I held in front of my face. I don’t know what that means, but it sure was frightening since I’m in the land of snakes.

I’m shaking that off this morning. I have come to the neat conclusion that I’m going to be sticking around Oceanside for the holiday (no complaint here). I adore my host and I’m on the neatest bit of land (organic farm and B&B, who could dream of better). I have officially been adopted by my host and her family. I had to tell her that I’ve been adopted by many people, so I suppose another one doesn’t hurt. It is interesting how quickly one can grow close to other humans, it doesn’t take all that long. I came up with a pretty cool way of describing this new found closeness that I am finding many places; I’m being adopted by the world.

This morning I’m going to do some yoga and then I’m off to a pool for a swimming lesson. It is raining today so farm work is minimal here, this means Andrea has the time to give me swimming lessons. She was a swim teacher. She used to teach kids in Alaska how to swim in warm pools because they were finding that Alaskans didn’t know how cause the water was too cold.

That’s now my excuse when someone asks how gal from the land of 10,000 lakes doesn’t know how to swim , “the water was too cold.”

Anyway, I get to swim today, AND it is raining here in SoCal! It is raining! They need it so bad. It is wonderful to experience the excitement that a few inches of rain brings to the residents. How neat to be a part of that instead of the alternative — more drought. If one believed in such things as ‘Christmas miracles’ they might apply the term, I don’t. It is simply the time of year when the days get shorter, the weather gets cooler, and the West coast gets an all encompassing storm that supplies water to the parched areas. It is all science.

Though that dream about a snake biting me…is there a scientific explanation for such foolishness? I don’t know. I woke up to windows filled with grey and a spot on my hand that I had to double check for holes; it was all clear. The sky has been dark on and off since I got here to Oceanside. It makes for a lot of mud. Apparently the hills around here are not glacial, meaning thy were made differently than most of the mountains on the continent of North America (or atleast most of the mountains that Little Wing and I have rode through). The hills here along the rocky shores of Oceanside are cones. They are old cones that made themselves known when all the tectonic plates shifted, and now instead of being cones under the ocean they are large hills with various layers of rock samples all throughout. Andrea told me that from one acre to the next on her farm there isn’t really one soil sample that comes out the same as the next.

She’s a biologist.

I know nothing of what this means. All I know is it is fascinating, and something about all this science appears to be the reason for the exorbitant amount of sloppy, sinking, sticky mud everywhere.

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Muddy boots.

Andrea has a dog, Brooky, who takes all the guests on tours of the property. She has decided it is her job and she has a certain path that she always takes, though she was never trained to do such. At a B&B on a farm this is invaluable skill to pickup. Brooky has so many willing followers and they just love to take the tour. Of course she loves being the leader, the alpha female, and she also loves the attention. She is one of the most popular dogs in the neighborhood because of this hobby. Sometimes the neighbors call Andrea and ask if they can send one of their guests over to have a Brooky Tour, it is fabulous. Well anyway, since I have been here it has been raining, which means it’s been muddy. On the days it wasnt raining I was riding around with Little Wing or off on some adventure with Andrea. It took me until this weekend to finally get my Brooky Tour. Oh, was she ever pleased. It was her, her sister, Foxy, Stiches — the dog from down the street, Andrea, her grandchildren, and myself. Off we started, trekking after that nimble old lab. She lead us up the hill and straight into mud. It was dryer than it has been, but still sticky. It was shocking, hard to believe, like nothing I’ve ever seen. That mud was a new creature all together. It was like Oobleck, something straight from Dr. Seuss’ imagination (he was actually from San Diego, it makes one wonder…?). I felt as though Bartholomew Cubbins was walking ahead with the eight and ten year olds, who were slowly getting covered in the muck up ahead of us. Bartholomew wasn’t actually with us though, that was just my imagination, those kids were doing a number without any help. As a kid I remember loving to play in the mud, but ours was nothing like that. Anyway, Brooky trotted along, lightly, not sinking an inch on those canine pads. We made our way down to the pond. It was low, Andrea pointed out, but a up a few inches from the month before. We saw ducks swimming and two of the three dogs splashed in to chase them. Squeaking ensued — a lighter sound then a squawk, but a noise nonetheless — and the ducks disappeared into the reeds. The children attempted to join the dogs in their aquatic escapades, but were stymied by the inevitable quick riposte of a concerned grandma (too cold for pond swimming here in SoCal). Instead the kids found some interesting things to do walking around the pond; playing, talking being the heros in their own adventure, what ever that happened to be. The squabbling and wacking hands — generally the expected norm of siblings — was paused for a moment while they forgot about all other living beings, except for the dogs and the birds, and went about observing nature. The wonder of a child, there is nothing better.

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Of course, during this adventure, I kept looking down to watch the next step. My shoes were slowly getting cased in mud and the extra weight seemed to be deflating any buoyancy I had. I was slowly sinking deeper into the slime. Ah well, this just meant had to pick up my pace and keep moving. So while watching the children I took to doing a dance that resembled something like the cha-cha in its step. From one side to the next, back and forth. It was all about keeping afloat.

When the pond no longer had our attention in its grasp we made our way back up an even muddier incline, Brooky leading the way back to the house. We were more than pleased to reach the top, I was happy to just rest my feet on solid, grassy, sandy soil.

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This is a hibiscus flower. Andrea picks the leaves and drys them. They make a delicious tea which I get to drink in the morning. Mmm, I love it.

Despite the gooieness of the tour it was pretty damn lovely. It is nice to be staying at such an interesting place and have so many experiences that aren’t typical of my home state. We don’t have hills, but if we did they would be glacial. Actually, Minnesota has the oldest North American mountain range running right through it. It is hard to know that in such a flat swampy area, and they are just tiny hills now. Smalll bumps on the surface because of the many years of erosion. I can’t even estimate how many years they’ve bean wearing down. Biology time differs greatly from my time. I just can’t imagine.

The hills in SoCal are cones. Water here is too cold when it is exposed to 60 degree days (that just a difference in thinking really). There is an ocean a few miles away and a serious drought that is slowly being washed away. It is all so fascinating, all so different. The trip has been peppered with so many of these new places with new things, I adore it. I feel like a an eight or ten year old again, the wonder flashing in my eyes, as I star as the hero of my own adventure. The world is slowly adopting me. Can it get better?

I’m sure it can, cause soon I will be able to swim.

I think the snake dream is a reflection of my nerves. Well, I don’t like that. I don’t like being bit by such a pesky emotion, I am ignoring it. Yoga and blogging are great ways to kill the snake, I have more interesting things to do.

Enjoy your day, do lots of interesting things. Wap the snake on the head, kay?