California has me wide-eyed and dazed like I’ve never seen a pine tree before. Everything is so green and lush, there are creeks where there weren’t before. And there are SO many birds: mockingbird in the madrone yelling for attention, western bluebirds swaying on the tips of bare oaks, California towhees littering the shrubs, a fox sparrow in the dense brush with wrentits and a hermit thrush.

I went up to North San Juan so Anthony could work on my truck. The farm he’s working on is just a few miles up Tyler Foot. Beautiful place, busy with birds, a maze of fenceline, and a collection of abodes. The farm he lives on is further up the road. Londa and Richard have been there since the 70s, “built everything you see except for the trees!” I went with her and the dogs for a walk among the cedars and ponderosas. The trees felt giant after Michigan’s red pine forests with trunks so slim I could wrap a single hand around ‘em. It was silent there. A few robin clucks and some kinglet chatter. And silence, aside from paws in the snow.

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