All tagged March 2018

     “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb”, a proverb that endures as a brain whisper for many of us as we enter this month.  Some other March sayings include: A dry March and a wet May fills barns and bays with corn and hay or March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers (which seems to hold true on the coast).

Many of us have taken a vacation camping in a redwood forest or along one of California’s great coastal parks; perhaps you’ve been to a riverfront, lakefront, or oceanfront hotel or inn. Maybe there was an island vacation you never forgot or dreamed of exploring. Sitting in a remote location under the influence of amazing scenery can lead us to think about the ultimate getaway, or at least my idea of the ultimate getaway: a desert island. A vacation for a week or two is one thing. The idea of a permanent island getaway isn’t for everyone but the imagery is alluring to many. I recall sitting at a bar overlooking the Caribbean in 1975 thinking I could live here. I had the same feeling a few years later in Hawaii. Great idea. Then reality smacked me along side the head and I got back to thinking about earning a living.


     As the tide receded, the harbor seal’s sleek form nearly blended into the dappled gray mudflats. She was restless, shifting her hindquarters, turning to inspect them. With just one more twitch, she gave a push and a small head emerged from between her hind flippers. The pup’s advent was heralded by the clamor of gulls squabbling over the afterbirth. Calling softly, sniffing and nuzzling her pup, the mother established a pair bond that would last just a few weeks, but which would equip her pup for survival on land and at sea. Welcome to springtime on the coast, to Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

At age 26, after three years as Russia’s sole ruler, Peter the Great took himself on a “Grand Embassy” through Europe. With a wink and a nod, he traveled incognito as one of the ambassadorial entourage, giving himself a chance to see other cultures from something like ground-level, which included actually working in the shipyards of Holland and England. He saw clearly that European nations had a strong marine force, whether for trade or conquest or both.


     The gun debate rages on and everyone seems to have an opinion.  Many of us are conflicted.  I'm a gun owner.  They aren't registered and I don't even know if they are required to be registered..  Of course, I would never shoot anyone who is not attacking me in my home with a weapon.  What I shoot is gophers.  Quite a few of them.  I have found that for me, it is the most effective way to protect our garden (don't worry gardeners, I use steel shot).  Our cat is a decent supplement to my efforts, but she has never got 5 in one day.

     Do you know your pets’ ‘normals’? The letters TPR stand for Temperature, Pulse and Respiration. These are the basic vital signs you should be familiar with when it comes to your adult pets. I’m going to throw a B in there to represent behavior- is the behavior you are seeing normal for your pet?

    Andrena Zawinski is an award winning poet and educator. Landings is her latest poetry collection (Kelsay Books, Hemet, CA, (2017). Her previous book, Something About (Blue Light Press, San Francisco), is a 2010 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award recipient for excellence in literature. Her first collection, Traveling in Reflected Light (Pig Iron Press, Youngstown, OH, 1995), was a Kenneth Patchen competition winner. She has additionally authored four chapbooks. Zawinski compiled and edited Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down: An Anthology of Women’s Poetry (Scarlet Tanager Books, Oakland, CA, 2012).