Tag Archives: seabirds

SOLC Day 12: A Break in the Rain

I’m fighting some kind of upper respiratory infection and the laryngitis that always seems to come with it. Luckily, I was able to work from home today (obviously not a teaching day for me!) and not even have to deal with commuting on a rare rainy day in southern California.

So I laid low, kept quiet, and got quite a bit of work done as the rain pattered its soothing rhythm on the roof tiles.

So when the light changed in my house this afternoon and I realized the sky had brightened and there was a break in the rain, I checked the weather app and then headed out to the beach for a much needed walk.

Sometimes I feel like I am solar powered, energized by blue skies and sunshine and depleted by days that are pervasively gray. I could feel my energy levels rise as I headed from the parking lot down to the shore. It felt so good to get outside in the fresh air. In spite of the rain, it wasn’t cold out…the conditions were perfect for a walk.

I love that the beach always surprises me. There were people like me, in jackets and tennies walking along the shore. There were those in jackets and bare feet, walking in the water or throwing rocks into the surf. There were the teenagers in bikinis, seemingly not experiencing the chill of water in the 50’s and air temps in the 60’s. And always, always, there are the surfers. Most wear wetsuits year round…and nothing ever seems to keep them out of the water.

And today’s treat was the cormorant. I’m always on the lookout for seabirds–seagulls are usual, but it’s tough to see seabirds close enough to photograph. I saw from a distance that there was a bird sitting on the tide pool outcropping. I had my camera ready and crept as close as I could without drenching my shoes or scaring the bird. I click and click, watching as the bird gets ready to launch. And I catch that shot…just at lift off!

Sometimes a break in the rain is just what you need.

Seeking Silence: Day 15

Today marks the halfway point of my self-imposed 30 day National Poetry Month challenge. And as always happens for me, the more I write, the more easily I’m able to write.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I know these poems are not masterpieces…they are, in fact, all first drafts that would benefit from feedback, revision and more revision.

Returning back to school also means that I can involve students in the revision and feedback process as well.  What will happen when we take the time to select some of our poems to rework and improve?  How can we take inspiration from each other and from published poets as we tackle the difficult task of revising our writing?

Today also marks the last day of spring break for me.  It was a lazy day spent reading and running a few errands…with a lovely beach walk squeezed in too.  As is often the case, I found myself drawn to the seabirds…

sandpiper silence

Seeking Silence


In a world of noise and constant motion


I seek silence

in the roar of the surf

as turquoise and blue

tumble to frothy white


I seek silence

in the laughter and squeals

of children

plunging headfirst

into the chill of the spring tide


I seek silence

in the bobbing sandpipers

searching for snacks at lowtide

crying out warnings

when my camera comes too close


In the solace of the ocean and its noise and constant motion

I find a way to quiet my mind

and breathe in silence


Douillard 2018

And on this last day of spring break I found a photo and poem from a student in my inbox.  (Thanks to the parents who allowed their children to email poems to me over the break.)

Amelia dew


Resting its head on its cold plant pillow

Sparkling as the sun shines in them

like a diamond shattered into a million tiny pieces

Showing its power



How are you spending this mid-point Sunday in April?