The other day I took myself off for a walk from my brother’s place along Coyote Creek. The first thing I noticed was the size of the sky. Wow! And also the size of most of the birds flying across it.
Walking these creek routes in California, you also realise just how dry it gets. Nobody could remember the last time it had rained when I first arrived. Unusually, it’s rained twice since I’ve been here (of course everyone’s blaming me for that!), but I must say it wasn’t really rain in the British sense! (Lasted at most for maybe an hour and a half, and was more like showers.) There must be potential for crazy rain, though, as the breadth and depth of the levy seems designed to cope really well with a lot of water, and in odd places there’s a warning to not use the path as it underpasses the freeway in “major water events” or some such phrase.
Here’s some of the interesting wildlife I saw:
I also saw a lot of people on their lunch break from the many nearby offices taking a walk with each other, catching a break. And some probably having meetings while walking, and others walking along scrutinising their phones in the pose that is extremely common here as well as in the UK. (Let’s be honest, we’ve all done it. Well, everyone under a certain age probably, anyway.) I hope they remembered to look up, enjoy the awesome view and breathe at some point…
Somehow the business suit this guy was wearing looked incongruous… I am realizing only now that’s for two reasons: 1. This is a creek, named after wild animals (coyotes)… and, a business suit…? 2. This is Silicon Valley, California, where hardly anyone ever wears a suit! (Another guy I passed was bare chested with his T-shirt hanging from his belt, reading some actual pieces of A4 paper, on actual paper 😲 He was quite good looking. I would’ve taken a photo but somehow it felt wrong!) However involved people are with their phones, the one difference between here and the UK is that they pretty much always stop and look up to smile at you and offer some simple greeting. Even if it’s just a friendly “Hey”. The only time when they don’t is if they’re actually on the phone speaking to someone, or if they’re listening to music or something to get some time out. In that way it reminds me a bit of Yorkshire, where people (especially outside of the cities, but sometimes still inside them too) tend to be more ready to talk to each other than in the South of England, in my experience. It’s a bit of a stereotype, but there is some truth in it at least.