Have you noticed that the light has changed? It's not the same as the bright, intense summer light. There's a softness to it now. It slides into our days at a different angle.
This past weekend I went outside with my kids in search of the autumn light. I was craving the hot dryness of ground that hasn't received rain in 5+ months, and that gentle light of October. We headed one hour south of our home in Berkeley to San Jose and then turned east up Alum Rock Road. We climbed out of the valley for 25 minutes and found ourselves in another world. Turkeys crossed the road slowly. A bobcat lounged on the hillside 40 feet from our car. The rolling, oak woodland hills were warm and dry and beautiful.
We camped at Joseph Grant County Park for two nights. We watched Acorn Woodpeckers drink out of a water fountain. Man, they are chatty birds. Of course we played baseball. Lots of it.
We sat and read books and rocked in our Crazy Creeks.
And we drove up the hill to the top of Mt Hamilton. Have you been there? It's a stunning place. We could see Mt Tamalpais and Mt Diablo in the distance and that made me think of this. At the top of Mt Hamilton is Lick Observatory which houses, among other fancy telescope things, a 56' telescope built on site in 1888. Think about building a huge, delicate thing on top of a mountain without the benefits of cars, trucks, or helicopters. That's not an easy thing to do.
Thank goodness they have shorter, simpler telescopes outside the Observatory for anyone to use.
This weekend we explored and discovered Joseph Grant County Park. We found Acorn Woodpeckers, Flickers, Blue Birds, and California Quails. We ate a lot of s'mores. We made time to breathe deeply, move more slowly, and have long conversations. And we found that October light that I love so much.
Learn more about Joseph Grant County Park, and make reservations for a campsite.