So we recently adopted a dog named io.  How do you spell that? I <pause> O.  Actually he came to us via Kirsten’s brother.  He is our dog love.

io in the car. Pretty much the coolest and cutest. In my biased opinion at least.

io in the car. Pretty much the coolest and cutest. In my biased opinion at least.

It has been about two months and io is now almost fully integrated into our home right beside our two cats, Puffin and Quartz, and pretty much everywhere we are.

The sad and beautiful thing about bringing this being into our home is that for the first month in our new cabin we did not leave the house.  Granted we had many things to do to keep us occupied, I was certainly doing a lot of nesting and tidying.  But there are only so many times you can reorganize the closet before it is time to venture outside.  There is nothing that will motivate you to lace up your shoes like a canine companion.  Us humans can be sedentary creatures, but there are only so many hours our dog friends can stand it.  Great, let’s go outside!

What a wonderful mountain world we are discovering right outside our door.  How our relationship with io is growing into a love we did not realize we were missing.  We do have two cats, but sometimes, maybe most times, they cannot be bothered.  They certainly do not always greet us at the door with their tails wagging.  And they don’t want to go outside on a leash, we have tried!

left turn redwood tree

One of my favorite trees on our dirt road!

I love how this tree takes an almost horizontal left turn for a jaunt before turning and eventually reaching for the sky again.  To me this seems like a perfect place to build a bench to sit and enjoy the towering redwoods.  I had driven under this tree almost 60 times before actually seeing it, craning my neck to take in the scene from my feet to enjoy the spontaneity of this tree.  Ant experience I gained from taking out our dog.  This is just one of a number of nature pictures that I will feature in this post.  A visual ode to Mother Nature and my impetus io.

roadside wild peas

Wild peas on the side of the road. The magenta colors are so vibrant in the sea of greens that dominate the landscape.

I cannot help we awe at the beauty of the wild pea!  So much so that I have stopped on the side of the road and walked back to get the best shot, the above one however was from my slow moving car.  These peas are in bloom along the roads before our mountain.  There are a few blooms on our regular walk up on the mountain, but not in the numbers seen here.  The peas we see on the mountain, represent the second bloom of peas, the first were smaller peas that have since turned brown and died back, part of the constant cycle of nature.  Not sure if you can identify a wild pea?  Our brains are programmed to notice patterns, especially in nature, and once you see the characteristic banner you will be amazed at how your eye will register new ones you come upon.  How else have humans learned what to eat and what to stay away from, “leaves of three let it be!”

We took a walk almost at the very top of our mountain and were amazed at the view, of the Parajo Valley, the Santa Cruz area coast line and all the way across to the Monterey peninsula.  A view we had yet to see before we wanted a new experience for our dog.  The next few images will be from this walk that moves us in the direction of the Forest of Nisene Marks.

spider web

A suspended spider web in the remaining stump of a redwood tree.

io and his friend and neighbor yobi off leash on the mountain!

io and his friend and neighbor yobi. Dogs off leash on the mountain!

oak and moss canopy

Upward view of a moss covered oak tree and a bare redwood top that is home to woodpeckers!

fern plant

The shade from a fern. To me it looks like an arrow pointing the way towards expansion and oneness. It is crazy how there are more living things in the shaded area than your eye can take in from the whole picture in the wonderful soil community.

Sunset view from buzzard lagoon towards santa cruz

Sunset view from Buzzard Lagoon looking towards Santa Cruz.


fairy globe

Fairy Globes.



peas starting to bloom

Peas on our mountain.

These next photos are taken on our road and our daily walk to the old growth stump pictured below. Speaking of spiders.   Kirsten once saw a spider with something curious on her abdomen.  As we all peered closer we saw lots of little specks.  We were informed from our neighbor Wendy (yobi’s person) that they were baby spiders!  So cool!  It was also from Wendy that we have started talking about the love of our companion animals and how the feelings grow with time.

All these flowers were discovered steps from our house.  If you also count all of the flowers growing in our yard we can bring nature inside to enjoy day and night.

bringing nature insideSometimes it takes effort to go outside for our walks.  The reason of course is we need to exercise our border collie, but guess what?  Humans need exercise too!

Right when we leave our drive way we are treated with this view below.  It never fails that when we return from our walks we stop to take this in and end up putting our arms around each other while io wags his tail carrying around his ball.

lower vista of pajaro valley

View of the Pajaro Valley that we see twice daily at the beginning and end of our walk.

old growth redwood tunnel

The turning point of our walk. A old growth redwood stump with the sweet tunnel. I have yet to travel through as the area is full of poison oak.

Another wonderful thing about our mountain is the friends we see as we drive up and down.  It is a wonderful sight after a day at work, friends frolicking in the apple orchard or crossing the street.

deer and turkey friends

Can you see the loves?

The love is all around us.  It is almost without fail that I will see some deer and/or some turkeys on the daily and I had a quail family run across the road in front of me the other day!  Early summer is an especially memorable time as you can see the families growing with all the new additions.

The best source of love is io himself.  We have both learned so much about ourselves on our walks from tone of voice to patience.  Certainly we can be calm and aggressive!  I have always been a cat person, but I am certainly a io person now.  I have been growing more and more in love with this being as each day passes.  There is no sweeter love than that from an unconditional being.  We can only hope to learn from them how to do this, how to be in the now.  How to live each moment, in the moment.  To truly be practice mindfulness and heartfulness.  selfie of us with io at the beach


And who can resist this beach selfie?  How do you see the love?

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