Tuesday, February 2, 2021

It's a New Year, Fingers Crossed: January 2021


It is just possible that there might be an end in sight to our Pandemic Life so I've been tackling some long overdue chores. The big item I wanted to accomplish was to pull together all the bits and pieces related to our year living in Tbilisi, Georgia. It was our first live abroad adventure. My online journal began on Apple's long discontinued iWeb which kept us hanging onto an old computer with that software. Dan's emails with a now defunct email address were also scattered on old computers. At that time, 2007-2008, we were still using film. Sadly, the film was often badly processed and subsequent scanned images were at low resolution. There were some 8mp images from a point and shoot digital camera which helped in organizing events by date. My mind was living 10 years back while I organized everything and uploaded all to Blurb.com. Now we're waiting to receive the finished product: Our Georgian Odyssey, We Said. Next chore is to wipe those computers and get rid of them.

With California's Stay-At-Home Order, our travel destinations continue to be limited. Our first trip was to Cosumnes River Preserve located just south of Sacramento. While it was still light, we watched and photographed birds in the fields surrounding the preserve. Watching, photographing, and listening to birds has been such a stress reliever.

White-Fronted Geese
The light was somewhat hazy but there wasn't a breath of air to disturb the reflections. As light was diminishing and fog was rolling in, we drove to the preserve. At the preserve we headed down the walkway toward some distant swans stopping along the way for interesting trees and lighting. I stopped for a photo of a tree filled with birds who suddenly flew away while I was still photographing. On the walk back twenty minutes later, that tree was completely obscured by fog. I don't think I've ever experienced fog descending so rapidly. 



Between those two photographs of the tree, I took a couple of photographs of the curtain of fog closed in.


By the time we got to the swans they were indistinguishable from the blanket of fog.

On one of the warmest January days, we took a drive to Marysville to see the wintering swans and Ibis. We were not disappointed. I've never seen the Ibis so close and in such good light before. These Ibis have the most beautiful iridescent feathers that glint green and rust colors in the sun. They wade quickly as they graze flooded rice fields.

White-Faced Ibis
It was so warm, these Tundra Swans were lazy and mostly sleeping. 



January weather brought sunny, spring-like days as well as a snow day. We woke to a dusting of snow and very cold temperatures on January 25. Our drought conditions were somewhat mitigated by a several day atmospheric river system. 

Another outing was to Sacramento for two purposes. First, we wanted to see how our state capitol was being protected post Jan 6 and before the upcoming presidential inauguration and second, I wanted to take photos of the 65-foot ferris wheel that was installed in Old Sacramento last winter. We didn't ride it that evening as it was a weekend and there was a long line.

The perimeter of Sacramento's Capitol was completely fenced. State Police officers and vehicles stood guard inside the fence while National Guard troops were stationed outside the fence. National Guard troops also stood guard at nearby State Buildings. We wished them an uneventful deployment.





In Old Sacramento on the MLK weekend, people just seemed to be having fun. The ferris wheel and merry-go-round were busy. Most people had masks on so while crowded, it didn't seem hazardous to our health. It felt nice to be in the midst of people having fun.



A couple of weeks later, we returned to Old Sacramento to ride the ferris wheel. We were the only riders as it was before noon on a weekday which means there isn't much hang time at the top for photographing. The wheel stopped briefly at the top on our last revolution and then returned us to the bottom to exit. The carnival rides will continue through March 31.

View of the Tower Bridge from the top of the Ferris Wheel
Much of the rest of the time was spent with our cats. Syd seems to be controlling his hyperesthesia episodes. He isn't as panicked by them as he was initially. We help by holding him, grooming him, reassuring him. He's still on a diet as is Pandora and both have lost a few ounces. We take them outside when the weather is good and when Syd feels like he can do it. 


Yep, I feel the same way Pandora!



The first spring flowering bulbs are blooming in our winter landscape.


In our county so many more people have died from Covid-19. Except for two, all deaths have been people in the 65+ category. As of January 29, 2021, the county has a total of 8,359 positive cases and 79 people have died. At the end of 2020, there were 5,719 positive cases and 24 deaths. The January statistics are devastating but positive cases seem to be declining.

Vaccines are being made available in El Dorado County. Dan, considered high-risk, received his first Moderna vaccine January 23 through his doctor's office. (The office actually called him). His second one will be on February 20. I have an appointment at our county health department to get my first vaccine on February 5. I think it will be the Pfizer vaccine. 

I don't think I've ever watched an entire presidential inauguration, but I watched the Biden/Harris inauguration with pleasure. Even though they are still puppet masters, the grifter family is finally out of DC. Hoping so much that good and common sense will prevail. Joe, Kamala, and the Biden cabinet will need to be miracle workers to save us. Fingers crossed!

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