I am writing this from the small town of Tecate, in Baja, California, where I am spending a week with three women friends...away from snowy New England. Here's a photo of the view from the terrace of our little casita:
As you can see, the sky is very blue and the landscape quite rugged. Two mornings ago, looking out from this very spot, I watched a mountain lion move across the tall grass in the open space behind the small tree. When I mentioned it to the staff here, they said, "Must have been a stray dog." But I know a dog when I see one. This was a large CAT, moving in the sinuous way of cats...the size of a German Shepherd, tawny gold, and with muscles in its shoulders...completely different from a dog. Later they acknowledged that there have been occasional sightings...and in fact there are signs at the entrances to hiking trails alerting hikers to the presence of mountain lions...so I feel quite certain that's what I saw.
It made me want to go back and re-read Jean Stafford's book "The Mountain Lion" which I loved in the past, and I can envision exactly where it is, in a bookcase in my Maine house.
We began our trip here with a mishap, when one of my friends fell and gashed her forehead on the corner of a chair...so there was an unplanned several-hour visit to a hospital ER in San Diego, and now she has a Frankenstein-looking stitched-up wound, but is doing fine...no concussion, no fracture.
Linda Sue Park and I have been having an e-mail conversation geared around the Newbery Medal, with this year's selection coming up; it will be published on Amazon at the time of the ALA (I'll have to find out how to get to it)... already I would like to re-write my half of it. She was more eloquent than I. Bummer. Story of my life....