In northern California it's been gray and cold every morning, which is when I usually like to walk. I much prefer cooler weather to warmer weather, but find that after a summer of chilly mornings, even I yearn for sun and warmth. With that in mind, I delayed my walk on Monday and left at 9:30 a.m. instead of my usual 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. The sun was just coming out as I arrived at the park and I joyfully left my sweatshirt in the car as I began my walk. I was thrilled at the play of light and dark, even in the nearly noon sun, which is usually too glaring and harsh for my taste. The end of my walk was spent at Chloe's favorite spot, the picnic area by the edge of Lake Ralphine, the place where ground squirrels have little fear and a dog can drool and tremble as the youngest squirrels play double-dare with her. At the same time, several of the squirrels watched every human that entered the area, waiting for handouts. I captured a couple of them before their wishes were fulfilled by a young girl with a bag of chips.