I’ve been distancing myself from this blog since 2018. I think it is time to share some of the places that I have been. The photos are unique to my experiences, and at a time that can be confining, I hope to take you outdoors to the scenic beauty that is all around us.
In November of 2018 we went on a short road trip around Phoenix, Sedona, and Tucson, Arizona. The desert has never been a place that I long to be. I have a lot of friends who love the desert but I prefer the ocean. With that being said, there is a sense of quiet beauty that exists there. It is a peaceful place that lacks color yet is filled with it too. The calm that I found there is why I am sharing these photos with you. This is a time when we may not feel very peaceful but we know that peacefulness is all around us, we just need to remind ourselves to look for it. I urge you to take a look at your own photos to help refresh your memories of those experiences you’ve had that filled you with joy and calm. This period of isolation will pass and perhaps be one of those memories you choose not to hold on to. Spend this time going in-search of your peace, your calm, and your beauty.
You may have wondered where I have been. I have been on a road trip that began the end of June. This photo is my favorite photo of the entire trip. You see, my grandchildren are the silhouettes on the two piers. It was a lovely place and a calm beautiful evening. The crescent moon and the north star hung in the sky as the tiny lake waves lapped against the beach. I wish we had been able to stay there a couple of days. When you’re on a road trip, it’s hard to not plan ahead and give yourself the authority to stay an extended time, especially when you are caring for two little ones.With all that said, we drove through California, Idaho, Washington, cruised into Alaska, stopped in Victoria, drove through a different section of Washington, Oregon, and California to get back to Graeagle so the kids could go kayaking. I’ll be filling you in on the places we went in the coming weeks. What I want to leave you with today, is this photo of Lake Quinault in the Olympic National Forest in Washington. If you ever get the opportunity to go, do it. It is an amazing slow-paced place. It’s a bit like going back in time and there’s nothing wrong with taking a deep breath and slowing down a little now and then.
Last month I went to the 25th Annual Spring Garden Tour held by the Soroptimist International of the Sierra Foothills. I was going to rank the gardens as I had appreciated them. After thinking about that for a while, I came to realize that it’s not really fair to rank these six gardens, as each garden has its own personality, just like the people do, that tend them. I have, however, decided to share some photos of the garden that I liked most of all.
Butterflies Abound in this Happy Wooded Garden
Fabulous Rose Garden
Dainty Yellow Peony
Pretty Little Colombine
This garden sat up on a hill in Grass Valley, California. It was host to an aviary with happily singing finches and canaries. The butterflies appeared blissfully happy, and with every step that I took, I would find a lovely surprise in the form of some sort of flower that I had never seen in its particular color. You could tell that the people who grew this garden had spent many hours laboring in it. I would have liked to have had the time to sit out in it with a glass of wine in my hand to just drink in all the sights and colors of this magical place. I can’t imagine daily living in that environment. Well, I can imagine it, but I think the best way to see the garden would be to fly through it. No tending, no trouble, just sheer availability to loads of wonderful flowers. Oh to be a butterfly, just for one glorious day. Imagine…
There are times when, as hard as you might try, you just can’t make things work perfectly. This week has been filled with a lot of stressful endings in my house project that did not go according to my plans.
Monterey is filled with these delightful Pride of Madeira flowers.
It’s in those times that are anxiety ridden that I try to pull up images in my mind of places or things that have made me stop to take a closer look. These tiny flowers caught my eye as I walked along the coast in Monterey, not so long ago. They were so delicate and attractive. The bees were happy to see them too. I think that the little annoyances in life, as unsettling as they are, should not cloud my memories of wonderful experiences that have gone before and will surely come again in another amazing array of color that will capture my imagination and fill me with peace and an appreciation of the blessed life I lead. It’s crazy the way stress makes my mind work. This photo, as well as many others quite simply, makes me feel better.
A couple of weeks ago we went for a glorious walk through the Sacramento, State Capitol grounds. The camellias were in full bloom and delighting us with a varied array of colorful blossoms.
I’m glad we took that stroll because just two weeks later the azaleas are starting to bloom and the various magnolias are in bloom. The camellias are all but done and their petals have fallen to the ground.
I haven’t been writing in my blog in the last month because I’ve been working on the addition that is being built onto our house. The painter was painting the walls today and the bathroom will be coming together very soon.
As a child I moved quite often, and even though I’ve lived in this home for twenty-seven years, the idea of having permanent roots is a very comforting feeling. We’re making this a place were we will spend a lot of time and create a lot of new memories. I can’t wait to get started. So like the camellias of the Capitol Garden, I too now have deep roots in a little piece of California.
We’ve been out on some beautiful walks over the last couple of weekends. We were fortunate enough to head up to Sardine Lake in the Lakes Basin area, up the mountain from Graeagle, California. This is the best reflection of the Sierra Buttes that I have ever captured. It was still and silent at the lake, except for the sound of the distant waterfall that echoed from across the deep blue water.
Reflection on Sardine Lake
We continued on to Sand Pond which is adjacent to Sardine Lake. We’ve never been there when you could walk through the first, fresh inches of snow. The road is usually closed all winter. The ice crystals were everywhere and I found that I couldn’t quite capture the diamond like effect that they were giving off.
Snowy Crystals at Sand Pond
As we were walking, I was thinking about my friend, Robbi, who is recovering from a fall and some broken bones. I felt like I was walking for her. She would have loved the sights and sounds during the off-season there. We’ve continued walking to other places too but you’ll have to come back to see where we’ve been. I hope you had a very Blessed Thanksgiving.
I have been waiting for this day for the entire Summer. Cool, slowing, lazy, Fall days. I thought they’d never get here. I couldn’t go towards the coast enough days last Summer. I kept thinking that we would get one more round of hot weather.
Fall In The Sierra Mountains
Leaf Peeping In Delaware
Then it snowed yesterday in the Sierra’s and I knew that Fall was finally upon us. I can’t remember a summer that was hotter than the one we just had. Maybe I’m getting older and less tolerant of the climate changes, season to season. There have been times, recently, that I have thought of the seasons, liking them to the seasons of our lives. If this were the case then I think that Spring would be our baby, toddler, elementary school years. Summer would be our teens and twenties or even our early thirties. Fall would last a very long time before Winter would creep in coldly somewhere around our late sixties and beyond. The changing seasons, you can’t ignore them, they’re upon us any way we may look at them.
I’m hoping that all of us have a very long and glorious Fall Season.
I had this weeks blog all put together and just about ready to send when I drove down the road and had to stop to take a few photos of this amazing field of sunflowers.
This Doesn’t Stop Most
Sea of Yellow
Mix Yellow, Blue, & Green
Old Santa Cruz Mountain Faded Sign
I happen to know the farmer who is growing these and he truly needs people to not trespass on this particular field of flowers. I’ve seen “no trespassing” signs for years. We had them all over the Santa Cruz mountains when I was a kid. Most of them were so old that you could hardly read what they said, but we all knew that we weren’t supposed to cross that line. Today people see fields of flowers and they all rush out to get a selfie of themselves standing in the field. It takes its toll and they don’t understand that the owner really does need them to stay out of the fields. (It’s not just sunflower fields that cause people to do this. Flower fields, in general, attract bees and people.) I know that cell phones don’t have long-range lenses but maybe it’s time to take the old cameras out of the closet and put the phones away. I did not trespass. I’ve always tried to avoid it. Private places are private and public places are, well, public and free to trespass on. Next time you’re tempted, please remember to give the farmer a break.
While I was waiting for these photos to download, or upload, I could see that this year has led me to photograph bodies of water more than anything else. You might see that I was in search of water again but was pleasantly surprised to see this, lovingly placed, field of Agapanthus perched above the Pacific Ocean on Highway 1. I had to turn the car around and get out to take a shot and walk in the coolness of this cliffside. It was a busy place and I was not the only person who stopped with camera in hand.
Just as I had finished taking pictures and started to return to the car, this caught my eye. What a wonderful surprise to see this white flower with one tiny pink bloom in it’s center. How did that happen?
It made me think about the likenesses of plants, scenery, people, and creatures. I thought about how we look at things and think they are the same, but they are not. We are all unique individuals with something that is extremely special about each of us. Just passing by, you might only see the white cluster, but take a closer look and the true beauty of the plant is so small yet brilliant.
Do you think we eventually could end up with pink flowers with one tiny little white flower in each of the centers? Seems unlikely that would ever happen, but it’s fun to consider such a metamorphosis.