Finding Flanders’ Fields

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I’ve missed a couple of weeks of posting and I’ve got a good reason why that happened. I’ve been in the south of France, staying in small villages and fully enjoying the sights. I had wanted to go to Provence, France to see the lavender in bloom but the timing was a bit off so I had to settle for the red poppies as they were still blooming about everywhere we went.

I am happy to be home, but have had an incredible vacation with family and friends. It is a wonderful way to travel and a great way to get to know each other better while in a relaxed environment. These poppies were planted in remembrance of the lives that were lost to war. It seems like we are always at war some place in the world. Sad really. The poppies are beautiful but what they symbolize is war and it’s casualties. It makes you stop and think about the sacrifices people have made to keep us from harms way.

As we traveled about, it was hard to miss the metal doors with peep-holes, the stone buildings with metal shutters, and the lack of children playing in the streets. When I was a child we had many freedoms, so many that we didn’t realize how very wonderful freedom was. Today is different from then. There are often days when I miss those yesterdays.  

 

 

 

 

Young Critters

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It’s that time of year again when we get to meet the newest critter families that romp around our cabin. Just like our own kids, they grow up so fast. In just a short time we won’t be able to tell the babies from the adults.

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New Graeagle Family

They all love to play together when they’re young and then it’s hard to get them all together when they grow-up. Where ever you are this weekend, give your mom a call and let her know how much she means to you. If your mom is gone, channel some lovely memories her way. I wish all of you a Very Happy Mother’s Day.

Enjoy.

Beyond The Ocean Blue

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There are times when I wonder why I am so drawn to taking photos when I travel to various places. I suppose it’s so I’ll keep those images with me in a tangible way. I find that I keep those images and experiences with me anyway. When I look at these photos from Hawaii,

it seems that I can still hear the pounding surf, see the sea spray on my sunglasses, and feel the gritty sand between my toes. These images bring back the temperature of the day, the wind that completely messed up my hair, and the delight I found in seeing the crab’s shadow rush across the sand. The mountains were quiet, filled with hanging clouds that spat occasional raindrops at us. My mind is filled with these memories but these photos bring back all those other pieces and feelings that made taking the photos so important to me at that moment in time on that particular day.

I take photos because I love all the places I have been and I want to keep those memories with me always.

 

 

Weekend Away

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On Labor Day weekend we decided to go down to Monterey and Carmel. It was mostly overcast but extremely pleasant. We went to restaurants that we’d been longing to revisit and had a wonderful time.

While we were in Carmel we decided to go to Hog’s Breath. It was there that we had many very unusual experiences and I seriously doubt that we will ever return. There were many factors that will keep us from returning and I won’t go into all of the strange happenings as it might portray me as being politically incorrect and this blog is not about my little frustrations in life. It did make me feel quite uncomfortable and made me wonder who was in charge of the overall running of the restaurant. To make this long story short, we simply won’t return; problem solved.

We went to Monterey Fish House and had a delightful dinner. Everything there is delicious and works like clockwork. We tried Tarpy’s Roadhouse for the first time and had a delightful brunch in a very old stone house that has a lot of history to it. We had lunch at the West End in Santa Cruz and I found the perfect light, for my kitchen remodel, at Illuminations. It was hand blown by an artist who lives in Santa Cruz so it is the perfect complement to my house. We walked all over Point Lobos and found it beautiful but completely overgrown with poison oak. I am extremely allergic so I found myself having to be extra careful while hiking through a rather remote area of the park. We then had to return home to our very own patio where we had the padrone peppers that we purchased at the Santa Cruz Farmers Market. They were the best we have ever had, and in many ways, we felt a little like we had hardly even ventured far from our patio. Truth be told, some of my best experiences have been on my patio. I hope you have a patio like ours; full of fond memories. Have a grand weekend.

Clever Critters

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I am constantly amazed at the critters that grace my yard. They work very hard for their tiny bits of food. I am also inspired nearly every day at the beauty of the flowers and the lift that their colors give my spirit. This begonia reminds me of Santa Cruz and the begonia gardens that were once there. I’m surprised that we are successful at growing them here. It’s hot during the summer but when we find them a little shade they come up and look as if they are hoping they can live in that exact spot forever.

This swallowtail spent nearly all of its time hanging upside down via those spindly legs. It looked perfect but was quite challenging to get a proper photo of. I think a photo of the butterfly hanging this way is appropriate because that was how it was moving about the garden. I always enjoy finding preying mantis in the garden. They look so fierce and annoyed when you find them. I often wonder if they realize how small they are. I suppose they are quite large compared to an aphid. Fall will be here shortly; I can feel it in the air. I suppose those clever critters can feel the season changing too. I’m so blessed they are here and still attracted to this yard.

 

 

Cooling Down

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It seems that when the valley gets to temperatures in the hundreds, my mind drifts off into thoughts of favorite water shots that I’ve taken in the past.  There’s something almost cooling about them.  With pictures being worth a thousand words, I tend to conjure up old memories of my favorite places too. 

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Westlake Park

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Montage Walkway

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Reflection at Whitehawk Ranch

Even though the temperatures are high, these photos make me think about how cool it would be to dip my toes into any of these waters.  Westlake Park sits on the west side of Santa Cruz and I spent countless hours playing there as a child.  The Montage at Laguna Beach hosts magnificent views of the Pacific.  Whitehawk Ranch holds a serenity that is very hard to find in many places these days.  What are some of your coolest memories and do you have a favorite place you like to go to when things get a bit hot?

Gone But Not Forgotten

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A few years ago I traveled to Stony Creek Connecticut with the hope that I would view the old granite quarry lily pond that my grandmother had hoped to see one last time when she made her final journey to her hometown.  She did not take photos of it, so I must presume, given the time of year, that she was not lucky enough to stop and marvel in its beauty once again. 

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Saw Mill Granite Lily Pond

I had envisioned that the entire pond would be filled with water lilies.  There were many, but not as many as my imagination had conjured up.  There were thousands of lily pads that appeared to be a delicious meal for some sort of hungry bug.

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Single Lilies with Thousands of Pads

The surrounding buildings are as beautiful as the lilies are on the pond.

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Pond Reflection on Stained Glass

A couple of years ago we went to stay at an old inn at the end of Linden Point Rd.  I wrote a poem about the place and it is on page 65 in my new book “In Memory Of…”  Little did I know how true the poem would become.  I will share just a bit of it below this next photo.  You can see to the left that the inn is no longer there.  The people across this inlet bought the property and tore down the old house/inn.  They wanted a less obstructed view.  They took the two pine trees down as well but left the granite stone that had been used by the indians to grind grain.  (It’s all in the poem.)

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Once There Was An Inn & Then There Was None

This place where I am sitting

Comes to fill me with delight

I know some day it will vanish

Erased from memory, and from sight

Is there a place that you remember that may have vanished from this earth?  Do you wish that you could view it one last time?  Maybe it’s a good time to go and discover if your memories still exist in that place.