No Trespassing

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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.

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.

Coastal Weeds

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Last Saturday, we went for a walk along the coast to cool down from the 100 degree weather in the valley. Several months earlier we had heard that we could walk to Alamere Falls on The Palomarin Trail (Point Reyes National Seashore) and that the walk was about eight miles long. We thought it would still be a good time to see the falls since we had lots of rainfall in the winter months and the falls would not be dry.

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Native Pacific Coast Plants

Fact is, we thought a lot of things that turned out to be untrue. This trail is not a gentle trail. It has a rut running through the middle of it that I could only presume was an active way for the water to run to the ocean during the wet months. It makes the walk…hike much more difficult.

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Cooling Pacific Ocean Fog Bank

 The hike to the waterfall is eight miles if you take a short-cut through the thickets of berry bushes and poison oak. You have to crouch down into a ball and walk your way through the thicket, only to find a cliff at the top of the falls that is made of shale. Many people took this route, thinking that there was no poison oak, and slowly made their way up and down the cliff. We went around, as I know that I am extremely allergic to poison oak.

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Morning Glory

We hiked for over 40,000 steps and totaled seventeen miles of hiking up and down and up and down and….you understand. Will I ever do it again? Nope! Imagine walking the entire seventeen mile drive unpaved, dry, dusty, without water refills or food trucks. If I’d come prepared with cash in hand, I would have offered it to the people riding horses to take me out of this place.

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Alamere Falls

The saddest part for me was that once we arrived at the waterfall, that falls to the beach, we only wanted to start our trek back to our car. Sitting on the beach watching the falls was not an option. Each step we took was one step closer to the end of our walking. I’ve got to tell you that the quaint little town of Bolinas had a restaurant that we were dying to get a table at. The menu was very limited but who wouldn’t want pizza and beer after walking seventeen miles? Ahh, pizza, beer, and a chair, divine!

 

 

Headed for Shore

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Yesterday I headed for the shore. It was over 100 degrees in the valley and I couldn’t get the thought of how refreshing the coast might be, out of my mind. My sister-in-law was staying with us so I asked her if she had ever had lunch at The Cliff House in San Francisco. Her answer was, “I don’t think so.” and off we went.

When we arrived it was foggy, the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge were not visible, and it was 60 degrees. We sat at a window seat, had a delightful lunch, and watched the fog move about the coast line and the Pacific Ocean. It was a beautiful sight. We lingered as long as we could and then took a, barely sunny, walk out to the Sutro Baths. They are long gone but the Cliff House readily reveals the history of the place which makes it easy to imagine just what it must have been like to visit here, many years ago. So, as this heat wave lingers, remember that people on the coast are living a charmed life in the summer fog. Maybe you should go and visit the ocean too.

Be, Stay, & Keep Cool! 

 

Leaping Lavender

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When we visited France, we were a little early for the blooming of the lavender. I was excited to see this lavender in Avignon, but not so excited that I wanted to skip and leap through it. I am glad that this lady was excited to see it too. She even had purple on. It was an amazing sight to see.

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Leaping Lavender

I found myself settling for lavender doors and shutters and lets not forget the gorgeous red poppies that were blooming all about us. This world does come in such beautiful Technicolor’s.  

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Behind Lavender Doors

One of my favorite and most colorful times was when we took the electric boat up and down the Gorges de Verdon. Those blues of the water are some of my favorite colors and the day was so peaceful. Well, it was peaceful until the boat stopped and we had to paddle back to shore.

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Gorges de Verdon

All those pictures I take, every one of them tells its own story. That’s for sure! So now I’ll have Rod Stewart’s song running through my head for the rest of the day. I might have just planted that seed in you too. Hope your day comes in its own, very vivid, Technicolor.

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.  

 

 

 

 

Winging It

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Last weekend we went to my aunt’s house for her 90th birthday. She is in fine health and has so many stories that she wants to reminisce about. We had a great time with her and I would erge anyone who has a friend or loved one who would love a chat or a visit from you to do so; today. Why put something off for tomorrow that you can accomplish today?  On the way home we stopped by New Clairvaux Winery in Vina, CA.

As we were leaving, a butterfly caught my eye. It’s upper wings were working, what seemed like, excessively hard and fast. I thought it was a hummingbird at first but it was a swallowtail butterfly. I never knew that the butterflies wings could work independently of one another. It was beautiful to see but very difficult to catch in a photo. As we pulled away from the winery, we saw the water iris and another swallowtail butterfly whose wings did not seem to be moving at such a rapid pace. As I drew closer I could see that the wings were quite tattered. I think this is why the movement was slower. What amazing creatures those butterflies are. They fly about the world seeking out the colorful flowers and continuing to fly, even when their wings are breaking down. This is what I think we can take away from the flight of the butterfly; stay true to your course and keep going even when the going gets tough.

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.