We traveled all the way to Provence last year with the hope that we would see lavender in bloom. We saw fields of poppies and lavender with ever so tiny purple tips. I could only imagine how beautiful the fields would be in about two or three more weeks.
A private backyard outside of Seattle.
A Sequim, Washington garden created by two California transplants.
I had no idea that lavender blooms in Washington and Oregon every spring. It’s a long drive or a short plane ride from California to see these wonderful sights. The people are friendly and most everyone you bump into is there to see the lavender too. Being a transplant from Santa Cruz, I’ve got begonias growing in my backyard. I was surprised that they would grow in such a warm climate but they seem to thrive here. I think there will be lavender in that same backyard next spring. It will be like a little piece of Provence, Oregon, and Washington for me to enjoy almost all of next years summer season. Some times one of the best places you can be is in your own backyard. You can make it into, anything you like.
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.
View from Cliff House
Coastal Wild Flowers
Pelican Flight from Golden Gate
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.
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.
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.
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?
Even though it was hot over the July 4th holiday in the Sierra’s, we managed to hike and find some places of beauty. We came across an area of Leopard Lilies that were attracting Swallowtail Butterflies.
They knew that I was close to them but they were so interested in the flowers that they let me move in on them so I could take a closer shot. There were two of them for a bit but I think this photo is clearer than the other.
Swallowtail Butterfly Enjoying the Leopards
The conditions are pretty dry in the mountains but there have been several thunder storms and the wildflowers are everywhere. It’s delightful to see them when you are expecting to see only a few because of the drought.
Wild Flowers of the Sierra Nevada Mountains
If you read my blog, then you know that I just can’t let a good sunset go to waste. The last evening there, it was especially nice to view the sunset over The Old Mill Pond.
Sunset Over The Mill Pond
You really should take a road trip to Graeagle, California some time. It’s a magical place.
Last weekend we had the pleasure of getting to know some new friends. We spent the day together and thoroughly enjoyed their company. (You are never too old to make new friends.)
The day couldn’t have been more perfect and it ended in this stunning sunset. It was almost as if the sky was sending us a smile regarding a most memorable day.
Across the Pool
The reflections ‘cross the pool were amazing. I do not think these photos do that particular sunset the justice it deserves. (I tried to duplicate the colors exactly, but I often find that my eyes see things in a different manner than the camera captures them.)
Vividly Lit Up Sky
All I could say was, “Wow, this is amazing.” I hope you share a beautiful sunset soon, with someone who is important to you. Take the time to enjoy those gorgeously simple moments.
I realize that California never really had a true winter this year. I lived through it and now I find myself feeling like it should be summer now, and not a few days from now, so I’ve decided to start my summer today.
Peaceful Connecticut Island
Do you remember what your transistor radio looked like? You know, the one you used to carry with you to the market. Summertime always meant that there would be a radio station having a contest to name a long line of tunes, in their correct order. That contest sometimes lasted the entire summer before someone would guess them all correctly. I can’t remember what they would win, but it must have been something grand!
Lazy Days in Maine
I never could call in because I wasn’t 18, oh, and I didn’t have a cell phone in my back pocket. I didn’t have earbuds, Starbucks, or leather flip-flops.
My neighbor has one of the loveliest yards that I have ever seen. Every time that I pass by it, I marvel in the colors that grace this place.
I’ve known this neighbor for years and stopped the other day to mention how lovely the poppies were that had just been pulled out and replanted with begonias.
Although the flowers were brilliant and quite a spectacle, “they needed to come out so the begonias could become established for the summer months ahead.” My neighbor is terminally ill and has a high hope to see those flowers in full bloom.
It puts things in perspective…..Shouldn’t life just be about enjoying the simple things?