Between the Heat & Smoke

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I haven’t written in my blog for quiet some time. I am sorry for this but the heat in California has been constant this summer and oppressive. We’ve now added to that by having large sections of the state on fire.

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Sepia Dahlias

This has all left me a bit unable to find the beautiful color in the world around me. I know that sounds crazy but I’ve always tried to find the bright side of any circumstance and here I am, a little gloomy.

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Color’s Coming Back

I do feel that the temperatures are moving into a Fall like pattern, so the cooler air should help the fire fighters and it will surely lift my spirits which will result in causing me to view the world in my usual way. Hooray! 

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Dahlia’s In Full Bloom & Color

There you have it. The world in full color, courtesy of the garden in our own backyard. Go out and smell the flowers. It will make you feel better.

(Could have gone way beyond “heat and smoke” with all the craziness that is going on in the world today. I decided to tackle one thing at a time, mainly those things that I might have a little control over.) Have a Very Happy Weekend!

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Yellow

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It’s been very wet around here, but the ground is slowly soaking up the excess water, the skies are clearing, and the puffy white clouds gently stroll by in the breeze. It’s been a wild ride this winter in California. It’s made way for budding plants and gorgeous scenery. 

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Suisun Valley Mustard Fields

I was on my way down the hill from my house, the other day, and noticed this beautiful view. It wasn’t even close to sunset but the colors that the clouds were yielding were amazing. I flipped the car around and got out my phone. I don’t usually take pictures on my phone but I couldn’t resist this one. I have been thrilled with the views this year and we’re only at the end of February.

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Cloudy Afternoon Near My Backyard

I can only hope that this weather continues for a while. I am so enjoying the scenery and the thought that we don’t have to worry about water usage every day. So here’s hoping that March and April will continue to be rather moist months to -A few days of rain, on; a few days of rain, off.- It’s a balancing act.

For those of you who could not open my video a couple of weeks ago. I had left out a number. Here is the link if you would like to go take a look at an excerpt from my new book.

 

Road Closed/Flooded

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With this year’s wet weather, I need to tell you that should you come upon the following signs, “Road Closed/Flooded,” believe it and do not enter.

Last Saturday we were returning from Chico and found ourselves on this road. We should have turned the car around, and if I had been driving, that surely would have happened. I wasn’t driving and we proceeded into the waters. We proceeded into the waters four times before we saw a large truck pulling a trailer coming towards us. It was at this time that I said, “stop the car, I’m serious, STOP THE CAR!” We had the truck driver roll down his window and asked him where he had come from. He had turned around, in fear that his trailer would be undermined by the rushing waters. I told him that, “we would be right behind him.”

It looked like an ocean around us and when we turned around, we looked up and could see the problem with the Oroville Dam. We were quite a long ways away but it was clear that there was a problem. We continued towards home and passed through many of the towns that were evacuated the very next day. I really have no good reason, that I can think of, for getting into that situation. I won’t be there again. It was stupid and I am partly to blame for my lack of stopping the car earlier. The water problems in California are very real and something that should not be taken lightly.

I’m glad we didn’t end up on the news, with helicopters saving us from the roof of our car. I’m always wondering how people get themselves into those situations. It’s easy to avoid, just stay home, evacuate if requested, and heed the signs. 

Meadow Snog

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As we returned from the Sierra’s this week we came upon some beautiful sights. The old Mill Pond was nearly frozen-over so we stopped and tossed rocks across the frozen part and listened to the echoing sounds that the pond makes in the Winter.

Later we came across a meadow that had fog hanging near the ground. There was a couple walking through the snowy meadow with a photographer following them. Engagement photos, perhaps; ’tis that time of year. It made me shiver and warmed my soul all at the same time. So I wish for all of you who read this, that you Have a Memorable and Prosperous New Year. We all need something to celebrate. There are days I look about me and realize that the amazing land we live in, and the joys that family and friends bring, gives us cause to celebrate every day that we have here. So go out and celebrate the very fact that you are here.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

(I always loved how Dr. Seuss would make up words and so I took some liberties and created the title Meadow Snog. It is the blending of snow and fog which is what I saw in the meadow. Snog  had no trouble spell checking, so I became curious. Snog is a british term for kissing and caressing amorously, which is exactly what the fog seemed to be doing with the snow in the meadow and the couple were doing while taking pictures. I suppose it really is the perfect word to use for what I was viewing.)

Autumn Sky

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I was  going through a few things the other day and came upon this poem that I had forgotten about. It seems to fit the seasonal change we see here in California.

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Last Sierra Leaf

 

 

Autumn Sky

Today bright colors floating by
In a warm and Autumn falling sky
Are unlike ones, I’ve known before
Which makes me think and question more

I’ve thought a lot in recent times
I’ve wondered why Fall leaves behind
Those boisterous colors that I find
To stay within my seasoned mind

So this untimely Fall puree
Is not unlike a Spring filled day
The colors vibrant to the eye
Bring hope Spring’s season will arrive

Yet still I stand and wonder here
How soon our Springtime will appear
Will it be soon or far away
Or come within a Winters day?

And once it’s here; will it be gone
Or run into a Summers song?
I will soon miss, in Winter’s hue,
Those lovely colors that I knew

© 2007 Bonnie DiMichele

 

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Napa Lane

 

Seasonal Cycles

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I was pleasantly surprised last weekend to find one of my favorite places to photograph in a color that I had never seen there before. It had been quite a long time since I had taken the first two shots, so I couldn’t exactly remember how they had been setup. 

I was sad when I got home to see that the setup wasn’t the same, but it is clear that the silos are on the same property. The lush yellows of the fields were so brilliant and beautiful to look at as we sped by acres and acres of farmland. I love rice, so the look of it means so much more than just contrasting colors to me. Agriculture is one thing that we do really well in California. I am so blessed to live near an area where farming is revered and appreciated for all the goodness it yields us and the rest of the world. My favorite rice is Jasmine. What’s yours?  

 

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.