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?

Sierra Snow

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Last weekend we had planned a trip to the mountains with our grandchildren.  We figured that the snowfall was done in the Sierra’s and were thankful that the lakes were nearly full after the drought.  We were driving up Hwy 80 and saw a sign that said the Hwy was closed so we diverted and went a different way.  I was happy that we were getting even more water.  The grandkids were happy because it was snowing and they could see it.  Not only could they see it, but they could touch it too.  They were delightful to watch as they had a snowball fight.  It was cold but they had their hands out the windows so they could feel the snowflakes.  They insisted on making a snow angel so we stopped again.  

Do you remember the last time you had a snowball fight and giggled with delight at the sight of something new and amazing?  Children seem so at ease with finding the simplest things exciting.  Look for something that brings you delight this week and take a little extra time to cherish it.

Iris’

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It doesn’t get much better than finding the scent of a favorite childhood treat in your own backyard.  I can’t tell you how this Iris was acquired, and I am sure I did not pick it for its scent.  It popped open last year for the first time and the scent was just like grape soda.  I couldn’t wait for it to return again this year.

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Grape Soda Bearded Iris

This next Iris reminds me of a walk along the cliffs near the Pacific Ocean and the little beauties that we found there one day.  Iris’ come and go so rapidly that, if you don’t happen upon them, you might miss them altogether.  This one grows in my front yard.

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Pacific Coast Iris

Thank goodness that I failed to post this blog last week beacause we went to Bodega Bay last weekend and walked along the cliffs.  We saw Gray Whales and lovely wild flowers and very near the end of our walk we came upon this little Iris, growing out amongst the weeds.  There were very few of them left.

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Wild Iris at Bodega Bay Headlands

At long last, I finally came upon some Water Iris’.  We came around the corner in Vina, CA a couple of weekends ago and there was, what looked like, a sea of yellow.  I jumped out of the car to snap a few photos.  I asked the girl at New Clairveax Winery how long they would last that way.  She said that she had never noticed them, in the last four years that she worked there, until someone brought them to her attention.  I don’t know how one could miss them.  They were amazing!

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Water Iris

So there you have it.  Seasons come and go.  Even the season of the Iris’.  Hope you didn’t miss them because you’ll have to wait almost a year to see them again.

Corals and Crimson

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With the recent large waves that have been crashing into the California Coast and Hawaii, I’ve been reflecting on the stillness that can also be found on the coast.  One of my favorite places is Half Moon Bay during very low tide and sunset.  There is a magical presence that I find there.  It revives my soul and calms my spirit.

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Copper Colored Bluffs at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

I’ve also been thinking about the old saying, “home is where the heart is.”  I always thought that saying was referring to a structure but I think I was wrong.  Anywhere can be home as long as you find peace in that place.  Even fond memories can be home if they lighten your spirit, like the childhood memory of warm sand moving in-between your toes.  I find that I need to keep these pleasant thoughts close to me in this chaotic world that we find ourselves living in.

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Tidepools at Sunset

I want to share one other sunset that wants to linger in my mind.  It was beautiful and the company devine.  The whole trip was such a wonderful time.

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Etretat France

Waves are everywhere, pounding and changing the landscape but in my mind it will always look like this until I return again.  It was almost a bronze color and then in an instant it returned to grayish white.  This is one of the places my heart finds it’s home.  I never want to let go of those lovely memories.  I hope this stirs up some lovely memories that you want to hold on to also.

Reflective Sky

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Yesterday I was on my way to an appointment in San Rafael when I came upon this area.  The air was perfectly still and the waters were reflecting the blue sky like a mirror.  I was so taken with the sight that I decided to stop on my way back later in the day.  

Cullinan Ranch Tidal Restoration, Hwy 37

Cullinan Ranch Tidal Restoration, Hwy 37

I came back through a couple of hours later and it was windy and the waters were muddied up.  It was so different then what I had viewed earlier, so I decided to return today with the hope that I could catch the same stillness in the air.

Three Egrets by the Landing

Three Egrets by the Landing

The wind was ever so slight this morning, but it doesn’t take much to stir the water.  The view was nothing like the day before.

Flying Crane

Flying Crane

I was a little disappointed but then I saw a single crane and it was gracious enough to fly across the water for me.  What a lovely sight.

Looking for Midmorning Snacks

Looking for Midmorning
Snacks

It made me stop to reminisce about how I felt as a child when I would see something amazing for the very first time.  Our lives are filled with wonderment every day.  We just need to stop to take it all in.  We all live in places that have beautiful surroundings.  I hope you see something truly amazing this weekend.

What’s Happening?

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I’ve had several interesting things happen to me lately.  The first was traveling with my family to Santa Cruz, California.  I found, when I was there, that I was looking at people in various places who had greying hair and wondering if I went to school with them.  

Jelly Shadow

Jelly Shadow

I might only be able to recognize someone if I have seen them on Facebook.  It has been a very long time since I lived in Santa Cruz; 1980 to be exact.  While in Santa Cruz, I found that my mind was full of memories from the time that I lived there.  They were mostly childhood memories and now I was looking at grey haired people with the thought that I could identify them, had they been my classmates.  I was looking at grey haired people……OH!……that makes me one of those people!

Blue Jelly on the Beach

Blue Jelly on the Beach

Where did the time go?  I still feel young, and I still remember being young.  I still love wandering the tidepools.  My body feels older but my mind feels young.  That’s probably true for all those grey haired people I was looking at.  They probably wonder, “How did I get here?”

Crab Near the Pools

Crab Near the Pools

Another interesting thing that has been happening to me is that every time I shop at Lunardi’s Market in Walnut Creek, they stop and look at me and give me a senior discount.  They don’t even ask if I’m a senior!  What age is a senior anyway?  I turn 60 tomorrow and I don’t think I look my age.  What is happening to me?  I want to be clear about something…..this age thing just creeps up on you and you don’t even see it coming.  Our children look at us and think that we don’t move as quickly as they remember us moving when they were kids.  The thing is, our minds are still moving, just at a different pace then our bodies are.  We know that they will find out our secrets soon enough, and then our time spent with them now, will seem to make more sense.  

Nearing Sunset

Nearing Sunset

Have you ever noticed how the sky changes color before the sun begins to set?  On certain days, it seems to lose its color before the glorious colors of the sunset show themselves.

Color on the Pier

Color on the Pier

So, even though some of us may look like we are losing our color, it is possibly our most colorful time of life.  We are not  unlike this pier that has accumulated much as it holds the wharf up.  If you look at it closely, you will find a beautiful sight.  Long story short, it is not too late to follow your dreams…..even if your hair is turning grey.  

Sandy Cove

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Last post I promised to take you to a place that I remembered as a child, Point Lobos State Park.  I remembered the white sands of the beach, the windiness of the day, and the treacherous hike down to the beautiful beach.

First Glimpse of Sandy Cove

First Glimpse of Sandy Cove

I don’t remember there being all these stairs (left side of photo) descending to the beach, and quite possibly there weren’t many.  I remember traversing down on switchbacks along the cliffs.  It was terrifying as a child.  It seems like the violence of storms has washed them out many times and passage to Sandy Cove is no longer a trip that any person can make.

Old Stairs to the Cove

Old Stairs to the Cove

This white egret has found the perfect spot to look for a good meal.  Nothing should bother it while it patiently waits for lunch.  They are extremely patient birds.

Egret on the Kelp and Water Looking for Lunch

Egret on the Kelp and Water Looking for Lunch

I have tried a few times to reach this destination in the past, but have been unsuccessful in finding it.  I am so glad that a ranger offered us help in finding this teal blue and white memory of mine.  I only had black and white photos and now I can see the beautiful colors of my memories.  It is an amazing place.  If ever in Carmel, it’s just a short drive.