Take Me Away

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There are times when, as hard as you might try, you just can’t make things work perfectly. This week has been filled with a lot of stressful endings in my house project that did not go according to my plans.

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Monterey is filled with these delightful Pride of Madeira flowers.

It’s in those times that are anxiety ridden that I try to pull up images in my mind of places or things that have made me stop to take a closer look. These tiny flowers caught my eye as I walked along the coast in Monterey, not so long ago. They were so delicate and attractive. The bees were happy to see them too. I think that the little annoyances in life, as unsettling as they are, should not cloud my memories of wonderful experiences that have gone before and will surely come again in another amazing array of color that will capture my imagination and fill me with peace and an appreciation of the blessed life I lead. It’s crazy the way stress makes my mind work. This photo, as well as many others quite simply, makes me feel better.

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!

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.

 

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?  

 

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.

 

 

Just A Little Kindness

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One last blog with photos taken on my vacation.  Perkins Cove in Maine to be exact.  

When I put together my photo book from our vacation, I kept coming back to this grouping of photos.  There’s something about the place that I want to keep in my mind.  Photos have a great way of doing just that.  When we are out and about, I always offer to take strangers photos when I see them struggling to get a selfie to commemorate where they’ve been.  Most people are very excited when I offer.  I go a step further.  I think about lighting, shadows, and the general surroundings.  I take a shot far away and move in a couple of times.  Then I wait to make sure that they are happy with the shots.  It takes a few seconds and it makes them so happy.  I tell them to have a great day and go on my way.  Maybe the world could be a less troubled place if we all just showed a little kindness here and there.  Go out and do something nice for a stranger today.  It will make both of you feel good.

Nothing Marginal About It

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A couple of weeks ago we were in Maine and took a walk along one of the prettiest shorelines that I have ever seen.  I’m quite used to walking along the West Coast but I found the East Coast walk simply charming.

We couldn’t have asked for a better day to take the paved one mile walk (The Marginal Way) from Ogunquit to Perkins Cove.  I don’t think these photos do it justice but I wanted to share them anyway.  Should you ever travel to Maine, you really must look this place up and take the walk.  I finished our walk wishing that the path was twice as long.  I suppose we could have walked it twice but why spoil a splendid moment?  Is there any place that you would like to return to?  I am very sure that I will return to The Marginal Way with the hope that I can spend a lot more time, next time I am there.

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.

Island Lava Flow

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We went to The Big Island last week.  I didn’t see many bugs, maybe because it was rather windy while we were there.  What we saw on our last day there was a magnificent flower.  I’ve seen lots of hibiscus in my life but none as beautiful and eye-catching as this one.  I believe it is called Lava Flow and you can imagine why.  I was so excited to get a shot of it and then I realized, it had a companion.  As I raised my camera, I found this gecko, with attitude, lounging on this amazing flower.

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Hanging Out on the Hibiscus 

I like geckos; don’t get me wrong.  I just wanted a shot of the flower without the locals hanging around.  I left for a bit, came back, got a good shot and then wondered…where did the gecko go?  

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Snacking on the Blossoms

He was on the new blossoms.  Lunching on them!  He looked pretty proud of himself too.  Geckos have it made.  They live in Hawaii, hang out all day, and get to eat gloriously gorgeous food.  What more could you want?  C’est La Vie!