Flying Objects

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Last weekend we went in search of wildflowers at Gold Lake Lodge in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  I thought there wouldn’t be many left but I was pleasantly surprised.

 

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Hydaspe Fritillary

I had just been lucky enough to get a good photo of a Fritillary butterfly when another orange flying object caught my eye.  It didn’t look at all friendly and I didn’t want to get too close to it as a few of my former close encounters have not proved to be kind to me.

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Could it be a Cow Killer?

I took my photos to the ranger station and was sure they would know what it was.  They had no idea, nor did the owners of Gold Lake Lodge.  I bought a field guide to the Sierra Nevada and have spent a lot of time on the internet trying to figure out what this beast is.

 

 

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Perhaps in the Bee Family as it was Rather Hairy

I can tell you more about what it is not than what it is.  Can anyone help?  If you have the answer, please let me know.

 

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.

Hitchhikers

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While we were in Maine, we happened upon an area that sparked our interest.  We needed a place to walk after several days of being on vacation.  We stopped at The Rachael Carson Wildlife Refuge outside of Kennebunkport.  It was a beautiful walk and it was easy to see the effects the tides have on the area as the walk is elevated.

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The Tidal Effects

It reminded me, at times, of being back in my childhood home of Santa Cruz, California.  It was quite wooded and there were the occasional hitchhiker’s.  In this one area, by the Pink Lady Slippers, was were the hitchhiker’s landed on my hat and took a ride into town.  I thought I was feeling raindrops, as it was a bit drizzly, but once we got back to Kennebunkport a gentleman in the store started commenting on the inchworm travelers that had attached themselves to my hat.  He thought I might be upset that they were there.  I like inchworm’s, and I had been watching them on a sign while we were taking our walk, so it didn’t trouble me at all.  Well, it did a bit because I wanted to make sure that they were happy in their new plant homes.  

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Wild Pink Lady Slippers

I think they probably liked hanging from the trees much better than the plants we found for them.  We didn’t have time to drive them back to the Wildlife Refuge.  Now that I’ve returned home, I can only hope that they are living lovely lives in Kennebunkport, Maine.

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.

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!

Little Jewell

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Not too long ago we took a cruise to Alaska.  It was more than I could hope for.  There was wildlife everywhere, the food was great, and everything about the trip was memorable.  We stopped in Skagway and went on a tour at the Jewell Gardens while there.

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New Uses for Old Things

I have the most amazing handblown bowl from the tour.  From where we were sitting, it looked so much smaller then when it was delivered to my home.  I see it everyday and remember our amazing trip to Alaska.    

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Open Air Rooms

Skagway was the last place I expected to see amazing gardens.  Alaska seemed an unlikely place to find glass blowers, these gardens, and a tea shop all wrapped up in one.  It made me realize what one can do with a little creativity and a passion for what they love. 

Gives New Meaning to the Flower Bed

Gives New Meaning to the Flower Bed

If ever in Skagway, I highly recommend touring this place.  I don’t think it would have stayed in my memory, like it has, if I had only happened upon it and just strolled by.  The tour made it all the more worthwhile.  I’m not sure about global warming but there was not as much snow in Alaska as I was expecting.                                      Go see Alaska before it melts away.

Sure Sign it’s Spring

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It is a sure sign of Spring when very small people have opening day and head out to the T-ball fields with grand hopes of becoming the next great baseball star.  It is a sure sign of Spring when the Magnolia’s are in brilliant bloom.  It is a sure sign of Spring when the turkeys fan their feathers for hours upon hours.

It is a sure sign of Spring when my yard yields me gorgeous bouquets of flowers to brighten my home.  Have you had a sure sign of Spring yet?  It happens early in California and I look forward to the signs every year.

 

I must apologize lately for being so slow on writing this blog.  I have been working on a book and just sent most of it off to the publishers today.  It is such a relief and I can go out and enjoy my Springtime now.

 

 

Petals In The Wind

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Out in my backyard today

Is a swirling raucous wind

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Flowering Salmon Quince

So those petals, young and blossoming

Become suddenly strewn in the spin

 

 

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Magnolia Soulangeana Blossoms

I’m so glad I caught images yesterday

For today, they are gone from sight

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Resting Mourning Cloak Butterfly

As the storm will soon come thundering

Unleashing with all it’s might 

 

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Yellow Acacia In Bloom

Each West Winter is bound to repeat this pattern

Yet the flowers return here anew

Brightening up my landscape

Coloring my every view

 

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Kissing Camels

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Kissing Camels

It has been raining in California.  I am not complaining, I like the lakes catching water.  It does make it difficult to take photographs to share on my blog.  I started thinking about places I had been on clear days and this trip in 2005 came to mind.  I went for a walk in The Garden of The Gods in Colorado Springs.  It was a clear, crisp, morning and we had a little time to kill.  

First Glimpse of The Garden of The Gods

First Glimpse of The Garden of The Gods

It was the second time that I had been somepace where there were red rocks.  The first was in Sedona Arizona and the rocks were covered with snow.  I didn’t have my camera with me and I regret not having those images.  I keep them safely tucked away in my mind, unfortunately I can’t share visual memories with other people unless I have photographed them.  It was beautiful!

Storm on the Horizon

Storm on the Horizon

Towards the end of that day, we watched a storm grow out over the horizon.  I had never seen anything like it in California.  It was spectacular.  It caused me to think about my family and how very fortunate I am to have them in my life.  I wrote each of them a little Thank You and sent it, snail mail, to them.  The final thought on the thank you was this; “Growing gracefully is a gift one gives one’s self and bestows on those who live around them.”  Even though they were still young, I could see that they were growing in a manner that would be pleasing to themselves and those who came in contact with them.  I am grateful for my family.  They are the loveliest people to know.  And yes, I am grateful for the rain and the time it yields me to reflect.