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.

Little Piece of Paradise

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I often find my mind drifting after I’ve been to Hawaii.  It conjures up images from my most recent trip.  This last visit has proved to do the same.  Once we left the Big Island and arrived in Maui, we had an enchanting experience and I will share more of that in some blogs to follow.  

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Lacey Green Leaves

Look at the leaf here.  There was obviously an insect that thought this plant was quite delicious.  I think it looks a bit like lace.  The leaves caught my eye and then what was behind it caught my imagination.  Wouldn’t you love to live here?  I would!  I wouldn’t mind just visiting here either.

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Looking Like Paradise Awaits

It’s nearly across the street from this little old stone church.  This island has so much to offer and so many long-lasting memories from the pleasant times that I’ve spent here.

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Chapel By The Sea

We went to areas that we didn’t know existed and it leaves (no pun intended) me thinking that I need to return to other islands to see everything they have to offer that I might have missed in the past too.  Always love to return home but then I can’t wait to explore some more…..  

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!

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

 

Bonnie L DiMichele 2/2016

Simple Things

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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.   

Heavenly Hydrangia

Heavenly Hydrangia

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.

Spectacular Vine

Spectacular Vine

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.

Beautiful Begonia

Beautiful Begonia

It puts things in perspective…..Shouldn’t life just be about enjoying the simple things?

Forget Me Not

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Last week I had a lovely time in Golden Gate Park with my family.  It was breezy and overcast but it didn’t dampen our spirits while we shared a picnic together.  It is times like those, that I want to hold in my mind and never forget.  

Sierra Forget Me Nots

Sierra Forget Me Nots

With that thought in mind, I think it is about time to share a poem that I wrote in 1989.  It is ageless, as are my memories, and was inspired by a phone call from an old friend.

You Called Today

My dear old friend

You called today

You did not know why

Or what you would say

I’m so glad you did

I’ve missed you so

I wish I were there

Watching you grow

Instead of sharing

Times from our past

We’d create new memories

Ones that would last

Our lives are so separate

Yet in their own way

We share like moments

And movements each day

I think of you often

And other friends too

I wonder if they share

The memories I do

I look back now on the

Good times we had

They warm my soul

They make me so glad

And so I know

As our years pass

Those memories created

Will surely last

© Bonnie DiMichele 6/5/1989

Poppy from Mendicino

Poppy from Mendocino

Every time I look at these flowers in my yard, they bring me memories of the Mendocino Coast.

Poppy in Golden Gate Rose Garden

Poppy in Golden Gate Rose Garden

Poppy from our day in the park; another special memory.

Stop at Marin Headlands Look back at San Francisco

Stop at Marin Headlands
Look back at San Francisco

These photos are worth a thousand words.  What I like most about them, is the way they flood me with wonderful memories.  If you’ve been thinking about someone a lot, why don’t you give them a call?  (Didn’t PacBell have a slogan? “reach out and touch someone”)  We all know people who, when you see each-other or talk on the phone, it seems as though no time has passed between you.  Those are the people this poem was written for, so if you are a friend or former classmate, this poem’s for you.  You’ve given me lovely memories that I truly cherish.

 

Winter Sunburst

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My Backyard Mandarines

My Backyard Mandarins

We were shopping at Whole Foods last weekend and came upon this recipe that I just have to share with you.  It was a rainy day and the recipe looked like something refreshing.  It gave us a delightful taste of winter.

Satsuma Jicama Salad

serves 4

Ingredients

2 satsumas

1 medium jicama, peeled, cut into matchsticks (great place to get out the mandoline slicer)

1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced and cut into half moons

2 limes, zested and juiced

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon minced cilantro

Directions

Segment the satsumas: cut enough off either end until you see orange flesh, not the white pith.  Cut the skin off around all sides.  Over a bowl with a small knife, go between each segment and gently cut them out.  Toss satsumas segments into a bowl with jicama, radishes, lime juice and zest.  Garnish with chili powder and cilantro.

Now, this is the part where I tell you how I handled this…..

I peeled the satsumas and cut each segment in half.  I added 1 avocado cut into small pieces and added fresh prawns (cooked and chilled) cut into quarters.  

There is no oil in this recipe and it is delightfully refreshing.  You could sprinkle toasted pumpkin seeds on the top as well.  You can change it up anyway that you would like, but it is really good just as it stands.  (Cuties, Mandarins, Cara Cara Oranges, all would work for the citrus.)

1 of 4 Remaining to Savor

1 of 4 Remaining to Savor

Have yourself a very Merry Christmas!