Headed for Shore

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Yesterday I headed for the shore. It was over 100 degrees in the valley and I couldn’t get the thought of how refreshing the coast might be, out of my mind. My sister-in-law was staying with us so I asked her if she had ever had lunch at The Cliff House in San Francisco. Her answer was, “I don’t think so.” and off we went.

When we arrived it was foggy, the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge were not visible, and it was 60 degrees. We sat at a window seat, had a delightful lunch, and watched the fog move about the coast line and the Pacific Ocean. It was a beautiful sight. We lingered as long as we could and then took a, barely sunny, walk out to the Sutro Baths. They are long gone but the Cliff House readily reveals the history of the place which makes it easy to imagine just what it must have been like to visit here, many years ago. So, as this heat wave lingers, remember that people on the coast are living a charmed life in the summer fog. Maybe you should go and visit the ocean too.

Be, Stay, & Keep Cool! 

 

Beautiful Bonita

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Clear Day on the Golden Gate Bridge

Clear Day on the Golden Gate Bridge

Last weekend, before the storm moved onto the land, we went into the bay area for a little distraction.  We had lunch at The Green’s on Fort Mason in San Francisco.  If you’ve never been; the food is always delicious, the view spectacular, and it is a peaceful place.

Point Bonita Lighthouse

Point Bonita Lighthouse

On the way back across the bay we decided to stop to see Point Bonita Lighthouse at The Marin Headlands.  We had tried once before but the tunnel that leads to the lighthouse was closed.  I had remembered it being open until 4:00.  We got there and the sign read; closed at 3:30.  We had fifteen minutes to reach the lighthouse and grab a couple of photos.

Watching the Waves

Watching the Waves

Off we went.  I was so happy that it was all downhill getting there.  It’s a magnificent place.  We must return on another beautiful day.  The five-minute tour is just not enough time to take it all in.  We took our time walking back up the hill, we met the lighthouse docents, and the view was amazing.

Bird Island

Bird Island

On the way to our Halloween engagement, we passed by the same area that I wrote about in my last blog.  This photo was taken from the other side of Hwy 37.  There were hundreds of tiny birds all resting and flocked together.  They looked like a little bird island in the water.  I need to return to this spot too, as I think a sunset here would be stunning.  I do so love California’s Waterways.

 

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.

 

For the Young at Heart

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As Valentine’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking about my father and how he never seemed too enthusiastic about that holiday.  Really, he wasn’t terribly enthusiastic about any holiday.  You never would have found him making seaweed hearts in the sand.  (I would have loved to have seen that.)

Seaweed Heart

Seaweed Heart

We’ve been looking at a single story house this week and I’ve been going through some of the stuff that we have acquired with the thought that we have too much junk to move.  Now is the time to unload it.  In doing so, I’ve come across the tetherball that my father had kept for so many years.  He liked playing tetherball on the old pipe pole that he had made by putting cement in an old tire.  It was one of those things that he couldn’t part with.  I wonder what memories, seeing the flat ball, brought back.  He certainly never talked about it.  The ball is now in my garage, and what should I do with it?  His memories were his and my memories of playing the game with him are still quite vivid in my mind.  I’ll have to give this some real thought. 

Heart of the Anemone at the San Francisco Farmers Market

Heart of the Anemone at the San Francisco Farmers Market

While my mind is sorting through this dilemma, I thought I’d share this flower that I found in the SF farmers market last weekend.  It had been raining the day prior, but the morning was clear and we had brunch down by the pier.  It was a lovely morning with all the sights and sounds of the city.  Do go out and have an extra special Valentine’s Day this year.  Do something fun and memorable!

 

Fading Away

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Awhile ago you voted on capturing, in photos, the lilies on the granite pond that my grandmother loved to see as a child.  I was short on travel time.  An acquaintance graciously offered to go to the spot in Connecticut and check out the developement of the lilies for me.

Old Sawmill Rd

Old Sawmill Rd

Reflection on Lily Pond

Reflection on Lily Pond

As you can see, there are thousands of lily pads at this location.  It is no wonder that my grandmother longed to see them once again.  There were lots of lily pads by the time these photos were taken and they went back with the hope that there would be more flowers at a later date.  It was only about a week later and the lily pads were fading away into the water.  The weather could have been a factor, but I think it best if I go next year in July.  I will share them with you then, in the meantime, here are a few glimpses of the lilies that I have found in my travels.

DSCN7907 P1010811 water lily at the national garden DSCN6916 DSCN1381 DSCN9539 DSCN9502 DSCN9518 DSCN9530

These lilies are from Hawaii, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sonoma, and Hess Winery.  Some of them live in a controlled environment while most of them live outside.  I haven’t been appreciating them the way I should.  Now that I realize how fast they come and go, I’ll take a bit more time with them, next time I see them.  They are  magnificent flowers, aren’t they?

Dragons and Damsels

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In my prior blog, I was lucky enough to find a dragonfly larva.  I had only seen pictures of them in books.  I was so hoping that I would find a big dragonfly that would allow me to see what the larva was going to become.  At Big Springs Gardens there were only little blue damselflies and I knew that the larva was much too large to end up being something so small.  

Each time I return home, after going someplace beautiful and taking lots of pictures, I take a closer look at what I have captured.  Returning back from Big Springs Gardens reminded me of photography class assignments that I might have done in black and white, a million years ago.  It also caused me to remember, going last May to, Hakone Garden in Saratoga, California and the vast array of plants and animals that I had photographed there.  They also had a very small moon bridge, as did Big Springs Gardens, and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park last April.  We took our grand-daughter to see The Japanese Tea Gardens there and have lunch.  She was all consumed with the large moon bridge, while I was joyously taking photographs of everything else while waiting for the bridge to clear enough so I could get shots of her as well.  It reminded me too of my grandma and her black and white photos and the descriptions she would write on the back of her photographs to help her remember the colors.  

Dragonfly in black and white.

Dragonfly in black and white at Hakone Garden.

This is very possibly what I may have tried to shoot for a photography class.  I would have taken it on film and developed it myself.  I would have been limited, in so many ways, with what my ultimate result would end up being.  It’s lovely, but look at the next photo…..

First Attempt

First attempt

The detail you can see in this one is amazing.  It makes it come to life for me.  What I really like best is what comes next……..

Dragonfly, coming in a little closer.

Coming a little closer

I think this dragonfly was smiling at me, well and maybe at you too.  It seems they know they are amazing creatures.  This dragonfly is just about perfect in every way.  How can something so delicate be so perfect?

Stony Creek?????

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I don’t know what it is about Stony Creek, Connecticut; it seems to have fully pulled me in with its beauty.  I am so tempted to return, this summer, to take photographs of the quarry where my grandmother enjoyed viewing the water lilies as a child.  In her 1954 travelogue, there was mention of going for a walk to the quarry, but there were no photos of the lilies.  I think her travels may have been too early in the season to view them.  I’ve heard that it needs to be hot and humid for the lilies to be in full bloom.  Certainly in California, that is not the case.    

 

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Returning to the CT shoreline is completely compelling to me.  Being there when the humidity is high, is not nearly as attractive.  Is there anyone who could let me know the true story behind the water lilies and when they bloom on the east coast?

 

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It is times like these that I think, I never would have gone to France to get this shot next to Monet’s Garden if it hadn’t been for my sister-in-law, dumpster diving about twenty-eight years ago.  Her second grade teacher had passed away.  The teacher had never married and left her belongings to nieces and nephews who obviously had no regard for her things.  They had a dumpster delivered in front of her house and emptied her mementoes into it.  We happened to drive by and see that someone was going through those things in the dumpster, and we recognized her!  There was this lovely painting of a dome, that I brought home to reframe.  I did not recognize where it was, until I was at Union Square, in San Francisco, and I saw it again in a photograph.  I asked the artist where the photo was taken and he told me it was Sacre Coeur.  I needed to go to Paris, France.

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Here it is.  It was a rainy day but the views were still spectacular.  I also acquired a lovely lithograph on that dumpster day. I don’t know where that location is either, but when I figure it out; I’ll be going there too.  Below is the lily pond, at Stony Creek, in the fall.  I was hoping to find the lilies in bloom.  Wrong time of the year for me as well.  All I could see were spectacular fall colors and hundreds of lily pads fading away.

 

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Here’s where you can help me.  I know how many views I get on this site.  If you “like” this post this week, that will be a vote for me to return during the humidity to photograph the lilies.  If over half of the viewers like it, I’ll be sharing those photos with you by September.  There is something inside of me that feels like Grandma’s travelogue of photos would then be complete, as I would add the color photo to all her black and whites.  Should I or shouldn’t I go?

I must add one more thought; my sister-in-law has an adventuresome spirit.  I think sometimes it has rubbed off on me as well.  I know that there are many places on this planet that I probably would not have gone to, had it not been for her wanderlust.  So I want to say, “thank you for that, it has opened my eyes to our beautiful world.”