No Trespassing

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I had this weeks blog all put together and just about ready to send when I drove down the road and had to stop to take a few photos of this amazing field of sunflowers.

I happen to know the farmer who is growing these and he truly needs people to not trespass on this particular field of flowers. I’ve seen “no trespassing” signs for years. We had them all over the Santa Cruz mountains when I was a kid. Most of them were so old that you could hardly read what they said, but we all knew that we weren’t supposed to cross that line.                                                                            Today people see fields of flowers and they all rush out to get a selfie of themselves standing in the field. It takes its toll and they don’t understand that the owner really does need them to stay out of the fields. (It’s not just sunflower fields that cause people to do this. Flower fields, in general, attract bees and people.) I know that cell phones don’t have long-range lenses but maybe it’s time to take the old cameras out of the closet and put the phones away. I did not trespass. I’ve always tried to avoid it. Private places are private and public places are, well, public and free to trespass on. Next time you’re tempted, please remember to give the farmer a break.

Corner Stone

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A couple of weeks ago we seized the opportunity to go over to Sonoma with some family members and share a day in the sunshine, which was very hard to come by at that time. We went to Corner Stone right outside of Sonoma for lunch and a little wandering through the gardens on that lovely day. The place is rather new and is a really great place to go to relax. I’d say that they have a little bit of everything there with their shops, gardens, restaurants, distillery, etc. There really is something for everyone there.

As Spring approaches, we should step out and find those places that are unique and worthy of our wandering. You never know what you might find in your own backyard, so to speak. 

The next blog will show you the big reveal of the kitchen remodel. It is nearly finished and I am loving the new space. It reminds me of Santa Cruz. That’s a great way to begin and end every day.

 

 

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.

 

 

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. 

Starred Favorites

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?

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.

A Weekend Away

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We took off last weekend with high hopes that we would be on Avila Beach at sunset.  Unfortunately, the traffic was not accommodating in helping to make that happen.

Catching Sunset Color

Catching Sunset Color

The hills stood between us and Avila Beach.  For those of you who don’t know, Avila Beach sits just below San Luis Obispo.  It reminds me, a bit, of Santa Cruz when I was very young.

Sunset from Avila Beach

Last Hint of Sunset from Avila Beach

Morning Tide at Pier One

Morning Tide at Pier One

The next morning we walked from pier one to pier three and the colors in the water were amazing.  I found that I was longing for Kodachrome.  I just can’t do it justice digitally.

Birds by the Third Pier

Birds by the Third Pier

One thing I like about this place is how extraordinarily ordinary it is.  This boat is a perfect example, it’s not a yacht.  Some places are filled with expensive boats.  I didn’t see that here.

Lonely Boat

Lonely Boat

It’s a calm place where people seem happy just to be out in the morning enjoying a cup of coffee with friends.

Under Pier One

Under Pier One

It is clear me that I need to spend more time in this place.  I really like it here.  I like the activity and I like it’s peacefulness.

 

Orange County Birds

Orange County Birds

We carried on down to Newport Beach.  It’s got an ocean full  of water but it doesn’t have the feel of Avila Beach.  I found myself missing the place from hence I’d come.

Go out and have a lovely weekend away. 

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.