I’ve been pulled away from my blog for a few weeks. We are in the process of having an addition put on our home. It takes a lot of time to find and purchase those things we need to make this project complete. So I apologize for failing to send Happy Holiday Wishes your way. I want you to know that you were in my thoughts and intentions to send greetings to. I hope you had a wonderful season filled with family and friends.
A Sierra Winter’s Lake
We have found the smallest of time to go to the Sierra Mountains and look at a Winter Wonderland. The snow has been relatively scarce and it has made the lakes available that would normally be snowed in. The sights are abundant and amazing. Winter there, feels like it is still approaching.
Fragile Ice Near The Shore
For me, looking into the shallow depths of the lake and realizing the stillness that permeates there in the winter months, calms me in a time that seems so turbulent to me. The addition will be done soon and all this will pass also. I wish you all a warm and calming winter.
A couple of weeks ago we walked the trail to Frasier Falls that was covered with snow. I didn’t realize at the time that this photo would take me to a very quiet and peaceful place during the holiday rush.
While we were there, we didn’t know that our car battery was dangerously low and about to give out completely. It would have been a very long, icy walk back to a spot where the cell phone could have found a signal to call for help. I guess someone was watching over us.
I try to reflect on the blessings from this year as I hurry to this year’s end. In the month before Christmas, it’s often hard to find a moment to be still and silent. I think it is important to carve out a little down time to help us all keep our sanity.
Shattered Ice Pond
So, I think of you as I mail my cards, wrap the boxes, and stand in the long post office lines. I think of you and hope that you have a safe and sane holiday season. I hope that you will find time to spend with family and friends ringing in the year that is soon to pass and the year that is about to be. Happy Holidays
Last weekend we fled to the Sierra Nevada Mountains to get out of the smoke in the valley. There was some smoke lingering there too, but it was a good reminder that a colorful Fall is here, the skies are still blue, and the air is breathable. The reflection on Sand Pond at Sardine Lake was still and peaceful with no mosquitos in sight.
Peaceful Sand Pond
This last week we voluntarily moved all those things we thought were important to us but had to leave one very precious thing behind. The Atlas Fire was on the ridge, not terribly far from the neighborhood we live in. I said goodbye to this item I had to leave behind and said I would be back, but it made me realize how very much I take this piece for granted and what tremendous pleasure this thing has yielded me over the course of about thirty years. I hadn’t even given this prized possession a name. So before anymore time passes, here is the name; Beauty. You see, Beauty fully fills my life with joy, peace, and a tranquility that few other things can offer. My black Knabe grand piano has given me Beauty, fully for years and never asked for anything in return except a yearly tuning. Beauty fully was too large to pack in the car. You see, everything you need, or is very important to you, can fit in a car. It was a lightbulb moment for me. If my family were still living with us, we’d pack them in first and possibly leave everything else behind. All that is important to you, fits in your car. That means we have many creature comforts that don’t hold much value in our hearts. When it comes to what’s important, family is at the very top of my list, and I think it is at the top of yours too. Don’t forget to let those family members know the depth of the Beauty they fully bring to you.
I have been waiting for this day for the entire Summer. Cool, slowing, lazy, Fall days. I thought they’d never get here. I couldn’t go towards the coast enough days last Summer. I kept thinking that we would get one more round of hot weather.
Fall In The Sierra Mountains
Leaf Peeping In Delaware
Then it snowed yesterday in the Sierra’s and I knew that Fall was finally upon us. I can’t remember a summer that was hotter than the one we just had. Maybe I’m getting older and less tolerant of the climate changes, season to season. There have been times, recently, that I have thought of the seasons, liking them to the seasons of our lives. If this were the case then I think that Spring would be our baby, toddler, elementary school years. Summer would be our teens and twenties or even our early thirties. Fall would last a very long time before Winter would creep in coldly somewhere around our late sixties and beyond. The changing seasons, you can’t ignore them, they’re upon us any way we may look at them.
I’m hoping that all of us have a very long and glorious Fall Season.
It’s not often that I arrive at a lake to find it still and perfectly reflected upon itself. I was amazed to find this. I almost felt bad putting the kayak into the still waters. Once I was on the water, I didn’t feel bad anymore. It was quite serene. There wasn’t even any wind to push across the water and force the surface to move.
Still Morning at Salmon Lake
I don’t think about missing silence until I find myself submerged in it. It is completely calming. Fish and Game stopped stocking this lake with fish and word must have gotten out because there was hardly a fisherman to be found. Even the bald eagles were circling the lake and leaving. I loved being there because every little sound became apparent to me. The bees were buzzing, grasshoppers rubbing their wings, and when a person spoke, their voice was perfectly clear to everyone in the lake basin we were all residing in. There wasn’t much talking going on, though; I think everyone was simply enjoying the silence of the morning.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over the Labor Day weekend we headed to the mountains. We found that the squirrels and chipmunks had been quite busy with the pine cones. They left pine cobs scattered everywhere about the yard. Some people say that they can tell if the Winter is going to be cold and long if the squirrels are especially busy in the Fall. Our patio was a mess of pine cobs. I’m hoping for a long, snow filled, Winter.
Pine Cobs on the Patio
One of the things we like about the mountains is that the pace seems so much slower than the rest of our world. There is a place where musical artists come to share their songs with the locals on the weekend evenings. Friday night was one of those special events. Karl Larson was singing. He especially likes to sing Cat Stevens and Jim Croce. He looks so happy when he is singing. There is even a brighter spot to his performing though. His daughter, Karlene, comes and sings with him too sometimes.
What makes this so special is that you then have everything from Operator to Girl Crush. She keeps him up to date. It is so much fun to listen and watch them interact.
Changing Colors on the Mill Pond
Fall is certainly settling in and you can see it everywhere.
We hiked to Eureka Lake and found the water levels to be low but still amazingly beautiful. As we sat out having lunch by the lake, we talked about how good our life is.
Lonely Stump Reflection
There is nothing better in life then getting older and realizing how good we have it in the USA. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty grand. We are the fortunate ones.
It’s been really hot and smokey here; triple digits as they say. I don’t like the heat so I was filling my mind with the following images with the hope that, if I could cool my mind, my body would surely follow.
Octopus Ice Image
Well, we all know that I wasn’t exactly successful at that, but it did make me hope for a long, cool, and snowy winter. It’s not that far off, and if the forecasters are correct, I might just fish my wish.
Winter Sunset Over The Mill Pond
Summer is great up in the Sierra’s but it is the stillness of the winter that fills me with one of my favorite sounds, silence. Graeagle, CA is a special place, and when all the summertime families leave, there is a calmness that descends on the quiet little town.
Eureka Peak With Snow
My favorite time is January, February, or March when they hold the “World Famous Longboard Races.” It is some of the best times that I have ever had, but you’ve got to have snow, lots and lots of snow!
We had hiked to Lower Salmon Lake in 2006 and it was quite dry. I didn’t really know why we were returning, as I thought it would be especially dry this year. What a nice surprise to see the lake full with yellow water lilies growing in it.
Last weekend we went on a hike in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We left from a place named Gray Eagle Lodge. The pathway was often shady and you could hear running water most of the time, which somehow makes it seems a little cooler.
Pathway to the Wild Flowers
There were some flowers left and some that were fading away. The insects didn’t seem to mind that the flowers were going away. I wonder what is of interest when all the pollen seems to have been removed from the flower…..
End of the Flowers
This poor plant was almost completely gone. Good eating for the bugs, I suppose. I liked the shadows that were cast from what remained of the leaves.
There is a very small daisy that grows in the mountains and I have been trying to capture it, as my eye sees it, for ages now. I know this isn’t in perfect focus. Nothing about it is in focus, but I like the softness and true color of it.
Pretty in Purple
The hike was lovely and the surprise waterfalls were energetically running with cool mountain water. It’s this crazy little daisy that I cherish most. I might never take another picture of one. It’s simplicity is what draws me to it. I appreciate the simple things in life, whether it be a hike, a sunset, or a photo. The simple things are by far the most precious.