I’ve missed a couple of weeks of posting and I’ve got a good reason why that happened. I’ve been in the south of France, staying in small villages and fully enjoying the sights. I had wanted to go to Provence, France to see the lavender in bloom but the timing was a bit off so I had to settle for the red poppies as they were still blooming about everywhere we went.
Just outside of St. Martin du Bromes.
Overlooking Lac du la Sainte-Croix.
France is filled with bug loving flowers.
I am happy to be home, but have had an incredible vacation with family and friends. It is a wonderful way to travel and a great way to get to know each other better while in a relaxed environment. These poppies were planted in remembrance of the lives that were lost to war. It seems like we are always at war some place in the world. Sad really. The poppies are beautiful but what they symbolize is war and it’s casualties. It makes you stop and think about the sacrifices people have made to keep us from harms way.
As we traveled about, it was hard to miss the metal doors with peep-holes, the stone buildings with metal shutters, and the lack of children playing in the streets. When I was a child we had many freedoms, so many that we didn’t realize how very wonderful freedom was. Today is different from then. There are often days when I miss those yesterdays.
Last weekend we went to my aunt’s house for her 90th birthday. She is in fine health and has so many stories that she wants to reminisce about. We had a great time with her and I would erge anyone who has a friend or loved one who would love a chat or a visit from you to do so; today. Why put something off for tomorrow that you can accomplish today? On the way home we stopped by New Clairvaux Winery in Vina, CA.
Swallowtail at New Clairveux
In the Garden
As we were leaving, a butterfly caught my eye. It’s upper wings were working, what seemed like, excessively hard and fast. I thought it was a hummingbird at first but it was a swallowtail butterfly. I never knew that the butterflies wings could work independently of one another. It was beautiful to see but very difficult to catch in a photo. As we pulled away from the winery, we saw the water iris and another swallowtail butterfly whose wings did not seem to be moving at such a rapid pace. As I drew closer I could see that the wings were quite tattered. I think this is why the movement was slower. What amazing creatures those butterflies are. They fly about the world seeking out the colorful flowers and continuing to fly, even when their wings are breaking down. This is what I think we can take away from the flight of the butterfly; stay true to your course and keep going even when the going gets tough.
It’s that time of year again when we get to meet the newest critter families that romp around our cabin. Just like our own kids, they grow up so fast. In just a short time we won’t be able to tell the babies from the adults.
New Graeagle Family
They all love to play together when they’re young and then it’s hard to get them all together when they grow-up. Where ever you are this weekend, give your mom a call and let her know how much she means to you. If your mom is gone, channel some lovely memories her way. I wish all of you a Very Happy Mother’s Day.
There are times when I wonder why I am so drawn to taking photos when I travel to various places. I suppose it’s so I’ll keep those images with me in a tangible way. I find that I keep those images and experiences with me anyway. When I look at these photos from Hawaii,
Tiny Sand Crabs
it seems that I can still hear the pounding surf, see the sea spray on my sunglasses, and feel the gritty sand between my toes. These images bring back the temperature of the day, the wind that completely messed up my hair, and the delight I found in seeing the crab’s shadow rush across the sand. The mountains were quiet, filled with hanging clouds that spat occasional raindrops at us. My mind is filled with these memories but these photos bring back all those other pieces and feelings that made taking the photos so important to me at that moment in time on that particular day.
I take photos because I love all the places I have been and I want to keep those memories with me always.
With this year’s wet weather, I need to tell you that should you come upon the following signs, “Road Closed/Flooded,” believe it and do not enter.
Last Saturday we were returning from Chico and found ourselves on this road. We should have turned the car around, and if I had been driving, that surely would have happened. I wasn’t driving and we proceeded into the waters. We proceeded into the waters four times before we saw a large truck pulling a trailer coming towards us. It was at this time that I said, “stop the car, I’m serious, STOP THE CAR!” We had the truck driver roll down his window and asked him where he had come from. He had turned around, in fear that his trailer would be undermined by the rushing waters. I told him that, “we would be right behind him.”
It looked like an ocean around us and when we turned around, we looked up and could see the problem with the Oroville Dam. We were quite a long ways away but it was clear that there was a problem. We continued towards home and passed through many of the towns that were evacuated the very next day. I really have no good reason, that I can think of, for getting into that situation. I won’t be there again. It was stupid and I am partly to blame for my lack of stopping the car earlier. The water problems in California are very real and something that should not be taken lightly.
I’m glad we didn’t end up on the news, with helicopters saving us from the roof of our car. I’m always wondering how people get themselves into those situations. It’s easy to avoid, just stay home, evacuate if requested, and heed the signs.
Last weekend we rounded a curve on Hwy 70 and found the sun shining down on the hillside. It was beautiful.
I attempted to put a video, that I just finished, into my blog this week but I no longer have that capability. Here is the link to view it if you are not linked to me via Facebook https://vimeo.com/202985562
You can copy and paste and this should open up for you. It has photos, and music that I wrote, playing in the background. It’s only two minutes long. I hope you like it. I’ve been waiting for a while to share it with you. I hope you have a wonderful day. It’s a stormy one here in California. I hope this photo reminds you that the sun will surely shine for us soon.
As we returned from the Sierra’s this week we came upon some beautiful sights. The old Mill Pond was nearly frozen-over so we stopped and tossed rocks across the frozen part and listened to the echoing sounds that the pond makes in the Winter.
Later we came across a meadow that had fog hanging near the ground. There was a couple walking through the snowy meadow with a photographer following them. Engagement photos, perhaps; ’tis that time of year. It made me shiver and warmed my soul all at the same time. So I wish for all of you who read this, that you Have a Memorable and Prosperous New Year. We all need something to celebrate. There are days I look about me and realize that the amazing land we live in, and the joys that family and friends bring, gives us cause to celebrate every day that we have here. So go out and celebrate the very fact that you are here.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
(I always loved how Dr. Seuss would make up words and so I took some liberties and created the title Meadow Snog. It is the blending of snow and fog which is what I saw in the meadow. Snog had no trouble spell checking, so I became curious. Snog is a british term for kissing and caressing amorously, which is exactly what the fog seemed to be doing with the snow in the meadow and the couple were doing while taking pictures. I suppose it really is the perfect word to use for what I was viewing.)