Simply Still Serenity

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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.

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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. 

 

 

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End of Day

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We stopped for the tail-end of a gorgeous sunset at a Wildlife Refuge off of Z Road just outside of Chico, CA a couple of evenings ago.

Wildlife Refuge off of Z Rd

Wildlife Refuge off of Z Rd

It made me think about the end of each day and that the year was soon coming to an end as well.  I hope you all have had a lovely 2015 and that your 2016 will be even more delightful.  Happy New Year to you all.

Haiku Sunrise Strings

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It occured to me, while writing last weeks post, that I don’t see the sunrise all that often.  I’ve a hill that sits to the east between myself and the sun.  I do watch the sunrise, almost everyday, when we go to the Hawaiian Islands by just not altering from California time.  Yesterday, I went to the writing group and one of the regulars wanted help with her haiku.  It made me think about the fact that I had not written a haiku in a very long time.  Here is one for each of these sunrise photos.  I hope you like them.

Ship Wreck Sunrise

Shipwreck Sunrise

Waves crash, sun rays rise

Birds calling, raindrops falling

Hawaiian sunrise

 

Puddle Reflection

Puddle Reflection

Quietly we wait

Silent, still, focused, watching

Reflecting beauty

 

Kaui's Rising Sun

Kaui’s Rising Sun

Stillness fills the air

World begins without a care

Paradise awaits

Into The Light

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Illuminated Flower

Illuminated Flower

About a week ago, we went for a walk through the Sacramento Capitol Park.  There was a large vine with many flowers on it and some giant black bumblebees.  It was an amazing sight.  The flowers appeared to be lit from behind and the bees were so large that they would fly behind the flowers to get to the pollen.  Their approach was ingenious, really.  It made me wonder if the light we all finally move towards is as inviting as these illuminated flowers.  Now, read no further if you don’t want to read something very personal, just simply enjoy the photo.

The reason that I have been pondering questions about the light is that my mother is elderly and ill.  I have been spending every day with her and I have had a lot of time to think.  I have come to appreciate the color of her eyes and I so wanted to write a poem for her to help her through this time of her life.  I was so stuck and frustrated.  I had one stanza written and nothing else would come.  I wanted to share it with her and follow it up with the song I had written for her several months prior.  I’ve always thought that it is better to do something for someone and share it with them, then to write something and never be able to touch a person with the very thing, about that person, that stirred feelings in myself.  It was while the caregiver was massaging her legs that I started again, from scratch, and the words just flowed.  I shared it with her yesterday……

Oceans Blue

Fall season settles in on us
Brightening colors turn from green
You are resting so intently
The fullest rest, I’ve ever seen

Never one to take the time
To make yourself feel good
Your selflessness is something
I never fully understood

My mind has many images
That flow with thoughts of you
Remembering eyes that sparkled
With the oceans deepest blue

Always, you were looking
For ways to help another
Taking on the world a bit
Embracing, as a mother

All you were will fill me
My mind will sing, your Irish songs
And I will feel your presence
As your memory carries on

Now I can let you go away,
To that place you’ve longed to be
For in my heart I surely know
Heaven will fill your soul, with glee

For my mother, Nancy Lewis
10/22/2014
Written by: Bonnie DiMichele

Mom loved the poem and piano piece, Autumn Hues, that I had video of on my iPhone.  When I have more time, I will share that with you also.  It wasn’t until recently that I thought about seeing my mother’s eyes, but they are the deep blue of the Monterey Bay.  I am so happy to see them each day.  She asked for blue flowers and I thought flowers didn’t come in blue, but these flowers I had photographed are called…..

Blue Dawn Flower Morning Glory

Blue Dawn Flower Morning Glory

It is quite simple for me, not this time of life, but the tiny thought that, I think that care and concern for others is so very important.  The caregivers for my mother are angels and I can only hope that they will have angels of their own someday.  My mother and I are thankful for them all.  Even when times are tough, remember to be caring.

Big Springs Gardens Flowers & Bugs

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We drove up Hwy 49 last weekend to meet a friend for lunch at Big Springs Gardens.  It was a delightful experience.  I realized that I had not been there in at least 10 years.  That is unfortunate because it is one of the most tranquil places that I have ever been.

Monet Inspired Bridge

Monet Inspired Bridge

As we approached the outdoor dining area, I just had to stop and take photos of the flowers, buzzing with bugs.  I’ve determined that the flowers are like bug catchers and I get to be so lucky as to have them lilt and pause for a bit, for nourishment, which leaves me able to snap a fabulous shot.

Orange Sulphur Butterfly

Orange Sulphur Butterfly

No nourishment here, but a metamorphosis near the pond, hidden in the grasses and leaves.

Dragonfly Larva

Dragonfly Larva

I had hoped that I would find more water lilies but it was not to be on this day.  The little blue dragonflies seemed delightfully at play.

Dragonflies on the Lily Pads

Dragonflies on the Lily Pads

Here is just a small portion of the gentle cascading falls that sits near the center of the restaurant.  We were fortunate to meet and chat with the owner and designer of the gardens, Don Phillips.  He feels that the gardens simply let him know what he could do to bring them into the beautiful state that they wished to be seen in.

Springs, turned into soothing falls, at the outdoor restaurant.

Springs, turned into soothing falls, at the outdoor restaurant.

After lunch we went for a stroll on the grounds and found hundreds of cosmos, all being attended to by the bees.

Bumble Bee on Cosmos

Bumble Bee on Cosmos

I thought of my grand-daughter and how she would not have been able to sit still with all the beautiful butterflies, flitting about.

Western Meadow Fritillary

Western Meadow Fritillary

If you’ve got time, look it up on the internet and stop by Sierra City, CA some time.  It’s worth the drive!

A Whale of a Tale

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My god-daughter, from England, and her parents came to visit a few years ago and she wanted to go to Monterey on a  whale watching excursion.  She had seen a video on YouTube that looked amazing, so we arranged the tickets and headed for the coast.  We stopped along the way to view the coastline.  It was a rather gloomy day, probably a lot like the days they were accustomed to in England.  We no sooner got out of the car, when we noticed a young woman approaching a picnic table with a brown paper sack.  I assumed that she had wanted the peace and tranquility that surely could be found at the beach.  She sat down and took out a Subway sandwich of which she took a bite.  A seagull immediately swooped down and took the entire sandwich from her hands.  She got up and started running, flailing her arms, and screaming at the bird.  It was an amazing sight!  I wondered, what would she have done if the bird dropped the sandwich?  Surely, she would not have eaten it.  We all laughed because it was such a sight to see.  As we walked away, I noticed this flowering plant in the sand.  I just had to snap this photo.  It is one of my favorite flower shots because the circumstances around it, fill my mind each time that I view it.

Sea Shore Heart Shaped Flower

Sea Shore Heart Shaped Flower

I thought that, even in the chaos of the moment, there is beauty to be found, everywhere.

Gulls of the California Coast

Gulls of the California Coast

Here are some of those dastardly birds.

Monterey Bay whale watching

Monterey Bay whale watching

The whale watching trip was unbelievable and the whales were all around the boat feasting on krill that was running on the top of the waters.  I never thought that I would bother to go whale watching again.  It couldn’t ever be that fabulous another time!  

We did go again, but not to Monterey.  We went many times while on our cruise to Alaska.  The whale watching trip that stands out the most was the one we took in Valdez, Alaska.  That place is pristinely clean, beautiful, and full of gorgeous wildlife.  We were on this small boat, looking ahead for puffins when we saw a bald eagle swoop down and steal the fish away from a snacking seal.  The seal looked a little bewildered and I caught this shot as the eagle was pulling up with the fish firmly in his talons.  

Valdez Bald Eagle Fishing

Valdez Bald Eagle Fishing

Chaotic for the seal, yet a wondrous sight for all of us.  Beauty in chaos.  Is there a time when you have found something unexpected in a surprising place?

A Whale Tail

A Whale Tail

 

 

Tranquility Lane

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I’ve had company this past week and haven’t had much time to think about what I would write in this blog.  However, with that being said, there is something that came to mind while traveling back from the airport today, and I will share it with you because it deals with end of life issues that we all eventually face.  We are going to a memorial later this week and we have had friends that have chosen to not allow people to honor them with a service upon their passing.  I understand why people think this is best for their loved ones, but it is very hard on those left behind to deal quietly with their angst over their friends passing.  We had some friends, Del and Lee, who wanted just such a quiet passing a few years ago.  We did finally honor them with a very small dinner party one evening in our backyard.  We had a short time during dinner when we shared our remembrances of them.  My memories are many but the one that stands out most in my mind was the night they had us over to their place, a top the hills of their city.  It was out on their deck that I began to compose the following poem.  This is why the evening stays so implanted in my mind.  I wrote the poem to have a lasting memory.  I didn’t need to take a picture because the words meant so much to me.  The house that they had built, was on Tranquility Lane.

#1 Tranquility Lane

Last night I sat upon a rock

At the crest of your fine hill

The beauty that surrounded me

Seemed to make my world stand still

Those hazy clouds were painted

Dapple gray and pink

The old oak tree’s long branches

Made me turn again and think

Of days spent on a different hill

Riding horses in the arms

Of another tall fine oak tree

With many illusive charms

I wonder now and hope

That oak tree stands there still

And the view is just as wonderful

From that other distant hill

I may not ever go

To that place now in my dreams

But this place, I’ll return to

Many times it seems

For there is no better place on earth

That I could ever gain

Old memories from new visions

Than number one Tranquility Lane

Here’s an artist’s concept of the view from that hill.  It sits in our dining room and reminds us of our old friends.  They are gone but are never forgotten.  They gave this to us, so you see, they did want us to remember.

View from Tranquility Lane