My eye was caught by the colors of this little faceted crystal
hanging in my studio window.
I think it liked the sunlight we had today...the first in over three weeks! But, happily, the weather people are saying that it's going to start raining and snowing again on Thursday and continue through the weekend, with rainfall totals of up to 10 inches.
The sky is the same today as it was when I took this photo several days ago...that light, pearl grey that hurts the eyes nearly as much as bright sun. But the snow is gone, melted away by the rain. Still lots of snow higher up the mountain though, so the skiing is good!
"I've been thinking of heaven recently. Not the heaven of avarice - a heaven full of mansions and streets of gold - but heaven as a real, physical place. There is something about clear nights in the winter, the perfection of snow and ice in the light from the stars and the moon that always reminds me of the existence of God. When it's cold enough, the sky seems to empty and there is an infinite darkness, a sense that there is something unreachable and never-ending, something past the idea of heaven." from "Touch" by Alex Zentner, photo by Joni Niemelda
It's snowing here again today. What a wonderful winter this has been so far! I hope there's lots more snow and rain in Southern California's winter.
A few days after one of our little snowstorms, some really nice icicles formed. I grabbed my camera and took a few photos while the sun was out. It's been clouded over here pretty consistently for almost three weeks, and almost every day we've had a little rain! By my reckoning, we've received nearly 11 inches so far...yippee! Not enough to fill up the lakes and not enough to make the streams flow again, but still so very welcome.
Wonderful winter...something that's been missing in these mountains more often that not in the past several years. I took this photo in 2008, and I have my fingers crossed that there will be another snowfall like the one pictured before this Christmas.
I've been using a lot of shatter-proof ornaments in recent years, along with a few that have a great deal sentimental meaning.
This little crystal angel is also a bell. She was given to me by my mother for my first tree in my first apartment.
These little mittens were made for me by a dear friend. We've been friends since I was three years old. She moved to Alaska in 1971, but we've managed to remain close always, friends for 64 years!
The heart ornament was painted for me my by my sister several years ago. I miss her so much.
The little wooden "candles" were made by my husband in 1996. He used dowels for the candles and red pipe cleaners for the "flames," then dripped thick, white gesso down the sides for the "wax." It just isn't Christmas until these candles are on the tree!
I went out for a walk early this morning. The air was wonderful, so crisp and cold, and lots of clouds were around.
I noticed many little cedar trees growing. So cheering. The clouds quickly filled the sky, so I started for home. It even sprinkled a little!
I'm still decorating our cottage and, as I placed this Santa on the mantel, I remembered today is the feast day of Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas, or Nicholas of Myra, is the real-life man that the figure of Santa Claus is based on. Nicholas inherited a great deal of wealth, but spent none of it on himself. Instead, he used all of it for charitable acts. One such act was giving dowry money to three young women so that they could be married, instead of being sold into prostitution by their despicable father. He is the patron saint of the poor, children, women, sailors, glass makers, fire fighters, prostitutes, fishermen, scholars...just about everyone!
Horribly windy here today, but the winds make for a beautiful, bright blue sky. Pretty cold, too, our high was only 36 F. Good thing there were lulls in the blowing, otherwise these trees would be even more blurry than they are. It's kind of scary to see a pine that's nearly 200 feet tall swaying in the wind like a little cedar sapling!
It's my favorite month of the year. The villagers are already having fun in Mouseford Falls (a little village that I set up every year in my kitchen window). I have a lot of favorite quotes about December, but the one that probably fits the best is this one:
"It's December and nobody asked if I was ready" Sarah Kay
Most of the autumn leaves have fallen now, although a few oaks here and there are hanging on to some leaves.
On my way to my studio, I noticed that some of the leaves on this ivy plant were turning red! It's been hanging in the same place for about 5 years now and the leaves have always been green. I hope this doesn't mean it's got some sort of disease.
It's been really cold up here with lows at night in the twenties. On the 27th we got a little bit of rain and a sprinkle of snow. Only a half inch, but it's all welcome.
Last week, I made a card for a friend. I've just started to get into card making. So far, I'm loving it. It's a nice change from painting, and very relaxing.
It rained last night! We received a little over an inch of rain...not a drought breaker, but it's all important. The ski resorts received a couple of inches of snow, probably not enough to last through the Thanksgiving weekend, but they've been making snow so the runs are good.
The colors are always intensified after rain, and I think a cloudy day makes them even more brilliant.
Everything got a good washing.
It was lovely walking through the damp, cool air today. Even the fallen leaves and pine needles had extra color.
On the north side of the mountains the clouds were chasing each other.
On the south side of the mountains the sun was peeking through.
Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny, drat it. The clouds never stay long enough these days...
And some other Wildings, big and little, who kindly share their forest with me:
"To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Young Steller's Jay
Common to high altitude forests all over the west
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Our task must be to free ourselves...by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. ~~ Albert Einstein
June Was Adopt a Cat Month
But, there are always strays who need a loving home - so don't shop, ADOPT! Click the photo for helpful tips on adopting.
If they breathe, they live. If they live, they feel. If they feel, they love. If they love, they are aware. If they are aware, they have a soul. ~ Williams
I love cats because I enjoy my home and, little by little, they become its visible soul ~ Jean Cocteau
Feed the Hungry
I think we are bound to, and by, Nature. We may want to deny this connection and try to believe we control the external world, but every time there's a snowstorm or drought we know our fate is tied to the world around us. ~~ Alice Hoffman
What I'm Reading Now:
Give a Child a Book
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors and the most patient of teachers.
Charles W. Eliot
A person who collects or is fond of books. Also, a person who immediately feels safe, happy, even euphoric, when holding a favorite book.
Care for a cuppa?
Where there is tea there is hope - Pinero
Boulder Bay, Big Bear Lake
Click to visit Big Bear
Lake Gregory, Crestline
Click to visit Crestline
Click to visit Lake Arrowhead
A Favorite Quote
"I don't want life to imitate art; I want life to BE art." Carrie Fisher
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. ~ John Muir, from "The California Mountains"
I'm three-quarters Native American (Oglala Sioux and Cherokee), and one-quarter Northern Italian. I live in a little cottage with my husband and our furry "children" in a beautiful, high altitude, California mountain forest where we enjoy daily visits from the little wild creatures. I love animals (you probably guessed), books, photography, tall trees, rain, snow, tea, the moon, creating all kinds of art...and, I'm proud to be a Crone ~ I never thought I'd make it!