Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Landmark

This statue of a Serrano indian marks the entrance to the Arrowhead Springs Hotel in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains.  Well, it started out as a hotel, then was used as a navel hospital during World War II, then it was a hotel again, then it was used as headquarters for a religious organization.  I'm not sure what it is now, or who owns it. 
The hotel gets its name from the natural landmark on one of the hills behind it.  It was frequented by the rich and famous for years; Elizabeth Taylor honeymooned at the hotel with Nicky Hilton. 
The landmark is an arrowhead.  The Serranos believed that it pointed down to the location of the hot springs, and considered it holy ground.  It's certainly shaky ground...it's  very close to the San Andreas fault line.
The arrowhead has been burned over to many times to count, but it always comes back.  Nothing is done to maintain it.  The arrowhead is also where Lake Arrowhead got it's name, even though you can't see the lake from the arrowhead and vice versa. 
These photos were taken a couple of years apart.  It's easy to get photos of the hotel from Hwy 18, but you have to take the Waterman Canyon turnoff to get to the hotel's driveway, and I kept forgetting. 

Linking with: Through My Lens

Friday, August 19, 2016

Skies and Flowers

Monsoon rains are falling out over the Mojave desert to the southeast of us, but nothing here.  It hasn't rained since April, and that wasn't enough to even measure.
To the east and north of us, the Blue Cut fire still rages unchecked.  (Lake Gregory is a tiny, light blue smudge just above the center, and to the left, of the photo, about 10 o'clock) and Lake Arrowhead is the large lake.  (Photo from Rim of the World, by R. Lagler).  At the latest count, 96 homes have burned.  This monster of a fire moved so fast (10,000 acres burned in the first four hours) there was nothing anyone could have done to stop it.  Right now, the area burned totals over 31,000 acres.  No human lives were lost, but who knows how many precious animal lives were lost...I grieve for those little lives, and for the people and animals who lost their homes.
This is what the smoke looked like from Lake Gregory in the valley where I live. (Photo from Rim of the World, by M. Jordan).  The Pilot fire, just over the ridge from this valley is still burning, but it's fully contained and nearly out, thank God.
Near the base of the tree in the first photo I found a little Hoary Tanaster (Machaeranthera canescens) blooming.  They usually don't bloom until the middle of September, and are hardy wildflowers common in the San Bernardino mountains. 
I'm linking with:  Skywatch Friday
                         Flower Friday
                         Floral Friday

Please click the above links to see many beautiful photos!

Thursday, August 18, 2016


I am one of those who has no trouble imagining the sentient lives of trees, of their leaves in some fashion communicating, or of the massy trunks and heavy branches knowing it is I who have come, as I always come each morning, to walk beneath them, glad to be alive and glad to be there. ~~ Mary Oliver 

I took this photo on a particularly beautiful morning in April of 2011.  It's nowhere near as green here now. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Enchanted Roses

I took these in July of last year.  These roses are next to a fast-food place up here in Crestline.
They have blooms of the deepest, most velvety red.  My digital cameras have never been able to capture red as effectively as my old film cameras. They're a much deeper red than these photos show.
I don't think they get much care, but they bloom valiantly every summer.
And, so beautifully.  They remind me of roses that I've read about in fairy tales.

Linking with Through My Lens

Friday, August 12, 2016

Sunset, Moonrise

Looking west at a smoky sunset...
When I turned in the opposite direction, I saw a tree holding the moon in its branches! 

The Pilot fire is 80% contained and I'm cautiously optimistic that all here in these mountains are out of danger.  I'll be 100% optimistic when the fire is 100% out...

Linking with Skywatch Friday

Monday, August 8, 2016

A Flower and A Fire

A poppy (Argemone pleicantha) that a bug has been enjoying snacking on.  I love these poppies; their blooms can reach 6 inches across, and their petals are so ruffly and delicate.

The following photos are not mine, but from Twitter and Lake Gregory Weather.  It's burning right over the ridge from where I live.  Right now, it's burned over 6,000 acres.  So far, the winds have been in our favor up here and have kept the fire moving away from the mountain communities.  Even though the winds are not strong, the fire fighters have not been able to get it contained.  Not for lack of trying!  There are hundreds of fire fighters heroically battling this blaze and many water-dropping helicopters and fixed wing fire retardant and water bombers.  It's the terrain that's making containment so difficult.  At least the temperatures aren't in the triple digits like they were last week.  If you have any spare prayers and/or good thoughts please send them to the fire fighters and pilots...and to those of us who live up here.
Looking east across Lake Silverwood.
Looking from the Summit Valley side or the desert side of the fire.
You can see the smoke right behind the trees at Lake Gregory. 

Linking with:  Through My Lens

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday Sunsets

This was taken on September 8, 2015.  The sunset lasted about twenty minutes, the clouds and light constantly changing.  I was at the Red Rock Wall turnout on Highway 18 and, incredibly, there were only three other photographers there! 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Red Tailed Hawk

A Red Tailed Hawk perching in a dead tree on the mountain side.  This seems to be a favorite spot for hawks to survey the area; I've been photographing various hawks in this spot for over forty years.  

This one flew away in a rush, intent on dinner I suppose.  I never stay to see that part, even though I wish them good hunting...I know everything has to eat, but I don't have the heart to watch or photograph the kill.

Linking with Saturday's Critters 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Skywatch Friday

Looking east and north from a turnout on Highway 18.  Big Bear has been getting a few sprinkles over the past couple of days, but Lake Arrowhead and Crestline have gotten nothing.  It's just been horribly, horribly hot.  Our high today was 95.  So, of course, the air conditioner conks out!  Because I have MS I have a really hard time dealing with temperatures over 80 degrees.  The repair man will be here tomorrow, thank goodness!  I hope it's more pleasant where you are...

Linking with Skywatch Friday

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Every Little Girl...

...in this country can now say, with hope grounded in reality, "I want to be President of the United States when I grow up." 

FINALLY.  I wish my mother and sister could have lived to see this happy, historic day.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Grandmother Tree

The Grandmother Tree is just my name for her...I don't know if anyone else calls her by that name.
I don't know what made her trunk so gnarled and twisty.
So fantastical... 
...and so beautiful.
Fertile ground for an imagination like mine.
When I look at her, I am reminded of Tolkien's Ents, a race of trees that could walk and talk.  I've never seen her walk, but I've heard her talk...on quiet summer afternoons, on bright autumn days, in rain storms and snow storms, on days filled with the hopefulness of spring.

I took these photos in 2007, with a little Olympus camera.  The Grandmother Tree is still there, and she still looks much the same. 

Linking with Through My Lens


Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Sunday Quote

A house without a cat, and a well-fed, well-petted, and properly revered cat, may be a perfect house, perhaps, but how can it prove its title? ~~  Mark Twain 

Photo is of Lucy at five months old; she's two now, still just as cute...

Sunday, July 17, 2016


I'm joining Our Beautiful World for this post.  The word prompt is "green."  These photos were taken in early June, when there's lots of green around in the San Bernardino mountains where I live.
Linking with: Our Beautiful World

Friday, July 15, 2016

Skywatch Friday

The skies in Southern California have been boring lately...blue with a bit of a haze.  I'm looking forward to monsoon season...hopefully, we'll get some rain!  This photo wasn't taken in the mountains, but in Summit Valley, down in the high desert.

Linking with: Skywatch Friday

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Nap Interrupted

A young raccoon was taking a nap on the roof of the cat's play yard...

She spotted me in the window right away and came over for a closer look...

But, she soon figured out it was just a human with a camera, and stepped up onto the roof of the house where she could nap in peace without interruptions by pesky humans and their cameras.  (I apologize for the blurriness of the last two photos; there were spots on the window because I don't wash it often enough).

Linking with:
Saturday's Critters

Monday, July 4, 2016

Boating at Lake Arrowhead

These photos were taken at Lake Arrowhead, California, in June of 2009.  Due to the drought, the water level is about 15 feet further out than what the level is here.
Linking with: Through My Lens
             and  image-in-ing

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