I took these photos back in 2010, but I have literally thousands of photos that I've taken through the years, so if I just used the current ones...well, think how many photos would never get their moment in the 'spotlight.'
I love the crinkly texture of the petals of these flowers...
Perhaps because I'm starting to get quite a few 'crinkles' on my own face, lol. Wait...the title of this post isn't quite accurate, because I don't love the crinkles I'm getting on my face, but I earned every one and I'm proud of every one. Crinkles from laughing, crinkles from toughing out hard times, crinkles from being outside in all kinds of weather in the forest and on the mountain tops I love. I just wish that I wouldn't have a new one showing up every few days!
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is a society where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or all I have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot conceal." Lord Byron, George Gordon
(The first photo is part of 'my' woods [I put that in quote marks because we can never really own anything, can we?], the second was taken by my friend Kathleen's daughter-in-law Cindy on a trip to Oregon in June of 2012).
Things are blooming at odd times this year. The foxgloves down by the little creek bloomed so early they're already starting to look a little bedraggled.
But the wild sweet peas with their delicious scent are a couple of weeks late.
While the Viburnum, or snowball bush, is in full bloom. Usually at this time of year they're still little chartreuse colored balls; they don't reach the full blown white stage until the end of June.
The fuchsia plants won't make it through the winters up here, so the nursery usually gets some in . . . around the fourth of July. I saw this on Memorial Day and took a chance and bought it. I've had to bring it inside several times since then, but it seems to be holding it's own. They're kind of a pain to grow, even as annuals, because I have to water them once a day and mist them three times a day, but they're worth it to me. I always thought they looked like little ballerinas. And I'm sure the faeries use their petals to make dresses. :)
I wish my past week had been as tranquil as this photo looks. Numerous trips up and down the hill getting my sister to doctor appointments, getting ready for the antique wooden boat show at Lake Arrowhead (it's over, thank goodness!) and getting a nasty surprise while my sister and I were having lunch. I started to bite into a sandwich and felt a very odd sensation in the front of my mouth. I took the sandwich away from my mouth and there, stuck in the bread, was half of my tooth! It had a crown on it; the entire crown came off but only part of my tooth was in it. I was hoping the dentist could reattach it using some sort of dental super glue, or whatever they use, but no such luck. I have to have oral surgery on the 20th of this month...YUCK. Then I have to wait for at least four weeks for it to heal so he can put a bridge in, or whatever he's going to do to fix it. I hate teeth, they just cause no end of trouble!
Sunlight sparkling on the waters of Lake Gregory, Crestline, Ca. Taken in May of this year.
On a different note, see that little thing down at the bottom of the photo about half way between the center bottom and bottom right? It kept appearing in a lot of my photos, but never in the same place or going in the same direction, so I don't think it was dust on the lens. Maybe a bug following me around? Or, (and I like this best) perhaps it was a Faery in disguise? I saw something similar in a photo I took last autumn (I think it was last autumn) but it was green instead of the bluish-white of this one.
Can it really be June already? This year is flying by faster than a Italian race car with its gas pedal glued to the floorboard. The poppies (California's state flower) and the beautiful blue lupins are blooming on the hillsides.
Down at Lake Arrowhead, the ducks are doing their thing close to the shore, where they won't get run over by a boat. I always worry about the ducks when I take my relatives water skiing, although I rarely see one out in the middle where we ski. Have to be very careful in the 'slow' zones, though.
My mama, and every older person I knew when I was a child, used to tell me to "make the most of being young because time goes by faster than you can blink." I didn't believe them. Summer lasted forever, then school went on for an eternity until Christmas vacation...time passing by fast? What were they talking about?
Now I know. And, I bet you know, too...don't blink, or it will be November!
Spring is still going strong up around the 7,000 foot level. (That's around 2,133 meters...maybe. I'm not very good at conversions). This oak tree is just putting out her new leaves...
A tiny bit of spring masquerading as autumn's bright jewels.
I even found a clump of daffodils! I don't remember planting them, but I stick in bulbs all over the place every autumn. That way, I get lots of nice little surprises every spring.
I live at an elevation of 6,400 feet, so there's only a 600 foot difference, but it makes a big difference to the plants. Spring starts her journey at the bottom of the mountains and slowly climbs, so I have the opportunity, if I drive, to catch spring photos for a couple of months. I do the same thing in reverse for the autumn...start up high and follow it down the mountains.
I took this in May, 2010, on my down to Hesperia, which is a little town down in the desert on the north side of this mountain range. I took it while driving, so please forgive the poor quality, but this stretch of road has always been one of my favorites up here. There's a little creek on the right side of the road, down in a shallow ravine. Sometimes I park the car and walk around. It always astonishes me how much magic this area right next to a fairly busy road manages to keep:
I don't think many people take the time to get out and look over the side; I never see any of the 'markers' that people usually leave behind like squashed plants, cigarette butts and other trash. It makes me grateful that not many people take the time to investigate places that are a bit difficult to get to (it's a bit of a hike down to the little stream) because, usually, too many people just drive the magic right out.
This is a Baby Blue Eyes blossom. They're only about the size of a dime and they grow in large, low to the ground, mats everywhere up here this time of year. I have tried to find out the name of the nasty plant growing along side it, to no avail. All I know about it is that those horrid little fuzzy balls get stuck in my cats' fur every spring and summer and they're really hard to get out!
The photo above, and the two below, are of a California Mountain Bluebird. They're very shy, so I was thrilled when this one let me get several photos of her (him?).
And,last but not least, an iris...MY iris!! I have been trying for several years to grow these but have lost them to gophers, squirrels, deer and who knows what else. But, this one made it!
I took this at the end of April of this year. Our dogwoods up here are the species Cornus Nuttalli, the only dogwood native to California, also referred to as the Pacific Giant as they can grow up to 60 feet tall, and their range is from the Southern California mountains up to British Columbia. This blossom is strange in that it only has 4 petals - well, they're really called 'bracts.' The center of the bracts contains the little ball of the actual teeny, tiny yellow flowers and the showy bracts just serve to attract pollinators. Cool, huh?
Anyway, usually they have 6 bracts. But some of the trees only put out 4 this spring. I'm wondering if it was because we've had such a dry winter. Dogwoods are terribly suceptible to the disease Dogwood Anthracnose, which is a fungal disease that kills them, but all the gardening sites I've researched haven't said that putting out only four bracts is a sign that the tree is infected. So, I guess I'll just keep my fingers crossed and give them plenty of water.
Earlier this month when I was down at Lake Gregory taking photos, I saw a most unusual sight.
I had to look several times to really believe what I was seeing.
A turtle!! I have never seen a turtle in any of the lakes up here, and I've lived up here all my life. I suppose someone must have let it go, poor thing. I think it may have been at Lake Gregory for a few months because I remember one of my friends saying in March that she had seen what she thought might be a turtle at Lake Gregory down in Crestline. But, she also said she thought it could have been a log, so I didn't think any more about it.
I thought She looked especially magical tonight. I am always intrigued by the lighter, brighter spots on Her and, even though I know the scientific explanation for them, I choose to ignore it. I like my great-great grandniece's explanation: "They're the lights from the villages of the Moon Faeries, of course!" Emma is going on 10 and I worry that her wonderful imagination will be submerged under peer pressure soon. Maybe I shouldn't worry though...just last week she told me that she felt so sorry for kids who were starting to lose their belief in magic, or never believed in it at all. Like me, Emma finds magic in the most mundane things, she finds the wonder in all that the Great Spirit created, so maybe I'm worrying for no reason. Unfortunately, worrying is one of the things I do best; I'm so happy that Emma didn't inherit that trait!
I took this photo while on a ramble around the forest recently. My eye was caught, as it always is, by how the sunlight and shade create a kind of magic and mystery. It's one of the things I love best about living in a forest.
(The flowers are the blossoms of the Lunaria plant, commonly known as Money Plant).
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.
A Darling Baby Skunk
And Some Other Animals Who Allow Me to Live in Their Forest:
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 everytime there's a snowstorm or drought we know our fate is tied to the world around us.
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"There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination." Anais Nin
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Mr. Murphy O'Mally
What I'm Reading Now:
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors and the most patient of teachers.
A mix of Oglala Sioux, Cherokee, and Northern Italian, I am a 4th generation artist (I work in alkyds, acrylics, watercolors, ink, and colored pencil on canvas and paper), and 2nd generation photographer. I walk a spiritual path that is a blend of my 3 cultures, plus my Irish Godmother's culture. I have one green eye and one brown eye, just like my Northern Italian Nonna (grandmother). I live with my husband and our four-footed babies (human ones are grown, flown and thriving) in a cottage that sits by a cold, clear-running stream high in a mountain forest which is filled not only with beauty, but also magic and wonder.
Juniper Iceshimmer She protects the vulnerable and brings justice to the wronged. She lives in clean-air pine forests in high places where the clouds touch the earth. She is only seen when the first flowers begin to blossom. She wears purple juniper colours and has icy blue butterfly wings. Find out your fairy names with The Fairy Name Generator!
Blog Parties - Click on the Photo to See the Post
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