Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Sunlight

Taken on Hwy. 18 while driving back from Running Springs.

It RAINED during the night and most of today. We got one and three-quarters of an inch, according to my rain gauge. Yippee!! First measurable rain in months. It washed all the pine pollen away, cleaned the already clean air and lowered the temperature. It's 62 degrees F right now and the cool air is strongly scented with a wonderful mix of pine, cedar, wet earth and roses. Bliss...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chasing Clouds

I love this time of year when huge thunderhead clouds (the big ones are called Cumulonimbus, the smaller ones are called Cumulus Congestus, but we've always just called them 'thunderheads') form over the mountain range I live in and the ranges to the south and east. The picture above is looking south to Mt. San Jacinto, 10,834 feet in elevation, located in the San Jacinto mountain range in Riverside County.


Looking to the northeast over Lake Arrowhead.

Looking west to Mt. San Antonio, elevation 10,064 feet. It's also called Mt. Baldy and isn't actually visible in this photo; it's just off to the left. It's located in the San Gabriel mountain range in Los Angeles County.

More thunderheads over Lake Arrowhead.

The top of a really big Cumulonimbus. We actually got a little bit of rain from this, although there were also several small fires started today because of the lightening that always accompanies thunderheads. God/dess bless our firefighters, they got them out quickly. Sometimes I can see the lightening occurring inside the thunderheads and it doesn't connect with the ground at all. That, of course, is my favorite kind of lightening because it's pure beauty with no danger of fire!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Faeries Friday - Coeurlyn

Her name, Coeurlyn, is a combination of French (coeur means heart) and Welsh (lyn means stream). She likes to hang out in my studio and give advice to lovelorn Faeries. It seems she takes a pretty stern view, though. I've heard that her usual advice is: "He treats you like that!? Rip off his wings and kick him to the next realm!" She's a real take-no-prisoners type of girl. Although...I have heard rumors that she had an unfortunate affair of the heart, and it turned her heart to stone. No proof, though, just a rumor...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Moi?!

Anthony: Oh, wow, look at this mess. All that paper...I wonder who did that?

Me? Mom, you think it was ME? Look at my face...would this face lie to you? WHAT? You still think I did this?!


I'm so offended, I can't even look at you. Go away.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Perception is Everything

"Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them." AA Milne

I agree, Mr. Milne. Well, except for chickweed and foxtails. These little 'weeds' are called Splendid Gilia. You usually see them in sunny areas by the road as you zoom along in your car and your impression is of a tiny, pinkish purple 'spot' on top of thin, spindly stems. But, get up close. Suddenly you see why the word 'splendid' is in their name!




Monday, July 25, 2011

Duck's Ditty


(The picture will enlarge if you left click on it).

"All along the backwater, through the rushes tall,
Ducks are a-dabbling, up tails all! . . .
Everyone for what he likes! We like to be
Heads down, tails up, dabbling free!"

Excerpted from Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows," which is one of my all time favorite books. Mole, Ratty, Badger, and Toad are all such wonderful characters. I never tire of reading this book, but I've never been able to find a complete, unabridged version. Well, one that was within my budget.

Imagine my excitement when I found a complete, unabridged version that includes the original, rare first draft in the form of 15 letters written to Mr. Grahame's son, and illustrations...for only $1.99! There is a slight downside, however; it is on Kindle.

But, hey, at least I have it!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What is Your Name?



I wish I knew the name of this beautiful moth. Well, I'm assuming it's a moth because I saw it at night. I've spent two hours searching on the Internet to no avail. Its wingspan is about five inches, which makes it one of the biggest moths I've ever seen around here. I think it's so beautiful, and I've never seen a moth with markings like this before.


Maybe I should have said to it, "Beautiful moth, I'm ever so sorry to disturb you, but please, what is your name?"

Friday, July 22, 2011

Faeries Friday - Lily of the Valley

This is the Lily of the Valley goblet (they named her) made by Kirks Folly. www.kirksfolly.com I think I've posted about them before, probably their wonderful moon wind chimes and moon and faerie jewelry.


I've collected a set of eight of these goblets over several years. Each one is different. Whoever designed them was very clever; the glass part unscrews from the goblet base and can go in the dishwasher! And, they made replacements for the glass part in case of breakage. I bought 20 replacement pieces because I use these goblets when I have faerie parties for my young great and great-great nieces and little fingers (even big fingers) aren't always the steadiest. I'll eventually post pictures of all of the goblets, if I can manage to get half-way decent photos. It's so hard to get the lighting right, plus I need to find my tripod. I didn't use it for these two photos, as I'm sure you can tell...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mrs. Rachael Littleface Needs Good Wishes

This is Mrs. Rachael Littleface. She needs your healing prayers, good wishes, good vibes, whatever you can send her way. She is one of the feral cats I have been trying to catch for two years now. She has a terrible abscess on her right cheek, which I just saw last night. The whole right side of her precious little face is horribly swollen and it looks like the abscess might be draining a bit.

What makes this so dangerous for her is that it's in a place that she cannot reach to lick clean. She needs antibiotics, and possibly a drain put in, but I know that will never happen. Plus, she is pregnant.

So, please send healing thoughts and prayers her way. (I could use some inspirational thoughts on how to catch her; the Have-A-Heart trap I've tried repeatedly won't work because she won't get into it).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Peridots, Emeralds, Citrines, and Rubies

That's what the water drops on these cherries and leaves look like to me. I took these back on July 9th, after we had a teeny-tiny rain shower. I think it only lasted about 40 seconds! The cherry trees are all volunteers from the original tree that was planted by my dear neighbors, Beulah and Fred, many years ago. Now cherry trees are springing up all over because the birds, the forest's inadvertent gardeners, are spreading them far and wide.


Even though most of the trees were covered thickly with cherries, it only took the birds (robins, Bullock's Orioles, Spotted Towhees, chickadees, and Steller's Jays) about three days to completely strip the trees. The butterflies enjoyed the fruit, too; they would land on cherries that were only partially consumed by the birds and drink the juice. But, I didn't get ONE picture of the birds or butterflies because every time I got near enough with my camera they all took off. It was quite a sight though, one I don't think I'll ever forget.


Fred and Beulah, who are in Heaven now, would have been so pleased.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Being a Libra - a Teeny Rant - or Complaint - Or...

(image from the Web)

Normally I like being a Libra. We have some nice traits; just, sociable, refined, kind, fair, diplomatic, artistic.

But there's another trait...indecisiveness. Anyone who has known a Libra well has probably been driven to the brink of insanity by their inability (sometimes) to make a decision.

I have spent the last three, yes THREE, hours trying to decide what to write about. It's not as though I didn't have a lot of choices. But when I am stuck in the doldrums of indecisiveness that just makes it worse.

Thankfully, this doesn't happen to me very often, because, when it does, I drive myself to the brink of insanity!

Thank goodness my husband suggested I blog about being unable to make a decision sometimes because of being a Libra or I'd probably be stuck in front of the computer until...well, no I wouldn't be stuck because...no, maybe I would.

And that woman in the picture above? She's holding up her hand because she's thinking "No, OH NO, don't make me choose one bowl...don't! Oh, which one should it be? The left one is...no, wait. The right one has...well, on the other hand, the left really is..."

Oh, BOTHER being a Libra!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cloud Gazing

It's the time of the year when we get beautiful thunderheads (Cumulonimbus) floating around. I never get tired of watching them and the uncountable number of shapes they can make. In the one on the left, up at the top right side of it, I see the head of a hedgehog, nose tilted up. The cloud on the right though...is it a two headed dragon? The head of a dragon and a short, fat Loch Ness monster? A seal sitting with its head raised on an iceberg? I don't know. I do know that they have rain in them, but they're very parsimonious about sharing it!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Summer Day

"Then followed that beautiful season ... Summer ... Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, July 15, 2011

Faeries Friday - Akiha and Akiye

Akiha is on the left (her name means 'Autumn Leaf' in Japanese) and Akiye is on the right. (Her name means 'Autumn Painting' in Japanese).

They were sent to me for my birthday last year by my dear friend who lives in Alaska. She named them and told me what their names mean, but forgot to tell me how to pronounce them. And, of course, every time we have a phone visit I forget to ask her.


My friend doesn't have a computer (GASP!) nor does she want one, or I'd e-mail her. Instead, we write letters to each other in between our phone visits. Actual, on paper with pen and ink, letters. I have to admit, I really enjoy getting a letter by 'snail' mail, and I also enjoy writing letters to her. It's a dying art...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Quirks

Love thou the rose, yet leave it on its stem ~ E.G. Bulwer-Lytton

To pick or not to pick? I choose not to pick flowers, except in very rare cases, while my sister feels that flowers aren't living up to their full potential unless they're stuck in a vase. And while I gratefully accept the bouquets that she usually has for me when I visit her, I always feel vaguely guilty.

Just a quirk, I guess.

Speaking of quirks, I wish Blogger would get its quirks and kinks worked out! My photos appear very blurry on this page, but when I left click to enlarge them they appear crisp and in focus (well, most of them...some are just blurry because of me!) And I can comment on some blogs, while on others Blogger requires me to sign in, accepts my sign-in, then still won't let me comment. Very strange...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Never Ending

Just a few moments ago these trees were dancing and singing to the tune the wind has been playing, off and on, all day long. Right now, they are still and only bird songs can be heard. But, I agree with John Muir: "Though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease."


To me, this is also true of the huge, centuries old and hundreds of feet tall, trees that we lost to bark beetle. I still see them standing proud and strong, and I still hear their songs...only now, I see and hear them with my heart.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Perfection

"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." Salvador Dali

When I first read this quote years ago, I felt such relief! All my life before that had been spent trying for perfection in just about everything. This came partly from my parents' expectations but mostly, I think, from my own drive to be perfect. That drive made me a nervous wreck and, by my own assessment, I was never good enough, except for my grades in school; I always got perfect grades.

Everything else I worried about, constantly striving for some unattainable goal I had set for myself and feeling shattered if I didn't reach it. And, of course, I usually didn't reach the goal; I always set the bar too high.

When I read the Salvador Dali quote it was as though a thousand pound weight lifted from my shoulders. I don't know why that one quote resonated so deeply with me, but it did. I dropped that burden of expecting perfection from myself and have never picked it up again.

Thank you, Salvador Dali!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rose

But he that dares not grasp the thorn
Should never crave the rose ~ Anne Bronte

Friday, July 8, 2011

Faeries Friday - Violacea

This is little Violacea. I found (rescued) her at a yard sale. The woman and the man holding the yard sale said that not only did they not believe in faeries, they thought they were demonic. Not believing in faeries is certainly fine; although I always feel a little sad for people who don't. Not only are they missing out on peeking into a wonderful world, but their inner child must be quite dead.

But, what really confused me was that they said they don't believe in faeries, but they thought faeries are demonic. I pointed out to them that since they don't believe that faeries exist faeries could not be demonic because something that doesn't exist can't BE anything. They replied that their religion says that faeries are demonic. I said, "So your religion believes that faeries are real?" We went on this way for a few minutes until the man (I assume that they were husband and wife) got into such a tizzy he started quoting random bible verses at me that had nothing to do with anything we were talking about. I say 'at me' because he was hurling them at me with such force I almost felt like I had to duck. The whole thing was too funny, and I was hard pressed not to laugh out loud.

But when he drew himself to his full height (which I'm guessing was about 5'7" - I'm 5'10" so he was still looking up) and said (I have to admit, he had an impressive voice, deep and resonant) "Woman, be silent! It is not a woman's place to argue!" I just lost it and started laughing. I managed to choke out "Why?" and he said it was because women were made from Adam's rib and so were not the equal of men. I was going to ask him about Lilith, Adam's first wife, created at the same time as Adam, from the same 'material' and therefore his equal, or about animals, which the bible says were created before humans, but I was getting tired, my friend who was with me was starting to lose her temper, and his poor wife looked like she wanted to sink into the ground, so I just said, "Oh, I don't believe that's why Adam was made first. Even God needs a 'test model' to get the kinks out...have a nice day!"

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Afternoon

Summer afternoon - summer afternoon...the two most beautiful words in the English language ~ Henry James

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lions and Tigers and...

All kinds of animals! The little bear peeking out in the above photo was done for me by a wood carving friend from the trunk of a 100 year old Ponderosa pine that was killed by the bark beetle infestation that swept through this forest several years ago. A lot of other people had/are having the same thing done.

This is in front of the UCLA Conference Center in Lake Arrowhead.


This little raccoon eating a fish is down at the San Moritz Club at Lake Gregory. I remember going there as a guest in the late 1950's when I was eight or nine. The lake was bigger then than it is now. There is now a ball field where a part of the lake used to be! It hasn't operated as a private club for a long time and is now owned by San Bernardino County (I think; I'm not 100% sure).


This photo, and the ones below, are from various places around these mountains.





Some wood carver did a marvelous job on this dog!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Sunlight



So far this summer, these dragonflies on glass are the only dragonflies that I've seen. I haven't even spotted any down by the creek or the lake.

Tomorrow we'll spend the evening watching the fireworks over the lake.  I always love how the fireworks look reflected in the water.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Faeries Friday - Lillibet

She was a surprise present from my husband to the birds as well as myself. The birds love to sit on the edge of the lily she is holding and take sips of water. I love the sound of the fountain; not too loud, just a gentle, musical sound that adds another note of peace to the garden. Some of the more cheeky birds like to perch on her head. However, they usually fly off with a startled squawk after only a second. I think she must be quick to let them know that her head is not for perching upon!
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