As I walked through the house today one thought kept popping into my mind: Fish. Weird.
Photo of Georgie.
Photo of Lars Olaf
Photo of Martha Mae
Photo of Olivia
Fishies, FISHIES, fishies, FISHIES!!
Give them the fishies.........................NOW!
And, suddenly, I felt like it was urgent, no, imperative, no...a matter of life and death...that I give my cats their fishie treats IMMEDIATELY. Isn't it strange how these thoughts come out of nowhere and invade your mind?
(The photo of the mountain lion is from the Internet, photographer unknown).
This is Rillana, and she usually lives down by the stream. However, it's very hot today, and the fish are being particularly rude. You know...leaping up and making huge splashes trying to drench her, sneaking up underneath her when she's hovering over the water and blowing bubbles up to startle her.
Well, she beat them at their own game! Rillana got tired of dodging splashes and bubbles so she waited and watched until a fish blew an especially large bubble. She quickly put a faerie enchantment on the bubble, then rode the bubble through the air to my studio...where it's cool and quiet and there aren't any pesky fish. I just have to be careful not to bump into her while she's floating about my studio and burst her bubble. I accidentally did that once before and, believe me, it's not something I want to do again. Not only did she make me carry her around on a little silk cushion for the rest of the day, when I went into my studio the next morning she had hidden all my paint brushes underneath some paper towels in the trash can. Took me hours to find them...
This is a faerie my husband gave to me. She looked to me like a Faerie that you might encounter in Hawaii, maybe because of the little band of flowers around her ankle, so I named her 'Paili' which means faerie in Hawaiian. Or so one Internet site claims...
"It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon humans' hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanates from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit." Robert Louis Stevenson
I took this around 4:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon. I have my favorite spots in the forest where I could (and sometimes do) sit for a couple of hours and watch the late afternoon sun paint ever-changing landscapes simply by moving its light. The flowers are red penstemon, a favorite of the hummingbirds. I tried to capture an image of the the little red and green jewels as they darted around the penstemon, but all I got were red and green blurs. Ah well, perhaps another day...with a different camera!
I spotted these wild flowers while out for a walk...
Wild roses. They used to be much more abundant when we got more rain during the summer months than we do now, but they still flourish in a few places.
Dogbane, which is poisonous to animals, most especially cattle. It's not really a problem, though, because it tastes so terrible that that the animal usually never eats enough to be harmed. It can cause a rash similar to the one that stinging nettles cause if picked by humans. I keep pulling it up, but it keeps coming back. It grows from two to four feet tall and grows along the edges of the forest and in sunny areas.
Feverfew. I just love this cheerful little plant. So many people up here call it a weed, I suppose because it grows so abundantly in the spring and summer. The flowers are only about the size of a dime, and it usually grows in large clumps along the roadsides and in open clearings in the forest. It gets about two feet tall. It has been used for treating headaches, fever, arthritis and digestive problems, but it can cause nausea, vomiting, pain, contact dermatitis and mouth ulcers if chewed or improperly prepared, so I stick to using the capsules I get from the health food store.
I took this in the Spring of 2008 while driving down Highway 18 and it has taken me until now to identify what flower it is. How embarrassing! Well, maybe not so much, because I have thousands of photos in hundreds of folders and I just plain forgot about it.
Oh right, the name. It's Prickly Phlox. I almost forgot - again.
A really confused cat. Mr. Murphy has taken to laying on the platform where I put out peanuts for the birds and squirrels. This picture is blurry because I had to shoot it through a window screen. He runs away if I step out of it.
I don't know...maybe he thinks if he smells like peanuts the birds will land on him and he can catch one, even though he has absolutely no need for a bird as I feed him very well. Or maybe he's gone 'round the proverbial bend and thinks he is a bird!
When I think of summer, I think of Hollyhocks. They were in all the gardens of my childhood and I made sure that, wherever I lived after I was grown, I had them in my own gardens.
Their wonderful crinkly, delicate petals, so well suited to making hollyhock ballerinas. Or Faeries.
The bees adore them; I think that one on the left is using part of the hollyhock as a dress!
And, perhaps, a hat as well...
Like Fireweed, which my friend in Alaska calls a 'time keeping' plant because its flowers open from the bottom of the plant at the start of summer and continue on up the plant as summer progresses, the hollyhock, for the most part, does the same. When the last flowers at the very top of the plant have opened, then faded and fallen off, you know that Autumn will soon sweep in on a chill breeze...and hollyhock time won't be back until next summer.
"The animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth." Henry Beston, naturalist and author 1888 - 1968
This is a clump of Santa Ana River Woolly Eriastrum, or Woolly Star. I've never seen it up here before. The bright blue color caught my eye as I was driving on Highway 173 just past Papoose Lake. I love the dark blue pin stripes on the flowers. The flowers are little, each one about one quarter of an inch wide. (Left click on the photos, they will enlarge).
When I was searching for information on this flower, I found out it only grows in areas that are frequently flooded by the Santa Ana River. The river originates high (above 9,000 feet) up on the north flank of Mount San Gorgonio near the tiny, cold streams of Coon Creek and Heart Bar Creek, then flows down through the San Bernardino Valley and on through Riverside County and Orange County, eventually entering the Pacific Ocean. This plant flourishes in the sand left behind by the floods down in the flat lands, so I have no idea how it got up here. It was growing on a dry, sandy hillside that I know has never been flooded. It's a mystery...a beautiful mystery.
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 Is 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 (That's Malcolm O'Mewy on the chair)
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!