The second full moon of August, according to the moon gadget on my sidebar, is full tonight. The calendar I have says it won't be full until tomorrow, but She looked pretty full to me so...here She is in all her blue glory. (She wasn't really blue; I had to give that a little 'help').
I call the moon Grandmother because that is what my First Nations ancestors called her. Mother Earth, Father Sky, Grandmother Moon, Grandfather Sun: humans, and all living beings, are connected as family through these four.
I took this back on June 17th of 2009. I really like the light and shadow, the patterns within patterns on the water and the shadow on the back of the little wave (it's the diagonal shadow in the middle of the photo). I could look at water patterns and reflections forever. One of the things that I love most about a camera is that it lets me look at things that otherwise are moving too fast for my eyes to properly capture. (Left click on the photo to enlarge it).
(The illustration above is by Cicely Mary Barker, one of my favorite artists)
The elderberries that grow wild in these mountains will look more like those in the painting above when they are ripe. I took the photo below about two weeks ago, so maybe they are ripe by now.
Jam can be made from the berries, but all other parts of the plant are poisonous, except for the tiny flowers. If a mammal eats the berries raw, the berry seeds are toxic, but birds can eat the berries and suffer no adverse reactions. I tried making some jam once, years ago, but the berries of the species that grow in these mountains are so tiny it took me forever to pick enough to make the jam! I've read that one can make a sort of sparking wine from the blossoms, but I've never tried that. When I was young I helped my daddy and grandfather make moonshine (a clear liquor distilled from corn), but that's a story for another time...
(Image from Pinterest)
This just really summed up how I'm feeling today. Hot weather wipes me out and I can't remember it ever being hotter up here than it is right now. But, it could be worse. Down in the San Bernardino valley where my sister lives it's 113 degrees F. Thank God/dess her air conditioner is working. She's over 80 years old and she just can't take the heat anymore. (But don't tell her that; she'll probably verbally annihilate you and there might be some slapping involved, too. I know this from experience). I was down there today looking for a replacement air conditioner for the bedroom one but had no luck. It seems everyone's air conditioner is broken!
I stopped by my sister's for some sweet tea before starting the drive back home and I'm so glad I did! She was working in her garden and when I said, "Sissy, don't you think it's too hot for you to be out here?" she replied, "NO! I swan, if you don't stop trying to..." and then she fainted! I caught her before she hit the ground, thank goodness. I called the Paramedics and they wanted to take her to the emergency room but she refused. I was really worried, but when she started flirting with one of the Paramedics, a very buff, handsome young man (about SIXTY YEARS younger than her!) I knew she'd be just fine. Me, I'm not so sure about. Why? Because, after they'd left and we'd both had several glasses of sweet tea, she looked at me thoughtfully and said, "You know, it's been quite a while since I've had that many handsome young men paying attention to me...I just may have to faint more often!"
I think this Gilded Flicker woodpecker dislikes the hot temperatures as much as I do. We're getting our share of the heat wave that has been scorching the rest of the country here in the Southern California mountains now. We had lovely black clouds earlier in the day that looked like they meant business, thunder rumbled around, but not a drop of rain fell. Selfish clouds.
So, of course, the air conditioner in the master bedroom chooses today to die. And, of course, I didn't find that out until a few minutes ago. The temperature has dropped from 94 degrees to 78 degrees Fahrenheit outside (which is a record for 9:30 at night up here, usually our lows are in the high 50's) but up on the third floor it is a sweltering 103 degrees, even though the attic fan has been on all day. I've got all the windows open, but there's not a breeze to be found.
My husband says he's going to sleep in the bedroom anyway because he'd rather be hot than eaten alive by mosquitoes. Me? I'm heading for the couch in my studio. The air conditioner is working there! (Uh oh, I'd better knock on wood so I don't jinx that air conditioner).
Sigh...I hope we have a really early, cold, wet Autumn.
"Always keep mint on your windowsills in August, to ensure the buzzing flies will stay outside where they belong...never presume August is a safe or reliable time of year. It is the season of reversals, when the birds no longer sing in the mornings and the evenings are made up of equal parts golden light and black clouds." Alice Hoffman, 'Practical Magic'
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 furry "children" in a beautiful mountain forest where we enjoy daily visits from the little wild creatures. I love animals (you probably guessed), books, photography, tall trees, clear lakes, rain, snow, tea, the moon, and creating all kinds of art.