It's that time of year! It's Vanessa Valencia's 5th annual Halloween blog party, and my first time participating in it. Thank you so much, Vanessa, for hosting this. To see the other parties, click the link at the top right of the sidebar. (Left click on the photos to enlarge them).
I had a hard time deciding what piece of jewelry to wear...so I just piled all of it on! I do so love moons. Of course, my eldest sister, Patricia, will probably 'relieve' me of some of it when she arrives, ha!
Won't you come in? Watch your step on the walkway, there are lots of spirits floating about. Oh! Is that the Great Pumpkin I see on top of the arbor? Yes, yes, I think it is!
I have some goodies for us to nibble on...
And some lovely goblets from which we can sip a delicious potion or two...(I couldn't find my Halloween 'Spider Venom' mugs, I can't imagine where they've gone off to...)
Look! They have little images of our sisters flying on their brooms at the bottom (although I don't know why people insist on making witches look ugly...I've never ever seen an ugly one). Ooh, and there are pumpkins and ghosts and even a little cat!
And an owl and a flying monkey.
Please, have some cookies and candy corn...
and cupcakes, too.
This is Miss Georgia, don't you just love her red curls? That's Miss Tabitha Twitchett behind her. She's in a bad mood because she didn't want to sit holding the lantern for so long, so please excuse her expression.
Miss Georgia insisted on a close-up. Well, who can blame her?
Miss Georgia thought you might enjoy having your fortune told by her friend, Miss Fortuna.
Miss Fortuna is a very wise, kind witch with a wondrous gift of seeing the future...your future. I'm sure she'll have something good to tell you!
Gloria (on the left) and Stella Bella (on the right) are waiting for us to get our hats and cloaks and fly up to my studio...they've heard my sister's party has started.
Of course, Merlin wants to go along, too!
Just let me plop my hat on my head before the cats eat all the feathers.
Edwina says sisters are flying in from all directions!
What a lovely lavender light Luna is glowing with tonight!
Oh, we'd better stop on the stairs to say hello to the Faeries that live in this forest. We wouldn't want to hurt their feelings...
Yep, my eldest sister is definitely here!
She made a pumpkin path for us. She doesn't get that whole 'yellow brick road' song. She likes to sing 'follow the orange pumpkin path.' Yeah...I know.
I just noticed, she managed to talk the trees into producing magical pumpkin fruit!
Oh yum, it looks like she has caramel apples and chocolate cake and champagne! Hey, there are my Halloween mugs. No wonder I couldn't find them earlier. And I think I see my Halloween plates, too. Ahhh, sisters...but what would I do without her?
And both of us are..........
Filled with lots of good magic, wonderful amazements, and, of course, lots of candy!
We got a bit of 'tree' rain yesterday and the night before. It's called 'tree rain' here because when the Marine Layer, low altitude stratus clouds which form out over the cold waters of the Pacific ocean, is thick enough and high enough it comes all the way up into these mountains. Then it condenses on the trees until there is enough water to drip off and . . . voila! Tree rain. But, it doesn't provide much water unless it happens for a week or more at a time and it quit doing that about five or six years ago. We need rain, real rain, desperately.
"May the nourishment of the earth be yours, may the clarity of light be yours, may the fluency of the oceans be yours, may the protection of the ancestors be yours. And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you, an invisible cloak to mind your life." John O'Donohue, from Echoes of Memory
I think I got a picture of a Fairy! See the little bright green UFO in the lower left quadrant of the photo? Or, maybe it's a very tiny spaceship from a very tiny planet, as yet undiscovered because it's...well, so very tiny.
But this is what my husband said when I showed him this photo. "It's one of those little green bugs that got too close to the lens." Me: "No way! If it's one of those bugs, why is it going so fast and in two different directions?"
Husband, in a completely flat, no nonsense tone: "It drank too much coffee at Starbucks."
This is an old photo; I think it might have been taken with my first digital camera, a little point and shoot 3 mega pixel Olympus. I was going through my photo files (I have got to sort those out someday) and the way the light fell across the leaves caught my eye, plus the colors of the leaves. We haven't had a lot of color yet, but I think that might change in the next couple of weeks.
Another photo of the Steller Jay feather; a little wind was blowing on the day I took photos of it and I just kept following it around. I also made some little vignettes with it, so you're probably going to get tired of seeing it.
But what really caught my attention in this photo is the dogwood leaf (Pacific Dogwood, Cornus nuttallii, native west of the Rocky Mountains) on the left side of the photo. I love the way the sunlight is making parts of it glow.
I wish I would have paid more attention to the leaves and not been so totally focused on the feather. I was so completely focused on following the feather I fell in the creek, lol. Fortunately there isn't too much water in in it right now and, since stuff like this happens to me fairly often, my hand that was holding my camera shot right up into the air so my camera stayed dry.
I went out today at the same time I took this photo to see if I could capture another photo of it, but the leaf had fallen off the tree and the sunlight wasn't being as kind to the remaining leaves. And today I paid attention to where my feet were going so I stayed dry. :D
I was walking home through the twilight woods after a satisfying ramble when, faintly and far above me, I heard the voices of wild Canadian geese. I looked up, up, up through the canyon of tree trunks and saw, from my blue tinted world, the geese flying in the familiar wedge formation, heading south.
As I watched the geese, so free, so wild, I felt a tugging on my heart, a yearning in my soul, to leave, to just get in my car or on a plane and go away from everything familiar and known. I am a child of Autumn, after all, and what is Autumn but change? I feel this way every year when the leaves start to turn colors and the wind whispers to me of faraway lands I have yet to see, whose spirits I have not met, whose people I have never spoken with.
My wanderer's heart finds it hard to resist and in the past I have sometimes followed the seductive whispering of the wind...but not this year. This year I will stay.
I'll never forget the October I turned 13, the year the year two carnivals came to our little town. One in the summer, just like it did every year, but the other one arrived with a blood colored sunset and lightening on the evening the first cold breath of autumn blew through our mountains.
My grandma looked out the window at the lake and turned white as a sheet. She pulled a little medicine bag out of her pocket and made me put it on around my neck, said it would keep me from harm by the Dust People. When I asked who they were she didn't answer me, she only muttered something in Sioux that I couldn't understand and made me swear not to take it off until the sun came up in the morning. She also made me promise not to leave the house, but that turned out to be a promise I didn't keep...but I should have.
I was pulled down through the woods in that terrible blood red light by something I could not put a name to and was powerless to resist.
And when I saw the ghost that haunts these woods, a spirit that is said to only appear in times of great danger to warn us, I wanted to run back to our cabin, but I couldn't make my feet turn in that direction. They kept carrying me on down towards the lake, towards the sounds and scents of the carnival. The closer I got to the lake, the more I realized that the carnival scent wasn't quite so sweet as I first thought. Like the calliope music, there was something wrong, something off about that scent. Under the sweetness was the smell of rancid, rotting decay.
When I got to the lake my friends were already there waiting for me. They said they knew I would come, knew I wouldn't miss a chance for another carnival. I said maybe we should just go on home because there was something really wrong with that carnival, didn't they see the red glow?
They looked at each other like they thought I was crazy and said they didn't see any red glow, they just saw a lot of fun waiting to be had.
And when I looked again, that's what I saw, too.
As we hurried down the steps to the ticket booth we could see people were having a fine time and I wondered why my grandma had made me promise not to leave the house.
But when we got to the ticket booth that red glow was back...but my friends still couldn't see it. And there was nobody in that ticket booth, but a ticket came sliding out of the window as if somebody, or something, was holding it out to each of us, waiting for us to take it...
A silver ticket that looked like real silver. Each of my friends grabbed a ticket, but I held back, wondering why, when we had paid nothing, we would be given a ticket and a silver one at that. The ticket moved forward, just a bit, as though someone were impatient for me to take it. But I didn't take it, I ran after my friends and as I ran I heard from behind me an angry hiss and felt a burning touch on the back of my neck...but when I turned to look nothing was there.
For a while, my friends had a fine time playing games and eating carnival food, but I could still smell that rotting scent under the sweet scents and I didn't feel like playing or eating. And it seemed to me that people were leaving awfully early. It was only 8 p.m. and the crowd had been considerably thinned, although I hadn't actually seen anyone leave through the only exit gate. Then my friends wanted to play the balloon game. "Kids play 'til they win!" the sign read and they wanted a sure thing. It was just one more thing about this carnival that gave me an uneasy feeling and I looked down at my feet trying to think of something I could say that would get them to leave with me.
When I looked up, what I saw froze the blood in my veins...but my friends said they saw nothing wrong and happily went to play the game. I looked around, really looking with "both my eyes and spirit" as my grandma would say. And with those eyes I glanced at my watch and saw that it was not a little after 8 p.m. as it should have been, but 3 a.m. - what my grandma said was "the hour of the demons."
Terrified, I saw the things of the carnival for what they really were. I ran to pull the little girls off of the possessed horses.
But the little girls vanished before I could get to them. I couldn't see them, but I heard them crying for help...and then I became aware of other cries and screams.
The only people left were the carnies-who-were-not-carnies and one lone woman who seemed unaware that her baby had vanished. As I was looking at her she also vanished, her scream merging with the others. I was alone. The carnies-who-were-not-carnies glared venomously and hissed at me as I ran by them, calling for my friends, running for my life.
I never saw my friends again, but I hear them and I wonder where that silver ticket took them. I hear them every October when the dry leaves scuttling along the pavement make a sound like old, dry bones rattling. I hear them when the first cold wind of October blows in with the scent of things sweet and things rotting on its breath. I hear them when the sound of a slightly off-key calliope floats by in the dark of an October night at 3 a.m., the hour of the demons.
I hear them.
(Many thanks to Marfi of Incipient Wings and Anna of Frosted Petunias for hosting this blog party)!
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 Was 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 Alyce Eloise at the top of the Halloween tree)
Feed the Hungry
A five minute walk from my door...
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
Give a Child a Book
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.
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.
Where there is tea there is hope - Pinero
Care for a cuppa?
Boulder Bay, Big Bear Lake
Click to visit Big Bear
Lake Gregory, Crestline
Click to visit Crestline
Click to visit Lake Arrowhead
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"
A Favorite Quote
"I don't want life to imitate art; I want life to BE art." Carrie Fisher
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.