Monday, July 29, 2013

A Quotation for Monday


"Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun."    J.R.R. Tolkien

Friday, July 26, 2013

Faeries Friday - In the Faery Forest

 
In the Faery Forest you never know what you might see.  Nothing is impossible, even a Faery squirrel sitting in a tree indulging her passion for peanuts.  You can always tell when a member of the Fae is near because everything starts twinkling and sparkling and suddenly (if you're the right sort of person) there they are, clear as can be for you to see!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Forest Magic

 
'Humboldt Lily' is the actual name of this flower, but they always remind me of the treasure of some fabulous Faery Queen, especially when I come across one deep in the woods like this one.  As I pushed aside thick cedar branches, I saw this lily dancing in the breeze, looking as though it was placed there on purpose as a lantern to brighten up the green shadows and lend some sparkles to the water.  I could swear I saw a glow coming from it when, a little way down the narrow path that only I and the forest animals use, I turned to look back at it.  A bit of forest magic on a mundane day...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wednesday's Winding Road


This was taken in April of 2011.  It's not quite this green right now in these mountains, but we have gotten smidgens of rain.  The best news is that the mountain range to the south of us, the San Jacinto range, where the huge fire is still burning got quite a bit of rain yesterday.  The little town of Idyllwild is safe, thanks to heroic efforts by over 3,000 firefighters.  The fire came within one mile of the village and, as everyone knows who lives in areas prone to huge wildfires, a mile is waaay to close for comfort.

Although the fire has burned over 27,300 acres, it is now 85% contained.  Contained doesn't mean 'out' but it does mean that the firefighters have a line around 85% of the fire and that is good news indeed.  It is expected to be completely contained by tomorrow evening and expected to be completely out within a couple of weeks. 

The best news of all is that the evacuation orders have been lifted and folks can go home.  Having been forced to evacuate in 2003 and 2007, I can say I truly know the joy, thankfulness and elation these people are feeling.  And I know that their hearts, like mine, go out to the people whose homes were lost. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Almost Full Moon of July


She looked very ominous as she rose above the thick clouds of smoke from the huge, 23,000 acre fire burning in the San Jacinto mountain range in Riverside county.  I can't remember seeing a moon this color before; is this what is meant by the saying "blood on the moon?"  Over 6,000 people have been evacuated and the fire is only 25% contained.  The cause wasn't lightening, but human.  It has yet to be determined if it was arson or accidental. 

We got a tiny smidgen of rain today.  It lasted for about 60 or 90 seconds, as if someone took a giant plant mister and waved it back and forth above us.  There have been a few little spot fires that were started by lightening in the mountain range I live in, but our fire fighters wasted no time in bringing in the water dropping air tankers and fire retardant bombers.  Most of the little fires are out, the others have lines of fire retardant around them and fire fighters will be watching them throughout the night to make sure they don't escape those lines.  Everyone is dreading later in the fire season when the Santa Ana winds will come.  Just a few years ago fire season started in the middle of September and ended in mid-November.  Maybe we'll get early, heavy rains in October...it used to happen regularly.  We've even gotten several feet of snow by mid-October.   Cross your fingers for us....

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Amazing Little Creatures


There are actually two bees in this photo; the one in the center is easily visible (well, if you left click to enlarge the photo) and there's another one tucked into the wild lupin blossoms on the upper right of the photo. 


The photo above is blurry (sorry), but if you look closely you can see the little 'tongues' of the happy bees getting a drink.  I think honey bees have such cute faces.  They're such amazing creatures; only the Queen bee can sting without dying and she also chooses if the egg she lays will be a female or a male.  The male bees are only used as . . . ummm . . . sperm donors.  The males choose a site where they meet up with Queens from neighboring hives and mate.  The poor little males aren't allowed to remain in the hive during the winter, but forced out to die.  I think this is taking feminism a tad too far!  But, I'm not a queen bee and she probably has good reasons; however I can't remember what they are right now.  Anyway, the daughter bees keep the hive very tidy at all times, going outside no matter the weather to defecate, cleaning old wax and such from the hive, warming the hive in the winter by trembling their wings, cooling it in summer by fanning their wings and sprinkling it with water.  All the daughter bees start out as nursemaids, then progress to cleaners and foragers.  Bees navigate by the sun and perform intricate dances to tell the other forager bees exactly how to get to the flowers and back to the hive.  You can read more about these awe inspiring creatures at:

http://science.howstuffworks.com/zoology/bee.htm


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Winding Road Wednesday


"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.  You step onto the road and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."  J.R.R. Tolkien

(photo taken in April of 2011)

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Quotation for Monday


"I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief...for a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free."  Wendell Barry

A red-tailed hawk with a brave little scrub jay voicing its opinion to the hawk.  I am happy to say that the scrub jay got safely away...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Sunlight


Cherry blossoms on a tree in the middle of a little clearing in a thick pine forest, taken in April 0f 2011.  I don't think I'll ever get over my fascination with light and shadow...anyway, I hope not!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Thing of Beauty


"A garden is a thing of beauty and a job forever."  Richard Briers 

I think Mr. Briers is exactly right.  I trimmed back all the ivy in the studio garden just two months ago and it's already swallowing everything up again.  I probably shouldn't water it so much, but there are other things in the ivy that need a lot of water...and the ivy is so green and pretty, plus it's one of the few things that will stand up to the mayhem caused in my garden by the raccoons.  Sometimes, though, I get the feeling that if I stand still too long in my little garden the ivy will swallow me up! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Gilded Northern Flicker


I've been taking photos of these woodpeckers for years now and, try as I might, I can never get a photo of one taking off.  The undersides of their wings are a brilliant coral color, or sometimes a beautiful golden yellow. When I see one taking off I get so entranced by the gorgeous color that I just stand there with my mouth open and by the time I remember to lift up my camera, they're gone!  Someday...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday Sunlight


Taken in June of 2009 at Lake Arrowhead, California.  A photo of two people taking a photo of a duck standing on his head to get at some tasty tidbit under the water. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday...

To me, Georgie!  Yes, thirteen years ago today I was born!!
 Five weeks later I guess you could say I was born again, when my human Dad rescued me from certain death by an evil raccoon.  My precious kitty Mama, Violet, got the rest of my siblings to safety but...I thought I could whup that raccoon, so (I'm ashamed to say) I didn't listen to my kitty mama.  It was a good thing that my human dad and mom came outside when they heard my kitty mama yelling at the raccoon.  As my dad picked me up and my kitty mama got my siblings to safety, my human mom took a broom and she did whup that raccoon!  She whupped it right on out of the yard. 
I always get toys and a piece of my favorite cheese on my birthday. 
It's always soooo hot on my birthday.  I like to lay with my tummy up to the cool air.  I think maybe my birthday is a big deal, because even humans I don't know like to celebrate it!  Everybody has barbecues and they even set off fireworks.  I don't like the fireworks, they're too noisy! 
Oh George, no humans except Mommy and Daddy think your birthday is a big deal.  (Oh, hi, I'm Miss Daisy, but you can just call me Daisy).  While Georgie is busy eating his cheese and cooling his tummy, I think I'll check and see what toys he got.  He's not very good about sharing so I'll have to really paw around in here because he hides his new....wait....I think....yes....
A brand new catnip sockie!  Ummm, thish ish good, oooooh I justh looove fresth catnipsh....
Oh, who cares, Daisy.  I have my new favorite catnip mouse, so there!  And, you know what Mom says about talking with your mouth full.  I'm going to take a nap now.  Everybody have a great time celebrating my birthday!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wednesday's Winding Road


Taken in July of 2006, out on Old Mill Road, Crestline, California.  This is typical July weather in the San Bernardino mountains, bright blue sky with clouds that are mostly decorative because they drop so little rain.
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