I was down in Crestline yesterday visiting a friend, and she told me about this incredible rose she had seen...at their water company, of all places! So we drove over to it and, sure enough, the rose was incredible. The poor thing has powdery mildew and several other problems, but it was blooming proudly anyway.
By the time I drove home the clouds were rolling in and the temperature was dropping rapidly. Our low last night was 25 and we had howling winds plus a mix of snow, rain, and sleet. I talked to my friend today and she said they just had rain and wind down in Crestline, but I keep wondering how that rose fared. That roses are blooming anywhere in these mountains in April is astonishing!
The always welcome Baby Blue Eyes and the always not welcome Chickweed, even though the tiny white flowers are pretty. It would be welcome if it didn't try to choke out everything else.
Stinging Lupin: It also has pretty flowers, but those tiny hairs on the leaves cause a reaction worse than stinging nettle.
Tulips...sadly, not mine. Some critter thought they were quite tasty!
My favorite, lilacs! The temperatures have been in the upper 60's for the past few days, and the air is saturated with the scent of lilacs. I've had all the doors and windows open so my cottage would fill up with their wonderful fragrance. I wish I could bottle up the fragrance and send each of you a bottle. It's supposed to be much cooler tomorrow, but I still plan on leaving the all doors and windows open, only I'll have fires going in all the fireplaces to keep the cats warm. The white and the pink lilacs haven't opened yet, but it shouldn't be too long before they do, hooray!
This is a Cornus florida dogwood tree, which is not native in the west. Several years ago I bought it from the nursery and planted it in a sheltered spot close to the house, which is why I think it is thriving even though it's supposed to be hardy only to zone 5, according to the USDA plant hardiness map. I live in zone 4. (The post below has a photo of the Cornus nuttallii dogwood blossom, which is endemic from British Columbia to the mountains of Southern California).
I've posted this photo before, back in 2011, but, of all the dogwood blossoms I've photographed, this one is my favorite. So, I hope you'll forgive me for a double posting.
Interestingly, the actual blossoms are the tiny yellow flowers on the center mound. The white 'petals' are really just bracts to attract pollinators. Hmmm...maybe the dogwood trees think all insects are near-sighted!
My precious Georgie went to Heaven last Monday. There was no long illness, but Sunday night I could tell he wasn't feeling well. He didn't eat all of his dinner, which was unusual for him. I got up several times in the night to check on him, and he was hiding under a chair, which was also unusual for him. On Monday morning, right before we took him to the vet, his urine had blood in it. The vet said it was Sudden Onset Acute Kidney Failure and there was nothing that could be done. So we held him and told him we would love him forever, and to not be scared because he was going to a wonderful place where he would be with his sister Betsy (she passed away in 2011). I kissed his cheek and he kissed mine, just like he always did. His soul passed on while we were both holding him.
Georgie and Betsy in happier times. They were litter mates from a feral mother, Ms. Violet, and they loved each other with all their hearts. I hope someday we'll all be together again.
I finally got outside for a bit today. I've had some sort of semi-nasty stomach bug since Thursday. It's leaving, but oh sooooo slowly. My friend had it about two weeks ago, so I'm guessing it was a gift (although I know it wasn't one she would have wanted to give) from her. Hers lasted about six days, so I'm hopeful mine will be gone soon, since I'm feeling a bit better every day. And, daffodils always cheer me up!
"Are you kidding me!?" I think that's what this Acorn Woodpecker is thinking. It was raining lightly last night when I went to bed. When I got up this morning I had the same thought as the woodpecker. Now? Snow and hail now? Just when things are blooming, or starting to bloom? Are you kidding me?
Thankfully, there was no wind so all the blossoms are still on the cherry and apple trees, but they look pretty limp. It's supposed to get down to 17 F tonight though, so I'll just have to wait until tomorrow to see how they fare.
I should have expected some sort of weather, since yesterday was what my dad used to call a "weather breeder." Brilliant blue sky, crystal air, and windy. I wasn't paying attention...
Yesterday was a gorgeous day, very windy, but gorgeous. Overnight, it seems, the apple trees' blossoms burst open.
My orchard is not tidy, nor do I prune the trees or thin out the growing apples just so I can have bigger apples, although I do rake under the trees every autumn before I put down mulch. I just can't cut them, much the same as I cannot bring myself to pick flowers.
I know it sounds silly, but I feel like I'm hurting them. The trees like to grow this way, so why not let them be happy? They certainly make me happy. When the apple trees absolutely have to be pruned for their health, I hire someone and hover over them to make sure they prune only what is necessary. I'm always being told I could get a bigger crop and prettier apples if I used pesticides and pruned every winter. Pesticides!? Never.
I think the apples my trees give me are beautiful, small though they are. Some are bug bitten...so what? Bugs have to live too. Some are oddly shaped, but they still taste just as sweet-tart, crisp and juicy as the perfectly formed ones. I always have plenty to give family and friends, plenty for the deer, bears, skunks and raccoons, and plenty for myself and my husband.
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.