Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!


I hope everyone is having, or had, a great Halloween!  ( I don't know who this wonderful painting of a Halloween Faery is by...if you painted it, or if you know who the artist is, please let me know).

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Halloween Memory

            (artwork by Helen Jacobs 1888-1970) 

I was fourteen years old, too old to go trick or treating, too young (according to my strict mother) to go to Halloween parties. But I wasn't too old to miss going trick or treating.  When my eldest sister asked me if I wanted to take two of my little nieces, aged four and five, trick or treating I jumped at the chance. 

Oooh, it was a perfect night for Halloween! The full moon's light was darkened at times by torn rags of clouds flying across her face. A chill little breeze sent eerie whispers through the few dead leaves still clinging to the branches and rattled through the drifts of leaves on the ground with a sound like old, unquiet bones clicking, rattling, shifting. 

...Maybe it wasn't the leaves making those noises.  Maybe the noise really was coming from the bones of skeletons clawing their way up from their unmarked graves because they were getting ready to come after us

That's the story I was telling my little nieces as we walked up a very long walkway to get to the porch of an unfamiliar house where the only decoration was a scarecrow sitting on a barrel under a dim porch light.  It had a pretty gruesome face but I, in my best fourteen-year-old-impersonating-a-grown-up manner, assured my apprehensive little nieces that there was nothing to be afraid of, it was just a shirt and pants stuffed with hay that someone had placed a phony head on, nothing to be afraid of at all. 

But then the thing stood up!  Stood up, and screamed the most blood curdling, freeze-your-bones banshee cry I had ever heard!  And then it laughed, crazed-serial-killer-possessed-by-a-demon booms of laughter...while it was walking down the steps toward us!

Did I hesitate?  No sir, no ma'am, I turned on my heel and ran faster than a college quarterback who knows he's going to get a multi-million dollar deal from the NFL if he makes the touchdown.  But only for about four steps.  Then I remembered.  My sweet, defenseless little nieces!  I turned, in a blind panic, and ran back.  Scooping up one under each arm, tucking them in like a football, I was just a few steps in front of the monster as I turned again and ran faster than I ever had before, faster than any quarterback, faster than the wind could fly.

But still, that laughter followed and I knew that monstrous, child devouring thing was close because that high pitched giggling ... giggles?   High pitched giggles?  Little girl giggles.

No!

But, yes.  I set the giggling little monsters down and turned to see my sister, laughing so hard she could barely stand up, holding the scarecrow's head in her hand, but still wearing the scarecrow costume. 

It was The Great Halloween Set Up.  And I fell for it, hook, line and adorable little nieces. 

It's a good Halloween memory, though, and we all still laugh about it.  We laugh, too, about how I eventually got them in my own Great Halloween Set Up.  But that's a story for another evening.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday's Winding Road


On Highway 18, just a ways outside of Running Springs.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Quote for Tuesday


"The air is as cool as an old coin teaspoon and a faint tang of blue wood smoke spices the air.  The color of the great sugar maples is so dazzling it seems I must have dreamed it."  Gladys Taber 

These trees aren't sugar maples, but I think the colors of Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) trees are just as beautiful.  I didn't think we'd get much color this autumn because it's been so very dry, but there are spots of color here and there.  Thank goodness!  I can't imagine living, or being happy, where autumn brings no change...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Fanciful Halloween in the Faery Forest


First, thank you Vanessa for hosting this party!  To see the other parties, click on the badge at the top right.  (Left click to enlarge the photos).

Now, come spend a bit of Halloween in the Faery Forest!  It's not too long a walk; just follow this path by the lake and turn left past the big pine.


And another left turn to take the path up through the forest.  Better hurry - it gets dark early in these mountains, the fog is coming in and it's easy to get lost.  The Faeries put out a pumpkin to mark the path.  And see the glow at the top of the path?  You're almost there!

Just stick to the path and you'll be safe.

Only a bit further...and now you have a darling kitty, Miss Maxine, to guide you!

Oh good, Miss Fortuna is here.  (Just have her tell your fortune, though: I wouldn't "buy" any good luck.  Sometimes, the price is more costly than you could imagine).

She has a most magical crystal ball...

And Rune Stones and, wow...three other crystal balls?  Hmm...I see something strange in the one on the right, do you?

This little Faery wants to see her fortune for herself in the stones.

But these two couldn't care less!

Oh, look!  Here's the Moon (I call her La Luna) flying in on her pumpkin.
I love the trail of moon dust she leaves behind her.

She's put her witch's party hat on, and she says it's time for some sweet goodies!

Out in the garden, there's a table with candy apples, chocolate cake, hot spiced apple cider and champagne.  But, if you get chilly...

Inside my cottage there's a warm fire burning, cozy chairs to sit on, spice cake with cream cheese frosting, and anything to drink that you want...because the teapot is a magical one, and it will pour out any beverage you ask for! 

There are also dark chocolate rum cupcakes and pumpkin cupcakes with a pecan praline filling.

Samuel Squirrel is the butler here.  See him in front of the pumpkins holding a dish of candy bars?  He looks like a statue, doesn't he?  Don't be fooled - he just hates having his picture taken, so he freezes.

While we eat and drink, we can listen to the tale that Grandmother Bear is reading to the Book Faery.  They have the same problem with photos that Samuel does - don't be fooled!  Just don't look directly at them; you'll see them come alive from the corner of your eye.

Hmm.  My broom must be tired of waiting to fly...she's sideways!

I hope everyone has a Halloween full of wonder and good magic.  Thank you so much for coming to my party - now I'm off to visit yours!

(And a big thank you to my husband, who always does all the heavy lifting and helps me set things up for blog parties).

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Quote for Monday


"In October what a feast to the eye our woods and groves present!  The whole body of the air seems enriched by their slow, calm radiance.  They are giving back the light they have been absorbing from the sun all summer."  John Burroughs

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Sunlight and Songs


Taken yesterday.

I'm sitting by the fire tonight, listening to the autumn song that a cold breeze is singing in harmony with the huge old pines, cedars and oaks.  Others are also singing; the coyotes up at the top of the ridge and two owls that have recently taken up residence in the Faery Forest.  "Who, who?"  Whaee, wha, whaaaeee?"  "Whoooo?"  They call back and forth to each other for several hours each evening under the
night-black sky that is scattered with thousands of diamond-bright stars.  The only other song is the fire, quietly singing to itself as it burns in the living room fireplace. 

The songs of autumn...how I love them!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Malcolm and Alyce


The Halloween decorating is nearly done...none too soon!  Usually I'm finished long before this, but stuff just kept happening.


"Umm, Mom?  Alyce is getting ready to be bad...again."

"Ooh, this looks interesting!" 

"Well, this is comfy.  And it didn't take long to get up here!  But I saw some things at the bottom of this giant cat toy..." 

"Yup, I knew it...these things don't have any guts!" 

"My work here is done.  I'm a much better decorator than Mom." 

"That girl is out of control." 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday's Winding Road


Some gold on a back road.  I'm not seeing many shades of red yet.  Maybe it's a little too early, or maybe it's the strange weather.  The poor trees are confused! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Time for Tea


...at half past three.  Well, nearly.  There's a cold little wind dancing around up here today, telling of things to come.  It isn't saying anything about rain, though.  Hopefully, a wind will soon come along and bring rain clouds with it!  And, even better, hopefully those clouds will be loaded with rain and willing to drop it on these mountains before we all dry up and blow away...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Sunlight


I took this photo of a branch of a Dogwood tree that grows by my studio waaay back in 2006. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Faeries Friday


This is a photo manipulation by Elena Dudina at Deviant Art.com.  It's titled "El Bosque Magico" which means "the magic forest."  There are incredibly talented digital artists at that site.  I wish I knew how to do this kind of art!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mrs. Rose and Her Close Encounter With the Supernatural


Mrs. Rose: "What...what is this?  A flat, oddly shaped ice cream cone?  It rather looks like what the Mrs. Good Human puts out for me and my children sometimes, but it doesn't smell anything like those..."
Casper: "Oh, she's kissing my cheek, that feels so nice!"


Casper: "Where are you going?"
Mrs. Rose: (Thinking to herself) "Uh oh, oh dear, oh my gosh, it's a ghost!"


Casper:  "Awww...I just wanted to visit..."
Mrs. Rose:  "Thanks anyway, but I've pressing business elsewhere...no offense!"  And thinking to herself, "Oh bother this time of the year!  The most unexpected people pop up in the most unexpected places!" 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Last Night's Moon


I took this shooting up through the tall pines, and I wouldn't have taken it at all if I hadn't heard a raccoon growling at a cat.  I rushed outside and chased off the raccoon, then looked up and saw the moon and the clouds.  I'm wondering if the colors are the result of ice crystals in the clouds, or reflected colors from somewhere (the blurriness is because I didn't use a tripod).  

Anyway, even though it's blurry, I thought the colors were interesting.  I wonder what the aunts in the movie "Practical Magic" would have thought about these colors around the moon?  For that matter, I wonder what my Italian Nonna would have thought.  She always said when the ring around the moon is green, go out and stand in its light because that light is really good for your skin, but she never said anything about multi-colored clouds around the moon...

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Quote for Monday


"The earth is what we all have in common.  The care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility.  To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope."  Wendell Berry, naturalist and author

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Sunsets


A quiet one this time, instead of the dramatically colored ones we usually get here in the West.  You can see the rings spreading out from where a fish had just jumped in the lower middle on the left side of the photo.  I remember how quiet it was that evening...very unusual for Crestline in July.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Faeries Friday


I found this on Pinterest...it's so pretty I had to share!

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