It's raining lightly right now - oh, such a beautiful sound - and the weather people predict that we're to get three to four inches of rain on Wednesday! No snow, which isn't good news for the ski resorts, but this is enough rain (I hope) to put an end to fire weather...at least for a little while, anyway...
The cats were conspiring with the ladder to try and kill me, so I decided to take a short break from decorating and go for a walk outside in the forest...where there are bears, mountain lions, coyotes, slippery patches of ice, and giant pine cones that could, and do, fall at any time. Even so, the forest is safer for me than my cottage when the cats are conspiring! Thankfully, it usually doesn't take them long to remember who feeds them and the conspiracies come to an end.
I took the above photo on December 22, 2009. There had been a snow much like the one we just had a few days ago and, while I was out walking, the late afternoon sunlight on the holly leaf caught my eye first, then I noticed the patch of ice crystals on the leaf slowly turning back into fluid water. When I talk about magic being all around us, this is the kind of magic I'm referring to...nature's magic, so full of wonder and always there, if we pay attention.
"November comes and November goes,
With the last red berries and the first white snows.
With night coming early and dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket and frost by the gate.
The fires burn and the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest until next Spring." Clyde Watson, from "Father Fox's Penny Rhymes"
A few days ago we had our first snow. It was just a dusting, melting quickly and then turning to rain. We got one and a quarter inches of rain! But today? Today it's back to climate change insanity. It's cold, but very dry, with high winds and extremely low humidity. That puts us at high risk for wildfires, so all of Southern California is under a Red Flag Warning.
During the rain/snow storm I checked the humidity levels: Even though it was pouring down rain in buckets, the humidity was only 82 percent! Apparently, when it's been so dry for so long, it takes an extended period of wet weather to bring the humidity up to 100 percent.
I'm still putting up Christmas decorations, trying like mad to get it all done before Thanksgiving. Well, except for the dining room; I leave the autumn things up in there until after Thanksgiving dinner is over. It just feels strange to me to eat Thanksgiving food from Christmas plates in a room that's decorated for Christmas. I'll try and post some pictures of how the decorating is coming along tomorrow...if I haven't fallen off the ladder! It seems like the older I get, the higher and more wobbly the ladder is, even though the ladder hasn't changed...
The Christmas season began in my cottage. My husband and I started putting out the first of too many decorations. Every year we say we'll start getting rid of some things...and every year we never do, unless they're actually worn beyond recognition or broken. Even then, we have a hard time because Christmas things hold so many memories, especially of loved ones who are no longer with us.
Most things aren't in the places they'll "live" in for the Christmas season yet, including the things in the photo. We set stuff out, then sort it out while the cats run around saying hello to everything. What fun!
"The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls." John Muir, from "John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir"
This is the thing I love best about living in a forest: The way the light constantly shifts and changes, highlighting one thing then obscuring it with shadow, only to showcase something else in light. The light dances, especially when there is a little breeze for a partner, and if you sit in one place for ten minutes you might see twenty or more different views of the same thing.
I think the tag says "early October" but I actually took this in the middle of October. That yellow tree just jumped out at me, and fortunately there was a place to pull over so I could take the photo.
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.