"Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby." Langston Hughes
This is one of my windows covered in rain drops right before they froze. That's a cedar tree, a pine tree trunk, ivy leaves and some brick edging, an abstract painting created by the rain. I love how the drops distorted everything, but most of all I love that it's been raining, snowing, sleeting and hailing since Saturday!! I fell asleep to the rain singing me a lullaby Saturday night and last night.
Rain on the roof, rain pattering against the windows...those surely must be among the most beautiful sounds in the world.
Yesterday I visited a friend down in Crestline. I was amazed to see daffodils blooming already!
And an ornamental fruit tree (I always forget what these are called).
And dandelions already in the puff-ball stage! Crestline is around 5,000 feet in elevation, and Spring usually arrives there about a week and a half before it gets up here. It's just crazy that these things are blooming in February! (Usually, Spring arrives in April, sometimes as late as mid May, and gardeners never planted annuals until after Memorial Day). Also, her Camellia bush is blooming. So pretty...
But, this little creature was such a wonderful surprise:
A squirrel!!! She said she's been feeding two, yes TWO of them for about a month now. We're both hoping that they're a breeding pair, but she can't get a close enough look at the "deciding factors" to tell. A plague wiped out all the squirrels up here in 2008, so most people are very happy when a squirrel is sighted. There were three visiting my feeders, but I've only seen one lately. I'd like to think that the two at my friend's house came from my house, but the distance is just too far.
Meanwhile, the weather people are saying that we're supposed to get a light dusting of snow on Sunday. I'm hoping that this is the first wedge that will break this weather pattern that we're stuck in so the west can get cool, wet weather and the east can thaw out. My thoughts and prayers are with all the animals and people in parts of the U.S. and Canada who are struggling with the terrible cold and huge amounts of snow.
"There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination." Anais Nin
I've been doing just that by staying in my studio all day with the blinds pulled down, a small fire in the fireplace and imagining that our driveway looks like it did in this photo (I think I took this in 2008). I also played, over and over, the sounds of a violent snow and hail storm that I recorded years ago. High winds howling and moaning around the eves, hail hurling against the windows and periods of relative calm, when the wind sang in the trees, the snow just barely made a whispering sound against the windows, and I could hear the creek. Bliss!
"Why, yes I am a very - no, make that exceptionally handsome - oh, well, let's admit it, I'm the most handsome boy duck ever. Thanks for noticing! Although, how could you not, all the ladies swoon when they see me. Why, even the human lady up there on the bank is saying she's never seen a more handsome example of Mallard male perfection and..."
Human lady (muttering to herself) : "Good grief, I've never heard a more conceited duck. On and on, yada, yada, yada. And, a liar to boot! I never said he was handsome."
I was waiting in the car for my husband in a parking lot down in the San Bernardino valley when I happened to glance up from my book and look out the window. This is what I saw. Mt. San Bernardino, elevation 10,649 feet. It was nearly dark down in the valley where I was, but the sun was lighting up the peak. There's so little snow on the mountain tops, but it was still pretty. It would have been amazing had there been the normal amount of snow for this time of year.
Normal. As far as the climate goes, I really miss normal. I wonder if it will ever come back?
The Snow Moon Faery is replacing the stars that were dimmed by the light of the full Snow moon a couple of days ago. She does this only once a year because there is a special faery for each moon. These faeries collect the tired stars, weak from trying to outshine the moon when she is full, in special boxes that revive the stars and, at the proper time for each star, the faery replaces each star in its exactly-right-for-the-star's special spot, gives it a kiss to give it a little extra sparkle and flies on to replace the other stars...
Here in Southern California it would be more accurate to call this moon "Killing Drought Goes On Moon." Northern California is supposed to get quite a bit of rain, up to 10 inches (yay!), and some rain is supposed to fall as far south as Santa Barbara...but none south of that. 140 miles - that's how far Santa Barbara is from here, such a short distance by California standards. I can drive there in just over three hours, less if traffic is light. If only the winds would cooperate and push those life-laden clouds 140 miles further south...
February is "I Love To Read Month," and I'm so glad I do love to read! Every book is a new world to explore, a new life to inhabit, new things to learn. I don't know if I love to read so much because my mother read to me, or because my dear childhood friend, M.L., six years older than me, taught me the alphabet and how to read by the time I was four, or if I would have come by it naturally without their influence.
One of the reasons I love having a Kindle is because, no matter where I go, I can carry an entire library with me. However, nothing could ever replace the feeling of holding, then opening an actual book. If I've read it before, there are old friends waiting to greet me. If it's a new book, it's a voyage of discovery. I have books that were gifts from my mother, my grandmother, M.L., my father and my sister. When I hold one of those books, it's as though the person who gave it to me is right there with me.
To paraphrase a quote from Sydney Smith, "Thank goodness for books! What would the world do without books? I am glad I was not born before books!"
(The painting is by Homer Winslow, 1836-1910, a detail from "The New Novel")
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.