My husband snapped these two photos on his way back into the house...that's why the angle of the second one is a bit strange.
Four little raccoon babies, but not out on their own. Their mom was at the bottom of the tree, telling my husband to mind his own business...so he did, and didn't get a photo of her. Probably a wise choice.
Hydrangeas are blooming outside the back door. We never used to be able to grow hydrangeas up here; it's only been the past five years that the plants have been able to survive the winters. I guess that's a tiny benefit of Climate Change but, honestly, I'd rather have the forest the way it used to be, full of healthy, huge trees, full to overflowing lakes and clear, cold fast running streams. Hydrangeas are nice, but they don't make up for all that's been lost.
What is being called the "Lake Fire" started just outside the San Gorgonio Wilderness in the San Bernardino National Forest where I live. It's now burning in the Wilderness.
It spread rapidly - everything is so dry up here. 200 people have been evacuated from campgrounds. I wish there were some way to evacuate the animals.
It's burned nearly 10,000 acres so far. Cal Fire is saying it will jump to 50,000 acres by tomorrow. (Update: it's only grown by 1,000 acres, thank goodness, and the winds are calmer). Air tankers and helicopters are temporarily grounded because of winds. It's only 5% contained but, so far, it's burning away from our homes and little towns up here. If you've got any to spare, thoughts and prayers for safety for the animals and firefighters, and calm winds so the tankers and helicopters can get back in the air would sure be appreciated.
(These aren't my photos, they're from various news websites).
Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus)! There aren't as many blossoms as in years past, but I'm surprised and grateful to see even a few blossoms.
The berries they make won't ripen until around August or September, but they're forming already.
This is what they look like when they're ripe, or nearly ripe. Unlike raspberries, thimbleberries don't really have a flavor, just a mild sweetness. The birds, raccoons, skunks, deer, bears and bunnies love them, but the squirrels and chipmunks take a pass...like I do. Although jam can be made from them, I leave them for the dear folks previously mentioned.
This year is speeding by so fast! The boats are back on the lakes up here and the summer people are flooding the stores. It's not as crowded yet as it will be after school lets out later this month, but it's getting there. Sheesh, where do all these people come from?
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.