Sunday, August 29, 2021

Summer


 Our summer skies have vacillated between normal, beautiful blue skies with white clouds, and this: 


smoked filled, that turns the sunlight a horrible amber orange color and makes it nearly impossible to breathe.  So far, knock on wood, we have been spared any fires bad enough that would force us to evacuate, but there have been fires all around us this summer.  


There have been lots of clouds around since June, but they’ve only given us thirty-three tenths of an inch of rain.  It’s also been far hotter than any other summer.  I long for cooler weather and rain. 


There have also been interesting creatures in my garden.  I think this is the caterpillar of a Hawk moth, although I have never seen them before in these mountains.  

The wild sunflowers are starting to bloom on the roadsides, so hopefully Fall weather isn’t far away.  


Part of a painting I’ve been working on.  I haven’t spent much time in my studio lately because the air conditioner in it doesn’t work too well.  I need to have it replaced, but hot weather seems to drain all my will power, and I find myself doing only what’s necessary.  Then I grab a book, a glass of iced tea and spend the rest of the day reading.  I’ll get my energy back when the weather cools off.  


We have had some beautiful sunsets this summer though, probably due to smoke particles in the air.  I guess that old saying is true, “Every cloud has a silver lining.”  

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Spring

 

    Spring has arrived here in the San Bernardino Mountains after a very hard winter. 

Things are greening up, and it’s a lovely time to walk by the lake.  

Cherry and apple trees are blooming.  

Dogwood blossoms are forming on the dogwood trees.  Soon there will be beautiful, large white flowers. 

Patches of wild little yellow violets are blooming in sunny spots in the forest.  
And daffodils are showing their cheerful faces on the hillsides.  The lilacs have put out little new green leaves, but no blooms yet.  They’ll probably bloom in another week or so.  

The small clump of violets that I transplanted from my mother’s garden over 40 years ago are blooming.  They’ve tried to spread throughout the garden, but the raccoons, cats and skunks keep squashing them.  I had to cover this, the original clump, with a chicken wire cloche to save them (removed for the photo).  


A beautiful spring sunset at Lake Gregory.



Thursday, December 10, 2020

Christmas Cheer

 

The stockings have been hung and Malcolm is waiting impatiently for Santa Paws to come down the chimney.  

I added two new nutcrackers to this little display in the dining room this year.  

Christmas mice with their friend, Miss Christmas Love Kitty. 

The mice are making merry in Mouseford Falls and I’m feeling pretty merry too, thanks to the Biden/Harris win!  I’m so looking forward to a return to a more centrist government for this country. 
A stack of favorite Christmas books that I’m planning on going through as soon as I get the time.  I hope everyone reading this has a happy Christmas and and a healthy new year!


Sunday, October 25, 2020

This ‘n That


 Well, Halloween is almost here.  It will be a very different one for most of us I guess.  


We’re getting some fall color here in the San Bernardino mountains finally.  It’s been so strangely hot (80 degrees in October is definitely not normal) that I’m surprised the trees have any color at all.  


This is one of the large homes in Lake Arrowhead.  I like the Boston Ivy around the doorway.  


Since we had no rain for over 6 months, the lake is starting to dry up again.  I’m praying this long dry spell ends soon!  


The chrysanthemums are doing well although I’ve had to give them extra water due to the hot weather.  


This oddly shaped pumpkin caught my eye at a local nursery.  I think it wants to be a starfish!  I hope everyone has a good, happy Halloween...

Monday, October 5, 2020

Autumn and Fires


 Not a lot of fall color here yet, it’s been horribly hot and we haven’t had any rain in 6 months.  The fires have, so far, left me alone, thank goodness. 

The nearest fire was only a half mile from my house, way too close, but our fire fighters are amazing.  They immediately put several water dropping helicopters and fixed wing fire retardant bombers on it and it was contained and out within a few hours!  The two biggest fires near me, the El Dorado and the Bobcat fires are 15 to 25 miles away but still burning.  The El Dorado fire was arson and, horrifically and tragically, one firefighter has been killed fighting this fire.  


This is a photo of the El Dorado fire when it started.  

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy, and having a great autumn.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Summer

Lake Gregory dreaming under the summer sun is a pretty sight to see even though it’s missing so many of the towering pine trees that used to be so thick around the shoreline.  

This is a Watercolor shrub rose.  I love it because its blooms start out looking like this, but end up...
...looking like this!
The hydrangea blossoms are starting to fade, but they’re still beautiful.
Max has a strategy to get through summer; sleep through the hot days and play all night!  

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Spring

I know Spring is here to stay when I see the first Grosbeak back from their Winter stay in Mexico!  

Pansies and Violas are ready to be transplanted into my garden.  

The cherry trees are full of blossoms and soon, hopefully, there will be πŸ’.  I might even get to eat a few before the birds get them all.  


The water level in little Lake Gregory is the highest I’ve seen in years, now that the new dam is finished and everything is back in its proper place.  I just hope we don’t get an algae bloom like we did last spring and summer.  

Now I’m off to make a cup of tea.  I hope everyone is staying well, staying in and wearing your masks when you go out.  Hopefully these trying times will pass soon.





Friday, April 3, 2020

Strange, Scary Times

How different the world has become since the last time I posted.  I hope everyone is well, and able to stay well.  Spring has been teasing us up here in the mountains, dancing in for a day or so of warmth then quickly leaving.  This kind of off then on warmth makes for some magical scenes though, like the one above of trees and bushes touched with hoar frost.

Last night’s pretty sunset as seen from my front porch.  I only go out for groceries, although supplies are getting harder and harder to come by up here, or for solitary walks in places where I know no one else will be walking.  

Although these are scary times, I’m trying to stay positive by counting my blessings, focusing on the small things that bring joy, and having faith that “all shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be exceeding well” to quote Julian of Norwich.  And I hope that all shall be, and is, well with you and those you love.  




Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Rain

Last week had some really beautiful days.  However, today is the most beautiful of all because the skies are pouring rain, wonderful rain, down on us!  I think you have to be a Californian who has gone through long droughts and wildfires to truly appreciate how life-giving rain can be.  The hills turn green, almost overnight it seems, and it doesn’t seem so foolish to wish for a Spring filled with wildflowers.
There aren’t any wildflowers blooming up here in these mountains yet, but some of the cherry trees have been looking incredibly pretty.
The lake is cold, but I never tire of walking along the shore.

I can hear the rain pattering down on the roof as I sit by the fire and write this post.  I’m hoping this will be a very rainy Spring that will make up for a mostly dry winter.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Dry

We’ve had some pretty sunsets lately.

But the clouds haven’t had any rain in them, and now Southern California is officially in a drought again.  

Rita Mae loves the sunshine, so she’s not complaining!  

But, I sure wish we’d get some (a lot) of rain!



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