Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Windy This, Hot That

It was cool and cloudy here today, a welcome relief from the unseasonable warmth of the past couple of days.  A chill wind from the west blew all day, but most of the apple branches managed to hold on to their blossoms. 

But tomorrow the heat comes back, along with very unwelcome Santa Ana winds.  Santa Ana winds, which come in from the east over the Mojave desert, equal high fire danger and usually we don't see them until October.  Crazy and rather frightening.

Tonight, I'm enjoying the cool, slightly damp weather with a small fire in the living room fireplace, a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.  Tomorrow I'll probably have to open all the windows and make a big pitcher of sweet tea (really strong iced tea with tons of sugar, Southern-style like my mother used to make). 

Ah, well....the warmth will make the lilac and pine scent in the air that much stronger.  I just hope the winds don't blow all the lilac and apple blossoms away! 

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Quotation For Monday

"I am not a lover of lawns.  Rather I would see daisies in their thousands,
ground ivy, hawk weed, and even the hated plantain with tall stems, and dandelions with splendid flowers
and fairy down, than the too-well-tended lawn."  ~  W.H. Hudson

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Sunlight

The daffodils are pretty much finished blooming now, but the ones I planted where there is a bit more shade than sun are still looking well.  Even when they're completely shaded they look like cheerful little spangles of light the sun forgot to take with him as he moved across the sky.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Today Was Lady Bug Day!

Every year I watch for the Lady Bugs to hatch in the spring.  Today was the day!  They hibernate in great numbers under logs and other places and, when the time is right, they wake up (or maybe the previous generation has laid eggs and they hatched, I'll have to look this up) and fly about in great numbers in the sunny spots between the trees. 

When I saw little flashes of red zooming here and there, I hurried outside to mist the leaves in my garden with water.  I read somewhere, I forget where, that Lady Bugs like a drink when they are first out and, if you provide that drink for them they'll stay in your garden and eat all the aphids.  It seems to work for me, but that could be because the creek is so nearby and they can get a drink from the wet rocks.  Either way, I'm glad they're back...aphids, watch out!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mama

This is my mother, me and my little Boston Terrier, Miss Bubbles, at the beach in the 1950's.  My mother would be over 100 years old today if she were still alive, and I believe she would be alive if she hadn't smoked cigarettes.  When she passed away at the age of 87 from Emphysema there was nothing else physically wrong with her; mind sharp as a tack, heart in excellent condition. Everything fine, except her lungs.  No one knew how murderous tobacco was back in those days.  She quit smoking when she was 70 but by then it was too late. 

Oh, the changes she saw in her lifetime!  From horse and buggy to cars, from cars to airplanes, from airplanes to men walking on the moon.  (Mama and I were both very upset about that last; we felt humans had no business mucking up the moon).  She saw the world progress from mail to telegraph to telephone, from radio to television.  She witnessed two world wars and the 'police actions'  in Korea and Vietnam. She went through the Great Depression of the 1930's.  In the 1960's we cried together over the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert F. Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  She was active in the Civil Rights movement; as half Oglala Sioux and half Italian, Mama experienced the hatred of racists more than once.  She survived the great Flu Pandemic of 1918, was a 'jazz baby' in the 1920's and we marched together in demonstrations for the Women's Liberation movement of the late 60's and 1970's.  No burning of bras for us though: Mama said, "Seeing women without bras will just make men happy and happy men aren't what we're marching for!"  

Happy Birthday, Mama...I wish you were here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lilacs and Hope

The lilacs are in bloom here and the scent that fills the air is amazing.  I wish everyone could smell it just by clicking on the picture...wouldn't that be something?  This is the earliest they've ever bloomed, and they timed it just right this year.  It's been mild the last few days but the temperatures are supposed to drop again by the middle of next week.  I'm surprised, and grateful, that the lilacs bloomed at all this year considering what a very dry winter we had and, so far, this spring hasn't been any better.  Our rainy season ended in March but, with the weather being so unpredictable nowadays, I'm not giving up hope that we still might get some good rains. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Faeries Friday

I found this painting on Pinterest and I thought it was so beautiful.  I just had to share it.  The signature in the bottom right corner is extremely difficult to make out; as near as I can tell it might be 'Lak Del' or 'Lake Doc' ... I just can't tell for sure.  If this is your painting, please let me know if you want me to remove it and/or if you have an Etsy store.  And, thank you, whoever you are, for creating something so beautiful!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Carl Sagan on Books

"What an astonishing thing a book is.  It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles.  But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years.  Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you.  Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs.  Books break the shackles of time.  A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic."  Carl Sagan

I think this quote sums up, perhaps better than any other quote I've ever read, how I feel about books. It gave me chills down my back.  Thank you, Mr. Sagan!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday Sunsets

It was a pretty one this evening...

Saturday, April 6, 2013


I was out walking by the creek this afternoon and I was lucky enough to be there when everything conspired to make the creek resemble an opal; the speed of the water, the rocks and water plants underneath the surface, the amount and size of the tiny spring leaves on the trees and the angle of the sun.  How many times have I walked by this section of this creek that runs through the woods in the 35 plus years that I have lived here?  Too many times to count.  But this is the first time I've seen the water look like this.  A few seconds later and it just looked like clear water running over rocks and water plants.  This was a lucky day!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Just in Time

Spring is flying along so fast here.  I almost missed getting a photo of some pussy willows that were still in their little grey fuzzy stage.  I posted a photo a few days ago and they weren't even AT the little grey fuzzy stage yet. They're really in a rush this year to elongate and burst into minuscule yellow blooms (left click; you'll be able to see the little yellow flowers much better).  I like the way they look best before they start elongating and opening the yellow blooms.  Once they've done that they look, to me, rather strange.  And, those little yellow flowers make me sneeze like crazy.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Quotation for Monday

"...I have seen the lady April bringing the daffodils, 
Bringing the springing grass and the soft, warm April rain."
John Masefield 

I sure hope he's right about the rain part...
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