Spring is still going strong up around the 7,000 foot level. (That's around 2,133 meters...maybe. I'm not very good at conversions). This oak tree is just putting out her new leaves...
A tiny bit of spring masquerading as autumn's bright jewels.
I even found a clump of daffodils!
Spring starts her journey at the bottom of the mountains and slowly climbs, so I have the opportunity, if I drive down and follow it up, to catch spring photos for a couple of months. I do the same thing in reverse for the autumn...start up high and follow it down the mountain.
I took this in May, 2010, on my down to Hesperia, which is a little town down in the desert on the north side of this mountain range. I took it while driving, so please forgive the poor quality, but this stretch of road has always been one of my favorites up here. There's a little creek on the right side of the road, down in a shallow ravine. Sometimes I park the car and walk around. It always astonishes me how much magic this area right next to a fairly busy road manages to keep:
I don't think many people take the time to get out and look over the side; I never see any of the 'markers' that people usually leave behind like squashed plants, cigarette butts and other trash. It makes me grateful that not many people take the time to investigate places that are a bit difficult to get to (it's a bit of a hike down to the little stream) because, usually, too many people just drive the magic right out.
This is a Baby Blue Eyes blossom. They're only about the size of a dime and they grow in large, low to the ground, mats everywhere up here this time of year. I have tried to find out the name of the nasty plant growing along side it, to no avail. All I know about it is that those horrid little fuzzy balls get stuck in my cats' fur every spring and summer and they're really hard to get out!
The photo above, and the two below, are of a Western Bluebird. They're very shy, so I was thrilled when this one let me get several photos of him.
And,last but not least, an iris...MY iris!! I have been trying for several years to grow these but have lost them to gophers, squirrels, deer and who knows what else. But, this one made it!
I took this at the end of April of this year. Our dogwoods up here are the species Cornus Nuttalli, the only dogwood native to California, also referred to as the Pacific Giant as they can grow up to 60 feet tall, and their range is from the Southern California mountains up to British Columbia. This blossom is strange in that it only has 4 petals - well, they're really called 'bracts.' The center of the bracts contains the little ball of the actual teeny, tiny yellow flowers and the showy bracts just serve to attract pollinators. Cool, huh?
Anyway, usually they have 6 bracts. But some of the trees only put out 4 this spring. I'm wondering if it was because we've had such a dry winter. Dogwoods are terribly suceptible to the disease Dogwood Anthracnose, which is a fungal disease that kills them, but all the gardening sites I've researched haven't said that putting out only four bracts is a sign that the tree is infected. So, I guess I'll just keep my fingers crossed and give them plenty of water.
Earlier this month when I was down at Lake Gregory taking photos, I saw a most unusual sight.
I had to look several times to really believe what I was seeing.
A turtle!! I have never seen a turtle in any of the lakes up here, and I've lived up here all my life. I suppose someone must have let it go, poor thing. I think it may have been at Lake Gregory for a few months because I remember one of my friends saying in March that she had seen what she thought might be a turtle at Lake Gregory down in Crestline. But, she also said she thought it could have been a log, so I didn't think any more about it.
I thought She looked especially magical tonight. I am always intrigued by the lighter, brighter spots on Her and, even though I know the scientific explanation for them, I choose to ignore it. I like my great-great grandniece's explanation: "They're the lights from the villages of the Moon Faeries, of course!" Emma is going on 10 and I worry that her wonderful imagination will be submerged under peer pressure soon. Maybe I shouldn't worry though...just last week she told me that she felt so sorry for kids who were starting to lose their belief in magic, or never believed in it at all. Like me, Emma finds magic in the most mundane things, she finds the wonder in all that the Great Spirit created, so maybe I'm worrying for no reason. Unfortunately, worrying is one of the things I do best; I'm so happy that Emma didn't inherit that trait!
I took this photo while on a ramble around the forest recently. My eye was caught, as it always is, by how the sunlight and shade create a kind of magic and mystery. It's one of the things I love best about living in a forest.
(The flowers are the blossoms of the Lunaria plant, commonly known as Money Plant).
There are so many beautiful winding roads up here. It's one of the things I love about living here.
AND...they don't show up in this photo, but the sky is full of clouds! :) :) :) We actually got a bit over an inch of rain. Now we only need 37 more inches of rain and 119 inches of snow to be at normal levels. Don't think that's going to happen... Oh well. To quote my friend, Kathleen, "Some is better than none!" At least it washed all the pine pollen off of everything. Of course, everything will be covered in yellow pollen again within just a few days, but my allergies are really happy right now.
And some other Wildings, big and little, who kindly share their forest with me:
Miss Sunni, a Grey Squirrel
"To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Mountain Lion
A Black Bear
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 Is 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
Courage, dear heart ~ C.S. Lewis
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
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 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.