This little fae person zoomed away from the flower she was sparkling up while I was out in the garden. I think I caught her mid-sparkle as I was misting the fuchsia plant, and I think she wasn't very happy with me. I apologized profusely, so I'm hoping she forgave me, but you never know with faeries...
We're still not lucky enough for any of those water drops to be from rain, although there are lots of gorgeous clouds around and the air smells like rain, so at least that's something. The temperatures have been nice and cool, too, and the weather people are saying we have a 30 percent chance of rain tonight. When I told my husband this, he instantly pointed out that means there is a 70 percent chance it won't rain...so I squirted him with the water hose and said, "You never know! There might be a rain goddess up there who will take your comment as a challenge!" He squished away muttering something I couldn't quite hear, which is probably for the best...
I found some candy corn (already, yippee) at the store and a bunch of orange roses, so I decided to put them on the table in my little foyer (is it pronounced 'foy-yay' or 'foy-er'?) The bowl was full of candy corn when I started taking photos, but someone ate half of it when I wasn't looking! Probably one of the cats. Yeah, I'm sure it was one of the cats.
Georgie: "That sounds a little fishy, Mom."
Lars Olaf: "Mouse droppings, that's what it is, PURE MOUSE DROPPINGS! Cats don't eat candy corn!"
Timothy: "Mommy, you told a lie. I'm calling the cops."
I took this in May of 2010 down in Cleghorn Canyon near Silverwood Lake. It's down around the 3,000 foot level on the 'backside,' or north-facing slopes. At this low level of elevation there's a lot of sagebrush and scrub but it's still a pretty area with a nice creek that flows into Silverwood Lake. Silverwood isn't a natural lake, but a huge state reservoir.
This is a very small part of Lake Silverwood. There used to be pines and cedars, but a lot of them burned in the huge fire of 2003, and more were lost to the pine bark beetle invasion. They're starting to come back, but very, very slowly.
The Pacific Crest Trail passes near here. The trail runs from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada through three states; California, Oregon and Washington and is 2,654 miles long.
I don't know why some people are compelled to shoot at signs...
And, I don't know why this huge, precariously balanced boulder that's on the hill above the sign hasn't fallen on someone!
It's probably a whole lot more stable than it looks, but I wasn't about to climb up there and check...
...the forest was looking like this today. The color intensified on the trees after an early autumn rain, clouds drifting down from the sky to weave their way through the trees. Of course, it's way too early for the trees to be turning colors, although a few leaves on some of the dogwoods are already coloring up. I don't know if that's because it's been so dry or if they're in as big a hurry for autumn to get here as I am! I took this photo in November of 2010, the last autumn we had that was anything like autumn used to be up here. The ones since then have been hot and dry. But...maybe that means that we're due for another sort of 'normal' one!
My roses haven't had a very prolific summer due to no rain. I water, but water from the garden hose doesn't have the nutrients in it that rain does. I'm amazed that they bloomed at all, and grateful that they, and the rest of my garden, hasn't died.
There's a big tropical storm that's headed in this direction, but the weather people are saying it will miss us by passing about 50 miles to the south of us, then it will head to Las Vegas, Nevada. Arrrrrgh!!
Frustration doesn't even come close to what we're feeling here in these mountains. People are starting to get scared, especially since 23 fires were started by lightening in the space of 24 hours last week right here in this mountain range. Thankfully, our firefighters got them all out quickly, except a fire near Wrightwood (a second one; they just got the first one out when the current one was started by lightening) that has burned 345 acres and it forty-five percent contained.
Oh, how I hope the weather people are wrong and we get drenched this weekend!
"The visible world isn't the only world, and the writers of fairy tales and ghost stories, mystics and philosophers, have known that for centuries." From "Afterwards" by Rosamund Lupton
This is just a photo of some of the water in the creek that runs near my cottage, in happier times when there was a lot of water. I intensified the contrast and color by using Microsoft Office Picture Manager to make more visible all the shapes the water is making. Or... is the water reflecting the shapes of things and beings that aren't ordinarily visible to our eyes?
I found a little wild rose blooming in a sunny spot in the forest today. Stepping out of the shade of thick pines and cedars and finding something like this is pure magic to me...forest magic and earth magic working together to create a gift. A visual gift for me but, when fall arrives, the rosehips will be a gift of food for the animals and birds.
My husband always wants a list of things that he can buy me for Christmas and my birthday. I usually tell him that I have everything I need or want, and I'm at that stage where I'm getting rid of the things I've collected over the years. But, this site...oh, my! I think he might get that list soon...
Mrs. Rose is expecting babies! I think, judging by her roundness, she'll be giving birth any day now. If you have them to spare, please send Mrs. Rose good thoughts for an easy delivery of healthy babies. Hopefully, I'll be able to get photos of them when she starts bringing them around for a peanut snack; baby skunks are soooo cute!
I love the Brambly Hedge books by British author Jill Barklem and I just found out that there has been an animated series made. Imagine my excitement as I thought of the happy hours my great great grand nieces and I could spend watching! Now, imagine my frustration when I found out they are only available in Britain and other countries that play Region 2 DVD's. I WAS BORN ON THE WRONG CONTINENT! I know there are some DVD players that will play DVD's from all regions, but I don't have one. Oh, well...
Even being in Britain wouldn't have helped me yesterday when, for some inexplicable reason, I thought it was Wednesday, so I posted my 'Wednesday's Winding Roads' on Tuesday. Again, oh well...at least that wasn't as bad as the time I turned up for work on the 4th of July. There I sat in my car in an empty parking lot, wondering where the heck everyone else was, then, as time passed, wondering if my watch had gone bonkers, then, as more time passed and I was actually wondering if I had somehow been transported into some other dimension (yes, sadly that's how my brain works), the kindly security guard came out to my car, knocked on the window (scaring me half to death because I was so deep in thought) and asked, "Dear...what are you doing here today? It's the 4th of July." The look on my face must have been priceless, because he started laughing. I have a little better understanding now of why he was laughing so very hard; he was the age I am now and I was in my early twenties! Oh, well... :-D
I took this photo back in July of 2010. I almost deleted this one when I was sorting through photos this afternoon, but I was struck by the gold ripples in the background and the gold reflections of clouds in the foreground. I was going to delete it because the intense blue of the water didn't show up as blue, but looks black. Well, maybe there's a little blue, but not as much as my eyes were seeing...
This is a male Black-headed Grosbeak. I took the photo in April of 2010, back when we were still getting that stuff called 'rain.' Haven't seen much of that lately, but I have seen lots of beautiful grosbeaks!
This is probably the missus of the pair. They're pretty interesting birds, flying here early every spring from central Mexico. They stay around all summer, raising their babies and providing visual treats for those of us lucky enough to see them. They can live up to eleven years, and they're one of the few birds who can eat a Monarch butterfly and not die from the Monarch's toxins. But, they only eat one every eight days! I suppose they have figured out that they need to wait so they don't get a build-up of toxic stuff from the butterflies which might kill them. Smart birds!
They usually leave for their winter home around the middle of September, leaving me to eagerly anticipate their return the next spring.
"There's a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they're absolutely free. Don't miss so many of them." Jo Walton
Good advice, but I admit to having trouble with seeing the sunrises. I'm down at the bottom of a little valley and I just don't feel like hiking up the side of a mountain to get clear of the trees so I can see the sunrise at its best. I prefer to view the first sunbeams of the day as they spill their gold across the scrubbed pine of my kitchen table while I'm sitting there drinking my first cup of tea, listening to the cats grumping at me to hurry up and finish so I can feed them...
"Browsing the dim back corner
Of a musty antique shop
Opened an old book of poetry
Angels flew out from the pages
I caught the whiff of a soul
The ink seemed fresh as today
Was that voices whispering?
The tree of the paper still grows." Terri Guillemets
Rose flew in during the middle of July and promptly enchanted one of my roses so it looked like it was made of bronze. Now she sits on it during the day, pretending to be made out of bronze, too.
The rabbits are having none of it. They know what she really is since they are a little magical themselves. All of the faeries that live here, and all of the bunnies, disguising themselves as little figurines during the day light hours, are quick to leave the house as soon as the sun sets. They play in the light of the moon, if She is out, or make their own light if She is not. I'm sure you've seen little lights twinkling about in the dark out of the corner of your eye, haven't you? Now you know what they are! (If you didn't already...and I bet you did).
That's what my dad and uncles used to say about a man who dressed like a cowboy and tried to act like a cowboy, but definitely wasn't a cowboy. I think that saying could apply just as well to the clouds we've seen floating over us for most of the summer because they sure look like rain clouds but they're definitely not delivering rain. Well, not right where I live, anyway. Some clouds have dropped rain in areas around my little valley, but no rain right in my little valley. Ah well....
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
The photos and text on these pages, unless otherwise indicated, are my sole property. They may not be reproduced in any manner for private or commercial use without my consent.
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.