Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Sunlight

It rained last night - hooray!  The clouds were clearing, but everything was still bejeweled with precious rain drops.  Sun through cedar branches in wet air is always a good bet for rainbow sun rays...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Shakes and Sprinkles

The clouds are coming in, getting thicker, so I'm hoping we'll get more than just the few scattered sprinkles that we got today.  But, sprinkles are good too!

Caltech seismologists said there were two small foreshocks of the largest quake and there have been over 100 aftershocks, the largest one occurring today around 2:30.  It was a 4.1, but I wasn't sure until I turned on the news at 5 p.m. that what I had felt was actually another quake and not just my cats, who were thundering around the house at that time having simultaneous kitty fits.  Since the ones last night, we've felt nothing up here (until the tiny, brief trembling of the floor this afternoon).  My guess was right; it was felt over such a wide area of Southern California because it was so shallow, only one mile below the surface.  I've never understood how seismologists figure out what's a foreshock, an aftershock and the actual main earthquake.  It's not the magnitude of the quake, which would make sense to me, but some main quakes have been much smaller than the foreshocks and aftershocks. 

I feel so bad for the people of La Habra, which is the epicenter of the quakes.  Quite a few house were rendered uninhabitable by the quakes while other people are afraid to go back inside for fear of another aftershock.  I'm just so thankful that no one was hurt, even when a car was overturned by a rock slide that was caused by the largest quake. 

Hopefully, we're done with earthquakes for a while...

Friday, March 28, 2014


Yes, plural.  We've had four earthquakes in the space of twenty-five minutes, the largest being 5.3 on the Richter Scale.  Here, the largest one felt like a giant stamped his foot, causing a big jolt, then it turned into a rolling, shaking motion for about 30 seconds which was accompanied by a rumbling sound.  It was felt over such a wide area of Southern California for a relatively mid-sized quake that I'm wondering if it wasn't a really shallow one; that is, one that's located relatively close to the surface of the earth instead of miles below.  Thank goodness, no reports of any one hurt, just a bit of damage to stuff being knocked off store shelves, etc.  All my stuff stayed put this time. 

Or, maybe that Acorn Woodpecker was just pecking a little too vigorously earlier! 

Rockin' and rollin' on a Friday night in So we know how to have a good time or what? :D 

Updated at 10:20 - we've now had a total of seven earthquakes.  This makes me nervous, although I know it's not unusual.  Several years ago Palm Springs was having around thirty earthquakes a day, but they were very small in magnitude, under 2.0.  And, now Dr. Lucile Jones, with the USGS, is saying that we could have a much larger earthquake within a few hours or days.  I'm going to go 'round the house and check to make sure that the earthquake wax, a very sticky substance that's great for holding objects on shelves and pictures on walls during an earthquake, is still sticky enough to do a good job.  Especially that large painting over the bed.

Earthquakes, fires, floods, mudslides, tsunamis...if anyone ever discovers the original Native American name for California I bet the meaning of the name will be,  Don't Live Here!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rain, Wonderful Rain

Thank you for all of your good rain wishes; they worked!  Please, don't stop wishing for rain for California yet, though...

I spent the day in my studio, listening and watching the rain.  If you look closely when you enlarge the photo, you'll be able to see a few streaks of rain and drops on the cherry blooms and leaves.  It was raining hard when I took this from inside my studio, but, try as I might, my camera just wouldn't capture the rain properly.

 It rained all last night and we had terrible howling winds (gusts of 90 mph) but today the winds went away to make mischief somewhere else and the rain stopped blowing sideways.  Listening to it last night I was sure all the cherry blossoms would be gone today, but they're still here (knock on wood, as my mom used to say).  They weren't even harmed by the hail and sleet.  Neither were the emerging Pacific dogwood flowers:

I love how they emerge a bright, lime green; it's like they're shouting, "Yay!  Spring is here and so are we!"  They slowly, as they become bigger, turn a light cream color.

I spent most of the day alternately enjoying the sight of rain, the sound of rain singing along with the crackling of the fire and cleaning my studio (which I didn't enjoy so much, but it really needed it).  I finally hooked up my pretty, antique-style phone which is a land-line phone.  I previously had a portable phone, but I got tired of it not working every time the power went out.  My cell phone is useless up at the studio; well, cell phones are useless in a lot of areas up here in the mountains. 

Now I'm going to sit by the fire and listen to the rain and drink a cup of tea...come have a cup with me!

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Quote for Monday

"Of all the means of expression, photography is the only one that fixes forever the precise and transitory instant.  We photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and, when they have vanished, there is no contrivance which can make them come back again."
~ Henri Cartier-Bresson 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Sunlight

Some of the cherry blossoms have opened, while others still look like little oval pearls.  And, cross your fingers!  We're supposed to get a bit of rain on Wednesday!  Not more than half an inch, not a drought buster by any means, but still...every precious drop of water counts!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday's Winding Road

Spring is here, but in a very odd way.  The same varieties of trees, right next to each will be putting out new little leaves, another tree will have larger leaves, and some won't have any at all.  Very strange. The cherry trees are starting to blossom, but my apple trees don't have any blossoms at all.  I'm afraid they might not blossom this year, and that would mean no apple harvest this fall.  The seven inches of rain we got at the end of last month was great, but we haven't had any rain since then.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed though, because our rainy season extends through May.  Well, it used to...I'm hoping it still does, but, these days, who knows?

I noticed some tiny little flower buds on the lilacs and dogwoods, so I'm hoping for rain but no hard freezes.  I was afraid we'd have no lilac and dogwood blooms this year, but maybe we'll get a few thanks to that rain in February.  And, a few is better than none!

Some cherry blossoms that will probably be open by tomorrow:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mr. Murphy O'Mally Says...

"I want you to know that today is also the feast day of St. Gertrude of Nivelles.  She is much more important to me, as she is the Patron Saint of gardeners, travelers and cats.  Most importantly, cats!  She has long been overshadowed by St. Patrick, an ok guy as far as saints go, I guess, but he's the Patron Saint of Ireland, not cats.  Us cats need all the help we can get, plus some of us travel around a lot. And, most of us are gardeners, even though a lot of humans don't seem to understand that we're fertilizing the garden when we...well, you know.  HeyYou (that's what I named the lady who feeds me) gives me fresh salmon on this day...near as I can tell, most humans just drink a lot of green beer and eat some kind of funny-smelling meat that they call 'corned beef.'  Yuck.  So...I wish you a happy St. Gertrude of Nivelles Day...celebrate it by helping out a cat near you! 

And if you're wondering how I found out about all this...well, really.  What do you humans think we're doing when we're around you?  We're listening, learning and, mostly, laughing." 

Dictated by Mr. Murphy O'Mally, dutifully transcribed by HeyYou.

Monday, March 10, 2014

What a Relief!

We got great news about my sister's cancer-related lumpectomy.  The cancer was entirely contained within the lump and hadn't spread!  Her doctors wanted her to have several radiation treatments, to be as safe as possible, but she said she'd think about it.  I know what that means.  But, it's her body, her decision.  She'll be going in for check-ups periodically, so I know they'll be watching out for anything that looks suspicious.  Also, I returned her car keys to her, so she's not mad at me anymore...well, not so much, ha ha.  Yay, yippee, yahoo for everything!  If I sound giddy, I am...or just plain silly from relief about all the good news concerning my precious big sister.

I got more good news in the form of raindrops a few days ago.  Seven inches!  No where near what forecasters had predicted, and not even a drop in the bucket as far as the drought goes, but the trees and plants look very grateful and refreshed, so I'm happy. 

Cherry trees are blooming down in Lake Arrowhead, where I treated myself to a day spent with friends last Thursday.  We went to the spa, got our hair done, had lunch and did some shopping.  I found something I think several little girls (make that princesses) who have birthdays coming up will like:


I'll be sure and tuck a generous amount of spending money inside so their moms won't be mad at me for the "spend it all" part. 

After I got home, I think that everything (or the release from all that stress) caught up with me.  I got a terrible migraine and stayed in bed for the next three days.  Well, as "in bed" as it gets with me...animals in the house and outside still need to be fed, no matter how I feel. I'm feeling much better now.  I'll go round tomorrow to catch up on blogs...
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