Friday, August 26, 2016

Blue, Beautiful Blue

Skies have been beautifully blue lately...sadly, no clouds, but happily, very, very happily, no smoke from fires!  And, the temperatures have been lovely the last few days with highs only in the low 70's.  

Linking with: Skywatch Friday

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Landmark

This statue of a Serrano indian marks the entrance to the Arrowhead Springs Hotel in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains.  Well, it started out as a hotel, then was used as a navel hospital during World War II, then it was a hotel again, then it was used as headquarters for a religious organization.  I'm not sure what it is now, or who owns it. 
The hotel gets its name from the natural landmark on one of the hills behind it.  It was frequented by the rich and famous for years; Elizabeth Taylor honeymooned at the hotel with Nicky Hilton. 
The landmark is an arrowhead.  The Serranos believed that it pointed down to the location of the hot springs, and considered it holy ground.  It's certainly shaky's  very close to the San Andreas fault line.
The arrowhead has been burned over to many times to count, but it always comes back.  Nothing is done to maintain it.  The arrowhead is also where Lake Arrowhead got it's name, even though you can't see the lake from the arrowhead and vice versa. 
These photos were taken a couple of years apart.  It's easy to get photos of the hotel from Hwy 18, but you have to take the Waterman Canyon turnoff to get to the hotel's driveway, and I kept forgetting. 

Linking with: Through My Lens

Friday, August 19, 2016

Skies and Flowers

Monsoon rains are falling out over the Mojave desert to the southeast of us, but nothing here.  It hasn't rained since April, and that wasn't enough to even measure.
To the east and north of us, the Blue Cut fire still rages unchecked.  (Lake Gregory is a tiny, light blue smudge just above the center, and to the left, of the photo, about 10 o'clock) and Lake Arrowhead is the large lake.  (Photo from Rim of the World, by R. Lagler).  At the latest count, 96 homes have burned.  This monster of a fire moved so fast (10,000 acres burned in the first four hours) there was nothing anyone could have done to stop it.  Right now, the area burned totals over 31,000 acres.  No human lives were lost, but who knows how many precious animal lives were lost...I grieve for those little lives, and for the people and animals who lost their homes.
This is what the smoke looked like from Lake Gregory in the valley where I live. (Photo from Rim of the World, by M. Jordan).  The Pilot fire, just over the ridge from this valley is still burning, but it's fully contained and nearly out, thank God.
Near the base of the tree in the first photo I found a little Hoary Tanaster (Machaeranthera canescens) blooming.  They usually don't bloom until the middle of September, and are hardy wildflowers common in the San Bernardino mountains. 
I'm linking with:  Skywatch Friday
                         Flower Friday
                         Floral Friday

Please click the above links to see many beautiful photos!

Thursday, August 18, 2016


I am one of those who has no trouble imagining the sentient lives of trees, of their leaves in some fashion communicating, or of the massy trunks and heavy branches knowing it is I who have come, as I always come each morning, to walk beneath them, glad to be alive and glad to be there. ~~ Mary Oliver 

I took this photo on a particularly beautiful morning in April of 2011.  It's nowhere near as green here now. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Enchanted Roses

I took these in July of last year.  These roses are next to a fast-food place up here in Crestline.
They have blooms of the deepest, most velvety red.  My digital cameras have never been able to capture red as effectively as my old film cameras. They're a much deeper red than these photos show.
I don't think they get much care, but they bloom valiantly every summer.
And, so beautifully.  They remind me of roses that I've read about in fairy tales.

Linking with Through My Lens

Friday, August 12, 2016

Sunset, Moonrise

Looking west at a smoky sunset...
When I turned in the opposite direction, I saw a tree holding the moon in its branches! 

The Pilot fire is 80% contained and I'm cautiously optimistic that all here in these mountains are out of danger.  I'll be 100% optimistic when the fire is 100% out...

Linking with Skywatch Friday

Monday, August 8, 2016

A Flower and A Fire

A poppy (Argemone pleicantha) that a bug has been enjoying snacking on.  I love these poppies; their blooms can reach 6 inches across, and their petals are so ruffly and delicate.

The following photos are not mine, but from Twitter and Lake Gregory Weather.  It's burning right over the ridge from where I live.  Right now, it's burned over 6,000 acres.  So far, the winds have been in our favor up here and have kept the fire moving away from the mountain communities.  Even though the winds are not strong, the fire fighters have not been able to get it contained.  Not for lack of trying!  There are hundreds of fire fighters heroically battling this blaze and many water-dropping helicopters and fixed wing fire retardant and water bombers.  It's the terrain that's making containment so difficult.  At least the temperatures aren't in the triple digits like they were last week.  If you have any spare prayers and/or good thoughts please send them to the fire fighters and pilots...and to those of us who live up here.
Looking east across Lake Silverwood.
Looking from the Summit Valley side or the desert side of the fire.
You can see the smoke right behind the trees at Lake Gregory. 

Linking with:  Through My Lens
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