All the decorating is done, presents wrapped, cookies baked, candy made.
The mice are making merry in Mouseford Falls...
And Alyce and Rita are getting ready to dream about what they'll get for Christmas. I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year! And, you can find me on Instagram at brushstrokes 6400.
Autumn is well under way up here in these mountains.
The cooler temperatures remind the forest creatures that they need to fatten up for winter, but I think if these raccoons and skunks were any fatter they might burst!
Preparations for Halloween are all done, although if I get any trick or treaters I'll be surprised. Last year I got exactly none. Back when my husband used to make the yard into a haunted house we got them by the hundreds. The churches and the merchants of the little village I live in do quite a bit for Halloween, so perhaps the parents just feel it's better not to let their children go to strangers' houses. I hope your Halloween, if you celebrate it, is a good one for you!
I said in my last post that I'm back and could post more often...well, something must have heard me that didn't want me to post, because two days later I somehow injured my back and was laid up until now. It's feeling better, but I still can't sit for long periods. That's Alyce Eloise in the photo getting ready to leap up on her cat tree. I wish I could be as flexible, graceful and athletic as my cats!
We're getting some pretty autumn colors up here and we even got over an inch of rain yesterday!
I've been doing some fall decorating and it's been cool enough for a fire in the evenings.
Malcolm thinks he's helping...
Clouds receding over Lake Arrowhead. Hopefully, this will be a really wet winter for Southern California, we need it!
I finally got an antique desk for my home office to house my computer, so hopefully I'll be blogging a little more regularly. We've been having lots of beautiful thunderclouds from July through August, but they have only given us 2 tenths of an inch of rain. Talk about stingy!
I've been working in my studio and back garden, making cards, painting and growing flowers.
Taking walks through the forest...
and taking lots and lots of photos. I mostly take them with my iPhone X nowadays, but I'm finding that although it takes good photos for a phone, it really can't match my Nikon and Canon cameras.
The hydrangeas were beautiful this summer, but they've all turned green now.
I bought a new rose bush, "Frida Kahlo" and she is wonderful! Lots of blooms, great scent, and the blooms vary in color.
The wild blackberries are ripening all over these mountains.
The shops up here have their fall things on display.
The temperatures are dropping, especially at night, and the kitties are staying cozy. (That's Sophia wearing more stripes than usual).
Stella looks like she's getting ready for Halloween!
And there have been lots of beautiful sunsets at Lake Gregory.
Icelandic Poppies, geraniums, pansies, violas, and hydrangeas.
I've been going for walks...
Taking care of my cats, and taking care that they don't eat any of my houseplants!
I've been going for lots of drives, since spring is so beautiful up here. This was how Lake Gregory looked on a day about a week ago, but when I turned to face the other direction, a fog (Marine Layer from the Pacific ocean) was pouring over the mountains down into the valley. So I drove up through it and got above it.
This is what it looked like from above. High level clouds above the San Gabriel range in the background, and the Marine Layer pouring over, around and through the western end of the San Bernardino range.
And, of course, I've been drinking lots of tea, reading lots of books, and taking lots of photographs. I'm taking most of my photos now with my iPhone X as it's so much easier for me to handle with my arthritic hands. You can find me over on Instagram, where I post everyday, as Brushstrokes6400.
A male Black Headed Grosbeak at my feeder; I've seen a female, too, so hopefully they'll have babies.
I caught Lucy trying to sneak a sip of my tea. She likes it because I put milk in it, so I have to be alert! This attempt didn't work for her, happily for me.
I just stopped and stared for a minute at this dogwood tree in Lake Arrowhead village before I thought to take a photo. I've never seen a dogwood tree so loaded with blossoms, let alone a pink one with so many flowers!
Lake Gregory was looking pretty on a day last week.
I let these roses dry in the vase. I thought they looked sort of vintage, so I photographed them by my mother's 88 year old recipe box. It's full of recipes in her handwriting and my sister's handwriting. Both are in heaven now, so it's one of my most treasured things.
To see more beautiful creatures click here.
To see some pretty pink things click here.
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.