Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday Stroll : Autumn in California - Part Two

Though my Sunday Strolls are nearly always taken the same day that I post them, this time I am going to bring you the second part of my Autumn in California series.  We were so fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Yosemite National Park in the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains on our trip.

I do not have the right camera or skill set to do justice to the beauty of this place, but I have the right attitude to appreciate the peace and majesty of Yosemite and I hope I can share a bit of that with you.

Not long after you pass through the welcome center, you find yourself driving around the iconic El Capitan, pictured below.

In fact, around every curve, there is a panoramic scene that takes your breath away.

That is the Clark Range behind me.

Hidden within the vast acres of forest and rock and running water,
are hundreds of different communities of connected plant and animal life.  
The photo above is taken from the fen.
This habitat is so similar to the familiar cedar swamps on our own acres,
but edged in ancient trees and massive geological formations of granite and other rock.

We walked the quiet pathways of the Happy Isles, 
an area between two branches of the tumbling Merced River.

We walked the steep mist trail
with two grandbabies sleeping in a stroller,
while we marveled over the beauty
of our surroundings.

There was grandeur in the vistas,
and sweetness in the small details.

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you peace.

Don't miss Steve's beautiful stroll, Out on the Prairie!

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Autumn in California - Part One

Last week we toured Ardenwood Farm in Fremont, California.
We were a long, long way from our Great Lakes home.

We walked beneath Shagbark Hickory
and Eucalyptus trees,
on a trail peppered with stars.

We toured dusty barns 
filled with old tractors and rusty implements.

We lingered on the lawns and porches 
of the elegant Patterson House
at the heart of the historic farm,

breathing in the heady scent of old-fashioned roses, 

while daffodils bloomed innocently,
as if it were spring.

We have just returned from a trip west,
my first time in California. 
 Sorry for the radio silence during my absence.
I will attempt to make up for it with a series of posts 
recalling our Autumn in California!

I hope to make the round to all of yours blogs this week!

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you great joy.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday Stroll - Short and Sweet

My day is full,
but I couldn't deny Micah 
a short, but sweet, morning walk.

Tendrils of sun lit our way,

as we followed a silver ribbon of creek
along the edge of the cedar swamp.

Busy honey bees dipped in and out of the stream
for water.  But we meandered casually,
coming up out of the woods,
 and into the field
to hike home in full sunshine.

It was good to see a few late blossoms 
in the long south meadow.

These two black-eyed Susans are aglow,
when all the others faded many weeks ago.

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you joy.

Click here to be transported to Steve's Sunday Stroll, Out on the Prairie.

Just a note: There were several comments on my blog when I checked earlier, and when I tried to click "publish" I think I accidentally hit "delete."  I'm so sorry if your comment does not appear.  Can't figure out how to retrieve them!  Thank you for your kindness in commenting, and I hope you will try again!  :) 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday Muse - Autumn

Here is another ode to autumn, which inspires me with the ease and beauty of the guitar, piano, and this young woman's crystal clear vocals.  The lyrics of this song are a bit melancholy, but as I worry over wildfires, and political turmoil, and other matters beyond my scope of influence, I am finding that the bittersweet tone suits my mood.   Music offers comfort and solace to me every day.

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you peace.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Stroll - Black and White

We walked this afternoon on the Lake Michigan Shoreline.  Strong winds, with gusts up to 45 miles per hour, whipped the waves into a frenzy.  Shoulders hunched, we followed our carefree Huskie along the soggy zone between surf and sand.   I did not have a camera with me, so I am sharing instead some photos from a "Black and White Challenge" that a friend tagged me for on Facebook.  

My idea of black and white is to leave a suggestion of color.  
I guess I never completely see the world as strictly black and white.

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you joy.

Don't miss Steve's stroll in full, beautiful color, Out on the Prairie!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Nature Notes from My Journal

Yes, Pom Pom
I did draw at least one of the unexpected guests in my garden. 
This praying mantis was a master 
(or mistress?) of camouflage, 
 and really blended in with the green leaves 
of the deliciously fragrant lemon balm.

 I found a beautiful blue-jay feather this week 
that I want to add to my journal.
 I am trying to decide whether 
to make a little pocket, 
to draw it, 
or both.

Isn't it lovely?

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you joyful discoveries.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Monday Muse - In Honor

"Tom Petty was the Edward Hopper of American songwriters," it begins. "He was a certain kind of bird that had no legs, so he could never land on this earth; he lived his whole life in the sky. And now he will spread his wings and sleep on the wind. His name is written in the stars." 

John Mellencamp.

Another guitar inspiration this week, but of a different genre.  You will find many covers of this sweet song on YouTube.  I have been learning this one myself.  It's simple and pretty, and nestles in comfortably with the folk music I usually perform.

Love the lyrics, especially this: "You belong among the wildflowers.  You belong somewhere you feel free."

RIP, Tom Petty.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Sunday Stroll - Morning Chores & Nature Journal

Will you come along with me to do morning chores,
before I go lend a hand at the vineyard for the afternoon?

We'll walk past the wind sculptures,
gently rocking in an easy breeze,

and past the bees and the flock of tiny buntings,
feeding in the wildflower garden,

to the old school bus that houses our rabbit friends.

Oops, no photos of the rabbits, 
but here is their bus driver, PJ.

The sun blazes over and through the grapevines,
as we let the chickens out of the coop.

Speaking  of birds,
let's head to the front yard,
to fill the feeder.

Now that chores are done,
and rabbits and chickens and wild birds are fed,
here is a quick look back at the last few days in my nature journal.

What colors are you noticing where you live?
What are you grateful for?
What are the simple pleasures that fill your days?

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you joy.