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Untitled Four

The caterpillar does all work but the butterfly gets all the publicity. ~ George Carlin

Imagining. . .

I'm imagining that's me sitting in the ocean right now. The temperature hovers around 94 degrees in our part of town. I'm very thankful that it's not hotter.

Oooh, I just heard a bit of noisy wind outside. It reminds me of times when the Mama, the Husband, and I sat around the kitchen table and suddenly heard and saw wind whirl the tree and plants around furiously in the front yard. Mama always remarked, "That's Jesus Christ." The Husband and I didn't know whether she was kidding us or not.


Morning

Need I say more. 
Cheers to one and all!
I'm linking up with the monthly photography meme Wandering Camera hosted by Soma Acharya of Whims and Fancies. Click here to learn more about the meme and to check out other participants.

Not Celery

Back in March I thought this volunteer plant in the front yard was a celery plant. As it grew and developed, it no longer seemed to be celery. The one stalk remained solo.

When the flowers bloomed, dill came to mind, but there was no dill aroma. Hmmm.

The Husband thought it was hemlock. I thought hemlocks were trees. Was I curious to look it up? Of course not.

Last week, friends came over and concurred with the Husband. Hemlock.  Yup, that's the stuff Socrates drank as punishment for being found guilty by 280 out of 500 peers of not believing in the government's gods and for teaching his students to question authority. Interesting. It got me wondering if people could be put on trial for doing something similar today.

For a poisonous plant, hemlock certainly is pretty. I suppose I ought to pull it out soon.

Update: Thanks to Colleen of Loose Leaf Notes commenting that the plant reminds her of Queen Anne's Lace, I did more research. The plant does look like it, but it's …

Riding Among the Trees

Recently the Husband and I found a not-so-often-traveled road that skirted the northern side of a nearby mountain. Entry to the road is in very deep shade. We came across it years ago, but we backed out after a few feet because the road looked like it would be an unpaved, pitted one. We didn't think Eliza, our 1993 metal steed, would fare well on it. I don't know why we felt confident that an older Eliza wouldn't complain a couple of weeks ago.


The road had not a hole to carefully maneuver over or around. The road reminded me of the fire and logging roads in deep forests. Well, duh, we were going through a second or third generation growth redwood forest. It was beautiful in there.

I'm so grateful that we could travel through the forest by car since my knees and right ankle complain after several blocks of walking. How else would I have seen this living creature of a tree?




If it's Sunday, it must be time for All Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks f…

Rainbow in a Cloud

"So don't you give up now, ooh, ooh
So easy to find
Just look to your soul
And open your mind
Crystal blue persuasion, mmm, mmm"
~ Eddie Morley Gray, Mike Vale, and Tommy James I saw my first rainbow in a cloud last week.  The Husband gave me a scientific explanation for it. Something about ice crystals in the air. From my reading on the Internet, generally in terms of spiritually, a rainbow in a cloud symbolizes hope, promise, serenity, and peace among other positive ideas. I like that. It got me humming "Crystal Blue Persuasion" by Tommy James & the Shondells. 

While I was taking photos, a bird flew across the sky. I clicked but I was sure I got nothing more than his tail. So call me happily surprised when I found this among my day's clickety-click captures.


I'm hanging out at Skywatch Friday. Come join me by clicking here. Thanks, Skywatch Friday hosts!




Head Turners in the Yard!

Oh me, oh my. The sights Molly the Cat and I saw this morning in the front yard.

For one, that fly pollinating the daisies. Until a few years ago, I had no idea flies were pollinators, too.
Flower flies are what they're called in general. Some of them have torsos that resemble bees or wasps. I wonder how many times we've said, "Look a bee!" and it was really a flower fly. Experts say that flower flies don't sting. Hurrah! These flies also love to eat aphids and scales. Thank you, much.

POMPOM POPPY DANCER


Most of the pink pompom poppies have shedded their petals. I think the pods are also cool to look at and go wowza! over. While the blooms make me think of the fluffy hats that comedian Phyllis Diller wore, the poppy pods remind me of ancient Greek soldiers in their Corinthian helmets.

WILD CELERY STALK


I was hoping that the unknown thing growing at the edge of the geranium spread would be bamboo. Nope. The nearly 4-foot plant is a wild celery plant with only one…

Blue Skies

Blue skies smilin' at me
Nothin' but blue skies do I see. . .
~Irving Berlin
The fog lifted early this morning to give us gorgeous blue skies. The orange roses and pink pompom poppies say "Hullo, hullo!"
Hanging out at Skywatch Friday. Come join me by clicking here. Thanks, Skywatch Friday hosts!

Our Mountain View

Yesterday morning I discovered the mountain view from the side yard. Well, okay, I've probably seen the view a hundred thousand times before, but yesterday, I finally took note that by golly I can see the mountain between the houses across the street.

That's the Santa Ana Mountain, part of the southern end of the Diablo Range that runs from the Carquinez Strait, just northeast of the San Francisco Bay, to a bunch of miles south of the Pinnacles National Park, which is about 30 or so miles from us. The park, that is.

We have a fuller view of the mountains over the rooftops from upstairs, but I like this view better. For some unknown reason, having a peek of the mountain, which I've seen since a child, is rather assuring.

Today I'm hanging out at Skywatch Friday. Come join me by clicking here. Thanks, Skywatch Friday hosts!

After the Rain

We've had a wonderful few days of rain and, if our luck sticks, we'll have a bit more rain on Saturday. Hurrah! The Diablo Range is finally starting to turn green. Hurrah! Hurrah!

This view is looking east on Hillcrest Road. When I was a teenager several decades ago, this was a two-lane road with orchards on both sides of the road. Those were the days when it rained a lot. All the orchards and farms that surrounded us may have been a contributing factor for that.

Hanging out at Skywatch Friday. Come join me by clicking here. Thanks, Skywatch Friday hosts!

Passing Through

I believe cats to be spirits come to earth.
A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud
without coming through.
~ Jules Verne
Hanging out at Skywatch Friday. Come join me by clicking here. Thanks, Skywatch Friday hosts!

Singing in the Rain

Finally! The winter rain has come to our part of the world. It began last night. A steady pitter patter, pitter patter on the roof and a swoosh and splash in the streets.

Molly the Cat and I celebrated this morning by wandering around the front yard. Actually, it was more like Molly doing her best to shepherd me back into the house. At one point, Molly sat on the doorstep looking like she was sighing at my silliness of deadheading wet daisies. If she could, I'm sure she would've folded her "arms" over her chest and tapped one paw in a "come on, come inside, get out of the rain" staccato beat.

Excuse me now as I imagine Molly's tappingness turning into her tapdancing and splashing in the rain like Gene Kelly. Hmmm, Molly has a voice quite like Debbie Reynolds, "I'm singing in the rain. . . ."



Seeing Things in Things

The Husband and I see faces and shapes in rocks, trees, and other inanimate objects. How about you?

Scientists call this phenomenon of seeing things within things facial pareidolia. Some experts say that neurotic individuals are inclined to have this ability. Other experts claim that this condition is quite strong in religious people and those who believe in the supernatural. Leonardo da Vinci considered pareidolia as a tool that artists can use to visualize possible scenes to paint or draw. Carl Sagan thought that pareidolia was a form of survivor tool for individuals to recognize if approaching people are friendly or not. All interesting theories, don't you think?




I'm hooking up with Our World Tuesday. Here's the link for you to check out participants from around the world, and maybe to join up yourself. Thanks, Our World Tuesday hosts!

It's Raining

"Why can't I go outside?" asked Molly the Cat.

We've had two days of steady rain, the most since the beginning of last year. The weather reports say that it'll stop raining tonight, but there may be more on the way in a few days. Hurrah!


I'm linking up with Our World Tuesday. Click here to check out the meme. Thank you, Our World Tuesday team.




Autumn Hasn't Left

It's winter but the ornamental pear tree on the front yard doesn't think so. For the past few weeks, it has been slowly shedding its colorful autumn leaves. I love the warm yellow and red colors on the ground. I've already raked twice. Maybe I'll rake once more just so they won't be flying over to the neighbors' yards or into the gutter and clog up the storm drain. Not thoroughly though. I think the leaves make a warm cover for the bulbs, tubers, and seeds that are in the soil beneath them. Not to say, the dried leaves will turn into lovely mulch and soil come Spring.



Winter!

When I opened the kitchen curtains this morning and saw the thick frost on the neighbor's roof in the shade, I thought of the Mama saying, "Look at Marie's roof. It has frost. Lots of ice."

So fitting for the first day of winter. I felt a moment's wonder of a winter wonderland. Molly and I most definitely had to go outside.

Cheers on this Winter Solstice!




A Pleasant Surprise

Last Saturday, the Husband and I walked a bit along a slough. I'm not kidding about "a bit". We couldn't find access to a slough where I felt like we wouldn't be trapped by four-legged or two-legged creatures. When we saw what looked like someone's tent by the water, we took the other path which circled us back to the car. Because I now walk on knees without cartilage the bit of a walk was good enough. We even climbed up an incline that had me gasping for breath at the top.

It wasn't until I was looking at my photo on the computer that I saw the duck and egret in the scene, which I didn't see because I was so focused on composing the shot with the palm trees in the distance. With the magic of Photoshop, I was rewarded with this wonderfulness.


I'm hooking up with Our World Tuesday. It's been a while. Click here to check out the other participants from around the world.


It's C-c-o-l-d?

The season has begun of Brrrr, Cold. 

Yet Molly the Cat and I let the bright blue sky fool us.

I'll sit outside if I darn well please, says Molly the Cat crouched very low to the ground.

Me. I'm wearing shorts and t-shirt and wandering around without socks and shoes. Giggle.


A Lesson from the Persimmon Tree

Hundreds of persimmon buds, then hundreds of persimmon babies fell this year that I didn't think we would have much of a crop.

I was wrong.

The persimmon tree has taught me that we never know what will be.



From Gate to Grate and a Bit Beyond

"Just from the gate to the grate," I said unsurely to the Husband yesterday, as he swung the car around to park on the other side of the rutted lane.

We were at the eastern end of the Juan Bautista de Anza national Historic Trail in San Juan Bautista. It's been almost two years since we've walked here. The last time we got as far as we did today because the Husband's heart couldn't take it. We didn't know then what was going on with his heart. I'm happy to say that the Husband and his friend, Gerry Andy Pacemaker, felt g-r-e-a-t. They had no problem going that short distance.

This time round it was me that we were being careful about. I discovered that my knees can handle walking on uneven, forgiving dirt with the help of a cane. I woke up yesterday morning determined to walk a bit up one of our favorite trails. 

Looking at the trail from the car, I wondered if I really could walk between the gate and cattle grate. The Husband thought the distance was…