Friday, July 24, 2009

Plant ID Help-GOT IT ! and Quite a Tree

Walking in the hills above the ocean I have met a succulent I cannot seem to find on-line nor thus far in any nursery. Maybe there is a succulent aficionado that can help me? Here is a close up and then a shot of the astounding display of flowers that cascade on a cliff. Of course I took a few cuttings and am trying to start it in the greenhouse, but I would love to know it's name.
7-27-09 update : IT'S LAMPRANTHUS OSCULARIA Deltoids. I walked into the Homescape Store at the Crossroads in Carmel and the proprietor knew the name. They sell succulents there and are connected to a Castroville growing nursery called Succulent Gardens.
I enjoy walking in the hills - puff puff puff- no really I do. Last week I finally remembered to take my camera with me. How is this for a fence?
It really is the old eucalyptus trees I am interested in, but the fence has it's captivating qualities as well.

And then this other aging tree has a very close relationship with a red headed woodpecker who perhaps will deign to be photographed some other day...
So if you know the name of that trailing blossoming succulent, please let me know. You can click on the pictures to enlarge.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"Mindful of your Wonders..."

Just born...who will she become?

What gifts will she bring into our world?

What shall we give her?

Welcome Talise Pearl...

May you remain surrounded by love and

grow mindful of the wonders...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

teapot progress, blueberries & dolphins at sunset

I made a little progress on the teapot that I showed you in stage one a few weeks ago. It takes me more time to figure out how I want to finish things than the doing itself. How wide do I want the edging, should I quilt it and finish the edge or leave the soft frays? My friend says she won't use it because she doesn't want it to get dirty so it is destined for a wall hanging and I had started out making a humble potholder. Any of you sewer crafters out there that have finishing ideas, please let me know.

The weather has been too lovely to do too much inside the walls the last few days...the real wall hangings are out of doors; a lovely view in every direction. After a bit of gardening I set out for a walk with the doggie, but a tender paw turned us back. I did come inside to

wash and eat the first handful of a little blueberry bush I planted last year. This is a 3.25 inch plate...a very small serving, but they were tasty. I ate fresh strawberries from the garden too and later chard. After dinner we went into the post office and then swung past the beach in Carmel.

We parked the instant we saw dolphins leaping near the shoreline. Some friendly tourists from Europe ensconced on a bench for the coming sunset asked what kind of dolphins they were. "Hmm, well, I think they are just regular dolphins, you know, common dolphins."
Good answer, huh? When I got home I googled and read about the type of dolphins who come in the Monterey Bay area. I may have given the right answer out of my ignorance, but basically what I learned is various kinds visit here and it will take paying close attention to be sure.

This is one picture Mark got of one of them... Their leaps and my camera skills didn't match up.

Given where we saw them, it could have been the Bottlenose Dolphin -Tursiops truncatus which in this area is apparently where they are seen, along the immediate shoreline next to sandy beaches surfing in the breakers. And there are smaller Harbor Porpoise Phocena phocoena that also prefer to be close to shore, are too shy to chase boats and travel alone or in small groups. I did only see a few dolphin this evening, not a large school as I have sometimes seen. The Harbor Porpoise apparently have grayish backs with a triangular gray dorsal fin at mid-back. But then I read about common dolphins, and it is the right time of year for them for they come when it’s warm. Common dolphin tend to occur in large schools… the dorsal fin is described as tall and slightly recurved and either all dark or only pale in the center. Maybe that is what I saw, common long beaked dolphins.

Whoever they were, I was delighted to see them. I was also grateful those folks made me think about who it was I might have seen. It's ever so easy to take glories around us for granted. I suspect the travelers will also read about dolphins when they get home, looking for a better answer than the one I gave them…why they're regular dolphins, you know, the common ones.

Common dolphins surfing in the setting sun can make for an uncommon day. I am sorry I didn't get any pictures of them ...but here's my photo of the sunset to share with you.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Our Flag Was Still There..a thief returns

I told you the other day how disheartened I was when someone stole our flag around 9:50 on the morning of July the 4th. Well this morning, Mark thought he heard a car out front around 6 am. When he went out to get the newspaper he found the flag on the ground by the mailbox. The flag is a little worse for the wear. It has a small tear and is soiled. The cap off the wooden pole was missing and the flag had been removed from the pole and clumsily reattached.

I imagine our flag has a story it could tell of how it spent the weekend. I like to think that it did talk to the vandals who snatched it. I like to think the colors reminded them of their more sober and productive selves. I'd like to believe the flag pricked the most active conscience in the group.

Perhaps the flag in their midst became a presence that haunted the conversations of the day, made them wonder where they could go, who they could be. Maybe they wondered where we got the flag, or why we would fly it. Did any of them wonder if they would always feel a little guilty whenever they saw the red white and blue in future days? I don't know. Was there someone in the mix that didn't really want to do the deed in the first place? The power of the pack is hard to withstand.

Disheartened as I was by the undoubtedly overgrown boys who stole our flag, the kids I met on 4th of July at the country arena lifted my heart right up. No flag stealing for those kids, it's theirs already and I think they know it. One girl sat by me for a while and told me about how much she loves summer vacation. Her family had moved away and while she loves visiting the area, she's in a better school now. Even eight year olds have to deal with bullies; she told me a few stories.

It's tiresome, dealing with petty interference, and big or small, we don't always know how to deal with troubles. Sometimes we're right on - our nation -and sometimes we miss the mark. I hope we can learn to be careful about what we disdain, what we disregard, what we abandon... what we change. There's no point shooting ourselves in the foot.

In case the vandals are wondering, I fly the flag on special holidays because it's our country's symbol of aiming high, as it says in the pledge, "with liberty and justice for all."

courtesy of

So the thieves relinquished our flag and by some hand it was returned. It's not as pristine, but I think it did a full day's work and like many citizens we rely on on holidays- public servants- those police and fireman the city workers who keep the infrastructure working, it worked a little overtime on the Fourth of July weekend. It might be time for us to buy a new flag, but of course, we'll go for the same colors.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Quiet Countryside Fourth of July

Old friends were driving a considerable distance and coming rather near to our neck of the woods for a day of roping.

I was glad to make a short drive to have a visit.

I enjoyed the mellow sunshine and watched the teams rope...

but what really made the day was watching all the young up and coming cowboys and cowgirls...

it was fun to watch them make friends

with the puppies in the playpen

and each other.

This was a big climb for this little girl.

...he's already relaxed in a saddle...

One of those puppies...

and a nice girl.

And this guy...he had a great 4th of July ....hope you did too.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

It is Our Nation's Holiday

and so we hung the lovely flag to greet travelers passing by. Around 9:50 am some one swung into the drive screaming and sped off with the flag.

I hadn't meant to post today...moving as I have been from one needed chore to the next...and getting ready to visit some out of town friends doing a rodeo, but I decided to stop and hang the flag on my blog and wish you a Happy Independence Day.

I guess we need a very tall flag pole to fly the colors. Keeping up with the news has been a tall order lately...the promises of transparency and simplification and equity and ...well...

I guess once you steal a flag you can't ever fly it proudly...or if you do, it doesn't mean the same thing anymore, does it?