Friday, September 30, 2011

A Peek Behind the Garden Gate
Part II

Earlier in the month- there are three hours left of September, if I type fast I can still say "earlier in the month" and have it mean what I mean it to say-  I invited you in for a Peek Behind the Garden Gate  and then without squiring you around much I left, a rare occurance, and went up to the Sierra Nevada mountains...  so while I wait for the cats to come home tonight I will upload a few photos of other  vistas in and from the gardens that I took after sunset this evening.

                                               My flash went off and lit the fern fronds
but if I crop them out, you won't be able to see the handsome gate.

Down the main path toward the main house...all the plants on the left edge have been dug out and transplanted elsewhere this tears and blue star creeper are going to hug the path.  The wall is so lovely it the eye simply wants to wind smoothly right down the wall and see out to the sea.   I 'll take a morning sun photograph some time soon...

 Sitting in an old stuffed chair outside the cottage front door....

Another bench studies this are looking south west

The light on the water changes all day long but the evening changes startle with beauty and stir both longings and gratitudes.

Are the waters backdrop or are the features of the land, the  trees and bushes,  simply a frame for the waters?

The chimneys of the main house under a crescent moon....still no cats...but I must say good night.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Most Important Nutrient ... Bread for Thought


when I eat I realize that gratitude 
might be
 the most important ingredient  
of my breakfast..
nay of the whole day!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wild Life in the Wild West

When contemplating going into the high Sierras it can stir the memory of the times a bear has been encountered or perhaps the long nose and sleek coat of a fox was spotted, or when dark beaded eyes shared a moment's recognition.   So when walking quietly on the needles of the forest floor, how could I not take this picture of this winsome wild life?

   Do you see him?   He posed ever so briefly and then our time together was over.  It is none the less remarkable how a small creature out doing his creature business in the land where he was born and raised can give  delight.
   This was our destination...the maps do not name this  granite dome but do note that the top is 8736 feet elevation.  We named it Gumdrop.

                                                  A tree at the foot of Gumdrop Hill.

                                               The views as the climb begins.

                          From the top of Gumdrop looking north and eastward.


   Pretty in every direction, this is a view toward the dam which is at the southern end of Courtright Resevoir reservoir.

                                  Mark thought I might need proof that I got up there...
there were a few "inch by inch it's a cinch moments."

 Later in the afternoon, Mark took me out in the canoe.

We pulled up on the far shore which was a huge granite  slab dotted with large stones that had rolled to rest. 
 I wandered a bit, head down poking around in the driftwood amongst the boulders when suddenly a large eagle flew directly over my head.  I was so glad I looked up  from my beach combing.

    Mark captured  these pictures.  I had left my camera behind not confident that I wouldn't somehow take it for a swim.   Mark got me back  safe and dry...I should have known.

                  Our dear hostess took this photo of me,  as I was scribbling away before the fire.                   Now you know the truth, we weren't even roughing it...wild life indeed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Moment of Quiet in a Forest of California Sierra Mountain Giant Sequoia Trees

On the way up into the California Sierra mountains, in the mixed conifer forest between Dinkey Creek and  Courtright Reservoir, is a grove of Sequoia Trees that have never been logged. 

McKinley Grove is a small grove, but they are giant trees. Giant sequoias, Sequoiadendron giganteum, are the world's largest trees.  They only grow between 5,000 to 8,000 feet elevation.  

As early as 1869, or maybe from the trees point of view, as late as 1869, ( they are after all  among the oldest living things on the earth, as some of them are estimated to be 2,000 years old)  this grove was discovered by explorers. 

 A local pioneer and lover of the Sierras, Frank Dusy, named it the "General Washington Grove."  Later, for a time, the name was changed to  "Dusy Grove" to honor Dusy who died in 1898.  There is still a creek named Dusy Creek.  The grove remained in the public domain until the establishment of the Sierra Forest Reserve in 1893.  In the early 1900's it was renamed by Robert Marshal  in recognition of the 25th president of the United States.  Robert Marshal had a doctorate in forestry and the vision to protect the grove.  The  Forest Service continues to manage and  preserve this rare and historical resource.

                                      The tallest tree towers over 230 feet.

 And no matter how good of a hugger you might be, you can't wrap your arms around the diameter of these trees.  The largest tree still standing in the grove is 20.3 feet in diameter.  There are over two hundred trees that are over  6 feet in diameter.   These three folks, like many other people, had their photo taken in front of one of the trees. While I trust they don't mind being used to establish relative size, I believe their identities shall remain one of the mysteries of the Sierras.  

                                    Mark has unabashedly agreed to pose on this lovely tree foot for us...and he helped me figure out what the circumference of such a tree would be using pi (3.14) x the diameter = 63.8 feet.  

This was the second time I have seen the grove.  We stopped but briefly and then it was time to wind on up another several thousand feet to our destination.  I'll hope to post some more photos  taken over the next three days and a bit about the Courtright area.  In the meantime, you can see the post and pictures from last year's visit here.

I hope you have enjoyed reading a bit about the history of this place. I wondered last year how the granite sloped lovely creek called "Dinkey" got it's name and writing up this post tonight I found two different stories.  While the two versions differ, they both agree that Dinkey was a dog.  In one recounting Dinkey the dog was out with four hunters who got into a fight with a bear and Dinkey was injured near the creek.
In several archives I found that Frank Dusy had a summer residence at Dinkey creek and one story says he named the creek after his dog.   A bear story is also associated with him.  Follow the link on his name up above if you would like to know more of that story.

It must have been quite an adventure discovering and exploring this terrain in those days.  Even  powering  up a paved road in a comfortable car  I certainly was in awe.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Peek behind the Garden Gate

If you have been reading either of my blogs for any length of time you have seen quite a few glimpses of where I live...but even if I shared all the images sequentially,  with much explanation, it wouldn't do justice to this dynamic environs.  

Yes, that tiny sign says ~Beware of the Dog~

 and it is true...and the gate does not open unless you know the magic numbers...

As I live and work in a place that is not mine, I try to be, nay I have been, very sensitive as to what I photograph and share.  And yet the family that does own the place is really all about sharing;  so because my readers are so kind, I will invite you in a bit.   After all, I only have a few readers and a very nice group you are.  The attempts that are often made to publish advertisements in my comments section probably come from "bots," as automatic phishing mail senders are sometimes called, and bots don't stick around to enjoy the posts.  So I will assume  that I can at least walk my gentle readers through the garden gate.

I say the garden gate because  the front gate leads directly into a garden.  There are no vehicles behind the walls of the property, unless you count the one just inside the garage that Miss Phoebe was sitting on in my last post.  Otherwise, one must walk in and carry whatever you might need in with you.  But you won't need a thing; just remember that you can usually click on my photos if you want to view them larger and then use your back button to return to the post.

It isn't just about where I live about which  I am careful, but that is a story for another day, let's just go enjoy the garden for a moment.

        Good, you are in, please shut the gate behind you.

Inside the garden wall..
 I imagine that the little wooden window is where the milkman use to leave fresh milk in glass bottles on the stone shelf.  Perhaps packages were once  popped through the door too.  Or maybe a neighbor could have left a present or returned a borrowed pot.  This little door is fixed now and remains closed, otherwise it would constantly be framing the face of  some curious person or other...

The old Australian Tea  Trees, Leptospermum laevigatum,  are wonderful...they each have a mind of their own and that and the bidding of the sun and wind and water is what they each follow winding their way through the garden and along the paths.

 The garage has a window onto the front path and Mark has  narrow work bench in front of the is where he built his guitar. 

                                           Here he is making an abalone rosette.

It's been another busy day...and I've not shared as many photos as I intended..but I'll hope to post more soon. A young passion flower vine I planted in a favorite yellow pot my father gave me years ago has made it's first  two blossoms... 

I think they  close up at night...I know I must... say goodnight.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Leading Lady - A Special Hood Ornament

"Don't you think I look better than this little chrome woman?"

"Who is she anyway...this little goddess of speed? Is she fast enough to catch a mouse? "

"You want me to get down? I'll just pad down carefully now, okay.   That must be why you usually have it covered.  But it was fun for a moment. So how did I look up there? "