Saturday, December 24, 2011

Your Christmas Card from the Coast...A Christmas Jade of Green

In Carmel town the shop windows have little nests of abalone shells and jewelry made of jade found on beaches south of  Big Sur.

These five shells are no bigger than the palm of your hand. 
 The tiniest one is only 1.5 inches long.

We had never been to Jade Cove before and so we took a ride down the coast.  It's amazing that we made the sixty mile trip, because, of course, while we were still north of Point Sur,  I wanted

                     to stop 
 and take in the view
  around every bend.  

And we had to stop when, way far down below us, I saw a lone fox on the shore.

And then there was the bakery stop...

with pretty Protea blooming on the is that for joyous color?

Or are you more into blues...with verdant green paths that beg for a beautiful horse so surefooted that the fact that you don't know how to ride in no way inhibits the vision?

 But we must keep going, look how that sun is dropping near the horizon. 
 It sets early these winter days and 
  we are about to be stopped by a red light controlling traffic to one lane at a time. 
 This is the site of a covered bridge being built  near Limekiln State Park along side a sheer cliff
 of frequently tumbling rocks. The link here is to photos taken by a Big Sur resident who was invited up into the crane on this coastal cliff job site. It was passed along to me by Katie at Nature ID, see her comment below and check out her page, she is always teaching me something.

                      And then we arrive, we are there, or  should  I say we are 150 vertical feet above "there."
            The trail down to Jade Cove  is steep. Wearing good shoes is a must...
unless you are a goat.
I did slip in the rocks foot got wet...all of me was scared and then relieved and very grateful.

                                                       Of course the semi-precious jade is elusive and picked over and all the rocks are a wonder and  enter into the fully precious realm  in my book.

                                         We weren't alone picking through the rocks and divers were in the water.
A search of Jade Cove on the internet will offer many warnings and provisos and advice... including one visitor's suggestions that if you really want some Big Sur Jade perhaps you should  just buy some jade from a happy hippie jade person in Big Sur.

                                                 Climbing back up to beat the setting sun we stop

to watch whales spouting and see more tail than I captured on film pixels.

But the sun does keep right on doing what it set out this morning to do and continues its course...and yes we saw a green flash.  You may think we just had green on the brain...but we did see a brilliant
Christmas  shade of green!

                                            The regulations allow you to take what you can gather non- mechanically
 and carry by hand. 
We brought home a few pebbles...

This is our best piece of jade.
There are stories about the hefty gems hauled out of here in days of old...
you know 32 pounds of solid jade and such.
This stone is 1.25 inches across.  And we got just what we were after; a day of sun and birds and light on the water.

Wishing you joyous holiday times...


Friday, December 2, 2011

What Matters is...

I will have to track down where this comes from in the volumes of C. S. Lewis...but it is too good a quote to not share in the meantime.

Don't bother too much about your feelings. When they are humble, loving, brave, give thanks for them: when they are conceited, selfish, cowardly, ask to have them altered. In neither case are they you, but only a thing that happens to you. What matters is your intentions and your behaviour.

~An Evening Edit~
After doing various work and errands today I returned to my desk and before I could begin my search for the source of this quote I found that a kind anonymous soul had left me this comment:

hi there, i, too, was trying to track down the source of this quote, and i've found it, so i thought i ought to share it with you. (:
it's from Letters of C. S. Lewis (edited by W. H. Lewis). there are a few typos in the quote you posted; the actual quote actually says:
"Don't bother much about your feelings. When they are humble, loving, brave, give thanks for them: when they are conceited, selfish, cowardly, ask to have them altered. In neither case are they you, but only a thing that happens to you. What matters is your intentions and your behaviour."
— C. S. Lewis, letter to Mrs Sonia Graham, June 13, 1951, Letters of C. S. Lewis (edited by W. H. Lewis) 

So thank you, Anonymous. I've crossed out the "too" and italicized the "you" which does highlight meaning and have a source to quote as well.  I hope you 'll come visit and comment on my posts again.
And as I bumbled around today, I thought about these words of C.S.L. more than once...
Editing continued on Saturday morn ... Whoever you are, Anon,  you would be a great proofreader! I have now also fixed the semi-colon that needed to be a colon from your second alert.  Such small details can really make a difference, and I for one do not want to promote mistakes in other's excellent work.    Thank you.
I picked the quote up off a Facebook page dedicated to C.S. Lewis.  I will now try to be as diligent as my anonymous commenter and let those folks know of their errata.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Trip to the Nursery, Pear Cactus, Fairy Gardens But No Real Dogs

We were out doing errands and I was happy to find my camera in my purse.  

It was sunny on the coast Wednesday, but inland in Carmel Valley the sky was truly blue.
These prickly pear cactus  fruits were ripening  aloft, about ten feet  above the ground.  As to the size of the entire bank of cactus, it could easily rival a school bus.  I thoroughly enjoyed seeing this specimen and was glad that I didn't need to prune, clean or otherwise tend to any of its pads which were growing every which way, very spiney and lassoed with the silken threads of multiple spider webs. 

After a quick stop at the  lumbar yard we went to a nursery that sells canine statuary but does not allow the real thing.    I understand, but maybe that sign should be on a lion or on an  elephant.  Poor dog, making him disallow his living prototypes.

 The nursery was selling (very expensive) fairy gardens in large flat pots.  This one has a tiny chair, hat and bicycle under a silver Dusty Miller pruned to look tree-like.  Small succulents mimic the place of century plants in a full size garden.  Irish moss  makes a great ground cover.

 This is all in a pot not much bigger than one of those cactus pads, that is to say a little smaller than the circle you can make with your arms, and there is  quite a lot going on including,

a shapely tree with a tire swing.  The fairies have dropped their gardening tools in the blue star creeper.  Neither one of them was doing any watering or pruning.  The red wagon is empty... Maybe those rosettes of  succulents  look like large cactus pads to them and they just can't quite imagine taking care of it.  I wondered about how high the swing was hung, but then I realized, of course, fairies could access on the wing.  I wasn't tempted to buy at nearly $300. but maybe  having seen them will inspire some playful tableau in some pot on my deck.   A few years ago I sold some toys and dolls on Ebay and enjoyed staging them in the garden.

                               The tin woodsman stood in the violas and lobelia.

A 1940's  bisque Nancy Ann doll fit right in the fuschia flowers.

 Sometimes, when the mushrooms are pushing their way up through the forest floor  I think of  creating diorama type scenes...but usually I'm on my way from one task to another and have thus far been pleased with just capturing an au natural photos of the fungi themselves...  but can't you see a small tableau in this cluster?

I suspect I just like taking pictures...

Even rats might not be safe from my camera...stuffed ones...(Please notice he does not have a sign around his neck saying "no rats" but that isn't a bad idea, if only it would work.)

                                  and r e a l  ones that fall for the peanut butter. That is a "have a heart trap"and this rat got the catch and release treatment and might be enjoying wildcat canyon as home.   Maybe the wildcat canyon rats put up statues of bobcats and mountain lions reading..."no cats" ?


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Headlines that Make Me Bake Pies and Watch the Sunset...

My grandmother was a songwriter in the 30's and 40's.  Long after she had stopped working  she would still come up with lyrics and music that might be her "come back." There is one of those later compositions that is dear to me that we  found  after she was gone... I'll just share one line:
"Don't worry if the morning papers have headlines that make you feel blue..."
They could, couldn't they?  After many hours of reading and thinking ( after many hours of working too )  I decided the best place for blue is in a pie...well blackberries...anyway.

And then I decided that I really don't

 have enough pictures of the

sunset so I took 44 pictures while my blue-ish pie was baking.   

                     Kitty  Bumpkins was casually escorting ...

And I did as I had been bid in an email I had received earlier...

and said, " Hello Pacific Ocean from Rosannah!"   

And one more picture now to say...hello dear blog readers from

 Jeannette :

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Save a Dollar Now...Eschew Plastic

                                              Jeannette's three dollars  worth....

It is often true of me that I don't bother to look further into many issues of life.  This  morning  Nature ID  featured a "California Sand Dollar."   As she says,  " I'm assuming most people are okay simply knowing it's a sand dollar and don't bother to look any further as to what kind of animal this is. I've included the best links I could find..." 
So for me, as for many people, a sand dollar is a sand dollar by any other name, but today I  read further and learned that the diet of Dendraster excentricus, aka, the Pacific sand dollar, includes "particulate detritus. "

Thinking of the mineral rich soup of the ocean  reminded me of reading I have done off and on about plastic. What happens to plastic when its short life of convenience to us is over and its long life of degradation begins?  One place plastic keeps showing up is in the ocean; not only in visible floating pieces that beach combers can pop back into the garbage when bottles and bags and plastic parts wash up....but in teeny tiny confetti, alphabet soup down to microscopic molecular goo size pieces that ocean life ingests when they are after the mineral rich organic detritus that is their right fare.

So I have been trying to eschew plastic.  You know, eschew as in abstain from, refrain from, give up, forgo, shun, renounce, steer clear of, have nothing to do with, relinquish, reject, forswear...
( aren't dictionaries fun books?) 

It isn't easy, and all I can claim is to have made some progress...but  I keep having experiences that remind to be more careful what I create a demand for by being careful what I purchase. 
   This trip to the local was a good reminder.
As their common name implies  Pacific sand dollars can be found from  Baja California to Alaska.   

  For many people it is a bit of thrill, a touchstone, a reminder of creation's beauty and mystery to find a fragile ornate exoskeleton  in the tide line on a sandy beach.  

 So think about saving a dollar...I don't have any gold dollars to photograph for you, but I have many golden moments in life courtesy of nature's beauty and bounty.
From land's perspective we see only a hint of all the life in the sea.  When I think of how ubiquitous  plastic is  becoming in the world's waters, it spurs me on to keep on reducing my use of vessels and objects that I'll some day have to throw away.

And by the way...where is "away" anyway?  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Butterflies and Bees in the Flowers all the Live Long Day

It was, after five days of many people enjoying the place, a quiet day and the sun was out.  

I was glad to see Monarch Butterflies feeding in the flowers in the morning

and the waves crashing on the cliffs.

 The bees were also on the last of this year's Pride of Madeira flowers and neither the bees nor the butterflies seemed to mind me right in their midst... unlike 
this little green hued  hummingbird ( it is sipping from the flower on the right, if you enlarge you can see how much its light reflections match the sun on the green plants) who sensed me hiding behind a tree and flew off after one sip and my one photo when I walked down near the end of the day to see if the Monarchs were still feeding.

The afternoon  light wasn't right for talking this picture...but I did.

  And they still were, the butterflies, fluttering in the flowers...


as the last of the sun's rays lit the shore.

and then....

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Peek Behind the Garden Gate
Part III

Where were we?
If you are just joining me now... Part I and Part II might be fun to see first....if you'd like.

Here's that path in the sunshine in the morning....but you see the line of shadow...that's baby tears territory. Plants either fail to thrive here, or they want to jump over and cover the it is going to be ground cover from now on.

This photo is for those who seek to source bed rock ideas and foundational realities...
 This is a corner of the  main house.
                                             I told you you might get lost wandering around...that isn't the neighbor's, it is a room of the greenhouse.


That rock, frosted with ice plant, has been  a hotly contested nesting site.  Canada geese pick it, seagulls raid it and the neighbor in the curve of the cove begs anyone else who might disturb the birds to resist the temptation of climbing up there.

Workmanship...not, natural resources, hard work, an understanding of  the laws of mathematics  and physics...  the road wasn't even paved when this was built.

                           Of course the greenhouse is a good reminder that a little technology isn't bad either...

                                                          but simple is a favorite for many

   the trees that have fallen have their own tales to tell

                                             It's already sunset again...and October now too.

                                            Life is full of changing seasons and good-byes.

It has been a lovely Saturday.... when I let a kitty out this morn, I followed her out and wound up perching on the edge of this hammock, rocking myself awake and watching the humming birds... but there's been no napping and both kitties are in where they belong, safe for the night ( if you have never read why kitties coming home at night is an issue, you might enjoy reading this post) so time for me to take my rest too.  I hope you've enjoyed peeking here and there in the garden...
I always appreciate your visits here to me.