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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How Quickly It Turns

Just a few weeks ago, I was reveling in the beautiful warm weather. quickly things can turn around.

Snow...snow..and more snow.

The "yard art" garden chairs look like they have snow people sitting casually in the corner. Yard art is the term that we use for the old stuff that we leave outside to weather and serve as background for plants and flowers.

After the snow, cold and clear with not a stirring of wind. The breathtakingly blue skies show off the snow that covers the trees.

And from my office desk, I have a lovely view of a wooded area just outside the window. We feed the quail and other birds daily in the winter. They are just feet away from my chair and provide endless hours of amusement. Little bird dramas every day when the several separate quail coveys descend on the grain. A wonderful window into nature.

With the snowy weather, we have been visited more frequently over this last year by a small deer family who must feel safe on our property. A doe and her two children, one of whom is a runt. Unlike the quail, we do not feed the deer. Not only because it is illegal to do so, but because I don't want to encourage them to be near the highway. However, they seem to have decided that our yard is a smorgasboard and are awaiting, eagerly, the garden that I plant in the spring.

Here they are checking out the Dumbplumber's truck coming down the driveway, deciding whether to run away or continue pruning the bushes. Deer butts right out my window.

Even though we have gone from a false Spring to real Winter in just a few weeks, it is all worth it. When Spring comes to stay and the trees bud out and the busy bees buzz over the blossoms creating fruit that we will harvest in the summer, it is always a miracle. I love the seasons and changing from Winter to Spring to Summer to Fall. It always makes me think about the fragility of life, the incredible variety of life on Earth and how amazing it is that we exist at all.

How boring it must be to live in a place that doesn't have the Seasons that go round and round.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

California Dreaming

While the rest of the country is snowed in and paving the way for the latest Ice Age, in California, we have been having phenomenal weather.

Looking at the weather forcast I decided it was a good time to visit with family in Pacific Grove.Warmer than usual, clear skies, balmy breezes. If you have never been to Pacific Grove, Carmel, Big Sur.....don't miss it. One of the most beautiful places in the world.

We stood on the beach and watched the waves eroding the coastline. The winds felt like being in Hawaii.

Marveled at a bridge that was built in 1932.

With all of the EPA rules, prevailing wage requirements, engineering studies needed, governmental hoops to jump through, red tape we could never accomplish this today. This project put people to work in the Depression and created a bridge of lasting beauty and usefulness. Unfortunately, the ability to create and build has been smothered.

We laughed at a cheeky bird standing on one leg.

Admired the strength and beauty of the trees that withstand the punishing waves at high tide and the salty winds that bend and twist.