Isn’t that a great word? It sounds so much like what it is. These bleached, twisted trunks are very common in this scrubby area. This particular one is in the campground near the beach. I love how much texture there can be within such a monochromatic color scheme. The wood is almost papery, and looks as though you could pry apart the layers with a fingernail. Pretty.
The shapes in the lagoon fascinate me. The water creeps through the marshy grass into extraordinary puddles and fingers of water. Sometimes the heron sits on the near edge; other times he’s across the main body of water on the other shore. His stark whiteness stands out. I’m surprised he’s not vulnerable to predators; he certainly doesn’t blend in.
Stand out or blend in? Sometimes one is more politic than the other. Often we don’t get to choose.
Sometimes I yearn for this. Clear out the clutter, clear out the chaos, focus on the essential. This seems connected, intimate, a dance, a gesture, elegant. Would that we could.
It never gets old. It never gets boring. Beautiful warm days; the humidity has fled; kids are swimming in the 71 degree water, riding their bikes and skateboards; dogs scamper around in the campground; the cooking fires smell wonderful even when we’ve just eaten; ice cream, watermelon, beer, feet up, stretched out; a game of cards, horseshoes or the modern equivalent; huge motor homes and teensy pup tents and everything in between; we don’t exactly partake, but we sure enjoy strolling through! Happy people on vacation.
A sort of morning glory, appearing today for the first time on the path to the campground, which is also the path to the stairs to the cliffs to the beach. As it happens. It was breezy, and the flower just wasn’t going to be still for me. Apparently there are lots of flowers (1000?!) that are ‘morning glories,’ according to Wikipedia.
These seemed to just spring (summer?) out of nowhere. It is so dry and scrubby on the way to the beach, and that several days we had of sort-of rain hasn’t repeated. I’m amazed at the yellow and purple and white that seem to be always present in some form or other despite the dry dry dry conditions. It continues to be warm, high around 80, and less humid. I prefer a high of 70, though! How did I manage all those years in New England, the Midwest, and even Silicon Valley? Right now the windows are open and the breezes are cool. Lovely.
I guess I won’t ever tire of it. Just before sunset. Who says the ocean is blue? Or the sky, for that matter? I love the gray-green water and the lavender-gray sky (with hints of pink, plus yellow at the horizon.) And for all I know, those with younger eyes or without cataracts or, for that matter, with different sensory abilities — may see it differently. But I’m quite delighted with this view!
Will I ever get used to this? I hope not! The trees are like a fringe at the bottom. I took this a few evenings ago, at that time when it’s not day, not night, maybe dusk? Even the street lights add a bit of atmosphere, stuck there like man-made palm trees. We’re pretty well-decorated around here!
The desert really does meet the ocean. It couldn’t be much drier and scrubbier! You can’t really tell what the scale is here, with no animals in sight, no ground squirrels or lizards or shore birds. Yet the shadows and the ravines give it interest, and the sunlight turns some of the edges golden orange.
The vegetation, sparse as it is, hangs on and burrows into the soil, nearly matching it in a color that is simultaneously rich and bleached out. It is not a landscape that appeals to me much in itself, but it stands in stark contrast to the richness of the water, the vast, life-giving, always-moving energy of the sparkling or glassy or moody or lively water!
Even the grasses have a certain amount of grace, don’t you think? And this stuff is as nice to the touch as to the eye. That’s all.
This was the view this afternoon from the golf course. Pretty spectacular! There was a cool breeze. We had lunch at the grill. It felt a bit posh but still relaxing, as no one was dressed up. There were folks there obviously at a business lunch, but the only suits were worn by employees. Most people wore slacks and shirts and polos and shorts and sandals. And the food was burgers and sandwiches, so nothing fancy. Just good!
It was fun being tourists at home. Sometimes I feel like a tourist, or stranger, or outsider, or ‘foreigner’ nearly everywhere. But today it just felt light-hearted.
It’s almost other-worldly — as if we knew what that means. Well, perhaps we do, at least via the eyes of our satellites and a few astronauts. But isn’t this just lovely? Especially the light on the water and the sun on the distant cliffs. It was deliciously cool, too, after another day of [relative] heat and humidity. It felt peaceful. We can all use peaceful.
If I ever get to design a garden again, the color scheme will be purple and white. I had no idea there were so many purple-blooming shrubs. I can just imagine all these different purples — from the itty-bitty clusters to the morning glories to lavender to whatever this is — with white bougainvillea and white hydrangea interspersed. Purple and white seems so crisp to me, and the varying leaf colors, especially the chartreuse, just set them off perfectly. Ah, joy.
It sat there, just like that. Full of grace and meaning. Waiting.
We are all full of grace and meaning. If only we didn’t have to wait.
Earlier this evening. About an hour before sunset, several hours after the last rain. It rained for real today, starting with thunderstorms at 6:30 am. Like in the Midwest, waking you up. And it rained and kept raining and was windy and did a pretty good job of convincing us that it knew how to rain, better than it’s done in the nearly four years we’ve lived here.
And it’s not enough. We need it to repeat about 30 times. Without the 6:30 am drama, though; that would be nice. It did make for a lovely sky and it rained long enough and slow enough that it probably did some good. More, please!
On a tree. In a parking lot. At the art store. And it occurs to me that the displays of materials in art stores always seem artistic to me. Stationery stores, too. I love paper — in piles or drawers or pads — and pencils and jars and cans and tubes and brushes and stacks of canvas…such potential. Just waiting for the right vision, the right hand, the right heart. How fortunate I am to be able to make things.
And those are wonderfully brilliant yellow flowers. On a tree…in my photo!
Once you start looking for pods…you see pods. These look like onions or apples; I don’t remember what kind of plant they were on, but they are nicer in closeup than they were in situ, where the growth looked tired and tangled. Again, the chartreuse as an accent plays up the reddish magenta just beautifully. I see this coming as a color scheme on some future piece of art I make. Reminds me of rhubarb, too!
Their blue-gray tint is very subtle and pleasing.
Pretty pods. New pods. Plentiful pods. May I pop a pod? Pod dum de dum dum, dum pod. When I was in elementary school, there was a book I read called Parsifal Rides the Time Wave. I think. He was a poddley. I looked it up. Someone else remembers it from grade school.
Pod pod podpod pod oh pod. Isn’t ‘pod ‘ a great word?
People come here from all over the world. I guess the birds do, too.
Yet another gorgeously beautiful day. Sun and sky and water and walking and fresh air and parks and people and feeling blessed.
“…may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.”
Two Beatles songs, between yesterday and tomorrow. They were an integral part of our coming-of-age years, as were Alan Shepard, lunch counters and buses and school stairs, and November 22.
The mid-century poets were song-writers. Who are the poets today? I have friends out there who write poetry; I wonder what they think. I’ve said that the only creatives who get less applause than visual artists are poets. I’m afraid that’s still true.
Losing our involvement in the life of the mind diminishes our soul.
“A million tomorrows shall all pass away, ere I forget all the joy that is mine…today.”
This is for you, CGS. And for all of you, dear family and friends.
All my troubles seemed so far away…The Beatles knew important things. My dad said, “They won’t last.” But they did. Anyway. We had the best music. Really. Truly. Yesterday.
Little pearly teeth on the edges. And subtle pink. And it’s all good.
This photo is from yesterday or the day before…and the flowers were gone today. I was going to try to get a better picture on my walk today. Disappointed. I guess they are very short-lived blooms. Aren’t they a gorgeously intense yellow?
Just when I think I’ve seen everything blooming in the square mile or two around our house, something new shows up. This seems lily-like; I love the darker pink interior stripes. Funny, pink is never a color I would name as a favorite, but it’s just fine and dandy in nature!
Three colors in abundance. The branches and bracts were tumbling over a fence. Orange and fuchsia seem unlikely partners; perhaps the white accents soften the pairing. At any rate, they certainly are glorious together. Makes me want to make an art piece with these two vivid, vibrant reds together!
Well, it’s not my usual flora, fauna, water, or sky. But it was the most eye-catching thing I saw in our neighborhood today, at the beginning of our walk. It is the pet of our 12-year-old neighbor across the street. She said it would get to be 3 feet long — and its name is Jasmine. It just sat there looking alien. Really. There *are* aliens among us; we just have to look around.
It makes no noise. It lives in a cage. It eats some sort of worm and fruits and lettuce. It poops only once every 10 days. Amazing things you learn if you take your walk at the right time.
So when we returned from our walk, there were three 11-12 year old girls, including the dragon owner, sitting on the lawn/sidewalk next door to our house. I decided to ask them to taste-test the triple chocolate cookies and the maple chocolate chip blond brownies I had baked. The cookies won. I think we all won!
They look like they should be edible. Funny how they are different shapes. They hang there like ornaments. And there are still purple flowers blooming on the same tree. Stages of life.
Protective coloration really works. I almost zoomed in on this and then decided that the gray twigs and brown earth and sage-y vegetation was interesting in its ability to “hide” the squirrel. This one and its mate were motionless for quite a while this afternoon at the beach. Because they were basking in the sun? Because they knew I was watching them? Because there were too many people going up and down the stairway to the beach, disturbing their peace? Because they just felt like being still?!
They didn’t know it was the 4th of July. Or that the day was different from any other day. Or, for that matter, that it wasn’t Passover, another day that’s different from any other day.
But we did.
But you probably can’t see it. There have been a few showers over the last week, but brief and not amounting to much. It’s been so humid, however, that the air feels weighted with almost-rain. As in 96% humidity when we get up in the morning, making the cereal and the crackers and many other foodstuffs clammy and definitely un-crispy.
It would be fine if only it would really truly rain, and rain for more than just a few minutes! Like a nice soaker of a Midwestern rain, starting usually in the middle of the night and continuing on throughout the next day. A few inches of gently accumulating water for our so so thirsty plants!
So all that salt water out there is almost taunting us. Remember all those grade school charts with the body of water, the evaporation cycle, and the new clouds forming with eventual rain? Just a memory, I guess.
I think my camera focused on those background leaves; ah, the hazards of taking just one picture and not being able to review the quality carefully. But I don’t mind this; the flowers seem almost like hovering exotic birds. Good rationalizing, eh?!
In the spirit of more white flowers, I offer up these. They are so clean and crisp against the green. The red and magenta ones seem garish in comparison. And these white ones seem less commonly planted. They are flowering now in great profusion. I guess the flower is the itty bitty thing in the center — the rest of it is ‘bracts’ (if I remember correctly.) My plant education continues apace.