Shhh…we’re listening to the sound of silence.
Shhh…we’re listening to the sound of silence.
Looking toward the eastern sky.
Southern California at approximately 9:00 p.m. Saturday, July 12.
I wish I was a better photog ‘cos the supermoon was white bright and amazing.
Life lessons from the garden.
We dug up a stand of cactus a few weeks ago, intending to immediately replant them in a different location, but life happened in the form of my son’s emergency surgery and my torn retina — and the cactus patiently waits for its journey to a new home.
Surviving and thriving.
Anticipating its release from a hostile environment.
Blossoming in spite of life in a barren, derelict wheelbarrow.
Our trip to Yellowstone was life changing.
I often dreamed of seeing the wolves of Lamar Valley.
My wonderful tugboat man surprised me totally out of the blue one day while we were watching a documentary about wolves…
“How would you like to pack up right now and drive to Yellowstone?”
“Yup, we’re not gonna talk about it any more. We’re just going to DO it. What do you say?”
I wasn’t even in the room anymore; I had already started packing before he looked at the local surf report and changed his mind.
I’ve never written about our magical journey to Yellowstone because it’s more than a few posts; it’s book-worthy, and that’s what it’s going to be.
I kept a journal of those enchanted 3000 miles — we were lucky enough to see wolves and foxes and bears and moose and all the animals I love so much and want to help protect and defend against senseless killing.
I will never forget the first moment I spotted a wolf.
I can honestly say that it was a seminal event in my life.
It was so special words cannot do it justice –to glimpse a brief moment in the life of this majestic, breathtakingly beautiful and wrongly vilified animal.
If I close my eyes, I can still see the beauty of another wolf, a black wolf, nonchalantly chewing on the end of a huge log—an AMAZING sight.
It was an overwhelming experience of transcendent joy.
We will return to Yellowstone and I will hopefully fulfill another one of my life’s dreams, to hear the song of the wolf.
Unfortunately, the camera I had at that time didn’t have a powerful enough lens to capture a photo of the wolves we saw, but we came away with a couple of other treasures, an osprey feather and a backbone, possibly of a bison, washed up from Slough Creek to our campsite.
Wonderful memories of a dream come true.
While watering plants on the deck, I grabbed my Canon Rebel T3i, trying to catch a dazzling, brilliant yellow bird hopping around the branches of our eucalyptus tree.
I snapped a dozen pics.
Most of them were blurry and worthless ‘cos he wouldn’t sit still long enough to get a clear pic. I was so frustrated!
As I was scrolling through all the other photos before I deleted them, I zoomed in and saw another bird hidden in plain sight.
Can you see it?
I think it was a Red-tailed Hawk ‘cos we have a lot of them here in SoCal, but I’m not 100% sure.
Almost invisible, hiding in plain sight, perfectly camouflaged, my naked eyes never saw this beautiful predator perched behind a large branch.There must be a life lesson in this experience, but I haven’t figured it out yet. The hawk was literally right in front of my face and I didn’t see him (or her).
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I’m in love with this bright red little guy.
The Gymnocalycium cultivar — sometimes called ruby ball cactus or moon cactus — is actually two cacti in one.
A pure red cactus seedling lacks the ability to produce chlorophyll and will die unless it’s grafted onto a green one. The green feeds its mutant mate sugar molecules produced from water and carbon dioxide.
Once established, the two parts grow together so you can’t even see the seam.
I’m going to try and graft the babies on either side of the main ball onto other types of cacti in the garden. Wish me luck!
Lush, sumptuous, sensuous roses courtesy of my good RN friend whose visit included books on tape (I was unable to read anything for three days thanks to a torn retina and hellish laser surgery).
In full bloom from her garden, their fragrance is delicate and strong, as every rose should be.
Petals Caressing Petals
#Wordless Wednesday #Photography #Flowers #Roses
A few of my favorite pics from our road trip last week:
Pretty pink flowers growing out of the mountain wall at Angel’s Landing
Beautiful bright red bird!
Looking down from the top of Angel’s Landing. Don’t climb this if you have vertigo!!
The view from the top while we ate a snack of nuts and apples.
Our road trip adventure continues…only two more installments and then I’ll be back to writing sparkly + snarky commentary.
Confession: I’m a great co-pilot traveling companion. You would LOVE to have me in the passenger seat with you, I promise.
Kitty jazz hands are even better, don’t you agree?
We compiled a bunch of music for the road; stuff we both like; Frank, Ella, Nat King Cole, stuff I like; Adele and Christina Perri, and music hub enjoys; Coldplay, U2, Nine Inch Nail, Com Truise.
The next morning we hit the road to explore the Petrified Forest National Park and Painted Desert. We walked pretty much throughout the whole park at every stop and trailhead. The sky wasn’t as blue as the day before so the colors weren’t as vibrant as they might have been.
It’s hard to believe this was all under the ocean a zillion years ago. Evidence of early human occupation (13,000 years ago) is readily visible with petroglyphs and potsherds.
Our plan was to journey on the Highway 40 — old Route 66 — to Natural Bridges National Monument in southeast Utah, between Hanksville and Blanding. It’s rather remote and not close to other parks so is not so heavily visited. Unlike Arches National Park with over 2,000 classified arches, there are only three bridges here though the monument also contains Anasazi cliff dwellings, pictographs and white sandstone canyons.
But…when we got back on the road, my tugboat man noticed that one of the dashboard gauges indicated that we were losing power.
Things didn’t look good.
We were pretty much in the middle of nowhere.
Although he packed a lot of tools, the one thing we needed most, something called a volt meter, was still at Casa de Enchanted Seashells.
Lucky for us (unlucky for lots of other cars that must break down on that road) we saw a hand painted sign for Mike’s Auto Repair and took the next exit.
Mike was like a lot of people we came in contact with in Arizona — sorta friendly, sorta not — and all business. He had a volt meter, and he and hub figured that our problem was either a bad battery or a bad alternator — or both.
We gave Mike a “donation” for the use of his diagnostic tool which ensured that our tires remained unslashed, and drove forty miles back to Holbrook, where there was an O’Reilly Auto Parts Store, just like there was in Payson where we had a less urgent car repair issue.
I was nervous the whole way — being stranded didn’t sound like it was any sort of adventure that I wanted to experience.
In Holbrook, we bought a battery which hub installed in a few minutes.
Everyone at O’Reilly (and hub) thought that would/should solve the problem…and brushed aside my BRILLIANT and soon-to-be prophetic suggestion that we also purchase an alternator “just in case”.
We’ve gone on a lot of road trips and we’ve never had any problems, and so far this was our second mechanical failure in three days. For someone who has absolutely NO idea about what makes cars tick, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to stock up on parts that MIGHT break, right?
Can you guess where this is going?
We hadn’t gone more than one mile when the battery gauge indicated a problem in the electrical system — again.
Obviously not the battery this time, but hub said that somehow the battery wasn’t charging.
The alternator or the voltage regulator was probably at fault. Apparently, everything decided to fail at the same time. We immediately turned around back to O’Reilly and lucked out that they even had the right part in stock or we might still be there.
There’s a Dollar General on pretty much every corner throughout Arizona and I picked my way between broken glass and plastic bags across a trash strewn empty lot for a little retail therapy while hub was doing his best MacGyver impression. I went up and down every aisle but came away empty-handed; nothing caught my discerning eye. Oh well. I guess it wasn’t meant to be.
Once again we settled in for a long ride. Because we had lost most of the day, we decided to change direction, skip National Bridges National Park and forge ahead to the Vermillion Cliffs at the The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah – wandering ever closer to Zion.
Driving down Highway 40 — Old Route 66 — we both sang along with Nat to “Get Your Kicks on Route 66″ I mean, how can you NOT, right?
Along the way, on the side of the road, were a couple of Navajo women selling jewelry. I screeched, “Pull over!!” to hub, and jumped out of the car. The tables were packed with handmade jewelry — turquoise, hematite, juniper beads, and baskets. I asked before I snapped, and got a big smile for the camera.
A pretty good haul, don’t you agree? I got a basket too, but forgot to take a pic.Arriving in Page too late to locate a campground, we had our worst night EVER at Motel
Sucks Six in Page, Utah at fake Lake Powell. Apparently, this was a busy time for Page, as all the hotels were booked. The fact that Motel Six had any room available was NOT a good sign.
My travel tip to everyone is to avoid this Motel Six if at all possible. Especially Room 239.
Next stop: Vermillion Cliffs!
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