Pictures of a Garden Rose

…from many perspectives.

 

Drinking from a small Waterford crystal pitcher.yellowishrose6Sunshiny orange and yellow.
yellowishrose1 yellowishrose2 yellowishrose5Bashful
yellowishrose7Warm temps and big surf. Just another winter day in SoCal!

What’s your Sunday?

 

Living in the Shadows in Sunny Shiny Southern California

There’s another side of California that you might not know about.

Sandwiched between the manicured lawns of upper middle-class residential subdivisions in SoCal, there’s a microcosm of humanity living in the shadows — migrant laborers from Mexico in makeshift camps.

In my own neighborhood, just minutes from the beach and overlooking chaparral-studded canyons, hidden behind purple sage and giant coyote bushes, we recently went for a hike and found evidence that suggests there are still active encampments.

Mostly these men are invisible, ignored by us as we speed up and down our streets, shopping, caring for our families, and only sometimes do we notice these shadow people standing on the roadside waiting to be picked up for day work or at the local liquor store buying twelve packs of beer and money orders.

Like the crows that fly in and out of our trees in a raucous cacophony, there’s an exodus out of the canyons at dawn and back at sunset.

Whatever side of the undocumented worker discussion you’re on, it’s a  blight on our supposedly civilized society that in 2015, in this country of overabundance and excess, men and women live in the bushes without benefit of safe shelter or even running water.

When you scratch off the thin veneer of Pilates classes, weekly mani-pedis and facials, that fifty dollar bottle of pinot noir, and glance beyond Anthropologie and Sur la Table, in the hills behind The Forum, and probably most of the other open spaces that are clinging to life —  that’s where you’ll find them.

It doesn’t seem quite fair for us to have so much while others are living in squalid conditions.

It’s sad, don’t you agree?

kellytrail3

We especially liked the misspelling. There’s a certain poignancy.

There were several white rags hanging from trees along a certain path; we assumed it was to mark the way when it was dark.kellytrail2I think this is a creek, or it could be runoff from all of the developments.
Kellytrail Hard to see the turkey vulture among the clouds.
kellytrail4Do you know who and what lives beneath the surface in your neighborhood?

 

 

Studly Porno Obsession. WHAT? Sparkly Pink Morganite Earrings.

I love big studs. Hee hee.

It’s time to shake it off just like my girl Taylor Swift, and lighten up the content/mood here at Casa de Enchanted Seashells.

There’s no better way to accomplish this than by sharing one of my bestest prezzies this year.

Studs on a  seashell.
morganite1

My erstwhile tugboat man again departed for a smallish portion of the vast seas and that means that I need to return to my (ab)normal life as a part-time single lady.

Single and ready to mingle — with aisles of shoes and racks of clothes, that is…

I spent the better part of last evening attempting to capture the exact hue and sparkle of my new three carat oval morganite studs.

With American Idol droning on in the background, I posed (wasted three hours) these guys in every position, under every light, with every background, and have come to the conclusion that photographing jewelry is a most difficult task.morganite2

Shooting porn with two willing adults would prolly be easier, ‘tho I’ll never know, THAT’S for sure.

Anyway, here’s my jewelry porn.

morganite3Sparkle.

Pink.

Studs.

Three of my most favorite words in the English language.

What is MORGANITE?

Have you ever heard of it?  Just after graduating from college, I worked part-time at a posh jewelry store in La Jolla and that’s where I gained a lot of knowledge about gems and all that sparkles and shines. If you’re thinking that most of my time was spent trying on all the jewels and parading around the store like a princess — you’d be right!

Like emeralds and aquamarines, morganite is one of the better known gemstone from the colorful group of the beryls.

The enchanting soft pink to peach color is produced by trace amounts of manganese.

Morganite found its name in 1911 when it drew the attention of one of the world’s most esteemed gemstone experts, George Kunz of Tiffany & Co, He named it in honor of millionaire banker and mineral collector John Pierport Morgan.

Legend says that beryl was once used to ward off demons and evil spirits and that it can protect the wearer from danger while traveling.

Other legends also state that beryl can be used to bring good luck, cheerfulness, energy, and eternal youthfulness.

Morganite is believed to nurture feelings of love and to increase tenderness in a relationship. Morganite can enhance one’s communications skills and provide patience to help focus during times of stress.

Enchanting, gleaming, illuminating,…PINK!

morganite4

I don’t often purchase jewelry online, but these three-carat studs set in a basket of real gold caught my eye.

I’ve been obsessing about pink stones for a while, not that I don’t love my sparkly white diamonds, but I’m one of those girly-girls who LOVES pink.

Pink diamonds are way out of my price range, but for their size, these morganite studs are perfect.

They have a huge presence and sparkle. I’m in love.morganite5What’s YOUR obsession?

Snow…Snow…SNOW! In Southern California!

Reflective
like the nacre of a million
perfectly pristine pearls
A confection of frosted pines
                                                           (by Princess Rosebud)


SNOW

It might not be a big deal to a lot of you who experience snow every winter, but snow falling to around one thousand feet in the foothills of our valleys and mountains is a big deal for this Southern California girl!

An arctic storm brought a lot of snow down to almost record breaking levels; of course my tugboat man and I needed to end 2014 with a snowball fight. The snow was amazingly light and fluffy.

jeffsnowball copy

A winter wonderland  and only about twenty minutes away!

snow8LOOK!! A REAL BISON! Blurry ‘cos we were driving…snowbisonPhoto gallery of all my pics. Very nice special effects from WordPress with the snow over snow but then I’m easily amused.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Finches and a Flowering Loquat Tree

My tugboat man is home; he was able to take an earlier flight, yay!

I hope you all have a lovely day and special good thoughts go out to mariners and their families who are away from each other during the holidays. Been there, done that many times.

In our land of (mostly) perpetual sunshine, winter doesn’t always mean that all living things are dormant. Our loquat tree is flowering, buzzing with bees, hummingbirds, and a flock of the most beautiful little yellow finches.

You have to be quick on the shutter button to catch these guys — they flit around the tree like I run from rack to rack at a clearance sale!

loquattree3One minute he’s there, the next second, GONE! (Just like my tugboat man!)loquattree1AND they’re back!

loquattree2loquattree4 loquattree5 loquattree6 loquattree7 loquattree8

Southern California Rain. Stuck Inside The House.

Being the princess that I am, I don’t like to drive in the rain. I like to be DRIVEN around in the rain, but my private chauffeur/tugboat man’s not here, so I decided to stay home and concentrate on indoor activities, something that as a California girl, I really hate!

Our office can always use a bit of organizing-such a perfect job for a rainy day. My tugboat man and I found the table discarded on our street; hauled it home, and refinished it (well, he did all the work). Perfect for the office sofa!

officerain4

Lots of seashells and rocks and a glimpse of my 70s sewing machine. Oopsie doodle, Chanel bag photobomb.officerain3

From the office window, my camera’s pointed down to the California native and drought tolerant part of our front lawn area, which I designed and planted with my own dainty hands.officerain Gloomy and drippy day. Right across the street. You can see where I looked for Angel Boy playing at recess when he was in elementary school. Ever the protective mom…officerain2

Here’s a bright spot of color…my on-time blooming Christmas cactus.
xmascactus2014 xmascactus20142What do you do when it rains?

 

Nature versus Destruction

But really a post about the desert.

“We pretended that we were the only humans on earth, trekking across an eerie but strangely exciting landscape. It was silent except for an occasional far off bird or the buzzing of a fly. We ate quietly, not speaking, not needing chatter to fill up the silence, until the lack of sound completely settled in around us and we could feel the warm earth beneath our legs anchoring us to this special place.” December 7, 2014

17 Palms Oasis: Hiking with Princess Rosebud and Her Tugboat Man in the Anza-Borrego State Park.

We’ve learned so much from my son.

I may have taught him to discover the world through books, but he returned the lesson by opening our world through boots.

As in hiking, walking, exploring the beauty of land and nature.

About ten years ago, he gave us the best gift ever, Jerry Schad’s Afoot & Afield in San Diego County. We’ve been avid hikers and campers ever since. Sadly, Jerry died in 2011, but his spirit lives on in his every step that we follow and in his love for the backcountry.

A favorite destination for solitude is Anza-Borrego State Park.

Right now as i’m home, typing in the family room with the patio doors wide open, I don’t hear a single bird, not like we did not so long ago. My bird houses lay fallow; unused, no chirping of hungry babies.

Empty nests.

What I do hear, however, is disquietude — the relentless sound of heavy earth movers raping more land in my town, leveling a previously beautiful little hillside, killing all the native plants and displacing the rabbits, coyotes, raccoons, bobcats. Do we really need 1200 more homes? Can we really afford more water and energy consumption, more negative impact on our already overpopulated coastal town?

Here’s our view from the deck, taken with my long lens, beyond Santa and his reindeer.SANTABACKHOE

We fought for years against this egregious overbuilding; this time we lost.

There’s not enough open space; our sojourns to the mountains or the desert are even more precious and as necessary to our personal survival as water and air.

This time we chose to explore 17 Palms Oasis.

Tip #1: It would be a good idea to have a four-wheel drive to get there.

We don’t, but tugboat man’s truck is pretty sturdy so we did OK, but keep in mind there are some really sandy spots.

Tip #2: Carry a shovel just in case, and of course lots of water, even in winter.

17 Palms Oasis, 5 Palms Oasis and Una Palma. 

These areas are well-known watering holes for the regional wildlife of the Borrego Badlands. The palms at both Oases are often green and brilliant compared to the stark and barren desert that surrounds them.

They’ve attracted humans for thousands of years.

Nomadic aborigines, wayfaring emigrants, and determined prospectors have all taken shade and water from these islands in the badlands.

Remnants of a time when grasslands, streams, and herds of camels and mammoths covered an ancient landscape, the native palms exist today only because water surfaces here.

As the spring here was unreliable, early travelers with extra water would leave it in large glass jars. Thirsty visitors came to rely on the jars hidden in the shade of the palms. The desert wanderers would leave notes attached to the jars. Today the custom of leaving messages in the prospector’s post office is carried on by visitors. In the post office barrel hidden in the 17 Palms, among the palm tree bases, lies a visitor’s log book, notes and of course, bottles of water!

The 17 Palms area is located off of the S-22. Take the Arroyo Salado Primitive Campground turnoff, travel approx. 3.6 miles on Arroyo Salado Wash to the Seventeen Palms Turnoff which puts you on Tule Wash (you will see a small sign with arrow heading West (right) and travel another 0.2 miles to the 17 Palms parking area. To visit the 5 Palms Oasis continue past Seventeen Palms on Tule Wash to arrived at the Parking area for 5 Palms. Una Palma can be reached by walking over the ridges of the 17 and 5 Palms locations. Or you can go right on Cut Across Trail to arrive at the Una Palma Location.

17palmssign

I think I counted all seventeen palms, but couldn’t locate the oasis ‘cos of our drought.

17palmspalms2 It’s pretty spectacular to see palm trees in the middle of the desert badlands.17palmspalms

Lots of mud as this was once a seafloor. Weird rocks, randomly placed.

17palmsrocks

Exactly how this rock was stuck in the mud!
17palmsrickmud

Ocotillo.

17palmsocotilo 17palmsocotillo2 Mud.17palmsmud1 Una Palma.

17palmsunapalma

Narrow wash.

17palmsmudThe beautiful but stark and naked badlands. Our view as we stopped for lunch.17palmsbadlands2We set off cross country as there’s no real trail. We pretended that we were the only humans on earth, trekking across an eerie but strangely exciting landscape.

It was silent except for an occasional far off bird or the buzzing of a fly. We ate quietly, not speaking, not needing chatter to fill up the silence, until the lack of sound completely settled in around us and we could feel the warm earth beneath our legs anchoring us to this special place.17palmsbadlandsIt was warm, almost too hot at eighty degrees. Being out here in the summer at more than a hundred degrees with no shade would be an extreme hardship.17palmsbadlands3Ahhh…a refreshing cup of ginger tea at the end of a dusty hike. Good times! Angel Boy got tugboat man a JetBoil, an absolutely amazing gift– boiling water in about a minute.17palmsjetboil

Driving home as the sun sets. 17palms

Back to reality.

And back to being alone, as my tugboat man left again, but only for two short weeks, hopefully home on the 22nd, fingers crossed.

Take time to actively experience nature. Walk, hike, breathe in all of the beauty of the wild. It’s healing and restorative.

Finch in Flight

Practicing my photog skills, trying to capture a tiny little finch near our Brazilian pepper tree. Not too happy with the results, but I’m a student, not a master.

Fllighty finches. Dozens of these tiny birds converge on one tree, stay for a minute, and move on to another one. It’s nearly impossible to snap a pic while they chirp the happiest of songs.

hummingbird

Sunset On A Heavenly California Horizon

A photographic essay. Southern California. End of November. Big surf. Late afternoon.

It’s so cool to showcase this amazing Carlsbad sunset embellished by WordPress snow.sunset1

 

sunset13

 

sunset14

 

sunset15

 

sunset9

 

sunset6

 

sunset7

 

sunset5

 

sunset

 

sunset3

A glorious ending to a spectacular day. Happy December!



PlantPlay Nursery in Carlsbad. A Gardening Oasis.

#things to do in Carlsbad #Carlsbad #gardening

In my not-so-little town of Carlsbad, nestled between all the destruction from too many years of overbuilding, you can still find beauty if you look for it.

plantplaysign

If you live anywhere near San Diego, you really need to drive up the coast and experience this most unique and beautiful garden shop.

PlantPlay Nursery at 4915 El Camino Real in Carlsbad is tucked away in a corner near Kelly Drive, south of Tamarack Avenue.

If you remember the old Country Store with the chicken on top of the building, you know exactly where it is.

Walking into PlantPlay is like entering into a secret garden  —  winding pathways, thousands of unusual plants, garden decor, the sweet melodious harmonies of strategically placed water features — birds chirping, and chickens (yes, chickens!)

It’s also chock full of drought tolerant plants and exotic specimens.

Owners Mike and Sergio know EVERYTHING about plants and planting.

This is Mike.

PlantPlay1Here’s Sergio and his baby girl.plantplaysergioLook at this sweet face!Plantplay2 plantplay4This chicken is so soft and feathery.
plantplay5The prettiest chicken I’ve ever seen!
FYI, the chickens are PETS, ‘cos Mike and Sergio LOVE animals.

plantplay6 Dutchman’s Pipe, strange but beautiful!plantplayweirdplant plantplayweirdplant2A rose, of course.plantplay7rose This camellia is as fragrant as it is pure and velvety white.plantplaycamellia

plantplay8plantplay9plantplay10plantplaysucculentOld wagon on the hill. There’s not much left of the charm of old Carlsbad, so this is an especially poignant reminder.plantplaywagonWhen you visit Sergio and Mike at PlantPlay Nursery, tell them Princess Rosebud says hello!