A Lovely Sunday at the Beach

Some clouds and sunshine, perfect for these little lefts and rights this morning…

A lineup in the ocean…

And a lineup in the sky. Look up! Pelicans!

Streets closed and a run around town, the Carlsbad 5000.

Early Morning Butterfly

That’s not my newly planted milkweed, but a forsythia bush where this Mourning Cloak butterfly is soaking up the quiet morning sun.

From Blissful Butterflies to Bans Off Our Bodies

I did a lot of “B” things today all before noon, which leaves me the rest of the day to enjoy in the garden.

First of all, I went to a butterfly festival. I mean, how could I NOT, right?

It was the North County Monarch Butterfly Festival in San Marcos, which isn’t too terribly far from me, but it’s inland and since we’re having a heatwave, I thought I’d go early. It was 95 degrees at 10:00 a.m. That’s HOT!

The North County Monarch Butterfly Festival featured butterfly-inspired art, crafts, clothing, gardening, live music, and food. I really wish the kids were here because it was the perfect fun and educational event for children.

Here’s what the event website had to say: The fate of the iconic Western monarch butterfly is tied inextricably to the health of the planet, and that means our fate as human beings is informed by the same forces that impact the monarchs. Simply put, if monarch butterflies thrive, so do we, along with all of the other inhabitants of the monarch universe; conversely, if the monarchs can’t thrive in this universe, then human beings can’t either.

This event – hopefully the first of many – will feature any and all aspects of the monarch universe, from monarch-inspired arts and crafts to jewelry, clothing, biology, pollinator gardening, milkweed and nectar plant propagation and cultivating, to discussions and presentations on a wide range of subjects, from conservation and migration to habitat restoration and creation, from diseases and predators to native plants vs tropical, from children’s activities to seed exchange.

I held a snake too, from the San Diego Herpetological Society, the same organization that helped me identify that Great Basin lizard that visited for a while last year. I’m not 100% sure what snakes and lizards have to do with butterflies, but me and all the other children loved it. The snake’s name is Matt. Isn’t he handsome?

All kinds of milkweed; I purchased the native variety. I also got a variety of milkweed called Hairy Balls, again, how could I NOT? Gomphocarpus physocarpus, commonly known as hairy balls, is a species of milkweed native to southeast Africa, but it has been widely naturalized. It is often used as an ornamental plant.

Yummy smelling soaps and lip balms. Lovely!

After that I drove back to the coast where it was noticeably cooler and stopped by the Bans Off Our Bodies rally gathering at our local train station. I was happy to see an awesome and exuberant crowd of like-minded folks while I took a few photos.

Bans Off Our Bodies

Blocks and blocks of people all the way to the beach! This is in front of Spin Records.

I like to take photos of the signs, all with their permission, by the way.

A little butterfly bliss and a show of support for reproductive rights sounds like a great day to me, don’t you agree? Time to plant that milkweed!

Oasis in a Sea of Ugly

Statement of fact: I don’t like the look of my “village”.

It resembles a village as much as WalMart resembles a Chanel boutique.

Oasis (plural: oases) An oasis is a location with water in a desert, or figuratively can be a happy place surrounded by sadness, which is exactly what I discovered today.

In the almost forty years I’ve lived here, local elected officials (90% of whom I’ve consistently voted against) have destroyed any and all coastal personality by tearing down most of the original buildings and erecting sharp cornered ugly institutional-looking boxes.

Have I mentioned that it’s ONE BLOCK from the beach? You’d never know it, though. It makes me angry. They could have done so much better and it’s as if the designers and architects made a conscious effort to destroy the organic relationship we have with the sand and the Pacific ocean. It’s mindboggling, it truly is.

Because of that, I normally stay away from going there and when visitors come, we go to the beach but don’t hang around or patronize the stores or restaurants. It’s depressing.

However, I actually discovered a couple of gems, two little oases wedged between hulking sad monstrosities; a sanctuary.

I’ve been searching for a birthday gift for DIL and we share a common love of crystals and gems. I heard of a place off the beaten path downtown and thought I’d stop by. I didn’t have high hopes though, but was more than pleasantly surprised by The Village Rock Shop on State Street.

From the moment I walked in, I was surrounded by positive energy and a huge array of rocks and gifts. For DIL, I found an Angel Aura Tower. Doesn’t that sound mystical and intriguing? It’s formed as a result of the alchemical process that bonds platinum and silver, sometimes gold, into pure quartz. It is the perfect gift for anyone who seeks guidance and inspiration from the angels. This magical stone is a powerful aid in getting in touch with celestial beings, exactly right for a mom of two, haha.

Directly next door is another shop I recommend: Wild Gold Gift Shop. It’s beyond adorable. Check out their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wild_gold_shop/ I spoke with the husband of the owner, Kim Keenan, and he said they were still working on the website, so I can’t link to it right now.

If you’re in the Carlsbad area and as disappointed as I am about what it looks like, please take the time to travel a few blocks away from the ugliness and visit these two shops. You’ll be happy you did!

Your purchases from these independent, local stores support not only the owners of the shop but also local artists and artisans.

And finally, hurry before they’re torn down and displaced to make way for more hideous, repulsive, unsightly boxes.

Bunny Breakfast

Around 6:30 this morning as I pulled back the curtains and looked out my bedroom window, I was greeted by a darling bun chewing on a few kale leaves I had picked but forgot to bring inside.

I thought I read somewhere that rabbits don’t like kale, but this little one enjoyed every bite.

What a happy way to wake up and face a new week!

Taking Flight

After my detour yesterday into the real world of misandry, defamation, domestic abuse, and the legal system, I’m back with my normally benign, unremarkable, and less incendiary topics.

Once again cleaning out the photos on my phone to make room for new memories, I came upon a series of cool pics depicting a flight home from a visit to the kids.

I had a window seat on a smaller aircraft. When we were about thirty minutes from landing I could even kinda sorta pick out my house.

It’s always bittersweet to come home. There’s no place like home but there’s no place like being with my babies, either. Sigh.

Leaving rainy PNW.

Two 1/2 hours later, SoCal coastline.

Off the coast of Carlsbad. I see Agua Hedionda lagoon and if you know where to look, I can pretty much pick out my street. It’s too bad the airlines won’t make a stop to let me off at our local airport because soon I’ll have to drive all the way back up!

Pt. Loma and the Coronado Bay Bridge. On approach to land any minute as soon as the pilot turns around.

This is how you land aircraft when the airport is situated in the downtown area. Looks scarier than it is, I think. Anyway, home sweet home!

Raven or Crow?

Both ravens and crows live in my neighborhood, but I think these two thirsty birds are crows.
What do you think?

This photo was taken as I peeked through the long pointy fronds of a ponytail palm situated directly outside my downstairs living room.

Here’s an especially informative Audubon link that helps to discern the differences between the two:https://www.audubon.org/news/how-tell-raven-crow

Where The Pomegranate Grows

Here’s the next stage of my happy pomegranate tree. I’m so excited! This is only its second year in the ground, and I’m hopeful we’ll have lots of yummy poms in the future.

Feast your eyes on this unique and lovely flower, a future pomegranate, all ruffly like a petticoat. I am obsessed with the intricacy.

Pink! Pink! Pink! Full Moon

Look up! Tonight’s Pink Full Moon is in Libra, and a full moon is always a powerful time for energy healing, to recharge our chakras and crystals.

This moon is associated with the springtime blossoming of the Phlox subulata plant, a pink wildflower native to eastern North America, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. The plant is commonly known as creeping phlox, moss phlox, or mountain phlox.

The Dakota tribe dubbed it the “moon when the streams are again navigable,” while the Tlingit tribe called it “budding moon of plants and shrubs,” in reference to the end of winter and the resurgence of plant growth.

Here’s another reason to look up; a Lyrids meteor shower from April 21 to 22!

The next full moon in my birthday month of May will be a more impressive spectacle because it coincides with a total lunar eclipse.

Since pink is my favorite color, let’s all set happy pink intentions!

Photo curated from https://www.facebook.com/Spiritual-Awakenings-%E0%A5%90-105433989565465/

My Beautifully Perfect Yellow Daisy

I didn’t intentionally plant this California native Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) — she’s a happy volunteer in the front garden, but I welcome her smiling face and bright yellow petals.

The Daisy follows soft the Sun

The Daisy follows soft the Sun—
And when his golden walk is done—
Sits shyly at his feet—
He—waking—finds the flower there—
Wherefore—Marauder—art thou here?
Because, Sir, love is sweet!

We are the Flower—Thou the Sun!
Forgive us, if as days decline—
We nearer steal to Thee!
Enamored of the parting West—
The peace—the flight—the Amethyst—
Night’s possibility!

Emily Dickinson