Tag: nature

a wedding

Our presence was requested at our nephew’s wedding in the middle of nowhere, California. I have to admit that we balked (not our finest moment), but when push came to shove, we put on our big boy and girl pants and flew across the country to attend.

The wedding took place in the mountains of California, below Lake Tahoe. A two hour car ride from any airport, and about 8,000 feet above sea level, the venue was at a resort called The HideOut, about a mile and half off the main road, down a gravel driveway. We stayed at Kirkwood Ski resort which was half an hour away. After driving to the wedding venue the first day, we very wisely took the shuttle the other two days, not wanting to put our rental car through the perils of the drive, especially at night. I can’t begin to describe the driveway, only to say that a small Jeep is probably the best way to get there, something high off the ground, yet small enough to fit through the rocks that encroach on part of the driveway.

The bride and groom did most of the planning and it was a feat of engineering. Food was provided throughout the day, not an easy task due to the isolation of the place. Signs were made, lights and heaters were supplied, and blankets were even given to each of the guests in case it got cold (which it tends to do at the end of September in the mountains). The food was excellent, and of course, I enjoyed the dancing the most…If we didn’t have to leave the next morning, I would have stayed all night and danced the entire time.

Here’s a brief photo montage of the weekend. As usual, I am not as good at taking pix of people, besides, I don’t like to post them unless the people want me to. Wedding couples don’t count, they get posted whether they want to or not…

We rented a convertible…a really good choice given the time of year and fabulous weather we had.

weddingwedding

We stopped at the south end of Lake Tahoe for lunch, then arrived at our hotel at Kirkwood Ski Resort. The view from our room was lovely.

wedding

Then we drove up the road to have a barbecue at the wedding venue. We were to spend the good portion of three days there, eating, drinking, laughing and dancing. Oh, and watching the wedding too…wedding wedding wedding weddingwedding weddingwedding

The sunsets were gorgeous and the rising moon was awesome.

wedding wedding

As with any wedding, there is a bunch of down time and I was able to take a hike into the meadow at the ski resort and take pictures of the landscape and birds.

wedding wedding wedding wedding wedding wedding sedding sedding wedding

All in all it was a lovely time.

dandy lion

Dandelions have been a scourge to the individual homeowner since the advent of the individual homeowner’s lawn. I can remember growing up on Connecticut and learning that you have to push the dandelion tool very deep in the ground to get the whole root, otherwise it would grow back. Mom abhorred dandelions, but I think even she knew it was a losing battle. Of course as a kid I loved them, how you could flick them with your thumb at your best friend when he wasn’t looking, or blow the seeds and watch them float across the yard. Imagine my surprise when I learned, years later, that they were good to eat. If you’ve ever taken the time to watch a dandelion, you will know that it is one of the first sources in the spring for nectar for the winged creatures in our world. And more research shows that dandelions have long since been an important medicinal plant in many countries…except here in America where they continue to be a scourge to the pristine lawn that everyone expects.

It amazes me how much energy and thought is put into eradication something that has been labeled a “pest”. Millions of dollars are spent each year developing and purchasing pesticides to try to make these little guys die. It is mind boggling.

So today’s post is about the dandelion, that wonderful yellow-flowered, deep-rooted wondrously healthy plant that everyone hates. Isn’t it beautiful? I think I will probably stop worrying so much about them in the lawn…the garden? well that may be a different matter. The jury is still out on that one.

dandelion close up with a bee with another beeIf you want to know more here are a couple of links:

For information on what the dandelion is good for:

http://www.mofga.org/Publications/MaineOrganicFarmerGardener/Summer2007/Dandelions/tabid/756/Default.aspx

For a history of lawns:

http://www.planetnatural.com/organic-lawn-care-101/history/

The second flowers

The little yellow flowers

push their way through

the pile of

ground up

autumn leaves

that were spread

over the garden

when it was put to sleep

a mere five months ago

and whisper,

the time has come

to begin

the fun.

Unfurl the petals

and soak up

the sun.

Then they sigh with pleasure,

Spring is here

it really is.

yellow
yellow

Of course the crocuses are going to have to take one more little rest, it is supposed to snow on Friday. But I’m okay with that because crocuses don’t lie. Spring is here and I am enjoying finding all the little hints of growth and renewal.

Oh, and the reason I called this post the second flowers is because the witch hazel bloomed first.

five days

It was a mere

five days

that made the

difference.

the snow
the snow
the melt
the melt

Five days of 50 degree weather takes 10+ inches of snow and ice and pulls them into the stream. It is so loud I can hear it from the house. Needless to say the sledding is over, but I’m okay with that, I am enjoying walking normally without slipping and sliding. The ground is super wet and squishy, it squelches as I walk on it and the dogs have no problems bringing it in the house. The sun feels oh so good and I am happy hearing the birds do their spring thing. Yesterday I planted some seeds in indoor/outdoor planter boxes that I made with my niece and the smell of the dirt was so very lovely. I can almost taste the lettuce and beans already…

strong

I have now come across a Hercules Beetle

I didn’t know what it was at the time

Imagine my surprise at seeing a beetle bigger than my toe

with funny pincher horns like a rhinoceros

coming out of its face

shiny from head to toe

like a newly varnished table

and spots all over its body

walking oh,

so clumsily

along the edge of the walkway

finally making it to the grass

and under a tree

where

alas

a cat is waiting.

The pictures I took

due to the waning hours of daylight

were not up to the

Herculean task

of reproducing this beast

for your viewing pleasure.

Please accept the apologies of

the photographer

and do your best

to gaze upon this beetle

in all its bumbling, clumsy glory.

walking along the step of the walkway
walking along the step of the walkway
where are you going?
where are you going?
very shiny
very shiny
bigger than my toe.
bigger than my toe.

 

Sometimes I despair of finding something interesting to blog about. I mean, I have huge amounts of STUFF in my head, but it doesn’t always come together into something that I want the world to see. So imagine my excitement and relief when, after walking the dogs to get the mail this evening, I came across this outrageous beetle. I had never seen it before and it is rawther stunning. It gets your attention right away. I don’t think it’s the smartest beetle in the world, there is a good chance it can’t really see, so it does not necessarily take the path of least resistance to wherever it is going. Actually, I’m not sure it really knew where it was going. As big as it is, it keeps moving some part of its body, hence the somewhat blurry pix (along with the fading light). I am just happy that it hung around until I ran (yes, literally ran) upstairs to get my camera. Some days are good.

Thanks Hercules.

 

church

This is my

church,

this path by the river,

where the birds are my choir

and the

deer

squirrels

mosquitoes

and two very wet

golden retrievers

are my

congregation.

wet and happy
wet and happy

 

Taken at the Daniel’s area of the Patapsco River State Park in Maryland. This is my favorite walk by the river, no sounds of civilization except for the occasional freight train across the water and plenty of places for a golden retriever to get into trouble. It has a very spiritual vibe to it and I always feel regenerated (and happily tired) when I leave it.

Earth Day

-What exactly is  Earth Day? said the owl.

-Excuse me? I said. Did you just say something?

-Yes, he replied. I have heard that you two-legged beings are calling this particular day Earth Day. I’m not quite sure what that means. Perhaps you could clarify it for me. Does that mean that only one day of the year there is an earth?

-No no, I exclaimed. Of course there is an earth every day and night. But this is the day we honor the earth, pay it some extra attention and feel good about doing it. We have earth day parties and gatherings where we do something good for the earth, repair it in some way. It’s a celebration of this place we all live.

-I see, murmured the owl as he closed his eyes. One day a year you give thanks for everything the earth has to offer and try to fix everything bad you have done to it during the other 364 days. You two-legged beings really are wierd.

Barred owl
Barred owl

And with that he fell asleep.

asleep
asleep