Category Archives: Nature
Pacific Grove, Monterrey, CA
There are very few spots left on this earth like Monterrey. The seals are guarded, the otters are protected, deer munch while traipsing through the streets and whales are watched.
All the while, the walking trails and town center are walkable, picturesque and clean. Basically it’s a peninsula surrounded by a bay and the Pacific Ocean. So every where you look, there’s blue water and the air is pristine and refreshing.
Lots of quaint shops and boutiques, fancy custom homes and well-tended gardens. It’s spring and the flowers just burst with abandon up in colder climes at the first hint of warm sunshine.
Road Trip 2023
Orange Poppies scattered throughout California freeways with green backgrounds and blue skies.
Central California Coast – Lupines brilliantly and naturally popping with color after our deluge of rains.
And deer just munching on front lawns and people’s perennial flowers in Pacific Grove, Monterrey Bay. One of the best beach cities I have ever visited because of its abounding nature and serene energy.
True peace lies in the spring budding leaves of the dogwood. Or, a blue jay busy squawking, a chickadee drinking rain water, a red hat wearing woodpecker pecking at a branch for insects, or tiny worms in the bark.
Nature is true peace. Order in my home is beauty and peace. The sitar music with soft beats is true peace. Listening to 963Hz sound vibes is true peace.
The allure of out door vignettes and views are true peace. A plate of food well distributed and colorful is true peace.
The anticipation of bedtime and reading a treasured or new book is true peace. Wonder, enthusiasm and gratitude is true peace.
True peace is not fighting anything or with anyone not even inside myself. True peace is the scent of sweet candles burning bright, sage and incense, perfumed rooms cleansed by essential oils.
True peace is holding a baby, petting a furry family member or hugging, comforting, embracing with intention, releasing tears or sharing the joy of being alive in the same time continuum.
True peace is raindrops tapping onto the roof, cleansing dust off trees, bushes and washing away debris – leaving foliage, buds and flowers scattered below green canopies.
True peace is noticing and being awestruck by life and natural beauty, changes and moments of transformation.
The sky darkens, the sky clears, the sky opens and the sky releases tears.
And I am overjoyed!
Lavender, Spanish, English and a bush of French mums
Purple, lilac, grey and light green,
Violet/Magenta with yellow centered dots
Your scented sweetness tickles my nose
Gather your serenity and brighten my days.
Wildflower of California, orange poppy made of rice paper petals and feathery armed leaves.
You look like a happy camper on the hills and sides of the roads.
Bring me your happy yolk-colored smile.
Y6 – Day 8 – Garden Time
Time to plant some flowers before the rains come again.
Some purple and yellow color for the front door, including 2 early girl tomatoes and 2 organic zucchini. Lavender, mums and drought tolerant plants may be moved from pots to ground later next month. Meanwhile, our winter scene in Running Springs is dour. Another snow dump of maybe 2-3 feet expected this coming week.
The evenings as of late are deliciously sweet and intoxicating with the pink jasmine and pittosporum Victoria box variety fragrance and during the day they are both full of bees. Freesias from years gone by blossom but do not scent the air anymore. Their light purples, lemon yellows, vanilla and coral colored blooms still big and hardy for vase cuttings. Meanwhile, the azaleas in all hues are bursting and our many geraniums are ramping up for the warmer weather with early budding and blooming.
The rains have been good to wild flowers too; especially yellow sour buttercups, orange poppies and any number of dormant seeds including angelic blue lupines hills covered in malachite green grasses. The snow capped mountains beyond form a backdrop of white dripping down as the elevations lower like melting ice cream. All of this against the bluest skies dotted with bright cotton clouds. It’s a springy, lovely day for gardening and I can hear birdsong calling me to wrap this up and join Mother Nature outside.
Time to plant some flowers before the rains come again.
Y6 – Day 5 – Back in 2018 at the cabin – A big bear flying squirrel encounter I will call Rocky
I’m sipping hot chocolate enjoying the fresh air on a May early evening up on our treehouse balcony. I am delighted it’s neither warm nor cool, it’s just Goldilocks right. There’s no kids or noise across the street. There’s no cars driving by our busy road. There’s no neighbors on either side.
I recognize the white bright light of Venus in the sky. It’s low between the sugar pine branches to the southeast of where I am lounging.
And just like that, in a snap of a second, in an instant and flash of time, something flies from behind the east side of the house and whizzes past me and smacks into the bird feeding tree trunk. It’s another flying squirrel and this time I see it glide in full flight and I think to myself this one has to be the male because this guy slams, thank you ma’am, scrabbles up and down and causes havoc.
The other beady eyed glider is still, steady, methodical in her bird feeder attack approach and technique and watches the male with I swear, a roll of her beady eyes. So I just assume inside my own judgmental brain, she’s the female.
Y6 – Day 4 – Foraging LA – part 2
Here’s the list of other plants: Poison Oak (no sampling but did you know it’s there to protect other plants from predators?),
Sticky Monkey (yellow flowers edible and it opens you up energetically making you vulnerable so it’s great for connecting to your higher self and intimacy with others),
Wild Cucumber (not edible but mature seed pods can be cracked open and inside are loofah type sponges used for cleansing long ago by indigenous people),
California Mugwort used as a spirit ally for lucid dreamwork and vision quests, CA poppy which has edible leaves and flowers that help with anxiety, showy penstemon, scrub oak which is not a real oak, Ca sage brush is great for smudging,
Mule fat used to drill willow bark back in the day to create fire, CA buckwheat which is not really wheatgrass at all and its tea leaves helps with headaches and its dried flowers makes reddish pancakes,
CA sage, CA gooseberry, Black Sage with its light blue flowers, Hemlock which as Socrates knows is deadly,
wild mustard which is bitter greens, golden chia that doesn’t look anything like a chia pet from the black seeded variety and finally, thistle which is a lilac colored spiny ball of a flower and grows profusely here in CA.
Year 6 – day three – foraging LA
Yesterday I went to Hahamonga Watershed Park in Pasadena with V, J, J’s mom and I met I and K whom I have heard about since before Covid. What a pleasant late morning to early afternoon spent on a beautiful California Sunday – Oscar night no less.
This was a small group and a planned educational walk with a certified guide named Andrea who took us through several areas of concentrated native and non-native plants that liberally sowed themselves in plain sight. Her mission was to help us identify and give us background on its scientifically based medicinal benefits, what indigenous folks in the area used it for and even its metaphysical energy properties that have been bestowed on these seemingly weedy plants through the ages and common lore.
If anyone who knows me can testify, I am a devout plant lover. Just search herb in the search box. I am sure I have written on them and my HERB book was the very first book I bought alongside Thomas Maps and the Sunset’s Gardener Guide to plants when I landed in CA. This is back in the day when you actually went to a bookstore and actually lugged the books back to your car to take them home, circa July of 1986. Not like today wherein I just have them delivered on my doorstep so I have since accumulated way to many books (but I love them all) and have read at least 90% of them. But I digress….. Don’t get me started….
Anyways, we gathered some leaves and placed them in our small notebooks and after the third specimen my curiosity was peaked and my adrenaline flowed. I started writing their names down as if I had a report due. It’s contagious and we were all ok with being the studious types geeking out on taking notes and pictures like eager school kiddoes on a field trip.
Plants we were introduced to or familiar with (I don’t believe any of us were first time plant lovers): Oaks, Nettle, Elderberry – Ok this is when I knew I could not stop from taking out my pen and empty journal and start documenting this experience.
Tune in for Part 2 tomorrow