Saturday, February 28, 2009

Road Kill ~ or something more sinister?

Notice the bullet hole! Who would stoop to such a thing? Do you know where your stuffed animals are?????

revisiting the foothills: part 3

The tree above may have inspired the production of "Six Feet Under"...

It's difficult to decide what to post tonight. Took over one hundred photos ~ of course many hit the trash can ~ still some thought about what tells the story of the country around the Central Valley city. So a nod to the trees that are just beginning to think about budding. I do not know how the trees survive the blistering and endless heat of summer and then go for at least four months with no rain once June slams into town.

revisiting the foothills: part 2

Fencing doing it's lonely job ~ keeping neighbor and stranger apart.

revisiting the foothills: part 1

The trip is about 20 miles north of the house. A world of difference. This is a good "I need to escape the city" trip. The fields are still green and the wild flowers are in bloom...spreading a carpet of yellow and white across the grasses. When I find thoughts straying to "I wonder if I can rent a house out here" ~ I need to remind myself about SOLITUDE and ISOLATION and the other difficult lessons that Wild Woods Retreat East taught.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Remembering other Springs

I'm feeling a bit wistful tonight. Missing friends and the fragrance of New England.

heading home

It was a long drive...made a bit more difficult by high winds. The sunset was lovely but am glad to leave this desert behind me. It's late (almost 1 A.M.). More later this week end.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

last night in Phoenix

There are gardenettes here a top the car ports...odd...
My last night in Phoenix. Am just hanging around the studio I'm using. Am a little under the weather and have a nose bleed to boot (gross). Have some studying to do and a book to read.
Spoke at length to my dear friend from Washington state. She is recovering from a very recent mastectomy. She sounds cheerful and well tonight. She is the common sense in my life and has a fabulous sense of humor so I am thankful for the skill of her medical team. I so want her in my life until we are both tottering old ladies.
I've learned little about Arizona. Spent most of my time in a class room. My own Mother called my tonight to say she just realized where I was and asked if I knew Phoenix was the kidnap capitol of America. Thanks Mom. I would be amazed if it was a plump 60 year old they would be searching for - whoever "they" are. But fear not elderly Mothers everywhere, I will keep a sharp eye out for suspicious looking potential kidnappers!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

carpet of color!

Just a few more snap shots...simply loving the color!

winter in Phoenix

Stop to enjoy the blossoms on my way to a conference this morning. How amazing to see so many flowers in their full summer bloom!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Room with a view

The trusty Subaru. It and I traveled over the mountains and into the 'real' desert. Cloudy and still early in the year so it was both cool drive into the desert and yet warm enough to get through the mountain pass without having to navigate snow. Am in the Southwest for a conference ~ Phoenix. Have much catch up paper work to do today. Tomorrow will be able to listen without my head full of the "to do list".
Phoenix is big and busy. It is also hard hit with the down turn of our national economy. My Central Valley plenty hot enough...what draws people to the desert? Of course both places have the same water to call our own.

Here's a quasi-gruesome thought for the day. Yesterday while driving southward I notice no 'road kill'. Even in busy parts of California like Riverside and Palm Springs. 'Why not?' she wondered. Fewer animals (doubtful), careful drivers...hmmm, probably not. Perhaps scavengers are more voracious (now that is a scary thought...material for Stephen King). Doubtful that anyone spends money on clean-up crews in the desert. What then? That shall remain unanswered for the time being.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Oil tanks in fog

Foggy and humid again.

Winter Almond blossoms

Out for a bit today. Smog and fog. Almost 70 F. The air is heavy with pollen so decided to seek out the culprits. As it turns out the Almond orchards are in bloom. Right now the trees look delicate ~ not the heavy green leafed limbs of autumn.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hints of spring in winter

In New England my friends are finding joy in the sun coming out to play~ now and in the Central Valley spring has already begun to grace us with her botonical presence...flowering trees are showing off! Bliss!
I've not heard anyone discuss the blossoms. Perhaps the 'regulars' are not thinking Spring yet. Hard to think of Winter much less Spring. One day late at the very end of December the leaves suddenly fall off ~ mid February they're back. It throws off the body's natural rythm. Perhaps that is why everything seems so "now" serious waxing and waning of the seasons.

Sunshine and Water

Some days we seem to have enough of both, sunshine and water, but most days it mostly sun and little water. Never-the-less, the fountain is playful and lovely and helps one forget the near drought, actual draught, fear of draught, water-rationing days of draught to come. Fountains are pound puppies - they want you to take them home even if you can't really take care of them. FOR INSTANCE, this one would look really silly in my barren back yard but that does not lessen my desire to let it follow me home!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Objects that stimulate creativity

Here are a few more photos from the landscaping day dreaming day

palm trees and metal horses

What a day! Full of color ~ helped illuminate the ideas for a back yard that could serve as a creative safe haven! Visited a landscape business in Bakersfield ~ The Majestic Palm. It sits of five acres with a large yet secluded Koi pond, buildings full of colorful wall hangings, ceramic figures garden and every variety of vivid clay pots, hundreds of palms...didn't even know that there were so many varieties. They do interesting work with wrought iron right on the premises as well ~ benches, gates, tables ~ all sorts interesting pieces. Viewing all this made me realize that one could, with time and effort, create an oasis in this arid place. Sactuary in the desert city just might be possible,

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A land of mixed messages...

February 2009!


I am warm.

Can it really be February?

It is indeed the month to celebrate Ground Hog Day and that event will be here tomorrow...the winter celebration of Valentines. No snow around the house. No harsh window creeping through the window. Almost no signs of winter in the Central Valley. It is a land of contradictions and mixed messages. Things to write about on another day: pollution, puppy mills and recycling. Finally, though, there is beauty in the mixture of urban and country, oil fields next to grazing cattle, desert and homes with tropical gardens, luxurious orchards and mounds of tumble weed. Water is scare and the air is often dirty. Still ~ there is much to admire and see here. Traveling 12 miles from home brought the surprises: some short green grasses, cows and their winter calves, country everywhere. That sweet almost spring grass ~ something hauntingly familiar in there. It is soul soothing.