a journey filled with many familiar paths and some not yet taken... all leading to the ever-changing destinations just waiting to be discovered.


Monday, July 26, 2010

As the storm cascades

Across the sea, it leaves the

Branch as it's footprint...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sandcastle in the Waves

The young girl quickly built a small castle from the sand. She formed it quickly, yet it was very sound. The walls held strong against the waves as they beat gently on the sand.

The girl spent the next few years working on the interior. She furnished it with the best that she could find. The furniture was immensely soft. The walls presented exquisite paintings from all over. Each room was separate and apart from all the others. It was as if you were walking to the most beautiful gardens God had ever created.

As the years passed, the girl let people come into her castle. They brought new ideas to her. Their encouragement was inspiring beyond belief. But then, when the girl went out to find the materials for the improvements of her castle...

These people smashed her furniture, tore the paintings from the walls, and worked hard to destroy her hopes. They also drilled tiny holes in the foundation.

When the girl returned she found her castle in a shambles. The damage was endless. The girl was absorbed by the pain. She tried to understand why they had done this. But she couldn't, she couldn't explain why.

With this the girl decided she mustn't let anyone in - for they would destroy all that she had. She spent the next years fixing everything that had been destroyed. When the damage was repaired she went on with the new ideas. Then one day, after the castle enlarged a little, she realized she was out of ideas.

She knew then she must let people in to share their ideas with her. Well, she had met new people. They were different somehow, but she couldn't comprehend what that meant. So she let them in to share with her new ideas and then quickly chased them out.

Over the next years people came and went. The castle grew bigger and bigger. With each new room, the castle became more beautiful. But she never let the people stay for very long.

Then came the year of the storm.

The waves came harder and more often, smashing down on the sand walls. As the water ran down the outside of the walls, the sand began to wear away.

The girl struggled and fought to keep the walls in tact. But soon they began to crack under the pressure. The   people came again offering help.

But she couldn't...

She couldn't let them in. She was still sure they would destroy the interior. If the waves destroyed the walls and the people the inside, there would be nothing left of her castle.

As she struggled the storm became more powerful. Slowly over that year, her castle was washed away under the waves. She watched each room crumble under the weight of the water. She watched her precious possessions pulled out of sight by the tide.

When the storm calmed and the clouds vanished from the sky, the girl stood alone on the flat sands of her beach. She stood alone listening to the drums of the water as it beat upon the beach in beautiful song. She stood alone looking out to the peaceful serenity of the ocean top. She stood alone lost in-between the sand and the water. She stood alone...

As she stood alone she was engulfed by the loss. Everything was gone... Then she realized she still had her beach. She began looking back to when it all started. Her beach, it had been a gift. Suddenly, she realized what had been different about the people who came later. They were like the ones who had given her the beach. With that, she realized it wasn't the waves or the storm that destroyed her castle. She could have saved it with their help.

As she stood alone on the flat sands of her beach, listening to the sounds of the water rushing up... then back away again... the moon... almost, but not quite full, shown brightly over the dark blue of the ocean top... This was a peaceful night... or so it would appear to anyone who might wander by this beautiful place.

She stood alone for what seemed to be an eternity... looking... listening... crying... the aloneness overwhelmed her. Not realizing it, she fell to the sand and as the drums beat on, she fell into a deep sleep...

As the sun rose, warm with the reds and oranges of a new day, she awoke from her deep sleep. She lifted her head, but the bright light of a new day blinded her and she turned to the water. The blues and greens cascaded for as far as she could see. Little white caps rippled the stained glass picture she saw before her.

Again she stood alone... Again she was engulfed by the loss... Again she began to cry...

One single tear fell to the corner of her mouth... the salt bitter... she wiped her eyes and tried to focus on the picture of blue and green before her. But her eyes wouldn't focus... she could no longer see the white caps... all she could see was a grey-blue blur. Still trying to focus her eyes, she turned to her left.

There, off in the distance, at the edge of her beach she could see something... but what was it? Her eyes still not completely focusing, something was there, but she couldn't quite make it out. She slowly walked in the direction of this thing she saw before her. Again she wiped the tears from her eyes trying to make out what was ahead of her...

Then she realized... she was standing at the beginning of a small path that was being overgrown by bits of grass as the sands of her beach ended... Where would the path lead her? Should she leave her beach? But her castle?

Then she knew... she needed to get away from this beach... away from the pain of losing her castle... she must get away, at least for a little while.

She slowly forced her right foot forward, then her left. And again the right foot... Each step seemed as though she was lifting a million pounds. But she continued on.   As she rounded a bend, suddenly she saw vibrant color before her...

Ahead, lining all parts she could see was a hill. No, better called a mountain. It had crevices lined with bold yellows, oranges and browns. Near the top, every possible shade of green radiated toward her. This mountain, these colors... all seemed to be calling to her... drawing her closer...

Then she knew... she had to start over. She had to begin a new castle. The new castle is not yet finished. But the plans hold a dream to be more beautiful then ever...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Not Sandcastles, but still fun...

I have thought about my post all day,
trying to decide "what to write" and how to write this post.  
Recently, I have been wanting to go to the beach
to take some pictures of sandcastles to go along with
something I am considering posting on my blog.
 This weekend the weather in our area was supposed to do a drastic increase
 up to triple digits F,
so this sounded like a wonderful plan -
going to cooler weather and enjoying a relaxing day at the water.... 
We spent most of the weekend exploring a few different areas of the beach.

A few of the amazing views...

Today, while putting together these collages,
 I thought about many ways to share our experience.
Amidst our travels at the coast, we explored an area of tide pools,
 filled with sea life, just calling for pictures to be taken. 
While I was selecting which photos to share,
I kept hearing the little crabs having a conversation, 
"Don't they get it?  You would think when I continue to run under the rocks,
this person would understand...
Must you keep snapping that blasted camera in my direction? 
 Look, the starfish is posing, go take his picture..." 
 I even envisioned his little claw coming out,
reaching from under the rock to snatch the camera away from me,
so he could throw IT into the water.  Then I heard him say,
"NOW try and take my picture!"

I wonder if Mr. Crab had anything to do with the couple of times when I lost my
footing and almost landed along side of the starfishes...   between the rocks.  Hmmm?

I find when I am out and about in nature,
 I try to catch the animals, creatures, in my photos. 
In fact, on some recent drives along the coast, my friend was razzing me,
"It's a bird... look, there's a bird... Oh wow, another bird..." 
Those days, as it happened, pretty much all we were seeing,
 aside from the amazing coastal views, were of course, birds. 
Seagulls to be specific.

This weekend was going to be different.... 
I planned this trip so we could have amazing views and other creatures,
along with a chance to do the sandcastles...

When we arrived at the top of a bluff,
after walking through a small "forest" of Eucalyptus Trees,
crossing a railroad track and arriving at the overlook for the Seal Habitat...
all we found on the beach were... Pelicans and Seagulls. 
And an amazing view of the ocean!  So yes,
more bird pictures....

Definitely turned out to be a very relaxing, fun weekend. 
Since we were so into disturbing Mr. Crab, playing nature photographers...
I never ended up taking the time to work on the sandcastle thing,
so that will wait for a later post.... 

I will leave you with one last collage, the walk back to the car... 
 Another forest path at the other end of this particular beach,
the Monterey Pines towering above the houses prior to the hidden path at the end...
Then surprise!
As you walked along this shaded area, under the canopy of deep green,
suddenly to the side were these bursts of tremendous color, 
framing small pictures of the ocean views....

The pictures included in this post were all taken at the Port Hueneme Lighthouse area, Rincon Beach and the Carpenteria Bluffs Nature Preserve and Seal Sanctuary in Southern California.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Inspired and In Search of Color...

Meandering through everyone's gardens, stopping to visit
the many bursts of colors and shapes of each beautiful blossom
 inspired me to pull out the camera to see what I could find. 

As a beginner to gardening,
 who took over a yard filled with many rose bushes
 and a few other flowering areas (that are now struggling),
I was hoping to find some of the amazing colors in my own yard/garden. 
I have had many other blooms
 previous to this time on the rose bushes, unfortunately,
 I found that most of them are now in wait, but
soon I will be blessed with more of those!
If I recall from last year,
 with the number of bushes that I have,
 there was something in bloom most of the summer season.

First there is the Hockleberry (I believe that is what it is?).  Hollyhock.
The pink blossoms tower
over a couple of rose bushes placed in the front area
of the backyard flower bed.
When I first moved in, there were rose bushes surrounding the towers,
however, I have relocated some to the left side to make room for
a container garden of vegetables...

The bell pepper that I was so excited about in my last post.
Actually, today we found some cucumbers,
 the squash is holding its own and we now
have some baby tomatoes starting.  
 I am enjoying the learning process for all of the various plants.

Then back to the other side of the pink towers, there are several of the
rose bushes. I have been very fascinated watching the blooms, the
variety of types and the rainbow of colors. 
I have been somewhat confused by a few of the bushes, tho,
as first they will  bloom a velvety white blossom,
 then on the same bush will be a gorgeous pink,
similar to my pink towers,
then the next round might be yellow. 
Never a new color until all of the first color is gone.

I have never seen anything like it!  I truly anticipate each surprise. 

My neighbor, who shares the possum family with me,
has numerous roses as well.  A few of hers are the newer hybrids
that display several colors, but her's blossom with more than
one color at one time.
Needless to say, I find myself in anticipation of a new gift with each
start of a blossom, wondering what color I will be blessed
with as it opens to display it's beauty.

Following along that side of my yard were 7 Azalea bushes.
However, for some reason I have lost 3 already
and one we are trying to nurse back to health.
Right now the ones still left are all green,
but I have yet to see the pink and white flowers
that I had when I moved in.

Which brings us to this Bougainvillea.
Originally, I replaced one with this in purple, 
then this year two of these vibrant pink ones - however...
after planting the first,
and moving on to the second, I found that the roots of
the evergreen trees that my neighbor has, would not allow me
to plant the second, as the roots are taking over. 
Not small roots mind you, these are probably six inches around.
(I'm not a very good gardener yet,
but I was thinking that might be the problem.)
So now I have taken the second Bougainvillea over to the
driveway side, and have set it next to the Honeysuckle,
which from what I understand, completely takes over to the
top of the carport each year.  I know it has
broken free of the clay pot
that it "resides" in, planting itself in the ground.  
 The orange flowers
bursting in all directions when in bloom.

So moving along that side to the front of the house are more roses,
white Calalilies, and more roses that seem to...
The roses on this side in the far front have also had wild blackberry
bushes pop up in the middle of them. 
These two I have been told seem to be old enough to
have "gone back to wild" like they once were
before we humans came along and developed them.

Oh, back where the Azaleas were on the other side,
since I couldn't plant the second Bougainvillea...
I came across two Brush Cherry bushes,
young enough to try in planters. 
I was told indirect sunlight is best for them
so I am hoping they will do well under the canopy of evergreens,
oh, and my apricot tree is also right there.
That's one of my endeavors for tomorrow, the first picking.
Next will be the peach tree which sits further
back in the yard, toward my pink towers.

And finally, the front flowerbed...
last year my roommate threw handfuls of wildflower seeds.
When I inquired what kind they were,
she had no idea! 
A couple of weeks ago, the entire flowerbed
burst end to end with pale pink cones.
Popping up through, are still the baby rose
bushes, and purple starbursts towering above them...
and a few other unidentified plants.

Which is also across from a couple more...
rose bushes, of course....
this in the small bed on the other side of the front steps.
Just behind these are four geranium pots
surrounding the
Flowering Plum Tree, which I am
impatiently waiting to see in it's first bloom,
hopefully this year!