Dreamy – A Weekly Photo Challenge Post

Milkweed Fluff

Milkweed Fluff

Rarely do I have the opportunity to go with The Daily Post‘s weekly photo challenges, but this week’s theme of ‘Dreamy‘ hit me perfectly. How MichelleW spoke about the clouds and the Utah morning just spoke to me. I am always looking at the magical side of things. The foggy mornings, the misty mountains, the milkweed fluff on a dewy lawn on a crisp fall day…. These things get to me and make my heart want to explode out.

This last week the milkweed seeds have been scattered every morning on the back lawn. It’s more of just a grassy area, mountain grass, that happens to exist despite lack of watering. The milkweed explodes out of its pods in the middle of September and keeps right up through October a lot of the time.

I have this thing about milkweed. When I was little, Fantasia with the milkweed ladies floating down to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite was magical, and still is to this day. I adore that part of the film. I always wanted to see milkweed, but it didn’t seem to grow where I lived. So, since moving to the mountains in NorCal, where milkweed abounds in my backyard (much to Walter’s disgust and total annoyance) I am a very happy girl. I take pictures of milkweed all the time.

I think this one constitutes as pretty dreamy to me.

Signing off
Kate

Cloud Banks

I’m in a cloud bank.  A wet and rainy mist-shrouded world of constant drip, drip, dripping.  Plunking on the metal roof, and a perpetual splat sound echoing outside.  Rain, rain, rain. It’s wet, it’s misty, it’s damp.  Paper is feeling damp.  The hygrometer says it’s 77% humidity in the house.  Damp, damp.  Soon anything that shouldn’t mold, might start.  It’s an old house.  Things mold.  Musty smells are common.  Thank goodness it’s not Britain….

The year started off dry.  So dry.  With one small snow storm that turned to ice for weeks… or a week (a week of ice feels much longer than it really is).  No rain.  Dry, dry, dry.  Everyone kept asking. “Well, what are you going to do if it doesn’t rain?”  This was in December or early January….  Can I smack those people now?  Not rain! Ha! Right.

Why do people feel the need to bemoan the weather before the season is even over? I get so tired of people saying it’s too wet, it’s too dry, it’s too windy, it’s too hot, it’s too cold.  Really?  Is there any perfect weather?  Uh, no.

We live in California. It can rain, it can snow, and it can be dry.  Heck, it can do that all in one afternoon where I live.  You think I’m joking?  The standard reply to whether or not you like the weather is to wait five minutes.  It can change that fast here.  Yet people that live here feel the need to predict the bad weather 6 months in advance, or ask me what I might do because of the bad weather, when the result will be six months from now.  That’s like asking me right now what I plan to have for dinner on the 8th of August.  Tell you what, why don’t you call me up on that day and ask me.  Not now.

So, rain rain rain.  It’s good.  There might be some minor flooding for the area, but hey, we can handle it.  Though I’m sure someone, somewhere is going to be complaining there head off about it.  Don’t look at me, I don’t make the weather.  Ask the Big Guy upstairs.

Signing off

~Kate

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Summer Nights And Summer Films

From the front porchI’m sitting out on our front porch, which is almost de rigur  in the country, watching a tree swallows attempt to fit a too large feather into the hole of the birdhouse the swallows claimed months ago.  They should have had a nest built and babies there already.  Now he, or she, is poking its head out after succeeding in shoving the feather into the hole.

The sun is minutes from setting on this hot, June evening.  Clouds of gnats hover and congregate over the tall weeds.  The mountain air smells more like cow manure and a tractor just went down the highway.  Everyday things in the country.  In the field next door is a tractor waiting to cut the long grass tomorrow.

The days have been viciously hot, if you can call the low nineties vicious, but June evenings are magical.  When everything is still vibrant green and lush, not dried from the summer baking.  The air is filled with the golden flashes of flying insects and there is an ever present sound of birds singing. Or fighting, as I just heard that sound.  Crickets abound and mosquitoes are typical.

There is something about this time of year that makes me want to watch certain films that seem to scream summer.  Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Paris When It Sizzles, Sabrina, (yes, those are all Audrey Hepburn films), The Seven Year Itch, and old westerns like Once Upon a Time in the West.  There’s something kind of sexy about all those films.  The Audrey ones are probably my favorite, but I am an Audrey Hepburn fan.  For years I was a Marilyn Monroe fan, but since I only like 3 or 4 of her films, and her life wasn’t as admirable, I’ve changed my likes.  I adore Audrey Hepburn and I’m in a mood for summer films.

Like films, my music tastes change come summer.  I love pulling out Carole King’s Tapestry album because it should only be played in the hot summer months. Or America, Loggins and Messina, Seals and Crofts, and various other bands from the seventies.

And now the sun sets and the air is scented by the hot, spicy scent of pine resins that float down the mountains.  I’d love to stay on the porch reading and enjoying my cup of coffee, but I’m sure to be slapping mosquitoes soon, and I can’t bear that.  Besides, I spent this time writing out this post in my journal and I’ll need to type it up and post it with the picture I took of a view from the porch.  Also, after a day of watering and burning out in the sun, a shower is definitely in order.  too bad we don’t have an outdoor shower or a cattle trough bathtub.  I would love something like that.

So here’s to summer, sun, and sexy heatwave movies.  What are some of your summer must watch films?

Signing off

~Kate

Wordless Wednesday – Cooper Pink

Pink and CooperCooper is our friend’s rescued pitbull and mix dog.  Half blind and half deaf, he’s smarter than they think, and not quite as blind or deaf as they think.  This was a lucky shot taken in January when the pink of the fabrics picked up the pink of a very sweet dog.

Signing off

~Kate

Mountain Life

Stormy mountainsI live in the mountains.  Not technically in the actual mountain mountains, but in a valley surrounded by mountains.  At an elevation of 3000 ft. and being that I am in Northern California we are in what the Sunset gardening book calls a zone 1.  That means at any time of the year we can get snow or a freeze.  Yup, ever heard of snow in July?  Well it has actually happened here.  Not to me personally, but it has happened.

Usually though, the weather is pretty typical.  The past few days have been in that category after a week of nights down in the twenties.  We’ve had sun, a little too much, and warm temps, a bit more than I want.  But it’s finally Spring.
I mowed the lawns the other night, which is a challenge and a half using the electric mower (my parents say the gas is way worse, quit complaining) and dealing with all the excess weeds and various rock piles I may or may not run over.  But oh, when the lawn is mowed it looks so lovely.  Perfect.  Even the tall weed patches have some defined shape.
Throw in a sweet resinous smell that comes down from the mountains after the pines have baked all day in the sun, and then good clean spring smell and you have somewhat the epitome of the mountains.  Okay, it is actually better when you smell wood smoke but that was nixed the other  due to it being warm.  However there were the distant sounds of a dance going on at the small rodeo grounds.  Today is our annual local rodeo.  A joke in itself.  I’ve been once and I’m not impressed, but I love the sounds that come up from the rodeo grounds.  And it turns out after going up into town today and seeing the signs posted that it wasn’t a dance but actual rodeo proceedings.  Personally I would rather picture a rodeo dance on the grounds.  More fun, inspirational, romantic that way.

The mountains are cool, unique and very much me.  I told my cousin recently that was a city girl, and it’s very true. I am very girly girly, though I have to stick with jeans and boots most of the time due to living in the country/mountains.  However, I while I would love to wear heels and skirts more, have sidewalks and stores that actually carry what I want, I love being in the mountains.  I love that a storm can come up out of nowhere, which it did today. I love being able to step out at night and see all the constellations and stars.  Oh the stars you can see in the mountains.  So clear, so bright. I love the smell of pine, sweet grass, and cow manure.  I love seeing all the birds and having deer walking down the street, a la Northern Exposure style.  The mountains are kind of my home place.  I don’t have an actual home place after moving around all my life, but I could say I feel most at home in the mountains.

Signing off

~Kate

Springtime, French, and Should I Write About It

English: Dirty Weather Over Hagg Wood Not quit...

English: Dirty Weather Over Hagg Wood Not quite the May weather I had in mind for my walk. From the path above Swinburn’s Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I set about to walk to town yesterday and it was a lovely walk, albeit a bit on the blustery side.  For some reason, I always manage to walk when the nastier weather is coming down the mountainside.  Yesterday was no exception.  Fortunately I had my cloche hat on, though it did require me pushing it down squarely several times due to a brisk wind.

As I walked, I had a selection of French music playing on my mp3 player.  There is something about spring, wind, rain and French music that just goes together. The old adage of springtime in Paris perhaps?  Whatever the reason, Zaz’s La Pluie was tres parfait for the moment.  I highly recommend the song.

As I walked I contemplated on how the weather was perfect for something to write about.  Have you ever noticed that right at the height of a season, you are so immersed in it that you must write about it?  And yes, even though it is right at the ‘first of spring’ we are smack dab in the middle of it.  Spring started back in February when just the start of things came out.  I’ve only come to this realization after reading Liza Dalby‘s East Wind Melts the Ice, which I commented on just the other day.

But seriously, when you are at the height of the season, you just want two immerse yourself in it and kind of wallow.  I feel that way in the summer when it’s hot and muggy, or when that summer storm comes through with all it’s ravaging brilliance of a thunderstorm.  The lightning and thunder, the oppressive moisture cloying the air and pressing down.  Or in autumn when the leaves swirl around you as you walk home.  The all consuming desire to wear plaid and eat apples while carrying a pumpkin home to carve.

Okay, it might be just me, but seasons, weather and nature are very important to me.  They impress upon me not unlike music.  It’s all very important to me and my writing.  So, now I have to add or write something about walking in the blustery weather, wearing a cloche hat and French music playing….. Funny thing, all but for the French music thing, I started something last year that highlighted some of that. I just never finished it.

Typical.

Signing off

~Kate

The Little Things That Get To Me

I never have a camera with me at times when something strikes my fancy, or I can never capture how I see it, but I go throughout my day with little things that mean a world to me, even though I can’t explain them.

Let me explain.  Today I was looking down at a bouquet I made and I was struck by the beauty of the yellow pollen on the sunflower.  There was a serenity to it with the way the light was in the kitchen.  I pulled out the camera, but even though I took a picture (ok, I took about ten) it was impossible to capture the perfection of the moment.

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Little things that may not mean anything to anyone else strike me.  The orange poppies in the sun against an aging, moss-covered concrete wall.  A cloud that is perfect in its imperfection of mounds of creamy whiteness.  Canning jars in the sun making sun pickles.  A leaf on a body of water.  Ripples in the stream.  Bright green velvety moss. 

They are all amazing things.  Simple nothings that are beautiful. 

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I’ve fallen in love with We Heart It because people post the most amazing things.  I was looking up Jane Austen the other day and a host of brilliant pictures came up in the search. I wanted to save every one of them.  I wanted to jump in and savor every one of them.  They all had such unique qualities to them. 

I looked up autumn and found many other things as well.  It doesn’t hurt that the site is pretty much all girl inspired.  Pearls, lace, pink…. It draws you in.

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I try to point out these things that ‘get’ to me to other  people, but I doubt they mean anything.  How does one go about explaining this subtle explosion inside just from seeing the way a certain flower looks at that moment?  I can’t.  And I’ve stopped trying.  I may point out something and say it’s cool, but that’s about it. I keep that building joy inside, trying to hold it in and remember it all.

 Signing off

~Kate

A Fall List

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Blackberries

Apples

Acorns

Wood Smoke

Wildfire Smoke

Pipe Smoke

Hazy Sun

Lazy Sun

Burning Sun

Sweet Grass

Spicy Pine

Colored Trees

Pumpkin

Cinnamon

Spice

Mums

Asters

Sunflowers

 

Okay, this is probably really terrible.  It’s a list poem, horrible in it’s single wordness, but I didn’t have time to tackle the actual late summer/autumn post I wanted to do. I hope to tackle it tomorrow.  So, if you are into list poems, enjoy…..

Signing off

~Kate

Skywalk Insanity

There are some things that in this modern age that should not be created, or are just plain insane.  The Grand Canyon Skywalk is one of those things.

This is insanity people.  It probably doesn’t help that I have this Acrophobia thing going on.  (that’s the fear of heights)

 

Royal Gorge was bad enough.

 

Signing off

~Kate