Fires raged in the Sierra mountains this summer, forcing my husband and I to cancel our long-awaited backpacking trip. So, what did we do instead? We thought “local!” We found Pantoll Campground located on Mt. Tamalpais that seemed like a good alternative for a peaceful getaway. Only a forty-minute drive from home, we felt like we had traveled hundreds of miles, entering into another world. Mt. Tam is a popular tourist attraction, but with packing up all the gear and necessities for camping, we always wanted to drive farther into the mountains. It’s funny how one setback unexpectedly leads to a pleasant surprise. Here’s a glimpse into our weekend…
Did you enjoy the scenery? I hope so! We’re glad to have found a local option now, maybe not for backpacking, but at least for camping and hiking. Here in sunny and drought-ridden California, everyone waits for some precipitation to reduce fire danger. We hope to slip on those backpacks next year…
Thanks for popping in and stay safe, Lauren ❤️❤️❤️
Last Saturday after a delicious breakfast with a girlfriend, we strolled around downtown and found this lovely Magnolia tree. Then we heard the buzzing, and as we stepped a few inches closer, look what we found! I had to try to get some photos of these wonderful insects…
And here are some great honey bee quotes:
“Words are like bees – some create honey and others leave a sting.” Unknown
“The lovely flowers embarrass me, They make me regret I am not a bee.” Emily Dickinson
“Handle a book as a bee does a flower, extract its sweetness but do not damage it.” John Muir
“It is not how busy you are, but why you are busy – the bee is praised, the mosquito is swatted.”Unknown
“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spicesfrom a million flowers.” Ray Bradbury
I hope you enjoyed this nugget of nature at its finest and I wish you a lovely weekend ahead.
On Sunday, my husband I went for a drive after cabin fever was setting in. We headed west to Pt. Reyes Station – Bear Valley Visitor Center, for a little hike and picnic. But we first stopped at our favorite deli to pick up lunch. When we arrived at the park, it was practically empty which would make it easier to social distance. 🙂 We also noticed a plethora of signs most likely about Covid restrictions. After doing some light reading, we learned that several trails were closed, except for the Earthquake Trail which was open. More than fifteen years have passed since we took the kids on this trail when they were little, so why not check it out again?The trail is dotted with interpretive signs about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and my cell remained handy for photos. This quake struck the coast of Northern California on Wednesday, April 18 at 5:12 a.m. and the magnitude was a whopping 7.9. Nature also had a lot to offer, so let’s take a look…
In case you’re interested, below is a little “earth shattering” information I pulled from https://www.nps.gov:
“The San Andreas Fault runs the length of the boundary between the Pacific Plate and North American Plate in California. The narrow Tomales Bay and the narrow Olema Valley, along which Shoreline Highway (Highway 1) travels, overlie the San Andreas Fault and were formed as a result of tectonic forces.
Not only do two plates meet along the San Andreas Fault, but they move against each other. The forces causing this movement lie more than 90 miles (150 km) below our feet in the earth’s mantle. Currents of magma slowly circulate up from within the mantle, spread out under the oceanic and continental crusts, carry the plates along then sink to circulate again. Like a crowded bumper car rink, the plates crash and grind into each other as they move. It is along plate boundaries where the action takes place. The Pacific plate is estimated to creep northwestward about two inches a year, but the most dramatic displacement of this fault occurred in 1906 when the Point Reyes Peninsula leapt ~20 feet northwestward.“
We have experienced some big quakes in our lifetime that rattled and rolled enough for us to think of the Big One. But we don’t worry about them anymore. California has been our home for so long that it’s probably just a matter of getting used to the tremors – like getting used to hurricanes on the East Coast and tornadoes in the Midwest. No, we don’t want “The Big One” to strike when we’re still living in this state. But natural disasters can’t be avoided. Thus, it’s more of an issue of which would you rather deal with. So, we take one day at a time and hope for the best, the very best!!!!
And now, for your listening pleasure, a little Carole King…
I hope you enjoyed the tune and this glimpse into how the earth moves. And let’s hopeThe Big Onenever shakes and shivers in our lifetime!
I’ve lost blogging momentum because of some health issues in our family and procedures during the holiday. My mind has been a little preoccupied. But on the morning of Thanksgiving, my husband and I enjoyed a walk around the neighborhood. The sun was shining and the temperature was invigorating and brisk. After turning a corner, we stumbled upon a van that invited passersby to write their gratitude on the colorful hand turkeys provided. Sharpies and hand sanitizer were also conveniently supplied. We gladly participated and added our turkey to the eye-catching and humbling collection. God Bless the owner of this van, for even in dark times there is much to be grateful for.
Just like many others, we were ready for some Christmas joy, so we bought our tree on black Friday and we’ve never seen the line so long! Patience really was a virtue that day! We call our tree the “Family tree” because most of the ornaments are homemade from our son and daughter when they were little. The angel on top is our daughter’s creation and there is no reason to replace it. Our senses are heightened by the Noble Fir fragrance and the room is cozier than ever now.
Copper enjoys the warmth and coziness of the fire, but he prefers not to be too closeto the snap, crackle, and pop.
Lastly,WordPress tells me that I have a 10-year anniversary to celebrate!Time sure flies when you’re having fun creating, along with meeting wonderful people all around the world. So, Thank You, for your support and friendship!
I hope those of you in the U.S. had a wonderful Thanksgiving and wish you all a blessed Christmas and holiday season. Stay safe and well, too! Lauren 💗
My daughter took these photos in Tennessee and these murals are too amazing not to share. The artists are most likely local, so we do not take credit. In fact, we applaud them not only for their talent, but for the timely messages. Don’t you agreethe world needs a great deal more of Peace, Love, and Sunflowers?
What a year this has been…so traumatic and devastating for many because of the loss they have endured, and for the rest of us, it has been a time where new normals could not be avoided – different ways of going about our everyday lives simply had to be implemented. For the west coast, fire season has come and gone, and gratefully, our first family of raindrops has arrived. Mother Earth smiles and sighs with relief.
Autumn officially presents herself and brings a cozy, warm complexion of spicy nutmegs, pumpkin oranges, burnt squash yellows, and pomegranate reds. Can we break away from the rat race even for a moment and remember to inhale, then exhale, s-l-o-w-l-y? Do you think we can relax the pace and capture the magic around us that we would normally let pass by?
Maybe in that moment as the landscape shifts, we will feel gratitude for the gift of another day and the possibilities in a new year that are so close we can almost touch them ever so gently.
I hope you enjoyed these snippets of my appreciation, and know that I appreciate all of you who continue to pop in and read what’s been on my mind. The last couple of weeks have been tough in some ways, but today is a new day. I hope you’re doing well and wish you a wonderful week.
Walk with us into the magic of autumn where tree-lined serenity surrounds… the old swimming hole evokes precious memories of when they were young. We stumble upon a home for one lucky critter, but built by who? We’re touched by the Compassion on a bench… Only a short drive, but as we walk in the light rain, reveling in the fragrance of a new season, it seems we’ve stepped into a whole new world.
We’re home now after another wonderful lake adventure and so grateful to have had blue skies before they turned hazy. Our hearts are heavy; praying for all those affected by over 600 wildfires burning up and down the state of CA, and for the firemen and first responders. Yesterday, the air was very smoky, the worst yet, and the advisory continues through Wednesday. The surroundings are a bit eerie. As more dry lightning is possible for today, our bags are packed because at the top of our street is dry open space. So, we’d rather be prepared in the event that hill ignites. It’s frightening, and I can’t imagine what others have endured who have had to evacuate, who have lost their homes or loved ones. And then think of the animals affected. It’s heartbreaking. We’re keeping all who are in the path of fires in our hearts. In the meantime, we swam in the refreshing lake, relaxed in our site, and did some hiking. It was great to get away, but also good to be home safely. Hope you enjoy these photos (only a few of the many we took; I can’t help but take too many)…