Sierra Serenity

My husband, Matt, and I experienced one of the best times at our favorite campground in the Sierra Nevada mountains. We hiked on local trails, around the lake, swam, and simply relaxed in camp. Our campsite was lakeside and the water level was high, so the walk down the path to the sandy shore took about fifteen seconds. We’ve had similar sites before in the past, but this one was special because we could see that stunning body of water from every angle. We took in the serenity, putting a halt to the go, go, go mindset. It was nice to watch small sailboats, kayaks, and stand up paddle boards cruise the lake. Inspiration to write in my faithful journal that always accompanies me on our wilderness trips happened immediately. Our first sunset was the most spectacular sunset we have ever watched unfold, and I will post about it soon. I’m sharing a handful of the many, many photos below that we took:

For all you Ornithologists, we saw an abundance of birds such as an American Bald Eagle (incredible), a Scrub jay, California Quail, Finches, Diving Ducks, and Canadian Geese. Other creatures piqued our interest: a tiny lake frog and a bullfrog the size of a softball, lizards, squirrels, and chipmunks. Although my husband had hoped to see a black bear!

And below is a poem that formed on…

The First Morning

Our eyes open to chirps of our feathered campers
from high above in the fir trees, and occasionally,
we hear the rustle of a skittering squirrel.
The night before, every creature became silent

as darkness sank into the evening.
But in morning, when darkness has faded

and sunlight shines over the lake,
we walk the few steps down the trail

to the still water, nestle into our camp chairs
side by side, and slowly sip our caffeine indulgence.
We listen. Peace in the uttermost sense of the word.
Beautiful clouds drift by, prompting us to stroll upon them,

feel their softness, but then they move with the grace of a swan.
Ripples in the sand. Artwork in crystal-clear water.
And this is when we watch morning happen…

Lauren Scott ©
I hope you find your place of tranquility…like we did. ❤️

“Life is not measured…”

We’re going on another wilderness adventure, so technology will stay at home, except for my cell phone for taking a million photos. 🙂 I’m leaving you with one of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes, and this photo was taken at Crater Lake in Oregon.

Wishing you all a fabulous week and I’ll see you when I return. I’ll also add a Big Thank You for all your visits and support!

Stay safe and Be happy,
Lauren Scott
© ❤️

California Coast, Birds, Squirrels, Trees, & Peace!

Last weekend, after attending The Quail Motorcycle Gathering in Carmel, CA (previous post), we drove the iconic 17-mile drive in Pebble Beach which was absolutely beautiful. Any view of the ocean is one where taking a zillion photos comes effortlessly. I didn’t take a zillion, but came close, so I’m including only a few here. I hope you enjoy part of Nature’s photo album.

And below is a poem I posted last year. Life is all about the beauty surrounding us, not giving those negative thoughts rent space, and breathing in the peace wherever you may find it…

Ever So Gently

Sometimes we get lost in our thoughts…
losing focus of stars shimmering above us,
the sky turning heavenly blue for our pleasure,
raindrops falling for our essential cleansing.
We tumble too deeply into the frontal lobe
allowing negative thoughts to awaken,
permitting them to throw a tantrum.

So we must remember the wind will carry
worries and doubts across rivers and oceans,
majestic trees will sway with joy, sheltering
from shadows, and light will continue to shine,
even if only a slight glimmer peeks through.
Its glow will grow ever so gently into a bright
beacon of hope rising with the golden sun
bringing the most beautiful clarity to our vision.

Lauren Scott (c) 2022 ❤️

A Trail of Spring

Contrary to my poem on climate change a couple weeks ago, “The Effects”, I found a trail of spring on a recent morning walk. Even though we’re still in dire need of buckets of raindrops, the blooms I saw rejuvenated my steps. I felt inspired because of their beautiful representation of rebirth, exactly what this lovely new season is all about. They didn’t mind posing for a quick photo op, so would you like to join me for a second time around on the trail?

And now, a little more about Nature herself…

Her Offerings

Harmony lives in each flow of a breeze
In each gentle embrace of evergreens
The clear blue enchantingly shields
Let nothing stay concealed.

Blooms tender their affable smile
Leaves listen in for awhile
Birdsong soothes the whirling mind
A landscape perfectly designed.

Nature’s lessons are plentiful
Shall our choices be flexible?
We are not ignorant to her offerings
Receive them for relief of suffering.

A painting of beauty and brilliance
Mesmerizing even in distance
Can you deny the splendid view?
Allow serenity to fall into you.

(From my book, “More than Coffee:Memories in Verse and Prose”)

Lauren Scott (c)
Thank you for stopping by! ❤️🌺



Pantoll – A Pleasant Surprise

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…

A visitor quietly joined us in our site.
Our cozy accommodations.
Site #1 presented an open concept of a
raised dining and great room with a
rustic fireplace.
Our backyard, perfectly landscaped.
Hiking nearby with views of San Francisco Bay.
Boiling water in minutes for our freeze-dried
feast.
Our only fire because of the red flag warning
for the following day.
Our first beautiful sunset.
Coffee and a gorgeous sunrise. Ahhh…..
A different perspective.
Our once-a-year bacon splurge, using my mom’s
cast iron skillet
that must be about 100 years old!
We hiked to the outdoor mountain theater –
a wonderful, summertime cultural experience.
After hiking uphill a few miles, our legs were
ready for a break.
Back on the trail, views of the SF bay entertained
us again.
It’s all downhill from here. 🙂
Must be 5 O’Clock. Cheers!
Nature’s architecture.

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 ❤️❤️❤️

The Beautiful Buzzing

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…

If you look closely, you’ll see the pair…
And if you see the blurr on your right, well, that’s the bee that became camera shy, when I gladly got out of the way. This shot was my second and last! 😁

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 spices from a million flowers.” Ray Bradbury

I hope you enjoyed this nugget of nature at its finest and I wish you a lovely weekend ahead.

~Lauren ❤️❤️

I feel the earth move…

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 hope The Big One never shakes and shivers in our lifetime!

Stay safe,
Lauren
💗💗💗



A little bit of a few things…

Dear Friends,

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 close to 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
💗