Archive | November 2018

Desert Moonscapes~

Carve impossible vistas.

Jumbled and stacked.

Boulders perch, tossed like balls.

Cracked spines.

Desert ice cream cones.

Joshua Trees twist in tortured poses.

Mother Nature’s iconic artistry.

A gift to treasure and protect.

Joshua Tree National Park encompasses almost 800,000 acres and straddles both The Mojave and Colorado Deserts in Southern California. Joshua Trees are not trees at all, but a variety of Yucca, sculpted into bizarre shapes by desert winds. The eerie rock formations were formed eons ago by cooling lava, that cracked and split from fault uplifting, and eroded over time by wind, water and sand.

100’s of species survive in this harsh desert landscape, despite summer temperature that reach well above 100 degrees fahrenheit. Native Americans inhabited this region for thousands of years and their artifacts remain scattered throughout the park. Be careful or you will walk right by them! We encountered this metate, or grinding stone, on a hike.

Cheers to you from Joshua Tree’s stunning and fragile ecosystem~

Holler Lakes & Birds~

There are several lakes surrounding The Holler that provide wonderful places to hike, picnic and birdwatch.

This osprey was vigilant,

intently watching the lake for her next meal (despite the feather stuck on her beak.)

Bald eagles are congregating in greater numbers around Holler lakes,

which thrills me to no end, because they were almost wiped out locally, and I went decades without seeing them here.

Brewer’s Blackbirds are common at The Holler. They are very friendly birds and often eat out of my son’s hands.

Ring necked ducks were on the lake in force,

resting from migration.

The area around The Holler burned extensively in 2007, destroying 1000’s of homes and extensive habitat. You can see the progress of regrowth and the burned trees on the horizon.

Cheers to you from beautiful, burning, California, my native state~

Belfast Alainn~

Belfast is beautiful!

Like Dublin, Belfast has scores of fascinating, historic old pubs to crawl. One of the most famous is The Crown built in 1827. The art deco interior has ten snugs, which are private mahogany booths with doors, surrounded by stained glass and hand made tiles.

Belfast City Hall has an array of striking stained glass windows depicting important events in Irish history. This glass is dedicated to the two million souls who suffered and died in the Irish potato famine.

City Hall itself is an architectural gem. Built in 1898, it has a gorgeous grand staircase,

replete with a stunning interior dome and rotunda.

Belfast is a very fun city to explore, full of vibrant street art, interesting shops,

and, as cannot be emphasized enough, wonderful pubs! Kelly’s is another classic pub. It is the oldest licensed pub in Belfast, built in 1720.

Kelly’s is lovely inside and out, and full of some of your soon to be newest best friends!

Cheers to you from soulful Belfast~

Hollerites~

We have the best neighbors at The Holler,

the kind with feathers.

They are the most populous of all The Hollerites,

and they make the most congenial neighbors.

At the first sign of conflict,

they just fly away,

and land somewhere quieter.

I try and emulate them,

leaving crowds behind,

and seeking my own quiet spaces.

The only problem is I can’t fly! 

Cheers to you from the feathered Hollerites~

(Note: I did this post with the new Gutenberg editor which was kind of fun. Can you detect any differences?)

Dublin’s Fair City~


Is really so pretty!

The historic old pubs are lovely,

and fun to explore,

on a good, old-fashioned Irish pub-crawl.

You are guaranteed to make friends because the people are warm, friendly, and often just a tad tipsy!

Dublin is a vibrant, colorful city,

justifiably proud,

of its artistic and literary history.

I am still home at The Holler, but it’s cheers to you from beautiful Dublin~