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Blooming Holler ~

The Holler spring bloom is on, and I am home to photograph it for a change, so I am going to post a series on Holler spring flowers, starting with these beauties. The Cup of Gold flowering vine grows prolifically, and the blooms are humongous, about eight inches in diameter.

Hong Kong Orchid Trees have stunning blossoms that blanket the trees in spring.

Matilija Poppies are one of my favorite flowers and are Southern California natives, with huge fried-egg blossoms, about eight inches in diameter.

Reliable African Iris propagate beautifully at The Holler.

Wild Stinging Lupine cover bare areas, are beautiful to look at, but not nice to touch.

The Californian Fuchsia is native to Southern California but I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was in the fuchsia family but was stumped with identification. So my talented blogging friend Eliza Waters, who has a degree in horticulture and is a Master Gardener, helped me out. If you don’t know Eliza, and you like things that bloom and grow, you may want to check out her blog: https://elizawaters.com/about/

Bougainvillea are touch and go at The Holler due to frost. This one is definitely a go!

Cheers to you from the Blooming Holler~

Feathers, Fortresses & Flora~

These are just three of the many reasons I love Oz. Most of the creatures are very friendly!

Tasmanian countryside.

Old church, in the former penal colony,

Port Arthur, Tasmania.


Tasmanian,

flora is unique and stunning.

Old Government House, Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney.

Flower Arrangement in the Government House. We met and chatted with the Governor of New South Wales while touring Government House where she lives (I told you, Oz is a friendly place!)

Royal botanical garden Sydney.

Cheers to you from just a few of the reasons I love Oz~

Desert Reflected~

In a topsy-turvy world,

that spins,

like a ball,

in space,

plants grow upside down,

and fish swim in trees.

Cheers to you,

from a pond’s point of view~

These photos were taken over the years in California, at Borrego Springs State Park, The Annenberg Gardens in Palm Springs, and Death Valley National Park. (Note: Image three is posted upside down, while image four is right-side up!)

Hope Blooms~

Christmas Blooms,

opened a month late,

on January 20th, 2021.

As if to celebrate,

new leadership for the USA.

Hope delayed,

blooms and grows.

Cheers to you from The Holler’s late bloomers~

Escape~

to a garden of dreams,

where worries vanish,

in a tulip trance,

while daffodils dance.

There are over seven million tulips,

in the Keukenhof gardens in The Netherlands.

A perfect place to dream your day away.

I am home for the winter at The Holler, but send you springtime cheers from Keukenhof~

Soaring~

The architecturally interesting Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, sits on a stunning property with views over the ocean cliffs.

(Note: Salk is buttoned up these days due to their COVID- 19 research. They are working on vaccine development, viral imaging and immunity studies. Guards are patrolling and visitors are not allowed. Thank you Salk for what you do).

Next to Salk is the Torrey Pines Glider Port.

A couple steps and you are off the cliff,

soaring,

with the birds,

helicopters and planes,

over the ocean,

far below.

Sailing off into the sky,

seems so freeing, except for the cliffs and rocks below!

Cheers to you from my life on the ground~

Holler Ghost Ranch~

There is a ghost ranch adjacent to The Holler.

It’s in a nature preserve and is named Rancho Lilac.

Rancho Lilac has a interesting history.

It was originally settled as a 2300 acre homestead in 1865.

It passed through several owners over time who turned it into a working cattle ranch.

In 1945 it was purchased by Col. Irving Salomon, an undersecretary to The United Nations who built an extensive rancho home where he hosted rural retreats for world leaders like Dwight Eisenhower, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mahatma Ghandhi, and Golda Meir.

This is the Salomon home ranch complex . There is an abandoned pool and tennis court and a caretaker living on the property. The rancho is currently preserved as an historical landmark.

There is a year round creek running through the property making the habitat critical for wildlife sustenance.

1600 acres of the ranch property have been set aside as a permanent nature preserve.

This is the old road that connects The Holler to the Rancho.

The Rancho is like a time capsule, unique, pristine, and full of precious and vulnerable wild life. We hope it stays protected into the future.

Cheers to you & be careful and safe~

Flying By~

This Red Shouldered Hawk has been sparring in Holler skies recently with the Red Tailed Hawks.

“California Sister” butterflies are understandably at home in The Holler.

“Firecracker Skimmer” dragonflies float lazily by.

Passion flowers are passionately,

prolific.

Pickerelweed flowers,

reach for the sky. (Thank you Eliza Waters for identifying this plant!)

Bottle brush thrive while spiders spin.

Cheers to you from all who seek the sky~

Holler Orchids~

Quiet beauty.

For difficult days.

Fragile.

Strong.

Like you,

and I.

Orchids grow,

in volcanic rock.

Beauty blooms from fire.

Cheers to you and keep on blooming~

Belgium in the Mojave~

The Oasis Inn in Death Valley National Park lives up to its name. But there is so much more in the area. Come on, let’s go explore….

Check out The Goldwell Open Air Museum, established by four Belgian artists in 1984, just outside the boundaries of the park.

The artists created large scale outdoor sculptures which, in combination with the desert landscape, result in a truly unique visual experience.

The feeling this evokes, like the desert itself, is eerie.

This is one of the artist abodes. Check the museum out at: http://goldwellmuseum.org/

After we explore the remarkable museum and it’s ghostly sculptures by ourselves for as long as we want (there is no one here to bother us), we mosey on down the road to Rhyolite, Nevada, a gold mining ghost town that boomed and busted between 1904 to 1920.

At it’s peak in 1908, Rhyolite had a population of 8,000. By 1920, when the gold had petered out, the population stood at 14.

The post office, the bank, the store, the school, all were abandoned.

Can you imagine living in a desert that reached the hottest temperature on earth with no AC?


One home, built in 1905, was constructed almost entirely of 50,000 beer bottles. It is one of the most well preserved buildings in the ghost town.

You can see the bottle details in this section of wall. You could sing “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall,” in this house, and actually be counting! For more on this unusual home see : http://www.nbmog.org/bottlehouse.html

Cheers to you from the fun to explore and always mysterious Mojave ~