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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~

Flamingos~

If the headlines are stressing you out,

why not fly with me to visit some flamingos.

These lucky flamingos in Argentina, take off, at the slightest hint of trouble,

and flaming go!

Greater Flamingos,

and Lesser Flamingos, are just as adept at flaming going!

Wish we all could do the same.

Cheers to you from The Holler~

Note: I am currently hunkering down at The Holler and am posting some older photos you may not have seen.

Swoopers~



Wild Australian magpies are inquisitive, wise, friendly, and fun to interact with. Like most creatures, they are usually respectful to you, if you are respectful of them.

But, they do swoop!

Swooping means they attack humans, other animals, cars, etc., causing about a thousand human injuries in Australia each spring. See:

https://www.science.org.au/curious/earth-environment/how-survive-magpie-swooping-season

They swoop if they perceive their nestlings are in danger….

or maybe, if they are having an irritating day.

Like all corvids, they have excellent memories and hold grudges, so if you bothered a corvid in the past, you better steer clear during swooping season, or else be ready to duck down really fast!

Cheers to you from Australia’s marvelous-memoried, moody-magpies~

Bad Hair Day?

I can so relate.

Thanks to covid, it has been seven months since my hair has been professionally cut.

I cut my hair with my husband’s buzzer and it looks much like this kookaburra.

Actually, it looks much better on a kookaburra!

My friend told me, I look, “natural,” which is nice friend speak for “God awful, but real.”

I’m cool with real.

If it’s good enough for the Kookaburra, it’s good enough for me.

Cheers to you and keep smiling~

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~

Big Gulps~

Hungry gull,

in Coeur d’Alene Idaho,

doesn’t believe in catch and release,

and never feels too full to fly!

Yellow billed stork in Kruger National Park catches catfish at Sunset Dam,

and needs a leg up to swallow it whole!

Cheers to you from your feast & fly feathered fowl friends~

Wild Grizzlies~

Fishing during the salmon run,

in the Knight Inlet,

British Columbia, Canada.

This set of four cubs was unusual. The smaller cubs will have a harder time in winter.

The bears congregate to gorge on salmon and pack on fat for the winter.

Fights break out over territory in the river,

but none we saw were serious.

The bears are extremely adept at swimming,

and seemed to enjoy taking rests in the cool water.

Even the cubs love to fish and eat!

This mama griz and cub we encountered on the trail in Glacier National Park. An inland bear and cub, not stuffed on salmon, is a far more threatening sight, and you can see mama go on high alert!

She soon relaxed, and even nursed in our presence, after she saw we kept our distance. (You can see these photos by clicking on the following links).

Cheers to you from the precious and endangered grizzlies of North America~

For more of my photos of coastal and inland grizzlies see:

https://cindyknoke.com/2015/09/17/grizzly-daze/

https://cindyknoke.com/2017/01/24/the-grizzlies-are-sleeping/

Note: I am going through photo archives and sharing select photos you may not have seen.

Baby Beep-Beep~

We have a community of roadrunners living inside our fences at The Holler.

They have become quite used to us, and shelter in our garages or patio when it rains.

This baby roadrunner showed no fear when I approached, but I didn’t press it by getting too close. I would like to stay his friend!

You can see he still has some baby down on his back.

Cheers to you from The Holler’s fearless baby beep-beep~

Note: For those with enquiring minds regarding the tricky controversy over ‘beep vs meep,’ wiki clarifies that although commonly quoted as “meep meep”, the current owner of all trademarks lists “beep, beep” as the roadrunner’s main sound. 😉

Narcissus in Sydney~

We have one in Washington.

I wasn’t expecting to see one in Sydney.

Thankfully, he didn’t seem political,

mostly just optical,

and clearly in love with the view!

He got quite ruffled up, and vociferously tweeted,

when a photographer disrupted his adored self reflection!

Cheers to you from the vainglorious Ibis in Oz~