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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Hike on Saturday

This week the Sunday hike was on Saturday.
This week it was not super close to home.
A day trip away.

This weekend I was on the coast.
I went to visit a very dear old friend.
These visits always last for hours and hours.
They include a walks, meals, gifts, visits with other friends and former students.
They include laughter and sometimes a few tears.
We share news of the day, memories of our shared past, inspiring ideas and life worries.
We share stories.
We share ourselves.

I treasure these days.
I am extremely grateful for these visits and for this friend.
This is where we go to walk...
 
 The beautiful Pacific Ocean...can you smell the salt air?

Open Spaces...love that big blue, cloud holding sky!

 Can you see all of those Butterflies?
Click on photos to enlarge.

Even though it was mid-day, most of the butterflies were clustered together for warmth.
The population is very low this year, only about 1500, instead of thousands.


The only thing they eat is milkweed.  These are West Coast Monarchs.  They can travel up to 2000 miles in a season.  They will stay at this location until about February.  They come for the location, not the Eucalyptus trees.  I never knew this!  I also learned this year that the females will mate with many different males and can do so for up to 14 hours at a time!  Wow!
 Click to enlarge photos to learn more

 There was a great Volunteer Docent there teaching all of us so much.  She shared facts and both eggs and a caterpillar perched on the milkweed.  She made the learning fun and accessible.

I loved seeing this group of tween girls completely engaged.  They asked and tried to answer questions.  They listened attentively, as did their parents.  Two even wanted to hold the stripey caterpillar!

This is learning at its best!
 In the gentle hands of a child

 Looking up at the grove from a lower elevation.
 Bridge across a currently dry creek bed

The trail as we head back out


 Dirt trails crisscross the bluffs

 Light dances on the surrounding mountains

A charming neighborhood gate.


 Heading home, I try to capture the amazing moon.
This is what I get!


Thank you for coming along (again).  
You all may never truly know how very grateful I am for my online community.
You'll just have to take my word for it!
Whether or not you celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, I hope you'll pause for a moment during the following week to feel the gratitude I feel & share with all of you...
and maybe share some of your own.
~Nancy

 Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2013

You can also see this grove of Monarchs here (includes informational links).

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Hike with a Warning

WARNING:  Today's Sunday Hike did not capture the natural beauty I usually desire.  Today's hike was near a bustling freeway at an old deserted oil refinery.  I've hiked there once before and didn't expect to return.  It was in the Hope post.  We didn't pass by that wall today.
But there was a view he wanted to show me, so off we went...


It's an old broken down paved road that leads the way in.


A giant mountain 'knob' (I call it) across the freeway.


I again notice the many locks in waiting.
This is beginning to really fascinate me and bring up questions.
Why so many locks?
Do they ever get used, say at nightfall?

 
This time I initially saw less Hope.
I saw desolation and destruction and debris left by man.
There was road trash from the highway. There was rusty stuff and off the road, an informal Paintball area (complete with forts to hide behind and piles of paintball trash left behind)

I saw some of what was left behind.


Left where they fell...and some stacked, by who?


I saw pasts that led to drop-offs and ruins.


I saw steps to nowhere


What once was lives on in this grand entrance to empty
 

This site had been cleaned up since our last visit, 
but there was still much left behind.
And it was dry, very dry.

The highway had light traffic...but it was still loud!

However, the sky was bright and I spied wildflowers sprinkled here and there.






And there were gates to go with the locks.
Gates easily walked around.
Gates created to be walked right through.
I wondered how much good they really do.



Gates with an army of locks, tucked in their 
Lock storage...Locker!



This hike left me wondering about coming and going...
about past and present...
about finding beauty where at first you do not see any.
And yes, I wondered if Hope was still there.

Upon arriving home, I discovered a 
rather battered crow feather right outside the front door.
This felt like a symbolic find for me today, 
so I placed it in the log near the door.

I know I'll be grateful to see it as I come and go.



Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2013

~Note: In creating the link for the Hope post, I of course reread the post & comments and it was just what I needed tonight!  Finding Hope is always helpful.
~Also, when I got home my neighbor called me to ask if I knew who ruthlessly 'pruned' her pepper trees.  She planted them after the removal of the 5 trees I mentioned in the Hope post.  Odd coincidence.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

11-12-13

Today I saw this and thought I would share it here...  How To Interact With The Introverted


Monday, November 11, 2013

Indie Kindred

No hike this weekend.  
Sunday was busy catching up with regular chores and such, because...
On Saturday my sister and I went to a screening of Indie Kindred.  You can watch the trailer and learn more here.  It's a film about collaboration and art and finding your people.  Jen Lee and two of the artists were there and did a Q&A after the viewing.  I've followed Jen for years.  I posted about her back here in a story about stories!!

It was held at City Garage in the Bergamot Station,which was a great intimate venue...perfect for this film.  I came away with feelings of inspiration, longing and gratitude.

I am so thankful for my online community of fellow clothmates.  I'm so thankful to have found you all through Jude.  My days are richer because of all of you.  I feel inspired to continue on my creative path, hopefully incorporating even more time to make art and share conversations.  Alongside my gratitude for what I DO have, lives my deep longing to have in person interactions like those I have in the Spirtcloth world.





Before we left, we stopped in an amazing paper shop called Hiromi Paper, Inc.  I thought of Velma of Wake Robin and could see the allure of paper/book making.  I thought of the exquisite Laura Ashley sample book seen on FB. 
I stopped myself before I bought out the shop!!!
On the car ride back to my sister's we had a good conversation about the film experience and friendships and finding our tribes.




We also shared ideas about how all of this thought on collaboration led us both back to how we work with children.
I have always incorporated activities (sensory, manipulative, art...) that encourage the children to share space and materials.
It's interesting to consider how many ways we all collaborate.
I, of course, thought of Jude's Magic Feather Project.
A collaboration between many.



May we all continue to create, collaborate and inspire one another in the
days, weeks...years to come.


Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Considering Tradition

So, for the third Sunday in a row,
we went out into the world for a small hike.
Embracing nature feels so right lately.
Well, maybe not right...but very needed.

So as this time of year often inspires in me, I've been considering ideas around 'tradition'.
I have several old posts under the label of 'traditions',
but this is the one that came to mind when I was thinking about posting yet another walk in the hills, riverbed and such.
Do three Sundays make a tradition?
I'd like to think so.

This hike was North of the last two, in a point of the triangle kind of way.
There are extensive bike/walking trails throughout our valley.  
This location is on one of the trails!
We went there to investigate the Santa Clara riverbed that neither of us had been to in many years.  We also wanted to get a close view of the old railroad bridge. 
In those ways, it was very satisfying.
However, this location is along a major freeway and parts of it had a lot of trash.
It was also quite loud as the constant flow of traffic hummed by in the background.
Lastly, there is a lot of pavement, due to the bike paths.
Not the most relaxing, earthy get back to nature Sunday hike!

Anyway, here is some of what we saw.
Enjoy!




As we get out of the car, we are greeted by the sweet, familiar smell of a local shrub.
This is the smell of my childhood camp experience.
It holds a special place in my heart.
It's in the fabric of who I am.



Welcome to the crossroads!


Across the bridge we go...










He finds an old cotter pin, a reminder of days gone by in this railroad area.


The riverbed is filled with ancient cottonwood trees.
They are a favorite tree of ours.
If you've never seen the way the leaves dance in the wind or heard the music they make, well, you've missed something special.
Cottonwoods remind us of the old west and areas north of us, the High Sierras.
They symbolize past histories, both ours and those of old movies, peoples of past decades and their lifestyles.
More traditions, perhaps?


Cottonwood leaf.  Do you see the face?
I didn't until I loaded it into the computer!


Bike/walking path ~ closer to civilization than we prefer. 
Look at all of those power lines!


We are very close to a local amusement park.
During part of our walk, I can hear the screams as 
visitors to the park ride the many roller-coasters!
This photo shows the main landmark tower at the entrance of the park.




Wen we walk under the freeway overpass, I notice another (as photographed on the first Sunday hike) collection of locks for a gate.
I again wonder at the quantity of locks needed.
This time they are stored inside a post.
Interesting.




The hill opposite the riverbed holds this beautiful old tree.
Everything, except the cottonwoods, is brown and dry.
Dead short grasses.
Not my favorite terrain, but beautiful nonetheless.
I like the starkness in this photo.
It looks like a scene in an old movie!




We spy something cross the road in front of us as we cross 
the bridge on the way back to our car.
What could it be? (click on photo to enlarge)




There it is...a roadrunner!
Later we saw a second one as we drove away.




Thanks for joining me on another walk in the sunshine!


Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2013