Friday, August 28, 2015

Why we were # 5 in the rankings - at least this time

Recently the county where I have lived since 1989, Del Norte County in California, made number 5 out of 3, 111 counties in a list published in the Washington Post about counties ranked by natural beauty.  There was certainly a prejudice in favor of the west coast and away from winter weather, although the county I grew up in, with a lot of snow - Park County, Wyoming - had a high rank as well at 202

anyway, the conversation regarding the post on my facebook page, made me decide to scrounge up some pictures and show you a bit of the diverse beauty that can be found here, marshland, ocean, redwoods, mountains and farmland.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, but the Firefighters get in the Smoke

Entering the small town of Hiouchi
I started out early in July with a summer cold, a minor sinus infection and a bit of a cough, but just as it started to clear up, the Northwest started to burn.  There has been smoke everywhere I go, from Wyoming to Nevada, to Oregon and California. My lungs and ears and chest hurt from reacting to the smoke.  It has been weeks since I could smell, taste or hear vey well.  But my vision is rewarded by the soft misty light that makes everything have a rose colored glow.
Hwy 199 
 This is backward from any other time I remember being so sick.  Instead of being unable to breath at night, clogging up like concrete as soon as I lay down. This keeps me indoors and out of the smoke and I breath just fine if I stay in bed.  It is strange to wake up each morning feeling healthy, and lie there, telling myself not to move because as soon as I get up, I will start hacking and coughing and my ears and throat will close.
the entrance to Ashland Oregon

Marc Anthony Hotel in Ashland and smoke beyond
 I have been getting out because, well, life keeps making demands, but I carry an inhaler and flo-nase and cough drops and tissue.  I'm really feeling guilty whining about the burning eyes when five fire fighters have died and people have lost homes and so much more than my discomfort has cost me.
smoke enhanced sunset

 I just want to say, I know there are people in a city of tents and port-a-potties, who go into the smoke and heat every day, not quite sure they will come out again.  Thank You Fire-fighters. And may the rains come soon

the smoke makes a lovely light

my eyes burn but the pictures are like opal skies

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A colorfilled summer

This summer has been pretty much the exact opposite of what I imagined that it would be.  I was going to have lots of quiet mornings at the keyboard to work on writing my novels, while my husband taught summer school 4 days a week for 5 weeks.  But of course the computer chose the last week of school to give up the ghost, and my son took on two jobs so, I ended up being grandmother for up to 16 hours a day, which is delightful, but not quiet or conducive to writing.
Newcastle, Wyoming Sunset
Then the members of my husband's family got it together for the first time since 2010, to have a family re-union, and his parents are far, but both still there to celebrate 65 years of marriage. So we had to drive nearly 3,000 miles round trip in a car that lost its air-conditioning about 1/2 way through the trip.  Also, I'm 52, and when I was 15 and learning to drive, I was really bad at stick shift. And my Mom's car was an automatic.  My 3 year old brother, (With Down's Syndrome) would point at me and hold his hands like he was steering, and jerk and jump and refuse to get in my Dad's pick-up if I held the keys.  So this summer, on the trip back, I insisted we take my husband's car, with standard transmission because I finally wanted to learn.  And I did, but I used every cuss word you can imagine, multiple times.
Sylvan Lake, Black Hills

Sunset on Granite Spires looks like fall leaves
 So we saw my niece who is 15, and had just returned from a Tucson Girl's Choir trip to China.  She plays the Guitar and composes her own wonderful tunes and was only 10 the last  time we saw each other.

Echo Canyon, Utah

 I love birds, but when I was a child in Wyoming, we were told to never shoot at anything alive, unless we planned to eat it, or unless it was that crop pest, the magpie.  Now I regret the target practice they provided.

Moooo for the Granddaughter
 My Granddaughter loves cows, and animal sounds.  The latest fascination is Dinosaurs.
Cow Watching at Sunset

 Close to where I live there is the Darlingtonia trail.  These knee high pitcher plants thrive in serpentine bogs, where almost no other plant can find enough nutrients to grow.
Darlingtonia (Cobra Lily) community

Smoke and sunset
 The fires have been thick and my lungs hurt from it, but the sunsets are at times spectacular because of it.

Anyway, school starts before labor day this year, and the computer is up and running again, and I am hoping to get back into the routine of dreaming stories onto the keyboard.  Hope you all have a wonderful Fall.