Learn Something New Every Day!

Posts tagged ‘Fall Colors’

ONE AFTERNOON: Two Drives

I started the day in the early afternoon, heading first to June Lake, but I figured there would also be time to head out to Convict Lake as well.  It was a good afternoon!

I love the June Lake Loop Drive (Highway 158).  The best color depends on finding the best week to go exploring.  My first drive on this scenic byway, the leaves were long gone, but even barren aspen trees are pretty.  Last year was a pretty good year.  This year, I visited in the second week of October.  Some pretty fall colors were out there, waiting to be appreciated!

I do love aspens!

Views of Grant Lake

Heading back to the hotel, I took a short drive out to Convict Lake. I had not driven this road before. Since it was just a short jaunt to the lake, I wandered on down the lane. It’s an area that is worthy of more time and attention.

This inquisitive little guy stopped to say hello.

I’ve never really enjoyed fishing, but this does look like a great way to spend an afternoon.

GREAT RESOURCE:  As I planned this year’s trip, I stumbled onto California’s Eastern Sierra Fall Color Map (Inyo & Mono Counties).  It highlights 22 scenic spots where fall color is likely to be found.  I visited some new spots this year, but have more places to see in future years.

Big Pine Country

This year, in the second week in October, I started my trip to the Bishop area to appreciate the lovely show of fall colors evident in Nature.   When to visit is always a bit of a crap shoot, but others had been posting wonderful photos, so I headed out a bit earlier than past years.  I also planned to visit some other canyon drives rather than just checking out the June Lake Loop Drive.

My first stop this year was a short one wandering a bit into Big Pine Canyon.  It was already late afternoon when I started.  I was tired and still needed to secure a hotel, so this was a quick trip. I basically stayed on Glacier Lodge Road and did not even go all the way to the Lodge.  Short, but pretty drive!

GREAT RESOURCE:  As I planned this year’s trip, I stumbled onto California’s Eastern Sierra Fall Color Map (Inyo & Mono Counties).  It highlights 22 scenic spots where fall color is likely to be found.  I visited some new spots this year, but have more places to see in future years.

Signs of Fall Along Highway 395

This year, while visiting the Bishop area looking for fall colors, I drove Highway 395 several times from Lone Pine to Lee Vining. Of course, the canyons that intersect the highway offer a great chance to see wonderful autumn color.  But the highway itself offers its own beauty.

This tree south of Bishop always catches my eye—it is my favorite!

These red leaves were on a little tree in a parking lot in Bishop, calling out for everyone to notice it in all its glory.

Some views along the highway.

These trees and views pop up at the intersection of Highway 395 and Highway 120 heading into Yosemite National Park.

Of course, Mono Lake is always a wonder!

No wonder this Highway 395 is called a SCENIC DRIVE!

Early Fall on Highway 178

Every Autumn, I take a drive to Bishop for a couple days to look for fall colors.  It is always a nostalgic trip because I think of my dad traveling with me.  We made the first trip together years and years ago.  I now imagine him traveling with me in spirit.  This trip is always a chance to slow down and contemplate the wonder of Nature as the end of the year approaches. It is a great time to realize how lucky I am and to start making plans for the new year.

This year I made the trip during the second week of October, a bit earlier than previous years.  I started the drive traveling on Highway 178, which initially follows along the Kern River.  It is one of my favorite drives, regardless of the season. There are not many trees along the route that offer much fall color, but the Rabbit Brush, sage and other scrub brush offer enough color to usher in a beautiful fall.

Sacred Datura, also known as Locoweed, punctuated the roadside.

I do not know what these rust plants are, do you?

A Quick Glimpse of Lake Isabella

There Was a Nice Purple Color Gracing the Hillsides

Rabbit Brush

IMG_0192

Mountain Asters

If you have not driven Highway 178 lately, consider taking a nice leisurely drive some afternoon.

It’s Fall!

Today is the Autumnal Equinox.

“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.”   Joe L. Wheeler

I love this time of year.

Even though I live in California, where many feel there are not really four seasons, I see the change of colors about town in small doses every year.  In about a month, I will take a drive looking for greater swatches of autumn colors strewn along the highways and back roads.

Until then, here are some photos from last year that offer a promise of what autumnal glories are to come in 2019.

“Leaves grow old gracefully, bring such joy in their last lingering days. How vibrant and bright is their final flurry of life.”   Karen Gibbs

“There is a subtle magic of the falling of old leaves.”  Avijeet Das

“No King has a throne more beautiful than a bench covered with the autumn leaves!”  Mehmet Murat ildan

“Rebellious leaves going out in a blaze of glory, setting trees aflame in riotous color. Reluctant surrender of rumors of coming winter.”  John Mark Green

“Autumn! The greatest show of all the times!”   Mehmet Murat ildan

“How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.”   John Burroughs

 “The leaf of every tree brings a message from the unseen world. Look, every falling leaf is a blessing.”   Rumi

“The fall leaf that tells of autumn’s death is, in a subtler sense, a prophecy of spring.”   Robert Green Ingersoll

“Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it.”   George Eliot

HAPPY NEW YEAR: A Photographic Review of My Blog

“There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.”   C. S. Lewis

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is the end of 2018. How did that happen? So quickly?  Maybe it’s because I am getting older, but the years seem to fly by faster and faster.  This year, I am accepting the Lens Artist Photo Challenge to complete a Photographic Review of 2018.

I started 2018 with a blog celebration of Winnie the Pooh.  His friendly, endearing philosophy is a great way to approach any new endeavor.

Throughout most of the year, I spent my days doing typical things like housework, cleaning out closets, sorting old photographs. Of course, I watch the news and lament the problems and disasters that are reported too often, but I try to stay away from the craziness of fake news and inane and insane commentary on social media.   I also visit with family and friends, read lots of novels (mostly murder mysteries) and watch lots of television and movies.  None of those activities tend to make it to my blog.  Occasionally I will write a post about a past experience or review a book or movie, but not very often.

As I review my blog for 2018, it becomes apparent what is important to me: Nature.  Being in nature offers a grand travel adventure as well as a chance to enjoy solitude and embrace the spirituality that is at the heart of the natural world.  I did not travel very far in 2018—Oregon was the furthest I ventured.  But every trip included beautiful colors and remarkable scenery.

In the Spring, I enjoyed the local area, visiting such places as the Fresno Blossom Trail and the Wind Wolves Nature Preserve.  Just driving through the hills is a wonderful afternoon.

I also drove to wine country to visit Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and Anadel State Park, looking for spring flowers.

In the summer, I took a trip to Oregon, seeing what color was still in bloom at places like Crater Lake and the Mount Hood Scenic Drive.

CRATER LAKE

Surprises are always fun, like finally seeing some sunflowers in the field and discovering Priscilla Dragon Princess along I-5.

In the fall I made my usual trek to the Bishop area, looking for the golds and reds of the season, and took a short drive into Kings Canyon.  I also drove the Tioga Road and visited Yosemite Valley.  The colors were glorious!

TIOGA ROAD/HIGHWAY 120

YOSEMITE VALLEY

This review has reminded me how lucky I am to have the health and finances needed to enjoy my travels.  Any new year that includes such natural wonders would be a remarkable adventure! I do not have travel plans set yet for the next 12 months, but I know I will visit beautiful places. For now, I am content to be home, relishing the treasures of the past and anticipating the wonders of the new year.

Over the years, I have learned that it is our attitude that most impacts the future and helps the new year live up to its challenges and opportunities.  I am not setting official resolutions, other than to embrace change and work to help make the world better.  I hope you too can determine your priorities and then live life with those in mind—and have a wonderful new year!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Quotes about Having a Great New Year

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier.’”  Alfred Lord Tennyson

“Cheers to a new year and another chance to get it right.”   Oprah Winfrey

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”  Benjamin Franklin

“We will open the book.  Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”   Edith Lovejoy Pierce

“May the New Year bring you courage to break your resolutions early!  My own plan is to swear off every kind of virtue, so that I triumph even when I fail!”   Aleister Crowley

“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives. . . not looking for flaws, but for potential.”   Ellen Goodman

“Each New Year, we have before us a brand new book containing 365 blank pages. Let us fill them with all the forgotten things from last year—the words we forgot to say, the love we forgot to show, and the charity we forgot to offer.”   Peggy Toney Horton

“Past and Present I know well; each is a friend and sometimes an enemy to me.  But it is the quiet, beckoning Future, an absolute stranger, with whom I have fallen madly in love.”   Richelle E. Goodrich

“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.”   Vern McLellan

“Your success and happiness lie in you.  Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”  Helen Keller

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.  Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world.  You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”   Neil Gaiman

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.”  Colin Powell

“New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved.  Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.”   Sara Ban Breathnach

“Let our New Year’s resolution be this:  We will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.”   Goran Persson

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”  Albert Einstein

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary.”   Steve Jobs

Giving Thanks Every Day

The other day Americans celebrated Thanksgiving.  It is a great holiday devoted to family and gratitude and—more and more—football and the start of the race to the stores to buy way too much for Christmas.  Still, it is nice to take the time to voice our gratitude and appreciation for all we have.

Gratitude is the key, one that can help make life better in so many ways.  If one appreciates life and all its messy details—and better yet—voices that appreciation, then it is hard to remain sad or grumpy or resentful of others.  And, as Jospeh B. Wirthlin explains, noticing all the little things that make life worth living, often, means we will not ever truly take them for granted, an accident of life that is too easy to happen in the hecticness of day-to-day living:

“The more often we see the things around us—even the beautiful and wonderful things—the more they become invisible to us.  That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds—even those we love.  Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.”

I enjoyed the holiday and all the memories it awakens. Mom and Dad are always with me in spirit on that day.  I make a pork roast (my tradition) in part because it was a favorite of Mom and Dad too.  I also take some time to reflect on my life and what all I appreciate these days.  It is another habit of mine, associated with the holiday.

Here are a few of things I am appreciative of today:

I appreciate family and friends.  The holidays are a good reminder to tell those special people how you feel.  It is not wise to make them read your mind. My sister Barbara routinely shares Mary Engelbreit’s delightful art with me.  How great is that?

I am retired, a fact that still surprises me most days.  But I am grateful that I have funds enough to live a good life.  I can buy pretty much what I want and keep myself well stocked with books and movies to enjoy as I relax.  The most recent book by Barbara Kingsolver is at the top of my list:  Unsheltered.

I am basically healthy, although I am not able to walk as I used to.  But I still travel and am thrilled to find scenic routes that help me enjoy glorious Nature wherever I travel.

I love Nature.  Autumn especially is such a glorious time of year—the beauty is almost overwhelming! The photos here are from my most recent trip to enjoy the fall colors.

I appreciate that the recent elections are over, so the dreaded political advertising is over for a bit.  I also like the election results. Having the elected representatives more closely matching what seems to be the ideological split in the country seems wise.  Maybe those elected politicians (I cannot call them “leaders” on either side of the aisle) will finally start working together to better the country.  I am hopeful, although not optimistic.

I appreciate all the fire fighters and first responders who come to help, no matter what tragedy they are called to.  And I am so grateful for the charities that come forward to help survivors try to reclaim their lives.  The fires most recently in California are horrible, so small victories are applauded.  One of the three fires is contained and another almost so.  The rains have not caused mudslides.  I feel I must add “yet,” but I am still appreciative today for the good news.

I appreciate that my apartment complex allows residents to have pets.  I get to see and greet dogs as they head out with owners.  Cats are around too.  A couple take afternoon naps on my patio, occasionally noticing me through the sliding glass door and giving me that why-did-you-disturb-me look.  I love it!

I love that colder weather has finally arrived.  I realize that is relative, and if I lived where it snowed and regularly dropped below freezing and stayed there, I might reassess.  But in California, I now get to snuggle under an extra blanket and pull out my sweaters. And it rained a bit yesterday in my area—yeah!

I love the anticipation of Christmas. Not the commercials and sales or even the every-hour-on-the-hour movies about the cheerful Christmas spirit, but the memories that surface of past holidays, the plans for gifts that will be just right for loved ones, the favorite movies and songs that are nostalgic as well as bittersweet at times, and even the traditional sweets and goodies that are served throughout the holidays.  It is a great time to remind others of the joy and wonder of Christmas.

Every day is a miracle.  We need to consciously look for the wonder around us on a daily basis.  Of what are you most appreciative today?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Quotes about Appreciation & Gratitude

“If you have the opportunity to play this game of life you need to appreciate every moment. A lot of people don’t appreciate the moment until it’s passed.”   Kanye West

“There’s so much to appreciate about my life every single day, and I make a big point of taking time to smell the roses and noticing how lucky I am. I never want to take that for granted.”   Josie Maran

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness—it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”   Brene Brown

“At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.  Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”   Albert Schweitzer

“What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it—would you be likely to give them another?  Life if the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have.”   Ralph Marston

“We don’t need a melting pot in this country, folks. We need a salad bowl. In a salad bowl, you put in different things. You want the vegetables—the lettuce, the cucumbers, the onions, the green peppers—to retain their identity. You appreciate differences.”   Jane Elliot

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”   Melody Beattie

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”   William Arthur Ward

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed.  Happiness if the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”   Denis Waitley

“Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.”   Dalai Lama

“Once we discover how to appreciate the timeless values in our daily experiences, we can enjoy the best things in life.”   Jerome K. Jerome

“’Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say.  I say that one a lot.  Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.”   Alice Walker

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”   Gilbert K. Chesterton

“Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it a secret.”   Mary Kay Ash

“Really appreciate the sunset as you’re driving home, cursing all the terrible drivers on the road.  Be where you are when you’re there rather than out there in the future or back there in the past.”  Valerie Harper

“Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the times when we may pick up the fruit.”   Anton Chekhov

“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.”   Eckhart Tolle

“When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity.”  Elie Wisesel

“Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude.”   Louie Schwartzberg

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”   Voltaire

“People will never forget how you made them feel.”   Maya Angelou

“To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”   Vincent Van Gogh

“If spring came but once a century instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake and not in silence, what wonder and expectation would be in all the hearts to behold the miraculous change.”   Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God.  Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”   Anne Frank

“Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you.  Go outside and turn attention to the many miracles around you.  This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe.”   Wayne Dyer

“Feeling gratitude isn’t born in us—it’s something we are taught, and in turn, we teach our children.”   Joyce Brothers

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The world will never starve for wonder, but only for want of wonder.”   G. K. Chesterson

 

Tag Cloud