Monday, December 31, 2012

Light In Winter

It's an interesting thing living here in the Sierra foothills. Summer is so hot, we hide from the sun. Winter is so wet and cold, we seek warm refuge in front of the fire. That means a lot of time spent indoors. So, we try to find the most wonderful view of our world whenever and wherever we can. Lately, it's all been about the changing sky. Here are three views from three consecutive days.

Roger and I are celebrating the 24th anniversary of our meeting on New Year's Eve. We are delighted to be tripping around the universe on this whirling planet together.

In celebration of our splendid earth, these beautiful colors, and the possibility of love and peace, we wish you a wonderful HAPPY NEW YEAR!

PS-- Here's some information about iridescent clouds from Atmospheric Optics. Such a cool phenomenon.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Connection Junkies

Roger and I don't really feel like we live out in the boonies. We're a 45 minute drive to the capitol of the most populated state in the country. We're six miles from Interstate 80. That's right I-80, the most well-traveled interstate in the country. We're seven miles from a 24-hour Safeway. Seriously. We're not out in the boonies. And yet… and yet… every freakin' time it rains our internet goes down and our telephone line has buzzing static that makes conversation impossible.

Here's the thing about living rurally, you have to be willing to put up with a lot of cranky back-woods stuff that drives us "experienced" city folk crazy. I have to stop myself from calling ATT and saying things I would regret ever showing up in print and accurately attributed to me. Aren't we all living in the 21st century at the same time? How is that things can be this technologically funky so close to the real world of high-tech?

Winter has arrived. We're already 158% above average rainfall, and the storms keep coming. The clouds have darkened the already darkened winter skies, and there has been very little actual bright daylight for a while. Not particularly good for photographing anything, unless you want to see gray winter bleakness at its bleakest best (or would that be worst?).

I have to wonder if our internet disconnect would have been quite as disastrous had it occurred in summer, when we could have gone on hikes in the high country or at least good long walks on local trails. I confess that a few days without our DSL on day-after-day of rain compelled us to seek a similar drug that required a two-year contract and a little device that lets us connect to the internet via cell phone towers. Of course we live in a 3G environment that not even Virgin Mobile recognizes, so our Verizon Jetpack provides a slightly faster than dialup fix. We were absolutely delighted.

Hello, we're the Dharma Bums, and we're connection junkies.

PS -- I did go out the other day to photograph the beautiful big mushrooms growing on the bark next to one of our woodpiles. I looked up at a clear sky and saw a stunningly brief and beautiful iridescent cloud.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Romance of Mistletoe

Ah, mistletoe, the kiss-inspiring greens of the season. What are you and how do you grow?

"Mistletoe plants grow on a wide range of host trees, and commonly reduce their growth and can kill them with heavy infestation. Viscum album can parasitise more than 200 tree and shrub species. All mistletoes are hemi-parasites, bearing evergreen leaves that do some photosynthesis, and using the host mainly for water and mineral nutrients. Mistletoe first sprouts from bird feces on the trunk of the tree and in its early stages of life it takes nutrients from this source."

Wow. Who knew?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Remembering My Father

I think this may be the oldest photo I have of my father's youngest self, at 18 with his sister Mimi. I like thinking of him like this, not yet gone off to war. On December 19, he would have been 94 years old. Happy birthday, Dad. Sending love and remembrance out into the starry universe to you.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Morning Light to Balance Heavy Morning News

Just looking for something beautiful
full of splendid light
to balance the news of the day

You'll have to use your imagination to know the outrage and heartbreak we feel. Sometimes there are simply no words. 

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Yuba River: Before And After The Rains

Summer 2009
December 6, 2012
Summer 2009
December 6, 2012

Not sure what to make of the bottom two photos. They are taken in the same place, but we're not sure where that rock on the right came from. It's not in the upper photo. The two photos are taken from a slightly different angle, but the difference between them seems greater than just perspective.

We've had a ton of rain. I think we've had more than 20 inches since October 1. It's about half of our yearly total. So, we're okay for a little dry weather, if some would come our way. 

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Deliquescence

These are Coprinopsis lagopus. Hard to capture them in every stage of their very short lives. But, wow, they are an interesting fungus to have around.

Rain is wreaking havoc on our phone and dsl. We're still operating on dial-up speed. It's like the bad old days, only worse. We know how much better it could be.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

The Storm It Did Blow In

 This post may or may not make it to your desktop. It's been rough these past few days with the "atmospheric river" of storms that blew through here. Between Thursday and Sunday morning we had eight inches of rain and lots of wind. It wasn't a hurricane, but it was absolutely a significant weather system. 

One of the things about living out in the country is the general iffy-ness of the internet. That has at least been true here. And when it rains, forget it, you're pretty much reduced to less than dial-up on  your precious 2.5 mbps DSL download speed. Today I clocked in at .05! Whee!

I took a few pics before Thanksgiving when we had our first little storm blow through. Then, the big storm blew in a week later and changed the scenery for good. There's not a leaf between us and winter now.

After the deluge, even with the sky still moody and gray, the sun burst through with a light that made us run outside and look in every direction. It was crazy beautiful.

For a moment, I greeted the sun like it was a harbinger of spring. It was that bright and welcomed. Then I remembered, we haven't even made it to solstice yet. Oy.