Saturday, June 27, 2009

I am Humbled...

This is a different shade of the flower in the last post. I find myself humbled by the simplicity of the bud and the complexity and organization of the entire blossom. Allowing oneself to be amazed and then remembering to be humble in the face of the Magnificent is a powerful experience.

It does not have to be the newest and biggest that man kind can produce. Gardens hold endless surprise. Even in the arid land of the Central Valley in June.

Looking at the organization of the flower from the underside ~

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Small AND Grand

The most magnificent surprises come is very tiny packages!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lake Buena Vista

Active volley ball games on Father's Day!

and simple pleasures...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Buena Visita Aquatic Recreation Area

Traveled about 25 miles south west of Bakersfield off of Interstate 5 to see this man-made lakes area. There are three small lakes with recreational facilities including over-night camping. I was told to make reservations if I was planning to camp as this time of year the sites are often full. It is very pleasant and many families were there to celebrate Father's Day. Picnic tables, BBQ pits, some shade trees and swimming is allowed on one of the small and quiet lakes. During the less warm time of the year many birds migrate through here. I noticed the sound of many bird calls as well as bull frogs croaking. Their sounds add to the sense of being away from the urban areas.

More about this place later this week...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Completing the tour of Pyramid Lake

a study in contrasts - the living and the not living....

picnic shelters waiting for the humans to visit...
waters waiting for it's boaters...
peace waiting for a visitor...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pyramid Lake - Finding beauty in contrast

Part of the experience of recreation in stopping to observe the world at a small level. This lake with it's busy water activities and bustling BBQ areas also has some other small wonders of the natural kind. The arid climate contributes to a variety of environmental colors and textures that's a visual delight.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pyramid Lake - just to have fun

The State Forest areas offer places to relax and have fun with family and friends - a small escape from the city. For dog lovers, unlike the National Forest system which is dog hateful - dogs are welcome here - but on a leash, please or you will run a foul of the agents who work here. Pyramid Lake has covered shelters, BBQ pits, a life guarded beach and lots of room for boats.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pyramid Lake ~ learning to use a canoe - sort of...

On Sunday I watched two groups of young men learn to manage a canoe. One group swamped their boat twice. A person with jet skis finally got them right side up and the duo turned the canoe over again. The jet ski fellow helped once again and lastly towed the pair to safety. No one was hurt. Well, pride maybe but that always heals with time.

Canoes resting after a hard day of beginners at work.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pyramid Lake

On the trip to L.A. last week-end I noticed a couple of lakes in the mountains. Decided today to visit one - Pyramid Lake. This is another man-made lake. It lies on the border of the Angeles National Forest and the Los Padres National Forest. I found out today that the lake is 20 miles north of Magic Mountain (an amusement park - so that may have to be another trip in the near future).

Up to 150 boats are allowed at one time. I did not see any one doing much in the way of fishing but my view was limited to the small bit of shoreline accessible to cars. There are several day camping areas that are accessible only with a boat so the lake is larger that it appears in these photos. I think this would be a fun place to bring a pontoon boat. Enjoy the sunshine at 4000 feet elevation, chat with friends, have a picnic on board and, for those so inclined, get some fishing done!

More about this lake and the services available to visitors - later this week.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Beach homes and Beach homes!

Manhattan Beach neighborhoods are interesting. Back about a mile or so from the beach you find small houses with colorful, sunny charm.

Housing on the beach is dense and crowded. If you are thin, young and wealthy - what a neat place to live!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Manhattan Beach in Southern California: Part 2

As always in retail so much is "location, location, location". In this economy, even in a beach community - it has to help!

It was Sunday but every metered parking spot was filled. Patrons out to shop and eat on a lovely afternoon!

Tanker attending to business in the local ports.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Manhattan Beach in Southern California

Over the mountains, through the Angeles National Forest and down the 405 to Manhattan Beach in the South Bay of L.A. I felt as though I has traveled to another planet. The weather was sunny and the ocean breeze was brisk and refreshing. The Central Valley has palm trees. But when the palms are the landscaping for the ocean the effect is sublime - tropical not desert! The beach is lined with volley ball poles but the few were playing today. Folks down here call this season "June Gloom" and it feels chilly to many. I thought, after 90+ degree heat, it felt heavenly. Children were in the ocean water in spite of the breeze and surfers bobbed atop their boards waiting for the perfect wave. If you can navigate the traffic, the South Bay area is a must. Beaches are pretty, fun shops and places to eat and the people watching is interesting. This day was a treat in spite of the LA freeways!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Jewels of the Forest Floor

Flowers in the forest are a delightful beauty for one species and the 'office' for another...

Next stop...the beach in So. Cal.!

The Yucca in Bloom

The Yucca plants were in when during this most recent visit to the Sequoia National Park. The Yucca is found in dry arid places so it was not unusual to find it in the desert but it was surprising to find it in abundance in the Sequoia. It was a small lesson in eco-systems. The plant itself has tough sword like leafs. The spike that brings forth the flower is also tough, thick and tall. I stood under one plant to take some of the pictures. I’m just about 5’6” and the flower towered above me! The Yucca plant came up to my knees. The blossoms on the species in the Park are large, white and stand in beautiful contrast to its parent plant.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sequoia: A Park Forest for Meditation

Do you need to rest and relax? Would a moment to collect your thoughts before trudging into another week of making decisions be of comfort to you? Do you need to have time to play with the family, explore nature with the kids? A visit to this forest will provide the environment that will encourage you to think or not think, to move or not move – depending on your need. There are magnificent peaks, deep, lush valleys, thickly pined groves and small hidden places to sooth any weary soul.