Thursday, December 8, 2016


California bungalow front porch

Taking a long distance travel trip, be it for a few days or for several months in your vehicle, can be both invigorating and/or tiresome. You still have vehicle care, oil changes, tires checked and all other things automotive. Also, bills follow you as you go merrily down the highway. But it will be invigorating from the standpoint of the wonderful experiences you will enjoy. 

What I am trying to say is that organized travelers enjoy their trips better when they do a great job of trip pre-planning -- weather one is travelling alone or with passengers.

I am mid-way on enjoying my long adventure of travelling with only one passenger -- my dog Daisy. We have been on the road for a couple months now. She rides shot gun in my passenger seat. She is a large friendly black lab but some folks back away when they saunter too close to my parked Toyota truck and suddenly spot her in the passenger seat staring at them.  I like that -- she provides a safe feeling as I travel. 

Right now I am taking a long break from my extensive highway adventure. Not sure how long my break will be -- two or three months perhaps. Hopefully I will keep up better with my blog. Staying with my daughter and husband who are involved with a renovation of a historic California bungalow. They plan on selling it. So I take care of their dogs, errand run etc.

Thinking of heading to the Midwest at the end of this stay here in California. But please don't hold me to it. I just might spot a small town on my cross country trip -- staying there for a while to soak up their culture and take some photos.

It's all on the table

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Old Rock Cottage

Lately, I've been visiting my daughter and son-in-law while in California. Lots of sunshine and beautiful mountainous sites. One area that I found particularly intriguing was a small back-country
settlement of folks. The roads were dirt and were lined with interesting, mostly small homes, all of different designs closely aligned with each other. The homes were older ones. The main road through the tiny hamlet was lined with quaint storefronts. 

Winding down one of the roadways we came to a dead-end. In front of us was a well worn stone cottage sitting forlornly on an incline with its back up against a steep hill. No sign of humans surrounded the cottage and obvious age was working its way around the place. 

We got out of the car to take a few photos of the place when suddenly a woman with her dog appeared outside her home which was closest to the cottage. We began to ask her questions about the old place. She had some information on it -- built in the twenties, landslide several years ago brought lots of dirt against the place and that the place was once going to be torn down. 

The folks in the neighborhood had rallied and the place was not torn down. Now, she told us that occasionally artists and photographers come to the cottage to paint or photograph it. It is off limits to walk through -- the place was knocked off its foundation by the landslide and now is deemed very unstable. 

We left with many questions. Yet thankful that we got a bit of background on this lovely cottage. Overall it was like finding a jewel in the woods.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Above photo: Dr Hargrave resided in Michigan during the 1900s and attended to many of his patients by riding many miles in his horse and buggy to their homes. 

Well I'm not exactly using a horse and buggy like Dr, Hargrave. No, I am still driving  my 2004 Toyota Tacoma that will carry me to California for quite a few months and then who knows what my next adventure will be after that.

I will not be on my blog during this trip. I will stop in to read your good writings and view your photos. 

Leaving in a week -- this is a big trip for this elder (and elder dog Daisy) -- should be interesting! 

First stop -- Mountains of Northern California!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Wildness has a mind of its own. It is barbarous and crazy in the eyes of most folks -- they feel that it should be admired for its conformity not wildness. Lawns, landscapes, and mono-cultures are typical examples of this conformity. 

When I was young, a very long time ago, I used to play in fields and woods mostly for what I could discover. Almost everyday I journeyed into that canvas and discovered something new -- usually in the plant and insect world. These places rooted me into the natural world. I would sit on logs and observe the natural interactions of the wind, rain clouds and overall movement of the woods and fields.

Part of my collection

I set up collections of nature's miscellaneous remnants as did my good friend Billy who lived near me. We had no idea who owned the fields and woods -- we felt we did. 

Dew drops after a rain.

Today, many, many years beyond my early experiences I still have my roots planted there. And also in other places where I have lived since. Finding wildness has become more difficult. It's parameters seem to be shrinking fast. 

Wild asters from a field

Here is a passage from a recent book I read, The Abstract Wild by Jack Turner:

"Thoreau's famous saying "in Wildness is the preservation of the World" asserts that wildness preserves, not that we must preserve wildness. For Thoreau, wildness was a given . . . (his) personal effort . . . was a project of the self."

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


My dog Daisy at the park 

"Now since I am a dog and a pretty darn good one I better help the Parks and Rec. Dept. by watching for dogs off leash. The green metal sign says all dogs must be on a leash beyond this sign."

"I'm thinking this place must get lots of dogs as the Parks and Rec Dept had to post this official sign in this park. Right now there are no other dogs in this huge park except me."

"Well, I think I will take a snooze as no dogs seem to be using the park today. I know it is terribly hot and humid so maybe that is why no dogs have shown up. Or maybe their human handlers are just too hot to enjoy the park and don't want to leash up their pets. I don't blame them. As they say this weather is not fit for man or beast (like me)."

Stay Cool -- from your friendly beast -- Daisy

Saturday, July 30, 2016


Old Farm Silo
circa early 1900s

The only farm structure left on this farmstead -- it 
stands as an icon to its past glory. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016


Recently I roamed around a small town populated with about 4000 residents. I was looking for some representative homes that were mostly small in size, early 1900s, colorful, and had various plants around their front yard. I found these four homes that were fairly close to what I was looking for. I call them granny houses as they reminded me of  the graphic storybook homes that were featured in the books I used to read to my children when they were young.

This small town has not been touched by a lot of of development -- thankfully. The town's commercial strip is made up of older buildings -- many one storied -- and all of different design and materials.

Most of the houses in the town are individualistic from each other with lots of rural character. Some need a little TLC but most are kept up very nicely. 

Weeds don't have a bad reputation in this town. They live together with many different types of plants. Overall I felt like I was viewing a storybook town. One that appreciates its housing history. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016


New Age Naturalist

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
Henry David Thoreau