Let the Holiday Making Begin!

Soon, the ornament making and cookie baking will be in full swing.

But First….

A little look at our walk in the park!

Deep breath in……  and out

Before I dive deep into my busiest season of making, I’d like to reflect and share our alternative to heading out to the gym to hop on a treadmill.  We do hop in the car and get ready for a brisk walk, but we clock in our miles along trails surrounded by the Redwoods, meadows of clover and wildlife at Henry Cowell State Park in Felton, California.

IMG_2404 Cool morning in the forest.

IMG_2361 Sunshine peeking through the last of the morning fog.

It’s refreshing, invigorating and inspires gratitude for the natural beauty of our area!  The Japanese call it Forest Bathing, and I agree with the benefits of breathing in the fresh and fragrant air of the forest. Along with exercise, our walks…

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Power in the Forest

There are many ways to interpret the power of the forest.

I live among the Redwoods, Oaks and other stately trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California.  We are lucky to share this beautiful area with our neighbors and many animals living the “wild life” in the forest.

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We enjoy the company of squirrels, chipmunks and birds in the morning along with lizards in the warm afternoon.  It’s not unusual to spot a few deer or a family of quail when gazing through the window or stepping outside.  At night, coyotes or mountain lions have been heard, foxes seen looking back at us, or the not so pleasant “aroma” of an angry skunk can be smelled.  Such is the life in our (not really so absurdly) rural community!

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In the Redwood forest we see its power in the ancient trees that grow to be 300 feet tall.  They are exquisite!  We are fortunate to live near 2 beautiful California State Parks.  Big Basin is the oldest state park in California and is a lovely place to take a refreshing walk or hike to see waterfalls after a nice rain. Henry Cowell is on our way to Santa Cruz and my husband and I often take a nice walk on our way to running errands in the city.

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Another example of the power of the forest is our need for power in our homes.  We live on a hill and our power lines are clearly visible from our house.

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I used to complain that they obstruct our view, but now I appreciate them a bit more.  This past winter, on a very windy day, one of our neighbor’s trees fell across the power lines, blocked the road and broke the pole right below our house.  Our view was a little better, until it was dark, that is, because we had no power!

The power company (PGandE) was amazing, out with bright lights and brave men, rebuilding the pole and restoring power to our neighborhood in the high winds before we even settled in for the night. We sure do depend on electricity to do so many things in these modern times.

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The power lines are just fine with me! And, for another reason… Often, from my kitchen window, I’ll spot a squirrel doing his tightrope act while on his tour of the neighborhood. Occasionally, we will spot a beautiful hawk on a line surveying the hillside, I imagine looking for lunch.  Run chipmunks, run!

So, this is my interpretation of this week’s Photo Challenge “Lines”. I hope you enjoyed the peek into the power of the forest!

❤️ Carol