The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. ~Henry Miller~

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Happiness of Rain


All night I listened.
The rain was outside the open window,
making small consistent sounds that, in this time of drought,
make me feel like one too long away from its soul mate.
In the morning the sky still weighed heavily with dark clouds...
...still filled with moisture... but moving away, across the landscape, to the East.

The Abe Lincoln rose seems to say, "Oh, I've been waiting for you, Rain."
The bush rose, hardier than its neighbor, concurs.

The newly planted Columbine is most happy without the sun and is pleased with the moist, cool morning.
The Basil, a sun lover, is even looking better for the night of rain.

The Kangaroo Paw was not as happy... but it's an Australian native and isn't really happy until Summer arrives.

My garden ladies survived the night. One always looks like I feel with rain on my face...

The other is younger and is never really please with the moisture and what it does to her hair.
She will learn...


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Incredible Shrinking... Thread?

We had our monthly SCAT meeting at a member's old homestead yesterday.
It was a beautiful, sunny day in the country.


An old cat was lounging on the porch.
and voiced its annoyance at my invasion of its privacy.

The wonderful big dog wasn't sure about all of us walking around in his house.
But he took it in his stride. There was a little dog too, a dachshund, that was quite friendly and wanted to be a part of everything. I can't believe I didn't get a picture of her. She was a little social butterfly until she went and took a nap.
Our "learn something new" project was demonstrated by MJ. She showed us some "magic" thread.
This is amazing. You use it in the bobbin... or, if you like, both the spool and bobbin of your sewing machine. We tried both and it worked better with the thread in both the top and bottom of the fabric.

These are the directions.
We didn't use an iron. We used a heat gun and had to be very careful not to scorch the fabric. But, this thread is amazing. You can watch it shrink and pucker the fabric.
We tried other fabrics besides silk. It seems to work on just about any lightweight fabric.
We didn't try this on the tulle.. I know from experience that heat and tulle don't mix well and can burn easily.

It worked here...
I think you could take the labor out of smocking with this thread. It also adds texture to any fabric.

And you can definitely make a ruffled edge on anything with it.
A new skill that gave us all a new way of using fabric for our various art projects. Thanks MJ.

Big dog wasn't impressed.
"Mom. Are these folks leaving soon?"
"She's taking pictures of me again and I'm getting a little tired of it."
He was sweet about my camera and didn't get up and leave... but I knew it was time to stop aiming the camera at him when he gave me this sideways look.

We had a great time. It was good to get together with my friends and we left with a new skill.

You can buy the Incredible Shrinking Thread on Amazon but they're out of it right now. Equilter.com has it for $10.50 a spool... but if you join http://www.shoppersrule.com/pc/SP-INCSRTHRD/CSSWS/index.html you can buy it for $5.99 a spool. That's a good deal. I think I'm going to join.




Monday, April 13, 2015

To the River Again...

On Sunday, we took the dogs and drove up Electra Rd. to the P,G & E power plant. The day was warm and beautiful.
The turbines inside the build were humming and the water was rushing out into the river. 
We stayed out of the grasses and watched for snakes.

On the way back, Carl, our Corgi,  found the old staircase from a time when people lived here.

And a time when someone planted this huge Magnolia tree and piled rocks into a stone wall to separate the small community from the commotion and activity of the power plant.
The Electra Camp even included an indoor swimming pool. Imagine.  Must have been a nice place to live... along the river... in Spring.
Wildflowers abound... This plant and flower, called Euphorbia was everywhere.

 It would appear that this is a very invasive wildflower. It's beautiful but, like Genisteae or wild Broom, it spreads like wildfire.
We stopped at our favorite place along the river.
Where the bedrock called out to us ...

and Carl got his paws wet without getting in over his head.
And where Cutter could continue to be in his panic mode. He is getting better about being near this noisy river but he still seems afraid of any place that doesn't have walls and the familiar feeling of home.
Carl tried to set an example of how to investigate and still have a doggone good time.
I really think that Carl would go swimming if he was down here more often. He loves the water.

Of course my shadow and I were taking pictures the whole time.

And complaining about the debris that people leave in the river. We collected plastic water bottles, soft drink cans, assorted paper containers from fast food places, a Walmart price tag from a childs bathing suit and this tennis shoe. (Odd?) We left the shoe, hoping that someone would have the other one and might come looking for it.
And then there is this...
Three creatures in the middle of the river... small wooly mammoths... waiting patiently, to come alive when man leaves. Waiting on a rock island for a moment when they can reclaim the river from all the fighting and arguing that never seems to end. I'm sure that they simply wish that man would become extinct and leave the environment to them. This may happen sooner than later.

The wildflowers...

and the butterflies wait patiently....
Telling us, in their own quiet way, that we need to leave before we decide to save one more thing... before we try to save nature from itself.

And so we took our last look at the river.
And moved on.

“If we surrendered
to earth's intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.”
~Rainer maria Rilke~



Friday, April 10, 2015

Beautiful visitor

It seems that every year at least one Western Swallowtail Butterfly finds its way into my garden. They are a bright moving splash of color against the Spring flowers.
And so I move my camera in closer...
and closer...
to see the beautiful little blue tail with its orange circle and marvel at the way this butterfly is put together... how it is unique to any other in the butterfly family. Like Tiffany glass windows, like an impressionist painting, they draw you in and make you want to attain some of their beauty secrets.

They don't stay long in one place but flit from one flower to another.
and then move on.
This is Papilio rutulus and its beauty is a joy to see.