Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Have you ever heard a donkey bray?

Yesterday I drove up to Volcano, CA... and then further up to Daffodil Hill. I wanted to take some pictures of the beautiful valley of daffodils and its surroundings before the rain and snow arrived today.
I thought the park was open... but it wasn't. Luckily, the caretaker said I could walk around and take some photos as long as I didn't walk out on the slippery trails. It's was an insurance thing. I was fine with that so I stuck close to the barnyard and gravel areas.
It was overcast and cold, but I got some great photos.

The daffodils were shivering in the cold wind and I didn't get many good photos of the thousands of flowers that were blooming.
 This was one section of "the hill" where they have  planted daffodils.

And looking up into this small valley I remembered what William Wordsworth wrote .
I though of his words...
"I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud
  That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
  A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,        
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze."

"They flash upon that inward eye
  Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils."
Have you ever heard a donkey bray? It is truly a "He (breath in) ha(breath out), he ha, he ha." only very high pitched and loud. They knew that the care taker had given me some bread (for another reason) and they wanted some too. The horse was quieter about it. He just waited and watched.

Because, it seems, the donkeys are the ones who "put on the show"
... and they did.
They are real attention getter's.
I wanted to take this one home with me.

The really reason for the bread was to attract these birds.
This is a Peacock.
 A beautiful pure white one.
And the more traditional ones.
I was told to throw small pieces of bread and call out, "Pretty bird."
It worked like magic. 
These birds were conditioned to follow the bread.
They came to me like I was a Pied Piper.

And then a huge male arrived...

...in all his glory.
He was magnificent!
When I threw some bread at him, he chased the others away and then he gave me a special performance.

I was honored. Not being a peacock... I wondered if this was just for a piece of bread or did he , because this was mating season, look at me as... well, you know.

Later, when I was in my car, changing lenses, he appeared again.
Is this one of the most beautiful birds in existence?
This time he wasn't that interested in me. He had his eye on a female pea hen in the garden.
and off he went to pursue her.
When he came back to the driveway he gave me one more "dance"...

 He "Do see do'ed".
He turned around , spread his feathers and looked at me as if he was the PRINCE of his kingdom.
He surely was. No doubt about it.
Finally, I said goodbye to the donkeys.
 And the beautiful horse.
I got into my car and drove about a mile down the road to a friend's house.
We lived up here for three years before we built our house, down near the river, in Jackson.
(This is part of her backyard with its little Lowe's potting shed in it.) 
She fixed me lunch and we had tea together. We talked about all kinds of things...gardening, quilting, husbands, women stuff... you know... and how the years seemed to go by so fast since we were neighbors.  We talked about the good times and the bad... and "Where did all those years go?"
And then I had to leave.
 I drove home and passed the school, in Pine Grove, where I first got a job, and then drove west, down highway 88, as I had done for so many years.
This is beautiful country up here. We came when we were 50 years old. It was hard to leave the town we raised our boys in and the friends that we knew, but we had a "vision".
 We wanted to live in the "Gold country". 
We wanted property, forty acres with a gold mine (yes, we have one!) and a place where we could find a rivers and creeks to pan for gold, swim in and enjoy "mother nature". 
We wanted peace, clean air and a place for our children and grandchildren to come when the world became too hectic.
We found it.
 We have been here almost eighteen years, now, and a lot has happen. 
We should have built a bigger house but... oh well.
I have few regrets.
I love this place. 
It's my home. 


  1. A very enjoyable post. The park you visited looks like a wonderful place to visit, and how nice that you had it to yourself. And thanks for the background on your life. Interesting. It sounds like you've come to a really fine place.

  2. Oh I like you
    such a caring woman for the animals
    and for your family
    and that bird...I think he did have his eye on you....he knows a good one too
    Your visit with your lady friend sounded heavenly...just shooting the breeze with a kindred soul...
    keep these wonderful posts coming

  3. That was a lovely story! You have found your spot. The peacock is wonderful, but I would want one of those sweet faced donkeys too! Thank you!

  4. Now Connie, this is my kind of blog post! Daffodil Hill, donkeys, and William Wordsworth, all you could ask for a perfect day. Oh and the show of the peacock. I remember when we moved here to Cambria we had wild ones in our yard, and the fist time I heard them cry (like a squealing pig) I thought we had a wild animal in our yard, and there it was , right on our roof. So good to see 'home'

  5. ha that is a cute little shed...the peacock is amazing too...so beautiful...like that view from the bench too...could prob sit there a while....and wordsworth, lovely...over all a good day eh?

  6. What a wonderful trip you had! The photos are amazing and several of them I think you should definitely frame! Thanks for sharing...

  7. I thought of "fluttering and dancing in the breeze" when I saw that third shot. A lovely day out, then happiness at coming home - what more could one ask for?

  8. Ah, donkeys. They are magical, aren't they? :-)

  9. Connie, this was one great post. Love all the pictures. The park with all the daffodils , the lovely peacock, the donkeys and the horse. Your friends little potting shed is cute. Sounds like you and she had a nice visit. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  10. you killed me I'm just done cooked like a goose. what's the zipcode there?

  11. How amazing that this magnificent strutted and gave you such a wonderful show! That hill of daffodils is so pretty. What a wonderfully scenic place. :-)Sue


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