Saturday, April 16, 2011

N is for Nature

My theme for the A to Z Challenge: Desert Canyon Living

N for Nature was, of course, a natural for me and my theme of Canyon Living. After I decided on Nature, I looked through my old photos and realized how much it changes even here in the desert mountains of California. With that in mind, I divided this post in four segments, each representing a season in the mountains.
Spring


In spring, the hills turn green and many of them are covered in yellow spring flowers.


California poppies thrive in the surrounding fields, not so many in the canyon, but plenty in town. 


Strong winds blow here in the spring, birds are nesting and singing happy songs as they gather twigs for their nests and insects to eat. Some birds return after spending the winter somewhere else, this year the western meadow lark came back to nest and I'm hoping for the return of the road runner couple. Little rabbits play in the hills and my lawn is full of holes, belonging to ground squirrels and gophers, whose young ones are as cute as can be.


On warmer days, I have seen fence lizards, but it is still a little early for snakes. The canyon is lovely in spring.

Summer


I must confess that I don't like summers in the canyon. They are way, way too hot for an old Swede. So, I make an effort -- I get up early, walk my dogs, work in my yard, and so on. Then I rest in the afternoons. 




Last year, there were several wild fires in our area, not close enough to put us in danger here, but I can't help being scared of them. I have my emergency bags packed and have figured a way to handle the dogs. I even leave a note on my bags to remember my bird, just in case I panic. Hopefully, my husband will be around more this summer. 


It also gets very dry here in the summer and it's hard to keep flowers alive. Here I created my own color palette to help cheer up Nature a bit. I love hanging clothes on the line and I'm often surrounded by California quail that hide in the junipers and twitter in their very special way when I do this. It is so peaceful and  sweet.


These hardy flowers grow along our road to the mail boxes, where the donkey rescue trucks and tractors drive by. 


I admire them, they survive and stay pretty like this for so long each summer. Sometimes a truck drives over them and they get squashed, but they always seem to come back, cheerfully. 


Autumn/Fall


In autumn everything turns yellow and dries even more. Where no efforts were made to keep the weeds at bay, it looks like in the picture above. 


Welcome rain clouds gather around the mountains and hillsides. My few trees lose their leaves.


The light changes and some of my photos may come out looking like a painting by Turner. Not because of any talent on my part, other than being observant and capturing the moment. The rest is Nature.


The gray rabbitbrush, our very invasive and pesky weed, breaks out in glorious yellow blooms, a welcome sight at the end of summer. Just like in spring, the canyon is blanketed by yellow flowers. The Native Americans who lived here made good use of this plant, as do bees from what I understand.




Our land turns the color of rust, the air cools, and the eastern mountain range is often shrouded in mist. It is so lovely and special this morning mist. 
Winter


We usually get quite a bit of snow in the winter. Not all at once and it doesn't stay long. It snows, perhaps for a day and a night, then it stays cold enough to keep for a day or two, but then it melts. They plow and sand the roads, but only once in the five years we have lived here did we have a storm that lasted and left a lot of snow for about a week.


Up here by our barn, you can see so many animal tracks in the snow. Coyotes, rabbits, jack rabbits, quail, bobcats; well, those are the ones I recognize.


This my first winter here with little snow and I was very disappointed. However, it rained, rained and rained again, so that will make up for the lack of snow as far as Nature is concerned. As I mentioned in an earlier post, a long forgotten lake re-appeared in a field on the way to town.


On the last day of 2009, I saw this rainbow and took several photos. As you can see, there is no snow, only yellow weeds and grass. 


This is how I like a winter's day to look. Fresh and cold, giving me lots of energy to be out there having fun with my husband and dogs as we venture out on a Nature hike.

40 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this post. We get snow a few times a year - not as often as you. I love the golden hills in the autumn. Spring and fall are definitely my favorite seasons. I agree -- summers are way too hot!

    ReplyDelete
  2. omg- what BEAUTIFUL images! Thank you SO much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a glorious tour through the seasons!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love you N is for nature! Very nice post and beautiful pictures! Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. That was lovely, Inger! Your shots of the canyon life are always so pleasing - it was great to see the entire year of seasons in one post!

    ReplyDelete
  6. You should give yourself more credit as a photographer! Your pix are lovely, as always, & I don't think you could ever include too many. I especially like the 2nd photo of the yellow poppies.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This will go down as one of my favorite posts on Desert Canyon Living. The pictures are beautiful and as you write about each season, I am in awe! You should write a book!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lovely way to experience your canyon through the seasons. I especially like the last photo too with the dusting of snow. It must be nice to take the dogs for a walk on the first snow fall ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. This was lovely Inger! Love the Poppies! We have them here too but we plant them.
    I can almost feel the peacefulness......

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your love of your desert home comes thru loud and clear, Inger. It is certainly beautiful year-round.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great idea to do a four seasons tour. I especially like the winter shots. I used to live in the Midwest, and while I do not miss winter at all, there's no denying the beauty of snow-covered terrain.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh, and I forgot to add... I LOVE pictures of laundry hanging on the line. I think it takes me back to a simpler place and time; I even have a picture of hanging laundry in my laundry room... go figure. ha ha!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Annette: I think winter and spring are my favorite seasons.

    Katie, Lisa, Sharon, texwisgirl, Clint, Joyful, Jim, and Tim: Thanks for leaving your comments -- I'm so glad you enjoyed this tour through the seasons.

    Fran: What I mean about photography and me is that I don't even know my camera yet; I just point and shot for the most part. And Nature, clouds or whatever are just there, cooperating to make good pictures. I do take credit for being observant and capturing moments in nature. Some people are so oblivious.

    Bobbi: I was working on a children's book. I'll get back to it. I also think Samson may have a book in him, but that market is so saturated now. I love that you have a picture of laundry hanging in your laundry room. Love that!

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's hard for me to imagine that with such hot Summers, you also have the luxury of Winters. Which Season is the longest...not by the calendar but by the actual weather, Inger?...:)JP

    ReplyDelete
  15. I like the clothes line. That's nature. So many people don't have them anymore. I have to have one. Nice post and all seasons.
    Manzanita

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love # 7 with the clothes hanging on the line, and the #12 with the light changing. What a great set of photos that take us on tour of your world. Very good idea.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love the photos, the way the seasons change. I like the flowers by the roadside, especially the close up.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wanted to make a comment on the book you are reading by Henning Mankell. I think a lot of it maybe in the translator used but I love his writing. I read The Pyramid and loved how that was written which I would describe as 'crystal clear'. This was the beginning of the Wallanger series when he just was learning and starting his career. Later I read Before the Frost where his daughter Linda is just coming into the force like her Dad and learning. I really enjoy his books.
    I love CA poppies and have had them in my entire life. Sometimes we can grow them here but depends on the summer.

    ReplyDelete
  19. N for Nice Job! I hate to say it, but I kept looking for the lizard or snake in the one picture, I figured there was one in there, but all I could see was the little white flowers! (And I have new glasses, so it wasn't that!)

    Cat

    ReplyDelete
  20. When I talk about being a good photographer, it's not about fstops or exposures or the type of film used (although those are things of the past now that everything is digital) it's being able to see the picture in your mind & framing it properly--& that you CAN DO!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. hi there, found your blog through Munir's. love your post! the photo's are great!

    thank you

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wonderful photos. I am so glad you mentioned Turner for he is one of my favorite artists and some of your shots did remind me of him.
    That one with the clouds, orange grass and shadows,would look great in a frame as would the very first photo.

    ReplyDelete
  23. It took me some time to get used to living out in the country, but now I couldn't live anywhere else. I enjoyed this post.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Inger .. that selection of Nature through the seasons in your canyon .. are beautiful .. loved the little tour and could certainly feel myself living a year through them. Nature really shows itself off here .. and reminds us of its highlights each day .. a wonderful place to live.

    Many thanks for showing us .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  25. The clothesline reminds me of a book written by someone in Nova Scotia solely about clotheslines. I tried to find it but nothing....Nova Scotians are known for the way they line up their clothes by colour, size and type of clothing. This goes way back many decades ago. Cheers for the letter N!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Fran: Thank you so much for explaining what a good photographer means to you. I accept the compliment and agree that somewhere in me there is an eye for framing and composition that often does not appear until I develop the picture. I have posted on my blog about this.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Ah the four seasons (Vivaldi playing in my mind now!)

    And for a Swede, you really do capture the warmer seasons well :)!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I loved this post... simply loved it! The desert is a beatiful place and it was so interesting to see it in all its seasons!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Beautiful photos of my home state California. We have it all here! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wonderful pictures! They take me back...we lived in CA for 3 yrs when we were first married,Hubby was Navy.We traveled and saw every place we could.We had many trips to the mountains and deserts...your photos took me back to 20 again!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Love the four seasons. I think I like spring the best!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Inger have you read any books by Arnaldur Indridason? I'm reading Jar City A Reykjavik Thriller right now. Reminds me a lot of H. Mankell.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Beautiful gallery of photos of all seasons, I really love the winter and spring.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Fabulous photos, Inger! You're so right, the last one is also how winter looks in my mind.

    ReplyDelete
  35. it sounds like you can get as fed up with summer as i do winter! ha!

    that stormy photo with the sun streaking in, is simply gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh, yes, indeed you do have an artist's eye. The photos are outstanding. Clever idea to separate the post into seasons. Just perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  37. How interesting to read about your year in the desert canyon! It looks lovely during all seasons :-)

    ReplyDelete
  38. I came to look at your photos to see if they enlarge and found this one from last april, the photos are AMAZING really stunning and i love the clothes on the clothes line. they all enlarge in slide show. t

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails