Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Home


Theme ~ My 50 Years in America 

In 2005, we bought a small house in the mountains between the Mojave desert and the San Joaquin Valley in California. The house sits on hilly acres of dry grass and juniper trees at 4,100 feet in a desert mountain canyon. It came with a small barn, built with solid beautiful beams, and then wrapped in metal, two sheds, a chicken coop and assorted junk left behind. Since I devoted the 2011 A to Z Challenge to our life in the canyon, I will just share some seasonal photos, accompanied by a few words here. 

Winter

When we left our beautiful home in Los Angeles behind and moved up here, I was a bit worried at first. I wondered how I would adjust to an arid desert environment of dry winds and hot sun. We lived and worked on the west side of Los Angeles, in an area where ocean breezes managed to snake their way through the L.A. traffic to keep us cool most of the time. Here, the temperatures could reach 110 in the summer and it would be sunny and dry for months on end. 


Spring

However, the billboard that welcomes visitors to our town declares it to be The Land of Four Seasons, so fall is beautiful, snow comes in winter, spring is lovely with the yard covered in small lavender flowers and the scent of lilacs in the air.


It didn't take long for this house to become home for me. It's a 1970's two-bedroom house with a kitchen that leaves much to be desired. My husband, who is a builder, considers himself retired and is not inclined to remodel. He just cleaned it up, painted inside, made a dog run and installed a gate at the end of our long driveway. Having lived through many remodels, I am very grateful that this is as far as his inspiration has taken him. 

 
Summer

Summer is my least favorite season here in the desert. Every year there's been a fire or two somewhere close, but not in the canyon, except for last year when there were two that threatened us here. Summer is too hot and dry for this old Swede, so around the first of July, I begin my countdown of 100 days until it's over. That takes me to mid-October, by then the heat has subsided and life becomes good once again. 


We grow some of our own vegetables and we have a garden, but last year it was so dry that we just grew them in planters.

California quail, ravens, and the red-tailed hawk are the most common larger birds in the canyon. Cotton tail rabbits, Jack rabbits (hares), and ground squirrels are pray animals here, with the coyote the most frequently seen predator. We also see bobcats, but less often, and when we hike, we find tracks and scat left by black bears; mountain lions usually keep to higher ground, as do deer. Herds of elk graze in the mountains on the other side of town. Finally, we have lizards, snakes, and tarantulas too; and, of course, lots of small twittering birds. 

Autumn

In fall, the Gray Rabbit Brush, an invasive bush that takes over our fields, breaks out in pretty yellow flowers.

 

And our land, up above in the hills, turns rust colored and so beautiful. 






31 comments:

  1. Looks like a wonderful place to live...

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  2. All four of your seasons are beautiful. Thanks for sharing the pics.

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  3. What a lovely place to call 'home'. I admire your ability to adjust to such a completely different kind of life, but the variety and beauty of the place must make the changes rich and rewarding.

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  4. Wonderful photos but the winter one is especially beautiful.

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  5. Your area reminds me of my old home in The Cariboo. So pretty.

    I usually have a summer count down too. I wilt in extreme heat.

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  6. All gorgeous photos but I think I love the lilacs the most. I can just imagine how great it would smell if standing there. Your home is truly stunning. :)

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  7. Beautiful pictures. Looks like you live in a quiet place, far from the noise of city/town life.

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  8. your terrain is so beautiful and you get scads of wildlife, too. i do agree with you on summer, though. texas has more moisture than you do, but it is brutal, too.

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  9. your home scenery is divien to me, all seasons, it is beautiful and different in each one. love the thought of critters, but hold the snakes and spiders please. there always has to be something to mess with paradise. you done good.

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  10. I could enjoy living there, too--except in summer, which would kill me!!

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  11. What led you to move there? It's lovely, but I wouldn't like the isolation and the heat. I can barely make it through the summer in Florida.

    Love,
    Janie

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  12. Looks very beautiful, and the lilacs :)

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  13. I laughed when you mentioned July and the 100 day countdown! Oh, yes. July in the desert!

    The lilacs are beautiful. Your photos are so wonderful. What camera do you use?

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  14. Lovely and with such great illustrations. Thanks for sharing!

    Mary Montague Sikes

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  15. The desert holds its own unique beauty. And those tomatoes make my mouth water :)

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  16. Vackert men klart annorlunda än i Sverige.Du var väl från Stockholm...skärgården är ju något av det vackraste vi har i Sverige

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  17. I truly is a magical place Inger! I would love to experience dry winds...as it is always very humid/moist here on the coast.
    Were you a little apprehensive about the snakes and spiders at first? Not to mention the mountain lions and bears!
    You seem content, so I feel you both made the right choice here.

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  18. A good decision to move to the canyon! All the animals/birds/insect and just LIFE!
    4 Seasons says it all.
    Beautiful Inger!

    Cheers ron

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  19. Lovely! Yes, we hate fire season too! Living in the western US really teaches people about fires!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  20. That's really a lovely tour through the seasons. You should vacation up north in the summer perhaps :)

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  21. Stunning photos of a beautiful home so different from mine but so lovely :)

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  22. You really have a beautiful home.

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  23. Oh Inger, that was a lovely post!
    The cloud photo is so beautiful.

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  24. So beautiful...and completely different from the mountains of NC.

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  25. What a lovely place to live. Sadly, I cannot abide the heat, so it wouldn't work for me. I'd have to stay up higher, with the other Bears. Ever tried wearing a fur coat on a hot summer's day?

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting

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  26. I guess you never know what the seasons are going to be like in a place until you live there.

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  27. Hi Inger .. home is home - and you describe it with love ..

    Lovely to see the photos and to read the words ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  28. So very, very different from my world in Leicester UK. I think my favourite photo was on the lilacs but I'm wondering if that's because they remind me of my home!

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  29. Except for the very hot summers, I can see why you chose to live there.

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  30. It's absolutely beautiful, even in the summer. Although, I would find the summer awfully long and worrisome, too. It was a big leap from the West Side, Inger, so I'm impressed with your resiliency! Loved your photos!! And I would love the wildlife sightings, particularly the quail! oxo

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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