Looks Can Be Deceiving

Would you believe me if I told you while taking these photos, the conditions were almost unbearable?

The cold and blustery winds forced all the golfers off the course and into the clubhouse for an early happy hour.  While the Spanish Bay lit up with patrons on the inside, only a few of us ventured outside. Following the deceptive, bright sun,  I, the only one not in a parka, crouched down on the fairway path, allowing the sculpted golf fairway landscape to break the wind. In a sumo squat, I shot the last moment of Mother’s Day eve as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, and as I walked away, a mother myself, I thought, nothing is exactly how it seems unless we’ve lived it, is it?

I believe

Looks can be deceiving.

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Proud as a Peacock

The tour bells rang at Filio, indicating the gardens were closed.  Being a photographer, always in search of the perfect golden-hour light, I was a straggler.  The sun was still too high in the northern California sky for my liking. I left, disappointed I hadn’t been able to capture the garden’s beauty in complimentary light, but accepting, to exhaust, that I’m a rule follower.

The sign on the closed exit gate read, USE SIDE DOOR WHEN LEAVING AFTER HOURS.  I exited through the archway of the door with my head down, disgruntled, and stuffing my camera equipment into my backpack.

However, as I learn time and again, we don’t decide when we’re finished. It’s the crazy, little surprises in life that break all the rules and tell us to carry on –

Entering into the side door, used for exiting, the Fioli resident peacock, strode up like a VIP on a red carpet, looked at me, stopped, opened its canopy of fabulous feathers, turned around and showed me its booty and then sauntered right past me and into the closed gardens. The peacock looked back at me, summoning me to join it on the other side, and I followed.

And there we were, back on the inside, after closing hours, with me, fiddling to get all my equipment back out of its storage and shooting this scene of a bird who’d broken all the rules –

Something someone would do who’s

AS PROUD AS A PEACOCK

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Where Nature and Urban Meet

Day 6 Nature Photo Challenge: “Left (part of) My Heart In San Francisco”

With both Logan and Sloane, my daughters, and my dear friend Laura in the Bay,

I have a love for San Francisco.

People question, “don’t the traffic, the parking, the crowdedness bother you?”

and sure, those annoyances can test my stamina and patience,

but to regularly visit such a magical place is a gift.

Amidst the stacked houses and steep streets, I most often find the beauty where nature and urban meet –

IMG_4712“Where Nature and Urban Meet”

Silence of the Lambs

Driving along Hwy #128, through Anderson Valley, I spotted sheep grazing in a vineyard.

IMG_6691IMG_6694I took a left onto a dirt road and followed the outline of the vineyard until I could go no further.  A Chevy pick-up, parked at the end of the road, blocked me from making a U-turn, so I did a three-point turn, unknowingly driving my back tires into thick mud.  I tried to pull forward, but the car didn’t budge.

A man appeared out of the Chevy and walked up to the passenger window,

“what are you doing here?”

“I followed the road, admiring the sheep.”

“well, you’re stuck.”

The man turned from my window and left.

No offer to help. Nothing.

Silence.

He just left.

He seemed pretty content that my back wheel was buried in mud to its axle.

That’ll teach me to go off the paved road.

Preoccupied with how I was going to get out of the mud, I didn’t even watch him leave.

I sat there for a moment, trying to figure out what I was going to do.

I had just been told by a local winemaker that the locals have helicopter insurance, so they are covered if they get in an accident and have to be flown to the nearest hospital. Road-side assistance probably wasn’t an option.

I fumbled with the gear shift, trying to find 4-wheel drive. It finally went into gear.

Don’t gun it, you’ll bury it deeper, just press on the gas and ease it out of this muddy hole.

And, what do you know, miraculously, up and out the tires rolled –

Freeing me from the grips of the muddy nightmare.

Feeling for a moment like a lamb who’d lost her way, I stopped the car before getting back on the highway and sat in silence.

Silently, giving thanks, for being led to those lambs and for being led out of the mud.

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“Silence of the Lambs”

 

 

 

 

 

Get Your Masters

“The master in the art of living

makes little distinction between his work and his play,

his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body,

his information and his recreation, his love and his religion.

He hardly knows which is which.

He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does,

leaving others to decide whether his is working or playing.

To him, he’s always doing both.”

-L.P. Jacks

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“Mastering Life”