Thursday, October 25, 2012

petrified wood

Southern Utah has always been one of my favorite places. I love the remoteness. I love the small towns. I love the dark skies. I love the rocks. I love camping on the sandstone and I'm not sure there's another place this remote where we could park a 5th wheel trailer on that sandstone.

I have a special spot in my heart for Hanksville, which is one of those wonderful little small towns. When I placed my first online order for jewelry supplies, it was sent to the post office in Hanksville. (That's another story... getting shipments when we were moving at least every two weeks.) So it wasn't surprising that Hanksville had a nice surprise waiting for us this year. Behind the little grocery store, this guy was polishing two big chunks  of rock. He was delighted when one of our party walked into his yard to see what he was doing.

This piece of petrified wood weighs over 2200 pounds and my new friend from Hanksville is polishing it as he did the other half. Both will live in the lobby of the Manhatten Waldorf Astoria. We were in awe as he pointed out all the amazing inclusions and patterns and colors. Then... he offered to take us hunting for petrified wood!

We met him the next morning and this is what we saw and found. OMG. Not only was there gobs of wood to be found, but we drove past the Mars Desert Research Station ( complete with astronauts in space suites.

It truly is an alien landscape. We all loved it, even the dog.

I found a knot with wonderful bark on the back including some crystals. My Hanksville buddy polished it for me!

Sadly, I didn't get a picture of it prior to the polishing. The black part had compression circles on the surface that could only have happened by the chipping action of an Ancient hand. It is so much more beautiful than my camera could capture.

Yay Hanksville. We will be back.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

on the road again

the photo studio
After 18 months of staying put at our Goldendale property, Birdwood, we are traveling again for the winter! There's been family, friends, our first winter in the northwest in a decade, a new house, a garden, adding decks with roofs to the new house and finally remodeling a rental condo. Endless projects which were good except for the endless part. And none of those projects were jewelry related. I'm excited about being back in my trailer studio. I'm excited to be spending the month of October in one of my favorite places, southern Utah. Yay snowbird vacation (:
i love this place - spring flowers in october !!

out the back window view for this week
my beading board on the chair
silver box and tools on the stool
dog in the other chair
how's this for inspiration
aspen branch close up


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

First Frost

Pretty early this year (that's the windshield where I wrote today's date)...  

thankfully the 29 degrees didn't affect the garden...  

The cooler temps mean the fire will feel good...

Monday, June 25, 2012

journal entry 1796

Wednesday     Day 1,796
Nov. 22, 2006
Vicksburg, AZ

Laughlin was a fun stop, with its mix of gambling and riverside palm trees.  But our real mission was to get to the desert southwest, where we’ll spend the rest of this winter.  Yesterday we made the drive to Vicksburg, a tiny outpost on the edge of a large section of BLM-managed public land.  Ah, at last we’re back in the wide open spaces of the Sonoran Desert.  Donna has been craving solitude, and this is it.

Except for our friend's trailer parked 100 feet away from us, there are no other humans visible in our sweeping, 360 degree view.  No other state, except for maybe Utah, has so much appealing public land where one can enjoy remote but comfortable camping.  This is our favorite kind of fun.  It’s sunny and warm for our first day here.  We set up our campsite with campfire, chairs, tiki torches and bird feeders.  Even Bob our Fake Human comes outside to enjoy it.  The afternoon is spent roaming the surrounding desert.  When sunset comes, there are cocktails by the campfire, and then card games with the neighbor.

empty wide open spaces - I love the Arizona desert

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

peace and quiet

I've recently switched from watching the Today Show to CBS This Morning and I'm liking the change. Charlie Rose is quite good, Gayle King is fabulous and Erica Hill is refreshing. It's like the difference between People and Time magazines. This morning there was a piece on the quietest place in the lower 48 states and YAY that place is in Washington State. Somewhere in the Olympic Rain Forest out on the Olympic peninsula. This is my closest quiet place right now. Wonderful public land on the shores of the Klickitat Gorge. The photo above is looking north towards Mt. Adams and the photo below is looking south towards Mt. Hood. If miss Mount St. Helens hadn't blown her top, there would be a picture of that mountain as well. I love this place. The quiet is real and quite invigorating.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

yellow like the sun

I love this leopard's bane because it came from my mom and dad's garden. And I love it's tenacity. It survived snow, ice and repeated nights of frost to bring this glory to my garden.

Monday, April 9, 2012

nature's wonders

the last full moon of winter peeking through the pines
Being a 10-year veteran snowbird, it's been interesting to spend the winter in Washington state this year. While living where it's warm all the time one tends to forget that there are seasons, there is crippling snow and ice storms and that spring finally does return with it's promise of new life. We saw the first Western bluebirds on February 26. The hummingbirds have yet to return to their summer homes here in Goldendale. Owlie is still one of our nearest neighbors along with a pair of pileated woodpeckers. I am thankful for nature's wonders.
a pair of western bluebirds inspecting a birdhouse in spite of our weather station

at 12 inches, the pileated is North America's largest woodpecker

a weather front and Mount Hood
Yay Spring !

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

happy spring

Weather Lore: The first three days of any season rule the weather for that season.

I am a fan of the Farmer's Almanac on facebook and that was their post this morning.
a flicker and a house finch enjoying some cold breakfast
no Mt. Hood today - just lots of cold rain

Snow is my two day forecast. I wish you perfect weather for the next two days.

Friday, January 27, 2012

2012 severe weather alert

Being a beachy desert girl my description of our winter in the Pacific Northwest is cold and beautiful. 

When you live in a 5th wheel trailer, you pay attention to the weather and in particular the severe weather alerts. Last winter we left the coastline of Texas sooner than we wanted to because of "possible tornado" warnings. Now that we're in a stick built house I find myself not knowing the weather forecast every day.

So it was a bit of a surprise to look up on January 14 and see severe weather alerts for Goldendale. Dick was as excited as a NY Giant cheer leader. Many of the roads on the outskirts of town have signs saying "impassible in winter". Ours is a private road so there is no sign but there are neighbors warnings. So we prepared to be snowed in for a week or more. We went to town and stocked up on food supplies, filling our new pantry to over-flowing. Sure enough, the night of January 16 it started snowing and didn't stop for 24 hours. Eighteen inches of snow later, we were snowed in. The good news is that our entrapment lasted only 3 days thanks to my fearless husband and our 4 wheel drive Dodge pickup.

The winter wonderland continues. It's going to take a bunch of warm sunny days or pouring rain days to melt this much snow. I miss the desert. I miss the ability to take off walking just about anytime you want in any direction you want. I am however enjoying the beauty and stillness that exists here in our world of white. And absolutely delighted that our friend Owlie is here sharing it with us.

Mount Hood has been busy building it's winter coat of snow. We haven't seen much of it making the appearances even more special.

Even if we did want to be in the desert for the rest of the winter, there's no escape now. The warming up and a couple nights of rain have turned the 4 wheel track into a slushy beautiful mess. It is truly beautiful.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

a couple of journal entries

I'm sitting here thinking about southwest places. I dug out our daily journals and got warm by reading a couple of days from our past winter adventures. I'm sharing them with you and wishing you warmth and happy memories :)

Saturday, Day 1,847
January 13, 2007
Vicksburg, AZ

Last year we enjoyed a mild Arizona winter with most days around 70 degrees or above.  This winter is more typical weather with temperatures closer to the typical 60s in the daytime and 40s at night.  But not now.  A record-breaking cold wave covers half the country, including Arizona.  When we woke up this morning, our Weather Center said its 24 degrees outside.  With a steady north wind, it’s brutal outside especially for the desert.  I’ll bet the little kit fox who visits us every night thinks so too.  If we could, we’d bring him inside Emoh and brush his coat and then let him sleep between us.  We’d do that for the hummingbird that’s been at our feeder too, but the fox would probably eat it.  

A couple days ago we realized we might get out of the cold by taking our trailer house to San Diego.  Online we located a state park beach where we could camp by the ocean.  We made reservations starting Monday.  It’ll be fun, but for now we’re just hanging on, trying to stay warm and burning propane at an alarming rate.

Wednesday, Day 1,851
January 17, 2007
San Diego, CA

Silver Strand State Beach is south of Coronado and is one of the few public beaches to offer ocean-front camping.  Donna expertly navigates us into the campground, which is actually just a paved parking lot facing the ocean.  There is a faucet where we can get fresh water, but that’s about it in the way of campground amenities.  No power, no picnic tables, no dump station, and the campsites are just a row of back-in parking spaces.  But what it lacks in services is more than made up for by the view.  Out Emoh’s back and side windows is a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean with downtown San Diego on one end and Tijuana, Mexico on the other end.  The water is tropical turquoise with white surf breaking on the broad sand beach.  After two months in the desert, this is quite a change.