A Blue Tangle

We always did feel the same

We just saw it from a different point of view

Tangled up in Blue.

~Bob Dylan

Blue, blue, oh boring old blue.

Just kidding. I don’t find anything about the color blue, boring. Except perhaps feeling blue. I can’t feel blue for too long. Perhaps because I’m not a color, but rather some sort of humanoid. That’s my current theory, anyway. Feeling blue just gets old after not too long of a time, and then I need to move on. Look to the future with some sort of hope and at least a semi plan.

No plan, yet. Until I do, I’ll just have to make due with some peaceful blue.

Sky Blue Cloud Angel & Genie: I’m pretty certain I’m the only one who sees these two beings in these particular clouds. One has wings and one doesn’t. One looks a bit like an angel, the other looks more like a genie of some sort. Maybe they’re both angels. Maybe they’re both genies. Maybe they’re both just clouds (what???). It doesn’t matter to me, as I think they’re beautiful regardless. The important thing in the photo is actually the faint rainbow. So, we can all make a wish. I hope you wish for peace. That’s my wish, anyway.

 

Early (before 4:00) Morning Blue – Gaviota: Grainy yes, but I sort of like that effect on occasion. Rare occasion. Like this one.

 

Edinburgh Castle – Queen Margaret Blue: This small chapel inside the gates of Edinburgh Castle gave me permission to take a moment. Take a moment and breathe. I sometimes forget to do that. Life makes me hold my breath often. Mostly out of sheer shock. Although, how anything could really shock me at this point is bizarre. I’ve seen a lot during the years that I’ve inhabited this planet. And I am continually amazed at how utterly cruel we can be toward one another. Thank goodness, I’m also continually reminded of how good people can actually be. It’s a balance, I suppose.

Brown

Never a frown

With Golden Brown

~”Golden Brown” by The Stranglers

I love the color brown, golden or otherwise.

It’s the color of many a tree trunk, leaves that have fallen, lots of rocks/stones/boulders, my desk, good clean dirt, and a large percentage of my wardrobe. It’s also the color of decay. But even with this on its resume, I still love the color brown.  And then there is my absolute favorite of favorites (outside of my husband, that is) and a lot of other peoples’ favorites, you-gotta-know-where-this-is-headed, the magnificent, the nearly magical and unearthly satisfying chocolate. Be still my heart.

For chocolate alone, brown would be one of my top three colors. Perhaps even number one. Depends on the day.

Here’s some brown for your day.

Beautiful fallen boulder that allowed me passage on our hike. Joshua Tree, California

Beautiful fallen boulder that allowed me passage on our hike.
Joshua Tree, California

 

Some kind of seed pod. Perhaps one of you nature buffs will know what it is. It caught my eye, but it didn't tell me what its called. That's okay. We didn't know each other very well. Joshua Tree, California

Some kind of seed pod. Perhaps one of you nature buffs will know what it is. It caught my eye, but apparently the feeling wasn’t mutual.  So, it didn’t tell me what its called. That’s okay. We didn’t know each other very well.
Joshua Tree, California

 

Decaying in blossom I spoted on a street corner. If I can have even half this grace in my aging process, I'd be thrilled. Nature does it all so uh, naturally. Nature doesn't fight the inevitable. Solvang, California.

Decaying blossom I spotted on a street corner. If I can have even half this grace in my aging process, it will be thrilling. Nature does it all so uh, naturally. Probably because nature doesn’t fight the inevitable. Or at least, not that we know of.
Solvang, California.

I didn’t manage to take any photos of chocolate. It doesn’t last long enough in our house to have its picture taken. True story.

Circles

I’ve got a dance, I ain’t got no steps

I’m going to let the music move me around.

~Billy Preston, “Will It Go Round in Circles”

Circles are everywhere. Some become our life and we simply end up going around and around…and around. Never really going anywhere. Not terribly productive, but hey, you can burn a few calories that way. Or you could take a left. Get inside the circle. Then again, maybe you want to take a right. Get out of the circle. Hmm…now that sounds interesting.

Beginning the Walk Circle. In the beginning there was a circle. And it wanted to be stayed within.

Beginning Circle. In the beginning there was a circle. And it wanted to be stayed within.

Not only can a mile be crooked. Circles can be a wonky as well.

Sheered Circle. Not only miles can be crooked. Circles can be as well. Although, I wouldn’t try to walk this circle. A sad road to follow is one that can only be fed by the destruction of others. 

Some circles are pretty fancy...but don't let them fool you. The fancy ones are still only circles.

Pretty Fancy Circle. Some circles are pretty fancy and costly. These can astonish us, hypnotize us, and make us envious…but don’t let them fool you. The fancy ones are still only circles. Circles that we are meant to wash our hands in. 

Mmm...and some circles are just yummy. Pie. Not just for math.

Better-Than-Pi-Circle. Pi isn’t just for math. Add an “e” at the end and watch the wonders unfold. This is a sugary, tempting circle. There are a lot of these out there. Make sure to pick up or pass by the right one (or ones). 

Yum circles are so good, I had to add another one. This is beginnings of  homemade caramels. Do you see the swirly heavy-cream couple in the center? You never know what you'll find inside a circle. So, don't just walk round and round it. Look inside.

Caramel Couple Circle. See what I mean? Circles made up with sugar are so good, I had to add another one. This is the beginning of homemade caramels. Do you see the swirly, heavy-creamy couple in the center? You never know what you’ll find inside a circle. So try not to merely walk around and around it. Look inside.

Dangerous Circle. These go by many names, but the bottom line is that these are never as easy to get out of as into. Remember that before you stick your head through the barbed wire.

Dangerous Circle. These go by many names, but the bottom line is that these are never as easy to get out of as they are to get into. Remember that before you stick your head through the barbed wire.

Encircled Circle. Encircled is a warm word, yes? In this case, this circle of  corrugated plastic is protecting an oak sapling on its journey to growth. This is probably what we all deep down wish that all circles could be. Could this be why we keep going around and around and around? Perhaps we're looking for...a sense of safety, welcome, continuity, peace? Ah.

Encircled Circle. Encircled is a warm word, yes? In this case, this circle of corrugated plastic is protecting an oak sapling on its journey to growth. This is probably what we all deep down wish that all circles could be. Is this why we keep going around and around and around? Perhaps we’re looking for that sense of warmth, safety, welcome, continuity, peace. Ah. Yes.

Into the Mystic…

We were born before the wind,

Also younger than the sun

Ere the bonnie boat was won

As we sailed into the mystic

~Van Morrison

Something about these shots say “mystic” to me. And that was before the alcohol…

Foggy morning at the beach blah, blah, blah. Still. I think it's pretty.

Gaviota, CA – Foggy morning at the beach blah, blah, blah. Regardless, I think it’s pretty.

Ah, June Gloom in Agoura Hills. I miss you.

Ah, June Gloom in Agoura Hills. I miss you.

Okay, it's Morro Bay and not Bodego Bay, but still, birds, man.

Birds. Birds, man. Okay, it’s Morro Bay and not Bodego Bay, but still, birds, man. And yeah, there is only two at this point, but who knows how many could end up gathering? All right it ended up with only the one. But still. On an entirely separate note, this is the cleanest alley I’ve ever seen.

Wow. How boring can one sky be? Not. Boring. At. All.

Wow. How boring can one sky be? Not. Boring. At. All.

No Green Thumb Here…

Nature simply is. She gives and keeps on giving. All She asks for in return is respect.

Somehow I got stuck in the wrong line when they were passing out green thumbs and I ended up with two brown ones. Brown is very nice color in quite a few instances (chocolate comes to mind), but decidedly not when it comes to plants and the like. Usually the opposite in fact, yes? Brown is generally the color of plants when they’re on their journey to the other side.

I’m in good company. My soul sister is also a confirmed brown thumb. Without any sort of devastating sense of failure, I am content with my brown thumb status simply because there are an abundance of wildflowers, parks, trails, and other people’s gardens that I can enjoy.

From the garden of one of my long suffering neighbors. They all now seem to understand that there is no way to get rid of the loony lady with the camera.

From the garden of one of my long suffering neighbors. Though they all (finally!) seem to understand that there is no way to get rid of the loony lady with the camera.

Wildflowers from the hills near our home.

Wildflowers from the hills near our home.

She looks like she's licking her chops to me. Do flowers even have chops? In my world, anything is possible.

She looks like she’s licking her chops to me. Do flowers even have chops? In my world, anything is possible.

Where can you get that shade of delicate pink? As far as I know, only nature can do it.

It's a bit of a green tangled, but nature does it with such grace.

It’s a bit of a green tangle, but they do it with such grace.

There she was in all her tiny gloriousness flourishing away in an empty lot I stumbled upon.

I spotted this fine lady growing in a small garden alongside a gas station. Pretty cool that someone took the time to plant her there.

Another find in a field. I had trouble getting them to sit still for me, but all the same, aren’t they sweet?

Faces

I see faces everywhere I go. Even when there aren’t any people. Is that bad? Oh yeah. That’s bad.

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Spotted Pinocchio here on the way home from one of my rambles.

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Froggy just chilling on a trail up in the Santa Monica Mountains.

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This happy, primitive looking fellow made his home in Hermitage Castle, Hawick. His smiley demeanor is certainly incongruous, considering the bloody history of Hermitage. Of course, maybe he’s just pleased that his gruesome past is behind him.

Hermitage, again. This one's expression is certainly much more what I would expect given that the prison (a glorified hole in the ground) lay just below him.

You can almost hear his groan. Hermitage, again. This one’s expression is actually what I would expect given that the old prison (an un-glorified hole in the ground) lay just below him. Ah, the stories he could tell, eh?

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Climbing up some rocks in Joshua Tree I found these three creatures for the price of one! Actually, it didn’t cost me anything. Unless you count the cost of the climb. Cost or no, it appears they are all getting along famously. I enjoy how the little one, alert and ready for action, is playing piggy-back on one of his larger pals.

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I quietly took this gentleman’s photo while he napped in Joshua Tree Park. I suppose he didn’t have anything interesting going on that day. Can’t say that I blame him. It was freezing weather, which kept the sensible tourists away.

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Another Joshua Tree tenant. He looks much more lively, doesn’t he?

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This guy seems to be out of breath. Perhaps he’d been running. Or maybe he’s hungry, his mouth open in hopes that I’d give him some food. Cretin that I am, I have no idea what passed-out, fallen over Joshua Trees eat.

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How is that I keep finding these hungry little fallen tree branches?? This one is made from drift wood and he lives in Malibu.

(o_O)

Contrary Mary

Mary, Mary quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells, and cockle shells,

And so my garden grows.

~English Nursery Rhyme “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

Contrary Mary loved her garden and never wanted to be parted from it. Unless she was eating supper or sleeping, everyone knew that if they wanted to see Contrary the only way was to tromp around behind her cottage where they’d find her amongst the ferns, freesia, and feverfew. “Plants are much better than people and flowers far more beautiful,” she could often be heard to say. Her neighbor Quentin could not agree more.

Contrary did not care if it were a rainy a day. She would still spend hours in her garden, tending and babying her flowers, lucky ladies that they were. Far too busy snipping, trimming, mulching, and talking, she never bothered to protect herself from the elements. Daily her mother cried and wrung her hands while her father railed bitter warnings that she would catch her death. Contrary gave not a hoot and did as she pleased, day after day. Her parents should have known their counsel would be to no avail. They named her, did they not?

On that gloomiest of mornings when she fell quite ill, no one was really surprised it had happened, though it was sad none-the-less. The worst was to hear Contrary begging, “Do not part me from my garden, I care for naught else.”  No one could figure out how to get her bed out into the garden, so they settled on moving it to the back door, which they left wide open. Not the best of plans, leaving her exposed in this manner, but her pleas were so tearful. Contrary made all of them promise: father, mother, and older brother to bury her in her garden after she died. Her love was too great to be parted from it. It was her last wish and of course they could not refuse.

All fine and good, but Contrary happened to be admired quite secretively, by Quentin the Vampire Botanist who lived just down the road and across the way. He had long loved and admired her from afar. Viciously, he cursed his lack of fortitude, which caused him to delay and now never to tell her how he truly felt. If he had, she could be by his side, as his “Bella Vampress il Fiore” (when in a romantic mood, Quentin always thinks in Italian).  Unwilling to let her go, Quentin came up with an idea. Beware of ideas, my friend, for although some of these are quite grand, others can be just as easily quite tragic.

Utilizing his botanical science and his vampire magic, he infused her spirit with the fertile soil of her garden.

Now amongst all Quentin’s creature creations Contrary Mary’s ghost sprouts up in various guises and incarnations. She seems fond of changing her ectoplasmic outfits, as well as her hairstyle on a daily basis. What’s a lady ghost to do? She no longer has need for shoes.

As her name suggests, although she now can spend eternity with her beloved garden Contrary is, to put it mildly, annoyed with Quentin’s arbitrary decision to trap her essence this way. She expresses her annoyance in the only way available to her: by sprouting tiny thorns all over her stems. No one dare pick her, not even Quentin.

You may well wonder, if Contrary is a ghost why hasn’t she escaped? She can’t. Not yet. But if you witness the various expressions that move sometimes violently across her tiny ghost face, it’s not difficult to imagine that she’s working on it. And when she succeeds, which could be any day, I really wouldn’t want to be Quentin. Would you?

Inspired by the nursery rhyme, I drew Contrary Mary with a fine-tipped, black marker and then painted her using acrylics. Her story? After I finished painting her, she told it to me.