Mountain Man Music Jam (Mountain Women Too!)

On the last Friday evening of the month you drive out Santiago Canyon Road to Black Star Canyon Road, go all the way to the gate and then park. You never know quite what and who you will find there, but it is always fun! Joel Robinson, seen above playing some wacky rhythm instrument, brings his fiddle, mandolin, and assorted other instuments, invites all who are coming to bring any instruments they play and then whoever shows up spends about 1 1/2 hours, depending on when darkness falls, playing and singing! On this particular night there were only three of us and a gorgeous sunset.
Joel is the brains and heart behind http://www.naturalist-for-you.org/ Please check it out. He is a dedicated, knowlegeable naturalist who cares about the planet and the community he serves. He leads hikes, wildflower explorations, outdoor adventures of all sorts. The website above has all kinds of great programming listed. Note! The next Mountain Man Music Jam is Friday, September 25, 6pm to 8pm - Drive up Black Star Canyon Road, Orange County, CA


Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, CA is a breath of heaven. I visited on a sunny Saturday, wandered the easiest pathways and interviewed for the position of Director of Public Programs today! This beautiful garden features and promotes native California plants in horticultural and more natural settings, depending on where you are in the garden. Interesting miniature treasures, including these "exploded"seed pods can be found at every turn of the path. This sculpture, Mythical Bird, by Gene Montez Flores, resides in a pond that is home to beautiful and large water lilies or at least water plants, botanic name unknown to me, but gorgeous! There are critters here too! I saw California Grey squirrels,
nibbling on an acorn I assume, Western Fence Lizards and evidence (scat) of coyotes. I missed the birds because they get up much earlier on Saturdays than I do. The best part of the garden is the delicate fragrance of the plants...sort of a sage/floral baking-in-the-sun smell. The peaceful, quiet benches make it a restful and nurturing place.I believe this is rue, but may be wrong...not labeled. I love the million shades of green I found and can only share a few here.

Getting the remainder of the purple blossoms tilted the horizon, but the purple/blue is worth it! A type of salvia I believe. Lots to learn of a garden visit.Don't you just love the grey behind the oval green? I hope to be spending lots of time here, introducing children, seniors, and interested others to the benefits and beauty of native California plants!


Five Stories Up

Why is a level of a building called a story? Well, there are stories and then there are stories...
Every day, since coming to the Santa Ana Senior Center to work temporarily, I park in a five story parking structure. The view is different from up on the open air/top story.
The building with the American flag is the Spurgeon Building, named after a founding father. I love the various levels and shapes and colors.

This is the view north and down. Old bricks and new railings, I believe these are apartments above retail, but I can only guess because it all looks different from up here.

It is interesting being at or above tree tops, even if it is only Birch Park at Third and Birch. This is the park that my mother came to when she attended Santa Ana High School. The botony class came for leaves to press for their class project,(1947) to learn Latin names. Now the park is home to street people. (2009)
Just what lurks and lives on rooftops here in Santa Ana?
Interesting ducts and dishes, shapes repeated and satellites for entertainment.
And then I looked down.
Yipes, stripes!

Stripes and shadows.This way, out!


Tea for 5

The Tea Bags, a group of lovely ladies, has invited me to be part of their tea parties. Thank you Cecelia, Sue, and best friends/sisters Diane, and Elaine. Elaine hosted us in Oceanside amid lovely antiques including this wonderful piece. No, it is not a Victrola, but a Columbia Grafonola! Gorgeous wood, a very sharp needle and the record? "Mickey's Grand Opera!" A collectors piece I am sure. Have you ever heard a mouse and a duck and a chicken singing opera? Me neither! Thanks Elaine! These two charmers are Gracie (age 11, on the right) and Sally, ( age 6, on the left.) In case you haven't guessed they are Jack Russell Terriers. Sally has a foot fetish and was licking ankles and toes under the tea table!Here are 2 of our "Tea Bags"...that is Diane on the left and Cecelia on the right...you can see we enjoyed the meal! I am the one holding the camera...HA!Diane and Cecelia are both Agri-Women! Diane raises sheep and pigs and Cecelia raises goats and chickens! I was the lucky recipient of fresh eggs and homemade gouda cheese...yummmm!

Elaine harvested some tasty recipes off of the internet and we enjoyed Orange Cranberry scones, and Blueberry scones, deviled eggs(Diane), cucumber sandwiches (Sue) and fresh fruit (me)....just as during the tea party there is more than we could enjoy! Lots of goodies....and more to take home! Then more great conversation, a tour of Elaine's place and a bit of music. Yes, Cecelia is truly a renaissance woman..she is a nurse too!

Next time, they will come to Orange and we will do some antique shopping in Old Towne!