Mt Laguna Sunday morning hike

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Blue mountain sky at the top

Blue mountain sky at the top

Charred hillside on the other side of the road

Charred hillside on the other side of the road

The area burned a little more than 2 weeks ago

The area burned a little more than 2 weeks ago

How does only half of a tree burn?

How does only half of a tree burn?

Off we go! 3.5 miles out and then down into a canyon and back.

Off we go! 3.5 miles out and then down into a canyon and back.

Partially burned vistas amde the green strips really stand out.

Partially burned vistas made the green strips really stand out.

As we got deeper into the canyon, the trees got more magnificent

As we got deeper into the canyon, the trees got more magnificent

Lush and green and pleasantly cool - a nice reprieve from the sunnier parts of the trails.

Lush and green and pleasantly cool – a nice reprieve from the sunnier parts of the trails.

Panoramic shot of the valley and charred hillsides.

Panoramic shot of the valley and charred hillsides.

 

That was my Sunday! How was yours?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frazzled

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I posted on my Facebook status today, just this one word: Frazzled.

My brain has had to be so ON the last 3 days – that I can feel the synapses burning from overuse. A football meeting directly after work on Monday followed by more work I had to complete from home that wasn’t done until 9:30pm. Yesterday was the first of 3 AP tests for 16. Of course all 3 are morning exams. So I went in to work for 3.5 hours in the morning after dropping him off, then picked him up, and we went home so that could work until his dentist appointment (didn’t want to drive back to work for just 2 hours). After the dentist I worked at home again until 6:30. Today was AP test #2. This time, I picked him up and brought him back to school and then came back to work. But of course the proctor for his exam messed things up and they didn’t get out until 12:35. They were supposed to be done before noon. When I got back to work, it was more mania until a little after 3:30. It’s just been a series of days with system problems, people making careless mistakes and things falling on my desk to cover gaps again.

None of this would be that difficult except for PEOPLE needing THINGS and with QUESTIONS and never having a moment of quiet to get anything DONE (dammit!). I can handle the tasks – I just need to be a Hermit for a day to get them all done properly. So it took 3 days and 2 evenings, but it’s done. And I’m frazzled.

So today I was happy that the rain had stopped, and I could take another walk. I mixed in a few photos from my house over the weekend when we had an amazing sunset. I loved the glow from the sky on the roses in the side yard.

Yes, that is a helipad in one of the photos. When I walk out of this building I head down the property to the helipad which is, of course, abandoned and not being used, but does make for a nice quiet place to walk around and take in the view across the freeway and listen to some birds. the towhee cousins were out and about quite a bit. Both brown and rufous sided. That blue roof building is some other business across a canyon from ours. No clue why it is such a bright blue, but there it is!

Anyway, here’s hoping that tonight is quiet without too many demands from the other occupants of the house and that I can just watch TV and stay offline. Thankfully there is a break in the AP schedule – the last one is next week so tomorrow is just a normal school day. No earlier than normal drop off or mid-day pick ups. Phew!

Walk #3

Afternoon walk at work

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A task in my Happify track this week was the Walk of Inspiration:

Take a meditative walk in a place that always inspires your best ideas. It could be a busy street, a hiking trail, or even the mall. (Hey, great ideas can come from anywhere.) Walk slowly at first, with eyes on the ground. Notice the tactile sensations of walking: the feeling of your feet, the temperature, the way your body feels.

Once you can walk at a normal pace while paying attention to sensory experiences, start noticing sounds—but try not to think too much!

Once you can attend to tactile and auditory sensations, start looking around and noticing any activity around you.

I decided that I would set out with the photo app opened on my phone and walk the grounds around the “campus” here at work. We are surrounded by Torrey Pines and native sage brush so it’s perfect for losing yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of nature. A welcome respite from the desk! Today was a good day because I am wearing softer soled shoes so that my own footsteps didn’t interrupt the sounds. It was a little chilly – I was glad I had on a sweater and I needed to button it up due to the gray skies completely covering up the sun. Often though, I find that the gray days mean I can see the bird life more clearly. The lack of glare and deep shadows makes the movement and colors catch your eye a bit more.

Sure enough, not a minute into the walk I heard the soft call of a rufous sided towhee. Not the main trilling song – he wasn’t up on the top of a bush singing – he was just flitting on the ground and then low in the bushes making his more sedated wheezy call. He moved too much for a photo, but was still so beautiful with his black and orange feathers providing a striking contrast to the green of the grass.

After spending a little time watching him, I set about taking pictures and had some fun afterwards making this collage in Picasa. I was paying attention not only to color but also to shape and textures as I walked:

Afternoon walk

 

There was more bird song serenading me through the walk, and the scents were fairly strong too. Sage and pine dominated.

Not a bad way to spend 15 minutes, but something I probably would not have done without the reminder – thanks again Happify 🙂

 

Cats, flowers, and the moon – oh my!

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Amber posing for her closeup. She's up on the midway point stair rail ledge.

Amber poses above the Crooked Acres Cat Calendar for 2011 feature the November pinup feline - Sugarbutt. We sure do love our Crooked Acres kitties!

Mini Daffodils all confused and blooming in October

Plumbago adding some blue to the corner

Mini fuschia up close - check out the drop of water to the far right. I love this camera's close up setting!

Standard size single fuschia - as confused as the daffodils it is still covered in flowers in the fall!

Lobelia in it's last throes with daffodils & plumbago in the background

The full and pre-storm glowing moon from last week.

Does anyone know which planet is right there next to the moon in the sky? It was also super bright Wednesday night.

So those are my samples as I keep trying to learn how to use the new Canon EOS Rebel. So many auto settings that I am still only have partially figured out and don’t even get me started on the manual ones!

Now I get to start the “taking photos of holiday lights at night” experiment. Because yes, Renee & and I put up indoor lights at both our places this weekend. While Eve napped of course, she’s the Grinchy one 😉 We figured that Thanksgiving is so early and now it’s dark early, so why not get a head start on adding some sparkle to our lives? You sure don’t need to twist my arm!

Sunrise over the San Diego Bay

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Yes, I said sun RISE. Rare for me! I tagged along on Sunday with some of the training team to cheer them on in a triathlon on the Silver Strand end of Coronado Island. Now I know what to expect when SB does his event in May. The forecast had originally been for some light rain, but instead it was it a really gorgeous morning and our timing was perfect as we made our way to the San Diego bay side for the start of the swim. Enjoy!

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