Juniper Beulah

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This fire hydrant is just around the corner from our house, emblazoned, delight of delights, with Portland’s area code. The area code which, nearly three years after moving, I have yet to change. The first time I saw it, I took it as a positive sign – a reminder that everything I am and ever was is right here.

I am forever delighted by the nods and drips of plants, tight buds and hordes of bodies – these are boxelder beetles – nature revealing itself every second – to be graceful, potent, quiet.

Marigold pressing through the black of pavement at the local Catholic Church, thusly proving (at least to me) that anything is possible.

Juniper Beulah – our zigzag spaz of a pooch. There, beyond that white fence, is a Min-Pin, surely no heavier than eight pounds, yet a beastly creature, ramming its tiny body to jostle the fence and rile our dear girl, nearly every time we walk by.

Juniper plays tour guide – with a glimpse of the back garden and some of the plants we’ve started: fern bush. barberry. serviceberry. red thyme. ice plant. sedum. five varieties of peony. five varieties of iris. goldenrod. yucca. hyssop. mallow. milkweed. red hot poker. red bird in a tree. crocosmia. black-eyed susan. The bird feeder is, of course, a lively attraction, with chickadees, doves, woodpeckers, sparrows, finches, jays, crows, towhees, flickers, robins, and squirrels making regular appearances. Juniper does some scrounging here, too.

When we were first married, the hubster was listening to some radio jocks poking fun at men who didn’t know diddly about home repair. The words were an invocation – I will be handy! I am grateful to be a beneficiary, as the the short fence (and sooo MUCH more) is his handiwork. We need only attach the solar light post toppers purchased ages ago to finish it. The fence guards raised beds of rhubarb, tomato, and raspberry, two varieties of sage, rosemary and chive, gooseberry and currant, plum and cherry trees, from our sometime doggy digger. Though don’t tell her she could leap over it, NO problem. Some secrets are worth keeping. There is more work to be done on the patio and the paths are still in need of gravel, but all is moving along rather nicely considering the utter shambles this was last year.

We built a wall! Two of them, actually, on which we will espalier hardy apple trees (Black Oxford & Blue Pearmain – taste the rainbow!) and send sweet scented roses and honeysuckle climbing skyward.

Fern bush scents the air with honey, flowers or no.

Entertaining the littles. I made cupcakes again.

From the front garden – wet grass and lilac branches, liatris.

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H o m e

Also, I changed the lamp.

Juniper and best pal, Juneau. That tongue!

Milkweed – I have two spritely sprouts that I hope will look this lovely next year.

Early morning walks

puddle gazing

We had the most lovely stretch of Portland storms – five days of me sighing wistfully, “Isn’t it wonderful?”, while just about everyone else I know was cursing under their breath. It takes all kinds.

ratibidia

R U N !

Someone had a birthday. I made cupcakes.

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Say hello to our intrepid traveler! She was sooo very good, everywhere we went – restaurants, wine tastings, parks, book stores, hotels and homes, jaunts high and low. Juniper Beulah, our world champion of sweet adorableness, making friends and melting hearts. Good girl!

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Unfortunately, I was not quick enough on the draw to capture Juniper spinning with glee. It was adorable to witness her utter delight at seeing the ocean, which is amusing because our girl does not like water!

Ventura

Olivas Adobe

The world’s oldest still flowering fuscia – planted in 1899. It was enormous!

The Dire Straits fan in me squealed with delight upon seeing the Telegraph Road sign!

Jacaranda before…

and jacaranda after. Both are equally beautiful to my eye.

Rose Valley Falls – Los Padres National Forest

Another hairless squirrel to ogle and taunt…

Tip-top lunch and sweet service at Azu, with beer flavored with Pixie dust and peel from the famous Ojai Valley tangerines (which we saw growing!) and a very fine Alisal rose. Delicious. What you can’t see? Sweet Juniper Beulah sleeping at the hubster’s feet. Good dog!

Bart’s Books – my first encounter with an outdoor book store. It was lovely.

After many years of patiently waiting, I am pleased to report that the Ojai Valley is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited!

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Sleepy head hubster and our favorite watch dog. Cuties!

Telepoem

Welcome to part two of our Arizona journey. Flagstaff, this first bit, reminds me of Boulder or Breckenridge when I was a teenager – laid back and lovely, breezes flowing, nice people and cool hippie shops (I bought rocks and crystals, of course). We enjoyed stellar Thai food and BBQ (Bigfoot!) a hop skip and a jump from the old Route 66 (sing it, Nat!). Sometimes the past and present collide, and hallelujah, nostalgia wins.

Sedona, red, wonderful, magical. And hot! We hiked to the Seven Sacred pools, scoring the last parking space in the tiny lot, enjoying the beautiful and lizard laden landscape. And what are lizards? Juniper says they are squirrels without fur and behaved accordingly.

I had never seen a cactus bloom in such a dazzling fashion. Eeek!

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a stunning work of architecture, completed in 1956, the same great year as our house!

This last photo is Bell Rock, another gorgeous wonder of geology. It is also purported to be an energy vortex – a whirling center of masculine and feminine energy.  As you well know, I am a pretty open minded person and came to the vortex as such. Believers say the energy is palpable, and I can’t help but wonder if it is true. I got our of the car, moved close enough, and started to feel a pressure around my chest, like someone with massive hands was attempting to turn me round and round while I stood stock still, a bit dumbfounded,  before doing what seemed most logical. I adjusted my bra. The sensation remained. I observed the trees, twisted junipers, mostly, looking like I felt. I watched the cloudless sky. I took in the hot air. I sauntered back to the car and the sensation ceased. Maybe something happened. Maybe I was moved by the hands of the universe. I’d like to think so.

 

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