Thursday, March 31, 2011

Beautiful Yosemite

"Looking eastward from the summit of the Pacheco Pass one shining morning, a landscape was displayed that after all my wanderings still appears as the most beautiful I have ever beheld. At my feet lay the Great Central Valley of California, level and flowery, like a lake of pure sunshine, forty or fifty miles wide, five hundred miles long, one rich furred garden of yellow CompositÅ“. And from the eastern boundary of this vast golden flower-bed rose the mighty Sierra, miles in height, and so gloriously colored and so radiant, it seemed not clothed with light, but wholly composed of it, like the wall of some celestial city."  ~John Muir, excerpt from The Yosemite, 1912
Tenaya Lake, Tuolumne Meadows
John Muir records his vision of Yosemite, first seen in the glorious Springtime of April.  We visited in September, no less beautiful---the fresh blue water of mountain lakes, the dark green of forests and scrub, the snow-laced mountains rising majestically...   
hiking the Mist Trail
to Vernal Fall (317' high, on the Merced River just below Nevada Fall)
 erratics at Olmstead Point (Erratics are glacier transported rock fragments that differ from the local bedrock) 
"Grizzly Giant" in the Mariposa Grove of Sequoias (probably 1900-2700 years old, the oldest tree in the grove, its basal circumference is @ 92 feet)
California Tunnel Tree (cut in 1895 to allow stagecoaches to pass through)
This was a Mother-in-Law trip (brainstorm of my husband.  Yes, it was fun!) which we took in 2005.  We traveled to California visiting the Lake Tahoe area and Yosemite National Park.  Above are our mothers (mine, left; his, right) standing inside a sequoia.
The Yosemite by John Muir
Yosemite National Park website      Mariposa Grove
Yosemite Hikes (general) Mist Trail (specific)
Vernal Fall wikipedia
great information on giant sequoias and Mariposa Grove
Sequoiadendron giganteum

Yosemite National Park (established in 1890 ) comprises over 760,000 acres located in the central Sierra Nevada of California.
Giant Sequoias, Sequoiadendron giganteum, aren't the oldest living things, the tallest, or the widest.  They are, however, in volume, the largest living things known to humans.

Come join in the fun at Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  You will be enlightened, charmed, and have some plain ole fun!  See more entries HERE.  This week our letter is "Y."   

photos by me © 2005 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mystic Wynd

An awareness of peace and love rose anew,
As the spirit found truth and the Mystic Wynd blew…
It spoke with a voice the heart at once knew,
The wisdom of sages, resounding and true.
Poetic words written by Karen, express her spirit which is reflected in her blog and her works of art and craft.
Come now.  Meet Karen  "...pull up a chair, get comfortable, and share a part of [her] world..."

First let me introduce you to her BLOG, appropriately named Mystic Wynd.  Karen likes to write about a variety of topics, sharing her thoughts and ideas about life and the world.  She often enjoys illustrating her "ramblings" with products.   Listen to this!  "Spring is just around the corner, and here in the deserts of South Central Arizona, we don't really have that springtime thaw to wait for, or that first blade of green grass to tell us that spring is on its way. So how do we know spring has arrived? Lizards." 
(I love this banner!)
Now come visit her 3 shops!
Mystic Wynd: "Embrace your spirit of fashion with jewelry and gifts for your every mood!"  This shop has such a variety, you must go see for yourself!

Mystic Wynd Elegance:  "You want your special day to reflect your joy and excitement..."

The Crafters' Cabinet:  supplies and destash

You can also find Karen in the following places:
Handmade Spark 
Creating the Hive
Karen was chosen as the etsy bloggers' blogger of the month for March.  If you have a blog and a shop on etsy, follow the link and come join this fun team.

photos by Karen of Mystic Wynd © 2010-2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011


dry or desert like conditions, having very little moisture with average annual rainfall of less than 10 inches.
Valley of Fire, Nevada
Nevada's oldest state park, located in the Mojave Desert and dedicated in 1935, covers almost 35,000 acres.  Its name is derived from the red sandstone formations created by ancient shifting sand dunes.  Average annual rainfall is about 4 inches.
Grand Canyon, Arizona (taken from the North Rim)
This National Park, covering over 1.2 million acres on the Colorado Plateau, is also a World Heritage Site.  Consisting of several major ecosystems, great biodiversity exists here.The inner canyon is xeric, receiving only about 9 inches of rain a year.
Sonoran Desert (Phoenix area) 
One of the largest and hottest deserts in North America, covering 120,000 square miles just south of the Mojave Desert, the Sonoran Desert can be found in the US states of Arizona and California and the Mexican states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, and Sonora.  A unique variety of flora and fauna exist here such as the saguaro cacti seen in the above photo.  Average annual rainfall varies from 3 inches to 16 inches.  Many areas are xeric such as  Phoenix with just over 8 inches of rainfall per year.  (Arizona is the only state that has all four North American deserts--Sonoran, Mojave, Chihuahuan, and Great Basin.)

Come join in the fun at Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  You will be enlightened, charmed, and have some plain ole fun!  See more entries HERE.  This week our letter is "X."   

Valley of Fire:
official website
my post "Still Exploring"
Grand Canyon:
official website
Sonoran Desert:  
Desert USA 
biomes of the Sonoran Desert

photos by me © 2009 and 2010      

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Lately, I've had fun working with wire...
Getting the star shape was rather difficult.

This was lots of fun to make.

a scarf (or sweater) pin

just experimenting

Fun elements that will be used in making earrings, necklaces, bracelets.

Come join in the fun at Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  You will be enlightened, charmed, and have some plain ole fun!  See more entries HERE.  This week our letter is "W."  

photos by me © 2011 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vacation-Cayman Islands

See the line of white foam near the top of the photo?  That's a coral reef.  The deeper blue above is the sea. (arriving Grand Cayman)
tranquility, snorkeling, warmth, sea breeze, beauty
gazebo and beach: Mango Manor, Cayman Brac 
sunset view from our table at Macabuca Restaurant at Cracked Conch
There are 3 Cayman Islands, a British Overseas territory, located in the Western Caribbean Sea south of Cuba. 
Cayman Brac: 14 square miles, 1500 residents (Brac is Gaelic for bluff.  There is a cliff, a bluff, that runs through the center of the island from the West at sea level, rising to about 140 feet at the Eastern end.)
Grand Cayman:  88 square miles, 48,000 residents  (Known for Seven Mile Beach and Stingray City.  We did get in the water with @ 50 stingrays swarming us.  They were like puppy dogs, wanting to be petted and fed.  We took a wonderful boat trip with Stingray Sailing-- LINK)
a little note:  residents pronounce Cayman with emphasis on both syllables.   Kay'  man'
LINK  to Cayman Islands information
Come join in the fun at Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  You will be enlightened, charmed, and have some plain ole fun!  See more entries HERE.  This week our letter is "V." 

photos by me © 2011  (except maps which have their own copyright)