January 30, 2013

Road Trip, Day Twenty: Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco.

Mom and I spent the late morning wandering the humid greenhouses of the
Conservatory of Flowers. A delight for all the senses. Beauty for the eyes,
textures, shapes and colors. Beauty for the nose, orchids with their sweet 
and sensual perfume. Beauty for the skin and ears, as the mist hisses
and fills the air with moisture that reminds me of the rain forests of Costa Rica.
I suppose taste was left out, but we ate a delicious meal of smoked fish and salad
later in the day. They also had a photo booth set up in the middle of the Conservatory,
and we had too much fun and cried with laughter at the results. We also visited the 
the Japanese Garden. So calm and orderly after the wild vivacious abundance
at the Conservatory. Both places and styles bring happiness to parts of my brain
and heart. I love the wild abandon, but I also love the precise control.
It was a beautiful day in the City by the Bay, blue skies, warm, no jacket required.

January 28, 2013

Road Trip, Day Eighteen: Hiking in the Baylands.

Marshes, sweet smell of fennel, true blue skies, geese, ducks, egrets,
winding waterways, pillar art to balance on, and wings in flight.

Road Trip, Day Seventeen: Walkabout, Palo Alto, CA.

 I spent the morning on a long image hunt walk around my home town.
There were plant textures to capture, a sweet dead bird to wish well,
on old cabin to pretend to live in, my long time favorite curved roof house
to enjoy once again, and tulip magnolias and blue skies...
deep gratitude for a bit of spring.

January 26, 2013

Road Trip, Day Sixteen: Things I Love.

Not many photos today.

But I will share with you my recent, Things I Love, list.
It was definitely inspired by my thoughts of home,
what that means, when I will have it again, and how it feels.

bent wood chairs, oil lamps, wood stoves, wooden family tables, old patchwork quilts,
woven rugs, jars of flowers, nesting mixing bowls, old ticking pillowcases, down comforters,
wool shirts, mismatched china with floral patterns, woven baskets, heavy white mugs of tea,
hand thrown pottery, norwegian ski socks, granny square afghans, wool blankets,
baskets of firewoods, music with a fiddle, hay lofts, goats, watercolor sets that look messy,
old leather lace up boots, wool long johns, enamelware, a sharp knife, cloth napkins,
clothespin bags that hang on the clothesline, claw foot tubs, zinnias, cosmos, beeswax candles,
the smell of woodsmoke, smoked salt, wrap around porches, porch swings, the ocean,
singing around a campfire, mushrooms sautéed in ghee, collections of rocks, wooden benches,
lines of boots all in a row, curtains waving in a breeze, washing camp dishes, 
cabins in the woods, the smell of ears, tea with coconut milk, old paintbrushes, bird watching,
searching the water for whales, wild edible plants, huckleberries, the smell of dirty hats,
aprons, the scent of cedar, a fireplace, barn wood, pantries with glass jars full of stores,
rain on a metal roof, floor pillows, hiking, waterfalls, icicles, gardens fenced for deer,
the smell of rotting apples, bowls of abundant fruit, dried plums, pinecones, wildflowers,
fabric with eyelets, constellations, hand knit scarves, fingerless gloves, blooming clover,
neatly stacked wood piles, moss and lichen, rooflines with scallops, clogs, 
outhouses with moons cut in the door or fantastic views, snow on evergreen boughs,
sunlight filtering through leaves, printing ferns, cursive typewriters, wooden greenhouses,
red cabooses, cedar shingles, weathered wood, log cabins, rocking chairs, leather cording,
golden pastures with daisies, watercolors and gouache, acorns, fiddleheads, buckeyes,
river and lake swimming, old barns, wearing someone else's shirt, hand carved wooden spoons, 
blue mason jars, pepper grinders, cast iron, tree houses, down jackets, hammocks with quilts. 

Maroon Tricholoma   Habitat: on conifer logs and stumps.

Road Trip, Day Fifteen: Hiking the Stanford Hills.

Dramatic hike in the Stanford hills. Gnarled oaks set against bright skies.
Voluminous clouds, bright white, floating by. Rolling hills, rolling conversation,
 sunshine, short sleeves, cattle grazing, squirrels nibbling, fresh bay air...good day.

January 25, 2013

Road Trip, Day Fourteen: Santa Cruz, CA.

It was the first overcast and rainy day of my adventure.
Spent the drizzly day with friends in Santa Cruz, catching up,
eating salad with delicious avocados, and walking to the beach
to watch the many surfers ride the large stormy waves.

Road Trip Day Twelve and Thirteen: Palo Alto, CA.

This is a smattering of images from the Palo Alto Cultural Center.
Wispy branch huts, ferns made from fabric and charcoal drawings,
paper ferns made by children, and colorful tumbled pottery used as a ground cover.

January 21, 2013

Road Trip, Day Eleven: Return to the Family Home, Palo Alto, CA.

There is nothing quite like solo travel and exploration to bring you back to yourself. 
There are so many thoughts that have come streaming through, so much pure clarity, 
so much ease even in the midst of change. I've been thinking about the difference between vacation and travel. Vacation to me summons trying to escape from one's life, 
to leave it all behind, to "relax" and push it all away. And then there is travel, 
where we take it in, we ask for more input, more experiences, newness, 
we see another culture, another town, another way of life…and for a minute we try it on.
And even if we don't stay, we carry a bit of it with us. I am carrying so much input, 
and so much gratitude. There are so many visual moments to take in when traveling 
that you wish your eye lenses were indeed the lens of a camera, that to just look 
you could capture those moments to share with others so that they might understand 
why you are changed. There is the magnificence of redwoods bursting from flat forest floors, towering…truly towering over everything. I know that I feel small when standing 
at the edge of the sea, but the sea seems like a collection of so many things, 
while a redwood seems like an "it", a singular being. Those sweetly scented trees 
feel like history and hope. I wish I could show you how it looks to drive down the 
windingest road of the coast, where two feet from your right side tires is a cliff 
plunging down to a teal sea, the broken grapevine fence on the left is roughly containing
white sheep with black heads who are content in green pasture with bright yellow 
wild mustard flowers dancing in the breeze, you pass the second cemetery of the day, 
this one with a rough white picket fence. There are the barns, the homesteads, 
the shacks, the cabins that all call to me, saying "you could have this life." 
And me calling back, not yet. We could all be so many things, we could lead 
so many lives, we could do so many jobs. And I hope that in my life I will be lucky
 enough to try on a few more lives. For now I am clear, MAKE ART, make a home,
 see the world, be in nature deeply and often, and share all this with the many in
your life you are truly blessed to call friends.

January 20, 2013

Road Trip Day Eight, Nine and Ten: Anderson Valley.

What is there not to enjoy about a redwood tree?
Or a clump of mushrooms? 

I've been slightly obsessed with photographing and painting
our little mushroom friends. There just are so many, so varied, so fun
to treasure hunt for. I think mushroom hunting is like thrift store haunting,
you just never know what you are going to find.

January 17, 2013

Road Trip Day Seven: Anderson Valley.

Spent the day wondering the Anderson Valley and hiking on my friends ranch.
Twisted oaks, fields of ewes, dormant apple orchards, moss, lichen, mushrooms,
ferns, dogs to walk with, birds to watch burst from evergreens, collections of old
special things...all things to enjoy and ponder over. It's a good life.