Sunday, March 23, 2008


How I miss that West Texas Spring wind...NOT! I love spring here, it just kind of happens. One day I am driving to work and the trees are bare. Back after the week end off the trees have little buds. Then there is a profusion of blossoms signalling the production of fruits and nuts. In what seems like the blink of an eye, the petals are all fallen off and now little green leaves are everywhere. I love this time of year.

In my own poor excuse for a flower bed, our spring bulbs planted last year have suddenly pushed forth and wearing their spring colors.

If I could just keep the local foot traffic out of them they might just have a chance.

Last week was spring break here for the school kids, so I took off a few days to just do things with the family.

One day we went to the beach. Of course it was the wrong day to go as it was windy beyond belief which made it cold as ice. In fact, to me it was just plain miserable. I had on capri's and a hooded jacket, wrapped in a towel, still felt frozen. Youngest daughter, 11, didn't mind the weather.

At least at first. I will say this, she did at least bravely venture in to the ice cold pacific and catch a few waves with her bogey board.

After that, it was the blue lip shiver dance for the rest of the day. The wind just got stronger until we finally just gave up and headed back home. We had things we needed to do anyway to get the motor home loaded for our camping trip.

So, the next morning found us loaded up and off to the mountains. Where we go is public land, all primitive camping (as in no hookups) but I do love it. The guys love it because of all the trails they can ride the dirt bikes on. I just love being up among the pine trees. We were unable to get our usual camp sight, it was already occupied, but where we found one was pretty interesting. The whole area has a history of gold mines, way back to the mid 1800's and there is bits and pieces of the old equipment still scattered about. At our camp sight there was a steel cable that coiled up from the ground from no where. Kind of like a metal fountain springing forth. Then we found the old A-frame used to hold a hoist or bucket or some sort of device that went down in to a mine shaft. The shaft was of course long since buried over, but in my over active imagination I could just see us waking up to find the front of the motor home sinking in to a mass underground cavern. You could see part of an opening to the shaft, literally about two feet from the front tires.

I was sure that this trip was going to be a miserable one as well as the wind picked up there too, making it cold and miserable late in to the night. At least there I was able to hide away in the motor home and stitch on some projects.

I finished up this little potted plant for my contribution to one of the blocks for the green color study we are doing. It may not look like a lot of work, but that was a lot of beads. The biggest challenge is doing it all in green. I kept wanting to add little red berries in to it.

But the view of the stars from up there is just miraculous, truly awe inspiring. Billions of stars scattered across the night sky as if the angels had spilled silver glitter all about. The full moon rising over the mountain tops was like watching some one turn on the lights at a ball field. Early pioneers would have had no trouble traveling by that moon for sure. The next day though was calm and so rejuvenatory for the soul. I love the sound of moving stream or creek, the sound of a light breeze through the pines, bull frogs with their calls at night, the owls, a wood pecker in a tree over the next hill, the occasional screech of hawk, is just all part of the mountain song.

I ventured out and found my own diversions the second day. I found this tree not far from camp. At first glance I thought it to be a broken limb. But it is not, it is a pine tree that just didn't develop properly, no other branches are on the trunk and the top grew normally causing a weight overload so the tree is growing upside down. Reminds me of those Christmas stores that turn a Christmas tree upside down from the ceiling so that the ornaments hang off for a better view.

To the bottom left of this photo is a trail that leads down to a creek where there is still gold found by recreational panning. The coolest thing I found was when I was riding on a part of the trail and had to turn around because the next section was beyond my abilities. As I turned the four wheeler around I saw the remains of an old homestead. This guy was pure genius as he had a brick pipe way built down several hundred feet to a swift moving stream. Drop a bucket and you had water right at the house. I am sure that part of the house was also used as a spring house. Even in its decayed state, the moving stream of cold run off water caused a current of cold air to rush up the pipe way. It was however kind of sad to see what must of been a picturesque mountain home in total ruin. I had read that a mighty flood, twice with in a short period of time, had wiped out a whole town and settlement, so was not surprised that the home was in ruin.

Even up in the mountains were it is still freezing during the night, spring finds a way to show it is here. The hillsides are scattered with spring grass, tiny white flowers that look like baby's breath only more scattered about, and these tiny little purple flowers. The entire flower is maybe the size of a dime. Just big enough for the eye to catch a glimpse of color, not big enough or close to enough to concentrate the landscape. Along with these were a little plant that had crimson red leaves and a type of daisy that was yellow and small, but on a long stem for height.

My, it is nearly midnight and I have to get up and go back to work in the morning. Guess I better hit the hay.