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Animals Christianity/Religion Crestline My Home Photography Weather/Nature

The Sabbath Hummingbird

In twenty minutes it would be time to leave for Sunday morning worship. “I’m going down with my camera and watch the birds,” I told Jerry yesterday. “I’m ready to go when you are.”

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I settled myself in a lawn chair about eight feet from the wide bird bath where the timer had turned on the fountain and where the water was now softly bubbling. The morning was calm; perfect, with a temperature in the low 70s and with a breeze that caught in the high trees and that ruffled about the scarlet and pink and orange flower petals on the plants in the stone urns and in the hanging baskets. As I have done numerous time, I admired the lines and shadows of the bird bath with its flat water that was routinely interrupted by the bubbles that escaped from the top and fell below.

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Suddenly, it was there–a hummingbird, its beat of wings so rapid that it was beyond the comprehension of my eyesight, and so to me was a fluttering blur. The bird swooped, flew away, then back, then finally into the bowl, splashing about for its Sunday morning ablutions.

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I watched, then that jewel of a bird was gone.

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Do you recall that Scripture says God is aware of every sparrow that falls? ….really? I suspect then, that He sees me this morning, knows of my day, my challenges, the decisions I must make . . . my successes . . . my failures.

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New post on my photography blog: http://shirleybuxtonphotography.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/the-beauty-of-youth/

 

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My Home Photography Weather/Nature

Sunset Over My Mountains

Jerry and I eat many of our meals on our back deck during these splendid summer days. Yesterday as we did so, we heard very loud thunder and saw thin lightening streaks. Ten drops of rain. Today, our forecast called for a significant chance of rain. Nothing. The skies have been filled with towering thunderheads, and many of the communities around are receiving showers.

Toward evening as I sat on a living room couch, I raised my eyes, looked out the sliding glass door and saw this scene. I picked up my camera, walked to the front deck and snapped. What a beautiful world we inhabit. It’s as though up in Heaven, God mixed all this paint together and dumped it down for us to see. 🙂

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Weather/Nature

Storms Cause Christmas Celebration Disruption

It is not as we had thought–this week of Christmas. Things have gone awry, and here, alone, we sit, Jerry and I.

The plan was this: On Monday Steve and Dearrah would drive up from San Diego. Chris and Joel and their families would meet here too, driving down from Carson City, Nevada. We would eat together, exchange gifts, they would spend the night, then leave on Tuesday.

In the middle of the week, Andrew and his family would drive up from San Diego, Rebecca and Nathaniel would also come, and on Friday, Michael and Melina would drive over from Lake Havasu City. We would exchange gifts and have our special dinner on Christmas day.

I was content with these plans (actually I want all the kids and the grandkids and the great-grandkids here for the holidays–every holiday–all at the same time, but that just can’t always happen, you understand. Too many other people involved who also need a turn at having the loved ones at their places on the holidays. I get that.) and after Brother Reece’s funeral on Thursday, at Costco and Stater Brothers, we again filled our car as we laid in groceries for the feasts and festivities we were expecting.

Trouble began. Storms. On Friday, it began raining in earnest, and to this moment here on Wednesday evening, it has not stopped. We didn’t even go to church on Sunday, for by then the ground was so saturated that news of dangerous mud and rock slides were numerous. On Sunday, alone, the skies saturated Crestline with a drenching that measured ten inches! Our annual precipitation is nearly 42 inches. In this storm alone, we have received more than 34 inches. It is a rare thing–a weather phenomenon. Lake Gregory has risen more than two feet.

We called Steve on Sunday afternoon to report what was going on, and talked with Chris and Joel who were trying to make up their minds about coming down at all. Massive snow had fallen in the mountains around them, and conditions were treacherous. By Monday, they had decided. Steve and Dearrah would stay in San Diego, and the boys would drive straight there, bypassing us here in Crestline. We understood the danger in traveling here and agreed with the plan. The boys started out together, Joel in a four-wheel-drive truck, and Chris in a passenger car with chained tires to cope with the icy and snowy highways. Conditions were so bad that Chris was only able to drive 15 miles an hour and was sliding all over the place. When a chain broke, he decided to turn back, so now he’s in Carson City alone with his wife and two babies. Joel made it to San Diego about midnight Monday.

Andrew was set to drive up today, as was Rebecca but we advised against it. Roads are closed, roads are flooded, the earth is saturated and boulders with no notice let loose and bound onto the roadways, houses in Highland have been swept away, a bridge broken, and it is still raining. Today we had thunder, lightening, snow, hail, sleet…and rain…and rain.

Forecasters say this storm should move out tonight, so we’re hoping our children can dash up here tomorrow and Friday. In the meantime, we’re all safe with little damage. Rebecca’s garage playroom has flooded ruining the carpet and the lower walls, but it could be much worse. Jerry and I are cozy, our house is dry, phone service and electricity haven’t floundered, we’ve plenty of wood for the fireplace…..and lots of food!

There are graphic pictures from the LA Times here showing flooding in southern California and more details from Fox News here. A hotel was evacuated in San Diego, and even Sea World was closed for one day because of rising water.

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Uncategorized

Paradise, Well Almost

It was night and cold when we arrived at our Crestline home last Sunday for the beginning of a two-week “Sabbatical,” made possible in large part by the personal sacrifice of one of our three sons (and his dear family), and by the strong encouragement of another son. It has been a wonderful few days, with just a few things keeping me from declaring the situation as perfect as can expected on this earth. One slight fly in the apothecary is the lack of internet service at our home which of course hinders my posting and reading of material through that medium.

Today, though, I sit before a massive stone fireplace in the stunning lounge of the Lake Arrowhead Resort where wireless internet service is readily available, and where I can catch up a little and share a few pictures with you of the beautiful life here in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California. The picture below shows our view yesterday as we ate breakfast in the dining room here at the lodge.

Our apple tree is a full bloom and is a stunning sight. More pictures are on Flickr.

Monday was a magnificent day and as we walked part of the trail around our lovely alpine lake named Gregory, we chanced on a gentleman who had been part of our church when we pastored in Rialto.

“There’s Richard,” Jerry said as I stepped from the car as we were parking.

“Where?”

“Right there.”

I turned, saw him, and spoke, “Why, hi, Richard.”

He had come to fish, and in his inimitable way, he held forth awhile about the winning ways of snagging trout in cold mountain water.

Later…as Jerry and I sat in our living room, we spoke of Richard, and of his life style.

“He was a blessing to us at our church,” I reminded Jerry.

“Yes. Yes, he was,” Jerry a little reluctantly agreed. I understood his hesitance for I know Richard well…and certainly does Jerry.

For years he carefully and faithfully ensured that the multitude of doors to our sanctuary and to the educational units and to the offices were closed and securely locked.

He had called to me as I started down the trail. “Left you some lemons, Sister Buxton. Left them by your car.”

Thank you Richard…for the lemons…the other good things you have done… for locking the church all those many years. May you be blessed.

Categories
Weather/Nature

Here and There with Water Drops

I am fascinated by water drop photography. Last Summer when we were home in Crestline, I spent quite a period of time in our gardens trying my hand at this new-found interest, and was pretty happy with the results. A few days ago, here in Lake Havasu, I again attached my Hoya close-up filters to the front of my kit-lens, and snapped away…having mixed results, I must admit. I threw away most of the shots, but kept a couple of them. My favorite is this one in which you can see an upside down image of our patio umbrella:

My second favorite:

This one looks like a cat; at least it does to me. 🙂

…finally, a couple from last Summer. Crestline water drops!

Hope your day is great; take some time to look at rain drops, dew on the leaves and flowers that are nudging up from the cool earth.

Note: Exciting news from our church here.

Categories
Animals California Life My Home Photography

Birds, Butterflies, Bugs and Water Drops

Dainty Walk, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

It’s been an enjoyable reprieve to be at home in Crestline since late Wednesday evening. We drove over from Lake Havasu after church, and about 1:00 on Thursday morning popped into bed. Had a little business to take care of on Thursday and lots of laundry (if I know I’ll be coming here, I hold off on using the laundry room at DJs–instead wag it all up here), but since then, neither Jerry or I have done too much. Jerry went down the hill to San Bernardino for business on Thursday morning and arrived back just after noon bearing Nathaniel with him. Rebecca came later and spent several hours with us, bringing chocolate pie to finish off the dinner I cooked. Jerry has done a few outside chores, rested quite a lot, and I’ve spent most of my free time taking and processing pictures, plus gazing out the windows, admiring the trees, the skies, the bugs and the birds.

In the study a swivel chair sets almost against the sliding glass door that opens to our back deck and to our gardens; when I’m working on my laptop this is where I sit, the chair always turned to face the outside. Soaring pines and oaks line the back of our place, and often I’m watching as the sky, just visible between the trees, changes from midnight to faint blue to rosy pink. On Thursday morning, I heard the sprinklers come on; later I walked down the stairs and saw a veritable garden of water drops. I went for my camera, for I’ve tried in Lake Havasu to take good water drop shots, but have not been successful.

This is what I saw…

I really like seeing the leaf detail through the water drop. Neat, huh.
Morning Drops in Crestline by you.…and this..
Water Bouquet...and Bokeh by you.
Yesterday, I prowled around and spotted the most magnificent of butterflies. I believe it was the largest butterfly I have ever seen, and a little research taught me that my sighting was of a female Black Swallowtail.
She’s pictured above and here…
Pink Drink by you.
Ah, such is a day in Paradise. (You’ll just have to trust me that I’ve seen bugs and birds…had a Scrub Jay come on the deck to say hello a minute ago. Think he probably remembers we used to feed him peanuts. My Flickr link will take you to many flowers and bugs…and a few people)