Tuesday, August 31, 2010

THE COLOR BLUE................

From sparkling dawn.....'til hazy dusk.........

..................I'm noticing that the color blue is definitely predominant in my recent posts from California.

Early morning fishing - freshwater diving Grebes floating by.

Sunny girl off to find a watercraft to drift and bob across the deep blue lake.

Even four-legged friends enjoy blue water gazing on a warm and sunny afternoon.  This is Jack the Welsh Corgi who loves to swim.

The blues of night falling from a star laden sky as the moon casts its light across Lake Almanor.

Sharing some of my favorite lake images with you.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Watersports: Wave Runners

There they are!  The wave runners waiting at the dock among the many water toys, calling out to us........"come ride the blue waters of the lake".  Who could resist on a hot sunny morning.  Only a faithful friend with many miles under her life jacket would brave the blue with a neophyte driver.......and give her lessons to boot!!

So I took the wave runner out, listened to instructions like a good beginner, and before you knew it......

.............I too was thoroughly enjoying this personal watercraft.  I soon got the hang of it and went faster, leaving a wake in the water behind me.  Another lesson learned......be willing to try anything once, it could be a load of fun!  Thanks for the opportunity Paula!

Wave Runner photos by Jasmin - shown here with Cullen having fun!

Another 'dream day' on Lake Almanor.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Watersports: Kayaking

NOTHING is more fun than being on the water on a hot Summer day.

Jasmin and friend Cullen (who lives at Lake Almanor - lucky guy!) enjoying the kayaks.

My kayaking instructor.....

Yours truly, actually learning to ride the smooth water in an ocean kayak..........such fun.

No, definitely not a dream. I really loved going out on the kayak, paddling along at water level, seeing everything from a new perspective..........guess after the African safari adventure nothing much scares me anymore.  Of course there were no hippos or crocs to worry about....a huge difference!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Watersports: Paddle Boarding

Early each morning, this trio glided silently across the lake as I sipped my first cup of coffee.  They would wave and keep going - their life jackets on the paddle boards because you must still have one with you even though you don't have to wear it. 
They made me think of river people in countries such as Vietnam or Thailand, gently moving down river, peacefully, effortlessly, soundlessly......leaving no footprint to mar the water and air.

Jasmin and Conner (one of Paula's grandsons) paddle boarding.

This was fun...............to do or watch.  I did the latter because the day I planned to try it I left it too late and the lake was choppy from an afternoon breeze!  But I'll definitely try next time.

Jasmin soon got the hang of paddle boarding.........bet I'd be in the water much of the time!  It required good balance.  If you've tried this watersport let me know how you made out! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lassen Volcanic National Park........California

Lassen Peak is one of many active, dormant or extinct volcanoes found around the Pacific Ocean in the Ring of Fire.  It formed 27,000 years ago on Brokeoff Volcano's northern flank.  It is one of the world's largest plug dome volcanoes, rising 2,000 feet to an elevation of 10,457 feet. 

Lassen Peak from the road to Lake Almanor

Lassen Peak's May 1914 eruption launched three years of sporadic volcanic outbursts. The largest eruption on May 22, 1915 blew a huge mushroom-shaped cloud of ash over 30,000 feet into the air.

The western area of the park features great lava pinnacles, huge mountains created by lava flows, jagged craters, and steaming vents.  The area is dotted by lakes and threaded by clear rushing streams, several of which we'd already enjoyed during on previous days....even dipping our toes in the emerald and sapphire colored waters.  At higher elevations snowfields can be found year-round. 

A beautiful drive was to the back side of Mt. Lassen complete with picnic lunch and viewing several more lakes.

A very exciting highlight of our visit was when Paula told us we were to fly over Lassen in a small plane she had chartered so we could see the Cinder Cone, lava flow, and the many lakes and secret mountain places hidden from us on the road trip!  My best friend thinks of everything!
So last Friday, another brilliant warm and sunny morning, the three of us took off with our pilot Dan for a memorable flight.
Jasmin's used to big jets, this was her first flight in a single engine small plane.....she liked it but had a small motion sickness problem!

The deep blue and green lakes........where we'd dipped our toes just the previous day!

...the Cinder Cone and lava flow...............

A truly memorable flight.............this is a little known national park but definitely one of the most lovely.  Hope you can visit some day!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Good day.......I'm back!

Wish I could still be here this morning enjoying my morning coffee!
As the cool night air rose from Lake Almanor and the sun filtered through the pines, stepping out on to the lower deck surrounded by the glittering water meant the promise of yet another perfect Summer day.

By mid-morning the fabulous days spent here were sunny and hot with cloudless skies.  Calm, flat water allowed lots of fun water sports.  Picnics by mountain lakes, drives through scenic countryside, visits to a craft fair, browsing in thrift and antiques shops................and even an awesome flight around a volcano kept us very busy!

Lower deck at Lake Almanor.

Now I'm home again facing the usual mundane chores in hot, humid North Carolina.  Roll on Autumn days.......my Summer has been fun but I'm ready for a change.  I'll have more stories and images of Northern California to share after I edit my many photos.

My friend Paula's beautiful lakefront Summer home.
Thanks for the wonderful time Paula.......Jasmin and I enjoyed every moment.  Hope to return next year!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Return to Revival...........

While I'm away I thought you might enjoy looking at some unusual, often quirky, accessories at that great shop REVIVAL I recently shared with you.

Every time I stop by I see fun items, some antique, others vintage, and a great assortment of stylish reproductions at affordable prices.

Don't you love that vintage peg bag?  I want the bottles in the wire basket.....great to display single stems of pretty flowers.

Quirky beachy items.......IF one has a beach place!

Vintage silver backed hair accessories.........so much prettier than today's plastic and rubber.................

Repro painted wall panels.........vintage corbels, great with the addition of a shelf......and who doesn't need the Eiffel Tower to recall those Paris visits!

I do love antique silver and rarely polish it because I dislike too much shine......but adore grey!
Great old editions of that amazing encyclopedia.

Fabulous vintage luggage...........let's find an old Rolls Royce, throw it in the boot and tootle off to a country house in the Cotswolds for the weekend!

I'll be back from California soon.........see you then.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lakeside living is hard to beat!

Today the stars must be aligned just right as somehow I'm able to say hello from my iPad!!

No pics can be loaded, unfortunately, however I can tell you that we are having a wonderful time and it will be hard to leave next Saturday!

Today I learned to drive a wave runner and, although I planned to be cautious and perhaps crawl along near the shore at 5 mph, I actually sped across the lake, alone, at a top speed of a whopping 42 mph once I got the hang of it! Exhilerating, awesome fun..........perhaps I'll shoot for 60 mph by the end of the week! Pictures of these dare devil feats when I return home.

I'll have lots more to share from this great trip later.
Bye for now...........Mary

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pink Saturday........back on the road

Hello Pink Saturday friends. 
I've been very fortunate this year to travel often and to some amazing places.  I'm now back on the road, well actually it was more flying through the skies yesterday, for my last vacation of the Summer....................

.................a week with best friend Paula (yes, same Paula I went on safari with in May) at her beautiful Lake Almanor Summer home in northern California. Last year I spent a few wonderful days here with DH and Jasmin, this year DH was sweet enough to send us here alone for a gals week on the water before Jasmin returns to school.

This is where we'll be hanging out and enjoying water sports during the day.

Come sunset, we'll gather for dinner out on the deck.  Later the fire pit will be lit so we can sit back and enjoy the gently falling darkness.  Loons will call across the lake and stars will hang like diamonds in the sky.  The silence will be broken only by friends chattering, laughing, and raising a glass..........what could be a more perfect way to bring Summer to a close.

These images were taken at Lake Almanor in July 2009.  

Will be without my laptop in California and unable to do new posts, but I'll take photos to share with you after I return home.  I'll be using my iPad to read your blogs and hopefully have time to comment when not in/on that beautiful lake! 

Meanwhile, visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound to see who's participating in fun Pink Saturday today.....and have a great weekend.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Flying high............

I'm leaving home again!  The west is calling and offering a week of water views, mountain majesty and, best of all, time to relax with my dearest friend again.  It will be different than the time we spent together in Africa in May, but just as pleasurable.

So, instead of my early mornings spent here saying good day to you.....and you.....and yes, you too, I'm out the front door and off to catch a very early flight this morning.  My travel companion, seatmate, reader of small print without glasses, camera technician, and all around tech wizard, is Jasmin.........who's just as excited as I am at the promise of boating, kayaking, wave running, ATV-ing, and climbing a volcano to throw snowballs in the sunshine!

Tomorrow my Pink Saturday post will show you more.
See you later.