Sunday, October 22, 2017

Life in a Patch of Lavender in October

This Lavender Patch is Buzzing with Life In October

I found this bit of lavender growing in the almost deserted community garden in Templeton in mid-October. You cannot discover how full of life it is in this still photo. That's because the lively creatures active in it are so well camouflaged you can't see them very well unless they are moving

Life in a Patch of Lavender in October
A Lavender Patch in October, © B. Radisavljevic

That's why I want you to see them moving in this video. I'm only sorry the hummingbird that was flitting around disappeared when I started shooting the video. It must have been camera-shy.

A Deserted Community Garden

As you can see from the following photos, it seems most gardeners in the Templeton Community Garden have quit for the season. You can see the patch of lavender from a different perspective as I enter the garden from the path. The lavender is on the right. The raised bed behind it seems to have been left to fend for itself, as have most of the others in the garden.

Life in a Patch of Lavender in October
Deserted Templeton Community Garden in October, © B. Radisavljevic

Below you can see the torch lily, also known as red hot poker, complementing the color of the lavender and adding height.

Life in a Patch of Lavender in October
Lavender Patch and Torch Lily in October, © B. Radisavljevic

In the photo below, I'm standing behind the lavender looking back toward Main Street in Templeton. This gives you an overall view of the lavender patch and its environment.

Life in a Patch of Lavender in October
A Lavender Patch in October, © B. Radisavljevic

The One Active Raised Bed in the Garden

The one raised bed that appeared to still be cared for is this one, full of ripening tomatoes. I can see why it has not been deserted. Look at those luscious tomatoes, many ready to be eaten. I'm sure the gardener who planted these will return to harvest his or her crop. Wouldn't you?

Life in a Patch of Lavender in October
 October Tomatoes in the Templeton Community Garden, © B. Radisavljevic

Life in a Patch of Lavender in October
A Lavender Patch in October, © B. Radisavljevic

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Watching the Goats Who Live Near Larry Moore Park

A Parade of Goats to Photograph

Yesterday as I was about ready to load up my camera and go home from my walk, I found a reason to stay longer.  A farmer with property adjoining the park opened a gate to let his goats run into a pen right in front of me. In they hurried, one by one, and each immediately started looking for something to eat. It was hard to get the photos I wanted because of the fence between me and the goats and the speed at which they moved.

Watching the Goats Who Live Near Larry Moore Park

The Goat Photos

Nevertheless, I did get a few photos, and I discovered some of these goats did not seem in great shape. At first I thought this one just didn't want to turn his head toward the camera.

Watching the Goats Who Live Near Larry Moore Park

Then I discovered after watching for a few minutes it probably couldn't turn its head. I had to wonder what had happened to this poor creature.

Watching the Goats Who Live Near Larry Moore Park

This goat seems to not have problems - at least to my untrained eye from a distance. In case you're wondering, that white spot near the top edge is a cat.

This goat also has both horns and holds its head normally.

This goat knows exactly what its job is and is going about it diligently. You are seeing the riverbed in the background. I'm using a zoom because the goats are far from where I'm standing, so the river looks closer than it really is.

There were other goats, but they weren't as easy to photograph. I would have liked a better picture of this last one, but every time it jumped up to see over the fence and greet me, it jumped back down before I could get in focus. I finally got this much of it. I think it wants to be a unicorn. Though I guess it didn't choose to lose its other horn.

Have you ever had a goat? Have you ever wanted one? Feel free to share your goat experiences in the comments. I'd also love to hear any comments you have about these goats -- especially if you know their stories.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Escape to Beauty: Look Up to the Sky and Trees

I Fled The Roofing Noise into the Beauty Not Far from Home

Yes, this is Day 3 of the roofing repairs. They were supposed to have finished, but obviously they haven't. But no more roofing photos today. There are more beautiful subjects. In the morning I mostly mostly did errands -- shopping, and getting gas. I stopped at home to see if maybe it would be quiet enough to eat lunch at home, but it wasn't, so off I went to Touch of Paso. The food was good, but it was much nosier than usual because of an unhappy toddler, so I didn't get the peace I was seeking. Off I went to the Paso Robles Library!

Escape to Beauty: Look Up to the Sky and Trees
Paso Robles Library,  © B. Radisavljevic

The Library and Home Again

While at the library I checked the new book shelf and decided to check out one of the Express Books (due in seven days). It looked more interesting than the eBook I was reading. I was quite sleepy after that large lunch I ate and needed an author I know could keep me awake until I could go home, but not one that would keep me up late to finish the book. I chose Debbie Macomber's A Girl's Guide to Moving On. It's about a woman and her mother-in-law trying to help each other through divorces from their unfaithful husbands who had broken their hearts. I got the first seven chapters read before 4 pm, the time the roofers usually leave. I went home to see if the coast was clear. It wasn't. This is what I saw. (Sorry. I said no more photos of this.)

Escape to Beauty: Look Up to the Sky and Trees
Roofing Repairs, © B. Radisavljevic

On the way home I took the long way to stop and get the mail. Before I got to the mailbox, I stopped to get a photo of one of my favorite oaks that lives near the corner of South River Road and Bridgegate.

Escape to Beauty: Look Up to the Sky and Trees
An Oak Tree in Paso Robles, © B. Radisavljevic

The Park, the Sky, and the Trees

Before I got to the mailbox I'd also stopped to snap some other trees that I don't normally see before sundown. When I finally saw the roofers wouldn't be leaving any time soon, I drove over to the park, planning to sit and read some more. However, I was still really sleepy and decided I needed to walk off some of that lunch.

Escape to Beauty: Look Up to the Sky and Trees
The Sky and Trees from Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic

The sky above the park was full of a mixture of fluffy and gray clouds. It was hard to stop snapping them, especially since they were framed with the park's magnificent trees. It's really hard to choose which photos to show you. I'll stick to sky and trees for now and show you the goats and the turkey vultures on another day. They were a surprise and an added bonus.

Escape to Beauty: Look Up to the Sky and Trees
The Sky and Trees from Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic

I wish I could show you this sky as I saw it -- one continuous panorama, changing by the minute as the earth moved.

Escape to Beauty: Look Up to the Sky and Trees
The Sky and Trees from Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic

Escape to Beauty: Look Up to the Sky and Trees
The Sky and Trees from Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic

Escape to Beauty: Look Up to the Sky and Trees
The Sky and Trees from Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic

OK. One Vulture in this last photo.

Escape to Beauty: Look Up to the Sky and Trees
The Sky and Trees from Larry Moore Park and One Turkey Vulture, © B. Radisavljevic

Even the walk did not cure my drowsiness. Only a complete night's sleep will take care of that. Since I saw that won't be happening tonight, I took a nap when I got home. With all those clouds I'm sure I missed a magnificent sunset, but a girl's got to sleep some time. That will happen after I get this blog posted.

How was your day?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Roofing Repairs: Not Music to My Ears

I Knew Roofing Repairs Would Start Today

I knew that roofing repairs meant noise early in the morning. I'm a night owl, so I was unhappy with this knowledge. I'm currently listening to banging. drilling, and I'm not sure what else as I try to write this.

Roofers at Work, © B. Radisavljevic

This not only drives me crazy, but it also disrupts my sleep. I normally blog and network until about 2 am. I normally sleep until about 10 am. The noise started this morning at 8:30 am. I'd like to finish this post before I leave for a doctor appointment this afternoon, but even with white noise on, I can't escape that loud banging from right over  my head. Of course the roofers are currently working right over my office.

Two More Days?

My husband, who decided we had to get this done so we could beat the rain that might come this month, said this would take three days. This morning he said they might finish today. I hope they do -- for the sake of my sleep and sanity. I'm a peace-loving person who hates loud noises. I especially hate them as alarm clocks. Going to bed earlier doesn't help because my body clock can't be changed that easily.

I think this would be a good day to drop by the other house after the doctor appointment and pick up my scanner and precious photos that are still stored there. I want to move them because we are more likely to have fires in that area than in the city.

A photo walk in that area might also be good, since I haven't been to my favorite vineyards yet. Some are sure to be ready to harvest.  Maybe I'll even eat lunch out -- after the doctor weighs me. Maybe I'll start my friend Beverly's new book, Death Takes a Spin,  over at the other house. I was going to wait until after the blog challenge was over to start a mystery, but I'm writing ahead to cover it. I suppose I could even start reading at the gym. I haven't been there for ages.

The Mess

It seems whenever a repair needs to be made, whoever does the work makes a mess while it's in process. Some clean up their messages afterwards and some don't. At least this mess is materials that will be used. I won't know if the workmen will leave any debris until they are gone. Meanwhile, my neighbors probably aren't happy about these materials being stacked right on our property line.

Repairmen Put their Supplies and Trash Anywhere Convenient for Them. 

Looking Foreword to Peace and Quiet Again When This Is Over

For now, though, I plan to escape the noise while it lasts. I hope by tomorrow I can go back to a normal schedule without the noise or the unwanted wake-up thumps and bangs.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The World Beyond My Office

My Reality Has to Go Beyond What I Can See on my Computer Screen

Sometimes when I have a lot of writing to get done, it's hard to remember a world beyond my office. Yes, my husband interrupts to ask me to find things or do computer tasks for him. The phone rings and sometimes I have to answer it. But when I'm alone in the house and no one enters my office door but me, it's easy to forget there is a world outside the house when I'm working inside.

The World Beyond My Office

Most of the day I'm happy to have the time for productive work. But when late afternoon rolls around, I get antsy. I look outside my office window and see the tree above. Something happens inside me that almost catapults me out the door. Maybe it's the knowledge that a gorgeous sunset is on the way and I need to photograph it.

The World Beyond My Office

Maybe it's hearing the train whistle and knowing it will soon be roaring on the other side of the river overlooking the park. Of course I need to take a picture.

The World Beyond My Office

Sometimes I take to the garden and pull a few weeds, prune, or deadhead a few flowers just to get out into the world beyond my walls. Sometimes I even discover something new that God planted, like these seedlings nestled among the weeds, behind the Lamb's Ears. I believe they are either borage or mullein, but I won't know for a while. They may even be clary sage. They all resemble each other at this stage. When I know for sure I'll know what to do with them. What I do know is that they aren't weeds.

The World Beyond My Office

I can do most of these activities without leaving my yard. All of them help me ground myself and connect to my Creator and the world around me.

When I'm Especially Restless I Need to Go Farther 

That usually means I take a photo walk in Larry Moore Park like I did Saturday. I usually take these walks in late afternoon or early evening before dark. That's when I feel like I will jump out of my skin if I don't go somewhere outside.

This is a scene from my Saturday walk. Unfortunately, it was too dark to capture a photo of the bunny ahead of me on the trail. I came home from that walk better able to relax and get a good night's sleep.

The World Beyond My Office

Another easy walk is the Charolais Corridor Trail. I get a new perspective every time I walk the trail, depending on the season, the time of day, and who else is on the trail. I've been walking this trail since it opened a few years ago. This photo of the east entrance was taken on January 30, 2013 when the trail was still almost new. The trail begins on South River Road and ends on the western side across from the entrance to Larry Moore Park and the Salinas River Trail.

The World Beyond My Office

 Sometimes it's the practical matters that make me leave my office -- those pesky doctor appointments, labs tests, or errands. I often choose the early evening to shop. That's what I did tonight to get out. These appointments and errands aren't as much fun as photo walks, but I can still find nature in the landscaping, and the sky is always above as I walk to and from my car and wherever I'm going.

A Dose of Nature Usually Settles My Restlessness

Those sunsets I see between my trees every night help a lot. The sky always helps me remember how big my universe it and how powerful the One who controls it. I feel much less confined after a healthy dose of sky. And I can see sky anywhere I go outside.

The World Beyond My Office

Where do you go when you get cabin fever and need to get out of the house?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Meet Vincent Bernardy: Musician, Painter, and Artistic Recycler

Vincent Bernardy is a New Resident Artist at Studios On the Park 

I met him for the first time during the October Art after Dark Event. His assemblage works are so unique that after you've seen a few of them you wouldn't need a sign to know they are his. He seems to love creating things related to construction, but he doesn't limit his subjects to that. He does like bold colors. You can see that in the assemblage behind him.

You can also see that he has fun mixing his media.  Vincent shares a studio  with others, so what's on the shared desk isn't necessarily his. I'm guessing those toad abodes are somehow connected with studio mate Anna Meyrick who speicalizes in mosaics and ceramics.

Anna used to share a studio with Eve Provost Chartrand. My favorite source of news at the studios told me that the reason Eve left is that she thought she didn't know enough about art so she left to teach it. I had to chuckle at that, but I knew what he meant.

Meet Vincent Bernardy: Musician, Painter, and Artistic Recycler

An Overview of the Art in Vincent's Studio Corner

Meet Vincent Bernardy: Musician, Painter, and Artistic Recycler

When I first saw this corner, my first thought was "This guy really loves tools!" That large assemblage on the upper right side especially fascinated me. I asked Vincent about it. He told me he doesn't like to tell people what his works mean to him, since he wants each person to come at it with their own fresh perspective. If someone tells you what a piece of art is supposed to represent or mean, it limits what you might see for yourself. He did finally share his perspective with me, but I won't tell you what he said. It would be really interesting if you look at it and share what it means to you in the comments below. See the full frontal view of this piece, as well as Vincent's other art, on his webpage

The Tools

It's obvious that Vincent likes to use tools in his work -- not just to create it. As I looked at these, I thought what great gifts they might be to your favorite carpenter or handyman. What may not be obvious is that those screwdrivers actually are real and removable. One could actually use them and put them back. What a functional work of art -- especially for the person who can never find the right screwdriver when he or she needs it. Not only that, as you can see, you can also use it to hang smaller pictures. Only your imagination limits the uses.

Meet Vincent Bernardy: Musician, Painter, and Artistic Recycler

The assemblage below also has another use. Technically, it's a coat rack. Look carefully and you'll see the hooks. The shadows will give you a hint as to where to look. Notice how carefully the screwdrivers are arranged to show off the various colors and sizes.

Meet Vincent Bernardy: Musician, Painter, and Artistic Recycler


Vincent Bernardi takes his music to many local venues. You can sample it on his YouTube channel. The song I liked best was "Rodeo Clown." He teamed up with Jade Jackson for this one. I met her for the first time when she was performing at Sculpterra one day in 2010. Here's a link to the video I made while looking around the tasting room while she was performing. It includes a brief interview with her at the end.

You can connect with Vincent on Instagram or on his website.

Meet Vincent Bernardy: Musician, Painter, and Artistic Recycler


Monday, October 16, 2017

Will This Tree Survive?

A Cottonwood Tree with a History at Larry Moore Park

I have been observing this particular cottonwood tree since about 2004 as I pass it on my walks through Larry Moore Park in Paso Robles It's shape is so unique you can't miss it. It stands alone near where the trails in the park intersect. This is how it looked on October 14, 2017. I will now share the photos I've been taking through the years for comparison.

As you can see, the tree is in bad shape. See how much bark is gone? Very few branches are still alive, if any. Every storm breaks off more branches. It looks as though this year the city may finally be taking better care of the tree.

A Pictorial History of the Cottonwood Tree

This is my first photo after my mom moved near the park and I started walking there. I was still using a camera that left a lot to be desired. You can see that even back then park maintenance was inferior. Most of the tree is dead, and most of what's green is mistletoe.

My First Photo of the Cottonwood, August 9, 2004

My pictorial history has a gap between 2004 and 2010 when I got the computer I use now. It seems a lot of photo history has vanished. But we will pick it up again in 2010. I have put the dates on the photos for easy comparison.  I'm not sure when the picnic table was put under the tree. I think I may see it through the branches on the right.

By March 2011 there is definitely a picnic table and the branch covering it in the 2010 photo no longer has leaves, even though it's March. It's very likely the leafy branch suffered storm damage. Or all the leaves died over winter and are just beginning to come back. The branch at the top right appears to be beginning to get leaves. The bright green is mistletoe.

It's now January, 2012. The shot below looks north toward the trail that goes east to west through the park near the river. You can see the trail and the back of the sign that faces the trail -- the same sign you see in the picture above that faces in the opposite direction.

Below is a cropped version of the photo above for a closer look. It's hard to tell if I'm seeing the top of an intact picnic table on the left. Again, the green is all mistletoe.

By December 2013 vandals have carried off the top of the picnic table leaving only the supports. It appears there are some leaves on the tree.

It's now August 3, 2014. The tree is happily in leafy foliage again,  though the mistletoe is still bothering it. The picnic table is gone, and it appears some of the dead branches have also been carted off. Perhaps the homeless who were living in the riverbed took it to use for firewood.

It's now October 2014. There are some remnants of the picnic table. The leaves have turned brown and the mistletoe has taken over again, but even it is beginning to die, especially at the top.

Here's a closer look. You can see the spot where a branch broke off.


It appears I did not get many walks in the park in 2016. We had to make a lot of day trips that year that took us out of town.  The closest I can get to 2016 is this photo taken on January 9, 2017 between rain storms.

I end this history of the cottonwood tree this month, on October 14, 2017. I'm hoping this tree will last a few more years. I hope you've enjoyed the journey.

Is there a tree you have watched closely over several years?

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