Yes, we have deer in Idyllwild! And Mama Deer is pregnant again. She’s not only wider across, but she’s spending a lot of time in our yard again, where she can safely rest, and not have to worry about dogs or tourists–a sure sign a baby is on the way. Soon!
One of my favorite things about going “home” to Fallbrook is getting to visit some of my favorite restaurants on the planet! Can’t you just taste those yellow raisins, and the cheese, and all those little seeds? Fallbrook does salad like nowhere else I know of… And the clam chowder? I could eat it everyday, happily.
It was great to share lunch at Garden Center Cafe with one of my very favorite people, Julie Reeder. And I also got to see my old friend Camereno! We worked together at Main Street Cafe, twenty years ago!
My heart belongs to Fallbrook, but San Diego is where I was born and where I got my fashion sense! Sandals, wrap-around everything, with sun-streaked and wind-swept hair. 91X on the radio, playing Nirvana, and my car’s convertible top down. Near perfection!
One more, just because it’s pretty.
And it reminds me of when I used to shoot hot rock stars on the beach…
I had just taken the road that veers off Mission, near the Valley Fort, when I had to wait for this gorgeous bird, as he crossed the road. But I’m fine with that!
It’s not often–even in Fallbrook–that you see such an elegant peacock on the loose…
Coming home from Idyllwild, on the road to Banning, I pulled over to let a couple of cars pass. Posing nearby on an outcropping of rock were a pair of crows. I only had my iPhone with me, and frankly even if I’d had another camera, unless it was sitting on the seat ready to go, I was probably better off with the iPhone. Most wild creatures aren’t in the habit of staying in place until you get your camera out! I shot through my windshield, and they were kind enough to hang on long enough for me to get a few frames.
As they both flew off I was suddenly reminded of an old friend. Tim Jeffries Szukala hated crows! He would wince when he would hear them calling to each other, and he was convinced they were bad luck. It was almost comical watching him shake his fist at them. Tim was a big part of my life for a few years–he was in the very first band that I ever shot, Cesjacuzzi–but I hadn’t talked to him in years, and only recently heard that he passed on earlier this year. And watching those two crows fly off made me suddenly miss him. A lot. I wish I’d seen him more over the years. I wish we’d kept in better touch. I wish he was still around, and I could call him, and ask him to come over and change a lightbulb. I wish I could hear him play one last drum solo…
When Cesjacuzzi was winding down, we could all sense it, but no one knew that the last gig would actually be the very last gig forever – and I missed it. I had gone to almost every show for years, but that one show I missed, and it was the last.
I don’t like regrets, but I have a few. I regret missing the last gig my first favorite band ever played, and I regret not keeping in better touch with a friend that I really and truly loved. Tim was a great guy! And a great drummer! And as I watched those two crows fly away, I remembered just a little bit better why I loved him the way that I did.
The Tenth Annual Lavender Festival was held the last two weekends at Highland Springs Resort in Cherry Valley, and I’d never been before, but I love lavender, so I decided to drop by on Sunday. I had no idea what to expect, and it was much grander than I could have imagined!
Set on a 2400 acre ranch of mostly pristine California land, the property contains a working organic farm and the Grand Oak Restaurant and Bar. And the “grand oak” referenced in the restaurant’s name? It’s on the property as well, and is at least 1100 years old. A massive old oak, it’s trunk is burned on one side, evidence of a fire or two in the past. But it’s still strong and healthy, despite the damage. Just like the state of California!
I loved this butterfly so much, I cropped the image on the left below, to get the larger version above. But if I was ever to print it, I would print the full frame below really big, so the butterfly would really stand out!
Festival-goers posing for photos in the middle of the lavender fields.
I concentrated mostly on the ranch itself – it’s so beautiful! But they also had booths with all the products they make from the lavender, lots of food, live music, and a lovely place to sit under a canopy of trees and just soak up the atmosphere!
And when I got home? I got a call that I had won a $25 gift certificate to their Grand Oak Restaurant and Bar!
Every year Heritage House in Riverside hosts a Victorian Christmas Party, and this year I finally got to go!
Palm trees in the background, oranges in winter, and a pretty girl – all the elements of a vintage ad meant to entice people to move to beautiful sunny Riverside, circa 1895!
Me and my Mom in front of the Christmas deer. Notice the orange trees in the background. I love the California Christmas look! And one of the strolling musicians.
The Steam Punk Contingent! I don’t think these three were officially connected with the event–they were guests–but they were so cool as they serenely strutted around the circular pathways. True Victorian spirit on display. One of the real highlights of the event, in my opinion!
Hollyhocks! In December? How cool is that?
There were women demonstrating traditional domestic arts in the carriage house – these two were spinning and knitting.
My Mom and Grandma enjoying the garden area. That interesting piece of citrus fruit smelled fabulous. I’m a big fan of all citrus smells, and this one was really good!
Caroling and handing out programs.
We heard a rumor that each of the thirty docents was responsible for baking twelve dozen cookies each, and that they would still run out by the end of the afternoon. That’s over 4000 home baked cookies! It may not look it in these images, but there were a lot of people there – very popular event!
A couple of shots from inside the house. I couldn’t resist shooting the toilet – it was just so pretty!
And finally, the fountain in the front yard.
I had some extra time today in Old Towne, the Historic District in Orange, California. So I had a little fun, as I walked around the block…
In the Chicago Sun Times this weekend… “Daily Splash: Marty Casey of Lovehammers has a tale to tell”
The article includes one of my images – always fun to see!
Here’s a link to the online version of the article…