My Mom

Sharon Rose // cherylspelts.comMy mother is leaving at the end of this week to go spend some time in Portland, Oregon. I’m not sure when she’ll be back, and yesterday was my last chance to spend some time with her before she leaves, so we shot a couple portraits in her nearly empty living room. And of course we had to get a shot with Samantha!

Then we headed out to Highland Springs Resort to have dinner at the Grand Oak Steakhouse. But before dinner, we had to explore just a little bit… And of course that meant we ended up in the lavender fields shooting more images!

And the Grand Oak Restaurant? It’s my new favorite place! All the food is locally grown, in season, and organic – so every single thing they served us tasted amazing. We had mango margaritas that must have been made with the most perfectly ripe mango ever – they were fabulous! Then I had a watermelon and heirloom tomato salad with freshly made mozzarella. Heirloom tomatoes just taste like a tomato should taste… And paired with watermelon? So good! And then we both had their steakhouse burger – which was probably the best tasting burger I’ve ever had. They cut and grind locally-raised fresh beef there, on the premises, so how could it not be good?

I’ll miss my Mom! But I’m glad we got to have one last afternoon and evening together, in such a beautiful spot, enjoying the Old-California atmosphere, with fabulous food and a fabulous drink, and some good conversation!

Sharon Rose

Sharon RoseMom

Mom in the Lavender Fields


Me in the Lavender Fields

Hair Blowing

Among the Olive Trees

And me on the original dirt driveway into the resort, under a canopy of hundred-years-old olive trees.

Lavender Festival at Highland Springs Resort

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!

Butterfly on Lavender // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

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!

Butterfly // Photo: Cheryl SpeltsLavender at Highland Springs Resort // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Tourists pose for photos at the Lavender Festival // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Festival-goers posing for photos in the middle of the lavender fields.

Olive Trees // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Lavender at Highland Springs Resort // Photo: Cheryl SpeltsLeaves of an Olive Tree // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Olive Tree Leaves // Photo: Cheryl SpeltsGrowing Lavender in Southern California // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

The Grand Oak // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

The Grand Oak at Highland Springs Ranch // Photo: Cheryl SpeltsOak Tree Branch

Burned Grand Oak // Photo: Cheryl SpeltsThousand-Year-Old Oak Tree // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Sage Brush in Southern California // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Bee in the Sage Brush // Photo: Cheryl SpeltsSheep at Highland Springs Resort // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Southern California Lavender Farm // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Rows of Lavender at Highland Springs Resort // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

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!