Summer green afternoon

Picture of summer green water

As you drive through Oak Creek Canyon, you’ll see a sign for Ensinoso Park. There, if you stop your car and walk down the hill you’ll find this secret place.

I’ve visited when it is dressed in winter white and fall gold, but nothing is so startling as the passionate green of summer, when the creek borrows color from the moisture-loving sycamores, alders, and ashes that line the banks.

To me, water is the ultimate “yes” person. It says, whatever you want me to be, I’ll be. Hard, soft, liquid, mist. I’ll reflect back your blue skies, your gray storms, your green leaves. Yes! I’m here. Just ask.

Summer afternoon–summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
~Henry James~

The kittens and the sunflowers

Picture of kittens in the sunshine

It was a western facing window in the afternoon. You can tell that by the sunflowers turning their faces toward the sun just as little Ellf was. Mac, on the other hand, was staring drowsily at the photographer, me. The two found comfort in the warm sun and in the closeness of each other. That was all they needed.

Perhaps we look too hard for happiness. Content lies often in those things the closest to our heart. Warmth, companionship, flowers, and…kittens!

It’s good to be just plain happy; it’s a little better to know that you’re happy; but to understand that you’re happy and to know why and how…to be happy in the being and the knowing, well that is beyond happiness, that is bliss.
~Henry Miller~

Paper patterns make a life

Picture of paper patterns

In the back room of a dressmakers shop lived a row of paper patterns. Some had yellowed with age, but the fingers of the seamstress unerringly drew the pattern she wanted from the collection. She knew them all by heart. They were familiar friends.

We all have our own row of familiar patterns. I know which cup I’ll choose for my morning coffee, which Internet news website I’ll read first. My fingers reach for that favorite T-shirt to wear when the stack is fresh from the wash.

Just as there is growth in newness and surprise, there is comfort in predictability. We need both in our life to thrive.

I am an idealist.
I don’t know where I’m going
but I’m on my way.

~Carl Sandburg~

 

 

Why did I worry so much?

Picture of red geraniums and magenta petunias

I found this hanging basket in one of my favorite places in the world, Jerome, Arizona. Here magenta petunias hang out in perfect harmony with bright red geraniums.

When I was a teenager, I agonized¬†over whether parts of my outfit color-matched. Red did not “go” with pink and definitely not with magenta! Since I’ve grown older, I’ve mellowed.

I’m reminded of a master gardener who once informed me, “ALL flowers play together, whatever the color of their blooms.” I agree!

There are moments when everything
turns out right.
Don’t let it alarm you: they pass.

~Jules Renard~

 

 

Look behind you

It was a cold, sunlit morning in November when I took this photograph of the crystal water at Red Rock Crossing. Behind me were the magnificent totems of Cathedral Rock, but I chose to look down, instead.

The soft sandstone had been worn smooth by the creek that ebbs and flows according to the season, and the rock glowed red under the edge of water.

I’ve found in photography that what is behind me may more interesting as the obvious subject in front, as it was this morning.

That happens in life. Focused on what we expect to see, we ignore everything else around us. We lose the beauty gained using “soft eyes.”

I searched through rebellion, drugs, diet, mysticism, religion, intellectualism and much more, only to find that truth is basically simple and feels good, clear and right.
~Chick Corea~

Four score and seven

water fall in NH

What is striking to me about this picture of surf hitting rocks in Maine is that the rock, solid granite, has been worn smooth by the constant plunging wear of the water, advancing, retreating, advancing again.

You could put your hand to this stone, as I did, and feel a surface polished as smooth as a tombstone.

Perhaps our sense of time, based upon our meager life existence of “four score and seven,” is too short. How our perspective would change if our worldview was the same as the rocks of this earth.

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be.
~Robert Browning~

 

 

Sitting by the dock of the bay

Sitting on the dock at the bay

I arose early, seeking to experience the dock in the solitude of a Sunday morning.

Later, there would be boats moored to each side, and fisherman throwing out a line, and honeymooning couples strolling arm-in-arm along its length. But for now it was quiet, content, satisfied in just being.

Sometimes we feel like a dock, waiting for our ship to come in. But the wisdom is knowing that our future is already here inside, waiting to be discovered.

When one has much to put into them,
each day has a hundred pockets.

~Friedrich Nietzsche

 

 

Remaining Invisible

red-roofed forest cottage

What a marvelous tiny house this was, hidden in the forest ferns!

In my mind’s eye I miniaturized it like Alice in Wonderland, making it just the size for forest gnomes hiding among the rocks. I tried to spot them, patiently waiting for me to leave so they could go on about their daily business of forest dwelling. But they were very good at remaining invisible.

The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one has to do.
~James M. Barrie~

 

 

 

 

 

FIRE IN BROKEN WATER — Now FREE on Amazon Kindle!

Fire in Broken WaterFIRE IN BROKEN WATER is the 3rd book in the Pegasus Quincy mystery series. I wrote the book to explore the water wars that are still ongoing in Arizona.

But it’s a mystery, too! Including a prize Friesian stallion, a child’s sled that may be a key to a deadly arson fire, and a clan of gypsies that make Peg profoundly uncomfortable.

FIRE IN BROKEN WATER is FREE on Amazon Kindle August 17 – August 19th. Enjoy!

BUT, “that’s not all,” as they used to say in the late-night Ronco commercials–remember them?

On August 19th, Book 2 of the series, BLOOD IN TAVASCI MARSH starts a 99 cent countdown sale on Amazon Kindle.

Then two days later on August 21, the first book of the series, DEATH IN COPPER TOWN, will also commence a 99 cent Amazon Kindle countdown. Watch for it!

AND, finally, the fourth book of the Pegasus Quincy mystery series, PERIL IN SILVER NIGHTSHADE will become available on Amazon Kindle on August 24th.

It’s going to be a wild and crazy week!

Thank you so much for your continuing support of this project to share the amazing Verde Valley of Arizona with mystery readers who have not yet had a chance to visit and to enjoy the beauty with those who have! 

Nourishment and destruction

Mussels in a crack

It was low tide on a sunny day, and we ventured far out on the rocks, searching the life left by the waves. Hidden in the cracks, just visible here, we found thousands of tiny white mussels, fed by the surging waves that were channeled into the crevices between the granite boulders.

How did these tiny shelled creatures sense that here, and only here, they would be nourished by the very waves that threatened to destroy them?

For every ailment under the sun,
There is a remedy, or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it;
If there be none, never mind it.
~Mother Goose~