The end of the year was…complicated, mostly due to my father nearly dying of a heart attack. (He’s doing quite well now.) I wasn’t really a functional human being, but I did get my camera out a couple times.
The first of the winter succulents to bloom: a species of Madagascar aloe.
Various wild mushrooms/toadstools growing out in the field.
The return of the mushrooms/toadstools, a larger species this time, thoroughly dusted with frost.
Fallen cottonwood leaves got similar embellishments.
I visited the Santa Margarita Wildflower Festival, a small to-do in a semi-local town. I’ve now got several packets of California-native flower seeds, which will be lovely additions to the existing collection on the property. Thus inspired, I took a few photos of what’s blooming at home right now. (Click to embiggen.)
Red Stemmed Filaree (an invasive non-native species, actually, but their seeds form spirals, and the green seed pods can be made into a pair of scissors for one’s pointless amusement, so I’m fond of them)
Freesia (okay, it’s not a wildflower, but it was blooming in the backyard when I went to head inside, so it got included)
Bonus points to me for remembering this time: camera settings! They’re a thing that exists! So I futzed about with my f-stops to get more interesting results in my depth of field. I’m so rusty at doing Proper Photography ™, but I got some decent shots this time, yeah?
I love making maps. I will find any excuse to make a map for a project, no matter how small or unmapworthy. This can be depressing, because I cannot draw worth a fetid dingo’s kidney. But I just finished reading The Hobbit last week and I adore Tolkien’s maps. So I thought I would try to do something a little like that, with lots of shaded mountains and squiggly little rivers.
I don’t have any project in mind for this, though I’m getting ideas. I imagine lighthouses on those lonely peninsulas and a good, though not kind, recluse out on the island. Shipping lanes crossing the sea, imperiled by rocks and a giant octopus. Secret meetings occurring in that little circle of tufty grass amid the southwestern forests. And a spring, fed by underground run-off from the lake, where a small community, perhaps a monastery, seeks shelter in a troubled world.
Did I mention, I love maps?