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Sep 302012

September is a wonderful time to backpack in the mountains.  Mosquitoes are down a bit, the weather is usually perfect, there aren’t as many people around and hey, you’re in the mountains.  Gem lake is in the Emigrant Wilderness of the Sierra Nevada mountains, just north of Yosemite National Park.  At 8200 feet it’s not too difficult to get there by backpacking standards.  We took 2 easy days to get up.  It’s small, a great place to take a swim and, well, just the perfect little mountain lake.

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Sep 282012

The City, of course, meaning San Francisco, the City by the Bay; a visual, photographic treat.  Not to mention a fun and lively place to be.  Here, it really doesn’t take any hunting for an itinerary of things to do or the laborious reading of strangers trip reviews to have a grand time.  You just have to walk around a bit and within a block or two you will undoubtedly run into an interesting little shop or surprisingly good restaurant.  This shot was taken from Russian Hill.

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Sep 252012

Being able to see and watch iconic “game animals” in the wild is quite a spectacle.  I saw elephants as a single bull ravaging in the bush as well as herds of 15 or more peacefully grazing or drinking from a watering hole.  On this day 4 of us and our driver drove an hour over to the infamous Kruger National Park in the NE corner of South Africa.  It’s a huge area where animals of all persuasions are living, breeding, hunting, thriving.  Humans are allowed to observe, but can’t get out of the vehicle at all.  There are large fines and expulsion if caught.  For the most part, the animals don’t pay us much attention.  They’re obviously used to people now and feel safe enough to live their lives according to their own terms, as it should be.

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 Wandering Elephants  September 25, 2012  South Africa Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Sep 212012

Wow!  What an adventure I had in South Africa!  The people so friendly, vital and alive.  We spent almost all our time in rural areas well north of Johannesburg and what a treat it was.  The vitality of the people, the land, the animals is infectiously palpable.  They are genuine, heartfelt, humble.  No excessive energy in reaching for the tourist dollar.  Wares and art, if around, are simply and cordially offered.  The beauty and energy of the land and its people reverberates deeply in my soul.

Here, on this day, we visited two primary schools where some of the kids performed for us; singing, dancing, poetry, a play.  All done with full participation and much energy.  All the kids were so interested in us and revelled in a simple acknowledgement and touch of the hands.  A beautiful day indeed.

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 Dancing in Africa  September 21, 2012  South Africa Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Sep 182012

First of all, I’m just back from an amazing whirlwind adventure to South Africa.  12 days of travel, beautiful people of strong heart, wildness; both of weather and animals and, of course lots of images to process.  I’ll start posting a few in the days that follow.  For now….

We return to one of my all time favorite places, the California coastline of Sonoma County.  This was taken in late spring with a pretty stiff breeze blowing most of everyone else off the beach.  It’s an amazing time to be out there walking with no one else around.  Sand on the feet, wind on the face, the sun doing its best to color the sky through the ocean clouds.  Just a little slice of heaven.

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Sep 032012

Today I’m off to South Africa!  See you in a couple of weeks.

So is this a pizza oven or a pottery kiln?  Maybe either and both.  If nothing else it’s a great piece of art.  It’s up at the Frey vineyard and winery in Mendocino county, California.  A winery of the biodynamic variety where you can rent the property for special events as well.  The oven tells it all as far as style goes.

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 The Oven  September 3, 2012  Mixed Nuts Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »