Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hats and Lilacs and Old Roads

Proving that even a small getaway can make a big difference, we piled in the wagon and traveled east. You can't get very far traveling west from here, but moving east takes you to hill country, granite boulders, pines, cows, horses galloping among oak trees and manzanita. And everywhere, the silvery blue haze of the mountain lilac in full bloom.

Mountain Lilac: Ceanothus.

Entire slopes are covered in this beautiful color, which ranges from lavender to a heathered gray. It delights me to be in the country in time to see the return of this old friend, the mountain lilac.

We pulled over to get a closer look, to jump on granite, look for sage, and lizards. But. The. Cold. And. The. Wind. It about knocked us over! This was unexpected, and kinda fun, because why else go away, except to discover something unexpected?

Eli and Alex, taking in the view. To the west they see Santa Ysabel, oak woodlands, native grass meadows, and fields of cows and wildflowers.

On this rise, there was no place to turn away form the wind.

We remarked on the clouds... how fast they were moving across the wide sky.

We followed a dirt road, to the gate. Max was the only one who didn't bother with a coat. Maria was pressed close to my side.

It's fun to age these a bit. I have a few options I can play with on my Mac. I think I would be out of control if I got my hands on Photoshop.

William is waiting on a pecan colored top hat, but I think his fedora looks good too. You can see why I am thankful for thirft shops, and resale finds, having three sons that prefer dress shirts and bow ties over T-shirts and flip-flops.

In the mining town, I think it was even colder and windier than it was out on the hilltop. Many places were closed mid-week, but we found some lunch, and we found some pie, and we found it was fun to walk the quiet streets of Julian.

It was so much fun, we decided to make another venture, soon... this time with a campsite, maybe near a creek, some place where we can have a campfire and follow tadpoles, pick sage, hop boulders, tell stories...

Even a small getaway can make a big difference.

I never tire of traveling these old roads.


nikkipolani said...

I'm really liking this layout -- it is a nice backdrop for your lovely photos. That ceanothus looks beautiful.

Jennifer said...

Outstanding. Plain and simple.

Miriam said...

Wow, what a lot of fun! For you, and for us! Your kids are amazing.

Here on Vancouver Island we call mountain lilacs "California lilacs" and now I know why!

Tracy said...

Just LOVE the photos of your gang here, Natalie... especially those "step back in time" photos. ;o) Love those long jackets the gentlemen are wearing. Lilacs...mmm... Can almost smell them through the screen... Oh, did you taste that hot apple pie advertized at Buffalo Bill's? Happy Days ((HUGS))

mtnchild said...

I too, have special roads I like to drive when needing a time away. Love the way your guys dress - has to be an eye opener to the public if they don't know you ... LOL. Oh those guys have grown into beautiful young men!!

judy in ky said...

Natalie, I love your sons' sense of style.

I also love lilacs; every spring in Philadelphia I would buy a bunch from a street vendor as I walked to my office.

By the way, if you want to have more fun in the wind and cold, you can come here to visit. I have the furnace on today... where is spring?

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

Looks like so much fun! Great photos. Glad I found your blog!

test said...

It looks like you had a great and windy time. Maria seems not to be too perturbed about it.