Favorite Reads, So Far 2021

The Relentless Moon, by Mary Robinette Kowal (science fiction)

High as the Waters Rise, by Anja Kampmann (first novel)

Ice Walker: A Polar Bear’s Journey Through the Fragile Arctic, by James Raffan (environment)

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert (environment)

Inferno: The Fiery Destruction of Hamburg, 1943, by Keith Lowe (WWII history)

The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman (mystery)

Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) # 6: Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden

Still playing catch-up!

This challenge is co-hosted by Cee Neuner and Marsha Ingrao, and it is one of her favorites.

Today, self shares her photos of the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, on Highway 1 between Mendocino and Fort Bragg.

Start your walk here.

Final July #TreeSquare Challenge

Self has had so much fun this month, posting pictures of trees. Thank you to Becky at Life of B for hosting this challenge!

On this last day, she will return to Annaghmakerrig Lake in Ireland, which is beautiful in all seasons.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

July #TreeSquare Challenge # 17: Ocean Beach Again

Self will never tire of looking at these pines overlooking Ocean Beach. You can see the direction of the wind in their branches, even on a perfectly still day.

The #TreeSquare Challenge is the brainchild of Becky at The Life of B. Ever so grateful to her for hosting.

July #TreeSquare Challenge # 16: Ocean Beach, Carmel

Self will try to post every day during the final days of the #TreeSquare Challenge for July: TREES.

Thank you so much, becky, for another fantastic Squares Challenge!

Currently on Road Trip # 3: CARMEL.

Took these shots of Monterey pines yesterday at Ocean Beach. It was a very cold day, but there were people in the water, and families on the beach, all looking like they were having a GREAT time! Kudos to the brave souls swimming without wetsuits! Water must have been freezing.

July #TreeSquare Challenge #14: An Orchard

Self couldn’t post every day in July, but she’s making up for it in the final week.

More trees!

Beautiful, beautiful trees!

Thanks so much to becky of The life of b for hosting the Squares Challenges. She has a beautiful gallery of photographs. Go check them out!

Today’s trees are from the orchard behind Alta Bakery, 502 Munras St., Monterey, California. A sign tells the history of the orchard.

July #TreeSquare Challenge # 13: Carmel Mission

The Carmel Mission, which self hasn’t seen in over 20 years, has the most amazing garden. Mostly succulents, but in such an array of colors! She took pictures of the trees just for the life of B’s #TreeSquare Challenge this month.

The Carmel Mission was founded by Father Junipero Serra, a Franciscan, in 1771 (It’s called a “basilica” now). The little museum next to the mission has an exhibit on California missions. So many, the vast majority, were founded in 1771! The missions stretched from San Diego to San Francisco Bay: all in all, Father Junipero Serra founded eighteen missions.

Summer Reading: July

During the month of July, self read seven books.

The seventh is The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig, which she began yesterday (Enjoying it hugely. Has Bridget Jones Diary feelz, at least the opening pages do, but darker)

She read two self-help psychology books, two histories (Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II, by Keith Lowe, and The Reason Why, by Cecil Woodham-Smith, about the mistakes that led to the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava), a murder mystery (The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman, which she hugely enjoyed), and her second Elizabeth Kolbert: Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future.

Onward!

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Save the Pupfish!

With just thirty-five Devils Hole pupfish left on the planet, the National Park Service refused to risk a single breeding pair. It was reluctant even to surrender any eggs. After months of argument and analysis, it finally allowed the Fish and Wildlife Service to gather eggs in the off-season, when the chances of their surviving in the cavern were, in any case, low. The first summer, a single egg was collected; it died. The following winter, forty-two eggs were gathered; twenty-nine of these were successfully reared to adulthood.

— Under a White Sky, p. 81

“This is a good sign,” Gumm said.

Love how phlegmatic the scientist is. In truth, “she tries to spend some part of every day by the edge of the tank, just looking at the fish.”

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

July #TreeSquare Challenge #7: Annaghmakerrig

Beginning in 2014, I spent part of every year in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig.

How lucky I was to have this peaceful, beautiful place in which to write and feel my spirit nourished. There is a stillness to the lake, and to the surroundings. It’s like a clear glass bowl has been inverted over the landscape, cutting (dampening?) all sound.

Was supposed to return in 2020, but COVID.

This is Annaghmakerrig Lake. Thanks so much to Becky of The Life of B for hosting this challenge.

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