Weekend Coffee Share

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Another weekend, time sure fly by faster than I can blink. I don’t know where it goes. How about some coffee? How was your week? 

I’m very happy to report that we have some kind of truce in the horse pasture. Ghost have not been biting Fancy since last weekend. He is still bossy, but she doesn’t have new bite marks. Which is a great relief. I’m continuing to spend time hanging out, grooming, and doing nothing, with him every day. He had a lot of changes this year, and I believe he needs some quiet time to digest things. He is after all a young, and very sensitive horse. It seem to go in the right direction. I just need to be patience. I’ve also added more good fat to his diet, (in the shape of stable mix. It has almond hulls in it.) He do not need to gain weight, he is just perfect, but I do think it’s beneficial for his overall well being. He just gets a little bit, Fancy gets a lot more, since she needs to gain weight. I separate them when I feed them. To make sure Fancy gets her share. She is gaining weight nicely. When I work in my garden, I let her eat the grass in that area as well. You have to look very closely to see her ribs now. I like the progress very much. Her coat is also coming out of its dullness. She had rashes, and big patches missing when I bought her a month ago. I’ve given her three medicated baths since I got her. Her skin problems are gone, and her coat shines now. She is a very sweet horse, meeting me every time I enter the pasture.  

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We’ve had a comfortable week weather wise, not to hot. We even had rain one day. The garden is doing good. I’ve been doing a lot of mulching there this week, using organic matter available around the property. I read an awesome book about weedless gardening a couple years ago, and that is how I work now. It’s a lot of mulching. The plants are happy, and I do a minimum amount of weeding. The mulching serve many purposes; feeding the plants, suffocating the weed, and absorbing moister (a big thing here where it gets really hot/dry for six months out of the year.) It’s also an outlet where I use my compost (garbage,) horse manure, and the endless supply of leaves we have laying around. I can highly recommend Weedless Gardening, by Lee Reich. (I’m not an amazon affiliate, I just really like the book. It has helped me a lot. His other books are a great read as well, especially Grow Fruit Naturally.)

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Any fun plans for the weekend? I’m planning on spending a lot of time outside. I’m going for at least one hike, hopefully two. The horses always need their time, and the garden need more mulching. I have a rather big garden now, it takes time. The other day I thought about what I have in my garden this year. I’m always adding new things as the season goes by, by at the moment this is what you can find in my garden; 

  • A variety of salad greens (kale, baby spinach etc.) 
  • Three varieties of tomatoes. I was just guessing about the amount of plants last week, it is actually closer to 40. Still small. 
  • Two varieties of sweet corn.
  • Eggplant
  • Squash (I believe two different kinds? The labeling got a little mixed up, with some loving help of my daughter.)
  • Cucumber
  • Bell pepper
  • Kitchen Herbs; basil, oregano, cilantro, lavender, sage, dill, parsley. (Will be adding more this coming week.)
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Watermelon
  • Pomegranates
  • Figs

I like having both a regular garden, and a container garden. It’s like having the best of two worlds. LOL. On my wish list is to add some citrus trees to my container garden. I’ve been drooling over different greenhouse designs this week. I love geodesic dome green houses. I could live in one of those! I know we’re just in the beginning of the gardening season, and the season is long here. I’m having so much fun, so the planning part of me naturally start to think about how I can make it last longer. I’ve had a couple greenhouses on another property I’ve lived on, but right now I don’t have one. At some point in the future, when I own my own place, I want to have a permanent one. For now I’ll probably get one that can be moved easily, later this season. I’m investing in expanding my container garden, so I need to make sure my container fruit trees doesn’t die over winter. It would be nice to be able to grow vegetables longer as well.

My daughter and I visited the new butterfly house at Turtle Bay Exploration Park, in Redding (CA,) yesterday. It was nice. My daughter liked it a lot. (Honestly, we have more butterflies in our rose garden.) We did have a fantastic day though. Picnic under the bridge, and a fun time exploring the park. She even made a new friend. She is very good at making friends. 

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Spontaneous dancing at Santiago Calatrava’s Sundial Bridge, the world’s largest sundial, Redding (CA.) Located in Turtle bay Exploration Park, the same park as the butterfly house we visited.

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I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to this week! What’s the weather like? Is spring in full bloom? Or like here, almost over? Thanks for having coffee with me. As always, I enjoy the conversation, and your company very much!

Love,

Ms Zen

Shasta Dam – Upper Sacramento Ditch Trail

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Amazing nature feeds my soul, keeps the smile on my face, and helps me stay grounded. In the weekends, either Saturday, or Sunday, we usually make a day trip to a beautiful location in northern California. When we get there we hike for at least a couple hours, often 4-5 hours. We have some places we come back to time after time, that we know we like a lot. Some weekends we try new spots. This routine gives us something to look forward to, and the exercise encourage us to be active the rest of the week as well.

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Last Sunday we went to Shasta Dam. We’ve been there many times, and it is a favorite. First we walk out on the dam. Just strolling around, enjoying the scenery. It’s a concrete arch-gravity dam, across the Sacramento River.

The first photo in this post is of the reservoir. Standing on the bridge looking to the right. It’s actually California’s largest reservoir. Shasta Dam played an important role in World War II, providing massive amounts of electricity. It is still an important provider of hydro electric power. The second, and third photo, is looking down on the spillway, on left side.

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When we get our fill of scenery from the dam, we get our backpacks from the car, and head out on the Upper Sacramento Ditch Trail. Along the trail you can view the dam, and Mt.Shasta, from a distance.

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I love this trail. We had our picnic lunch next to where my daughter stands, in the photo above. The trail has several creeks along the sides, and you cross a few bridges. The forest is dense on both sides. Lots of manzanitas, pine trees, scotch broom, and various other brush (including poison oak. I actually made up a little game, to encourage my daughter to avoid poison oak. Every time she saw poison oak, she pointed it out, and got a point. Ten points gave her a small price.) This time of the year there’s lots of color, yellow, purple, blue, and green. The air is so fresh, scented by pine and flowers.

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My faithful hiking buddy loves this trail as well. We usually stop at every creek we pass to play. Both my daughter, and my dog loves water. I kind of have to stop..at least for a few minutes. The thing with this trail is that you can hike as long as you want, and then turn back to the parking lot, the same way you came. You’re guaranteed to have an amazing experience no matter the distance you hike. If you want to hike the whole thing, it’s 16.8 miles. I haven’t done that yet, since my daughter have been with me every time I hiked this trail. Originally this ditch brought water to the gold miners in the area.

The difficulty of the trail is moderate. Some hills, but not steep ones. It’s a very well maintained trail, with great footing. You will probably see some mountain bikers on the trail (they like to ride the whole trail,) and maybe even some equestrians (usually on the southern parts.)

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View of Shasta Dam, and Mt.Shasta from the north section of the trail.

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I very much enjoy seeing the dam from this point of view. I used a telephoto zoom lens to take this photo, and the next.

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The dam itself is extremely popular for boating in the summer. I haven’t tried that yet. When I drive by during summer it always looks so crowded, and that’s not really my thing. (I’m sure you can find less crowded times, and that it is wonderful to go boating at those times. It just looks crowded every time I pass by.) The trail however is wonderful to do all year round. Be sure to bring plenty of water, every season, but especially during the hot months (April-Oct.) I highly recommend hiking in the morning during those months.

Do you feel like visiting Shasta Dam yourself? Maybe give the ditch trail a shot? The trail head (well marked, just before the parking lot,) is right next to Shasta Dam’s visitor center, and there’s plenty of parking space. You can take a tour of the dam, and visit the inside of it. I haven’t done that yet, but I would really like to do it in a near future.

This is the address to the visitor center: 16349 Shasta Dam Blvd, Shasta Lake, CA 96019.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Happy Trails!

 

Love,

Ms Zen

Sunrise At Sundial Bridge

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Watching the sunrise is one of my greatest pleasures. It’s my favorite time of the day. This is my morning experience last Sunday, at Sundial Bridge, Redding (CA.) The Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay is the worlds largest working sundial. The bridge runs across the Sacramento River. The mountain in the background is Mount Shasta.

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I love the cold mornings this time of the year.

Nothing burns like the cold. –  George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

 

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The Sundial Bridge is designed by my favorite architect Santiago Calatrava. The bridge itself is spectacular, and amazing to experience in person. It’s a glass decked, cable-stayed cantilever suspension bridge, reaching 217 feet into the sky.

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I am always searching for more light and space. –  Santiago Calatrava

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The bridge was actually closed to pedestrians last Sunday morning, when I took these photos, due to ice on the glass floor of the bridge. When my friend and I entered the park, where the bridge is located, we met a kind police officer that took one look at my camera, smiled and said; be careful if you’re planning to cross the bridge, it’s very slippery. We crossed the bridge holding hands, taking baby steps. It was definitely worth it! It was an incredible sunrise. One of the best I ever experienced.

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I have tried to get close to the frontier between architecture and sculpture and to understand architecture as an art. –  Santiago Calatrava

This was the first time I experienced the bridge without lots of people around. The Sundial Bridge of Turtle Bay is a popular meeting place for both locals, and tourists alike. It’s a warm and inviting place.

If you’re interested in prints of these photos, feel free to visit my new gallery. Have an amazing day, and a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday with your love ones ❤

Love,

Ms Zen

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transformation