Where Fairies Dwell

Clearly there is a bit of magic happening along the American River parkway in Sacramento, as my dad and I observed during a recent morning walk.

The trails have everything necessary for fairies, elves, and leprechauns to set up housekeeping:

Cool, clear water from the river,IMG_9890branches of a tree that have grown together, creating whimsy,IMG_9899magnificent oaks to live in,IMG_9896IMG_9894heart shaped grape vine leaves, plenty of grapes, and wild blackberries,IMG_9889a heart shaped rock,IMG_9888and pretty wildflowers. IMG_9887Who could resist making their home right here surrounded by all of nature’s treasures?IMG_9875Open the door…
IMG_9876Wow! Special feathers, pebbles, and clear lids to use as stools.

A pretty painted rock,IMG_9883A peacock feather, sparkling jewels, stones for a path to the door, flower petals and a tiny little doorbell!IMG_9880Here’s a closer look. Open the door! Look how sweet!IMG_9881Here’s another little home.
IMG_9874And another!IMG_9884Someone’s having so much fun! I’d love to come across them as I’m out walking.

I’m going to be on the lookout for more fairy homes on my walks. Hope you’re lucky enough to find them too! And wouldn’t it be fun to make your own? Who knew that last week was International Build a Fairy House & Den Week? Earlier today I came across a free booklet, Build a Fairy House and Den to download. The author includes lots of great ideas. Have a look!

“Hand in hand, with fairy grace, we will sing and bless this place. ~William Shakespeare

Effie Yeaw Nature Center

We recently shared a delightful morning exploring nature trails with our grandchildren at the wonderful Effie Yeaw Nature Center, located along the American River Parkway. Inside the nature shop were many hands-on activities that the children were engrossed in. Push a button and hear the call of a red shouldered hawk. See a display of natural habitats. That sort of thing. Also, living in the nature shop are a number of non-releasable (due to injuries, becoming orphaned, or having grown too accustomed to people) animals.

Resident birds include :

  • a Northern Saw-whet Owl, Sophia (this was a highlight for the children!)
  • a Great Horned Owl, Echo
  • a Red-tailed Hawk, Tanner
  • a Red-shouldered Hawk, Skye, and
  • an American Kestrel, Rocky

In addition to the birds, there are reptiles, and amphibians on display.

Outdoors, well-marked trails meander through 100 acres of this nature preserve.

IMG_7630IMG_7645We had just gotten started walking on a trail when we came upon the deer. They’re obviously used to being photographed and gawked at!IMG_7633I must share that I have a love/hate relationship with these guys. To see them here was such a joy, but that’s not the case when I see them in my gardens at home, or the aftermath of all the damage they have done. I know they’re hungry and need to eat too; I just don’t want to encourage the chomping on my favorite flowers and foliage! Late last summer while shopping at the feed store, I noticed blocks of deer food. Standing there in front of the display, I contemplated buying a few blocks and placing them on some undeveloped acreage in our neighborhood. I didn’t, but I may in the future. I do use some deer deterrent products in our yard, that work well most of the year, but come late summer those pesky deer are eating everything.IMG_7646We followed a trail that led right down to the American River.
IMG_7658IMG_7710This crew must have been the official welcoming committee!IMG_7662IMG_7661IMG_7666There was so much to discover and admire as we walked along the trails, turned over rocks, climbed on some old tree stumps, and listened to birdsong. A great place to explore, learn and appreciate Mother Nature, for people of all ages.
IMG_7676“If you truly love nature you will find beauty everywhere.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh