Let’s Take a Walk

The sun is rising; birds are singing their finest songs. C’mon, let’s take a walk. We’re on one of the nearby trails that I use regularly. IMG_8208This is my sweet girl, Gemma, who accompanies me on my walks. Isn’t she beautiful? Beautiful and gentle with children, a wonderful protector, and the best ball retriever you’ll ever meet!IMG_8206Everywhere I look there are things to marvel about. Notice the shape of this graceful oak’s branches.IMG_8214And the vibrant greens of the moss and ferns growing on this large rock.IMG_8209This touched my heart and put a smile on my face. Here’s a memory bench that I’ve walked by every week, but today, dozens of pastel colored tulips planted behind it on the hillside are blooming and brightening everyone’s day! IMG_8204I didn’t know this woman, but I know she was so loved.IMG_8212So lovely! Such a special tribute.IMG_8202This area of the trail is in a lot of shade and is still wet from rains we had three days ago.IMG_8210IMG_8128Did you see the nest cradled in the tree branches in the photo above? And just look at all the newly unfurled spring leaves. I hope the nest is full of eggs. I’ll have to check in regularly as I walk by.IMG_8124A few miles in the freshness of the early morning… I can’t think of a better way to start my day. Thanks for coming along.

Crystal Hermitage Garden

IMG_4085IMG_4146IMG_4134IMG_4127IMG_4135 I’m not one to rush seasons. There’s so much I do love about winter, but spring will be here before we know it, and, if you’re in the area, I don’t want you to miss this display that shouts SPRINGTIME! These photos were taken last April when my husband and I visited this jewel of a garden during their Springtime at Ananda weekends. Ananda Village is a spiritual community and retreat center outside of Nevada City in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California. Within the Ananda Village is Crystal Hermitage Gardens, usually a peaceful sanctuary with paths to meander, graceful trees, stunning views, and terraced gardens. During two consecutive weekends in spring, when the gardens reach their peak of glory, Ananda Village hosts an event called Tulip Days. Last year over 6,000 visitors came to behold all of this beauty, hear music, and have a picnic lunch or tea and scones in Crystal Hermitage Gardens. It’s not a large garden, but every inch is planted with approximately 15,000 Dutch tulip bulbs annually. The weekend dates this year will be April 2-3, and April 9-10. Cost is $5. and children 12 and younger are free.

IMG_4119IMG_4101IMG_4094IMG_4138Last year was when we discovered this special place. It was a highlight of springtime for us, and we plan to make it back each year. Might you be there too?

“A garden is evidence of faith. It links us with all the misty figures of the past who also planted and were nourished by the fruits of their planting.” ~ Gladys Taber

Charles Jensen Botanical Garden

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IMG_3765Nestled back a bit, but still right on busy Fair Oaks Boulevard in Carmichael, California lies a three and a half acre peaceful refuge called Charles Jensen Botanical Garden. Originally created in 1958 and now lovingly maintained by volunteers, it is a hidden gem. Lush garden beds are full of rhododendrons, azaleas, hydrangeas, dogwoods, and other shade loving plants, and every year one of the beds is planted with masses of tulips to greet visitors upon arrival. Paths invite you to meander around the park and benches are thoughtfully placed throughout.

This time of year in early August, it’s a tranquil, shady oasis, a perfect spot for reflection while strolling the paths or sitting on a bench. Come March and April though, the garden transforms, donning dazzling spring finery while the seasonal creek babbles.

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In any season, it’s a sanctuary to behold.