Farewell to Summer

Our summer here is officially over.  Fall begins tomorrow. The high temperatures will linger into October but the nights will begin to cool. In November  we will experience our “fall” in Southern California.  From now until then we will have dry dusty days without rain, Santa Ana winds, and abundant sunshine. The palm trees will remain green, native plants will flourish, hillsides will continue to brown,  leaves will drop and blow in the wind, but a few splashes of fall colors maybe found.

Summer was wonderful.  Although we spent more time at home than usual, we enjoyed many opportunities to get outdoors and appreciate summer. Rather than bore you with details,  I decided to showcase a few highlights and allow the pictures to tell most of the story.

A visit to Berkeley and the University of California

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Exploring Berkeley and visiting with family.

Visiting a winery near Gilroy, California

Salinas, California-Home of John Steinbeck.

Beautiful Monterey Bay

Camping in Big Sur and exploring the California coastline.

Laughing in amazement at sun bathing sea lions.

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A Phoenix sunrise. One of two trips we made to Arizona.

Who knew Arizona could be so green?

We loved our visit to Oro Valley north of Tuscon, Arizona…

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…and even enjoyed the rain!

Our small garden yielded us tomatoes, onions, peppers, squash, and strawberries.

I worked on a few sewing and craft projects.

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We spent a great deal of time with family, friends, and just hanging out.

(and of course eating and shopping!)

So while we say farewell to the Summer of 2016…

I am looking forward to what comes next!

How was your summer?

(or winter-depending on where you live)

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Spring in our own backyard

When the kids were young I would take them exploring to see what treasures were in their own yard. We would look at rocks, flowers-whatever we could find. I have carried out that tradition with the grandkids. Today, however, without any kids in tow, I decided to head outside to see what signs of spring I could find.

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I found this beauty growing in an obscure corner of our yard.

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I love succulents.

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They offer such unique colors…

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…and shapes.

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The textures of the cactus…

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…give interesting diversity to our yard.

This herb left from last summer is crawling along its terracotta pot.

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A potato vine is in full bloom.

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 I rescued these snapdragon from our local home improvement store (they were about to be discarded).

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The Heavenly Bamboo has some interesting blooms.

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This lone beauty was poking out.

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Nearby, roses are in full bloom.

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The vegetable garden has been started.

We have several varieties of tomatoes,

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cilantro (love this versatile herb!)

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yellow squash, zucchini, jalapeno, carrots, bell peppers,

and lettuce so far.

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We actually have a very small backyard.

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Yes, spring is definitely here!