Stretching Cycles of Years

Aspens, Flagstaff Arizona
Photo: JoHanna Massey

There was a child
Went forth every day,
And the first object he look’d upon
That object he became,
And that object became part of him
For the day
Or a certain part
Of the day,
Or for many years Or
Stretching Cycles of years.
From: There Was A Child Went Forth. by Walt Whitman

Yesterday was just the best of days: Driving 89N up from the floor of Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona at about 4,500 feet, each climb in elevation  becoming more colorful with oak, sumac, poplar, apple, and cottonwood just to name a few of the trees and undergrowth showing their best colors. Up two thousand feet to the Oak Creek Vista, where tourists were busy buying jewelry, dream catchers, pottery, tomahawks, and newly minted arrowheads from the  Native American vendors. Onward to Flagstaff, the Pondersoa Pines  distressed as the management of the forest creates a day of controlled burns and wide cut backs of mature trees from along the roadway. Through the city we continue to 6, 910. feet in elevation, the air clearing to crispness as we head towards the Snowbowl (11,000 ft elevation) to visit with the Aspens, who were thrilled to see us, shaking about making music, brightly costumed in yellows, and just weeks away from those first days of snow.

I am best myself when I am among trees . Since childhood they have been vital for me, invigorating and sustaining, strengthening, and calming. There is a peace that comes from hanging around with trees.

The Aspens are known for their ability to regenerate growing shoots and suckers from the lateral roots. The trees are identical clones to the original, and ‘members’ of a particular clone can spread over a hundred acres,   Members of a specific clone are distinguished from different clones by a variety of traits such as leaf shape and size, bark character, branching habit, resistance to disease and air pollution, sex, time of flushing, and autumn leaf color. Sounds similar to how some neighborhoods, organizations, clans, nations, and families are organized.

There’s is both a slideshow of photos, and for those who desire a vicarious roll about in autumn leaves, I’ve raked a virtual carousel together of all the days photos for you to enjoy.

 

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Today’s Music Songs From The Wood- Jethro Tull

 

Today’s Breaking News

Oak Creek Vista Colorado Plateau Photo: 
JoHanna Massey

“You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain’t it hard when you discover that
He really wasn’t where it’s at
After he took from you everything he could steal.-”
Like A Rolling Stone- Bob Dylan

Today’s Breaking News: 

Having voted early by mail I skipped both the latest ‘soft launch’ of  Trump TV and the third and last United States Presidential debates, both which aired in the same evening this week.

The townhouse is a clutter with Halloween decorations, the neighborhood flush with political and property For Sale signs. Familial holiday plans are  made, and  people are misbehaving in Walmart. The color and mood of tourists and residents alike is pulsing purple, as Arizona goes  Red to Blue. and JoHannaMassey.com has just over 1000 followers.

Version 2

Talk about making Granny happy! Thank you so much. I enjoy creating this space. Even more, I love being able  to connect globally with so many interesting people and learn of their lives, interact, and watch their own websites grow and thrive.  It is pure magic. A gift I never considered even possible for most of my life as the technology did not exist.

Two new bookshelves, only a few more boxes until I am unpacked, five pots of privet to grow out to learn topiary, reading The Art of War- Sun Tzu- the Thomas Cleary  hard copy translation, A Reporter’s Life by Walter Cronkite.  Evenings with old Woody Allen movies, Hollywood Ending, and Broadway Danny Rose up next for shared  viewing pleasure. Giving

Bob Dylan another listen, and had quite forgotten just how much I enjoyed some of his music, or how globally relevant it feels today.

Sweet Terry and I have been binge hiking, the weather and availability of so many places to explore making it impossible to remain indoors. Photographing our hikes, being inspired and invigorated by entire days spent with nature. I am  excited to share in a separate photo essay  what was a colorful day out and about yesterday, up Oak Creek Canyon to the Snowbowl to photograph the fall foliage.  Been embracing every moment in a stretch of perfect days.

And again, thank you for your part in making JoHannaMassey.com such a  success. All my best to you. Be safe and have a peaceful week coming.

You can find the photo essay on our day out from Oak Creek Canyon to the Snowbowl here:  Stretching Cycles of Years

 

 

With Less Weight In My Backpack

Bear Mountain, 
Sedona Arizona
Photo; JoHanna Massey 2016

“Adieu to disappointment and spleen.
What are men to rocks and mountains?”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

A restlessness arrived around Lamas, and continued to build as the moon moved toward Full Harvest.  Maybe a  bit of remaining DNA  from a time when my ancestors followed migrating herds. Perhaps a glowing ember of desire to dance at Samhain burns.  Or this lifetime of memories and mementos  anchored to the seasonal tilt of the planet.

Indeed, the heat of a high desert summer is past,  with the Equinox just days away. It is time to be outside and exploring, far from the confines of air conditioning, national anxiety,  and politics.

How do I reconcile the reality of being in an old woman’s  crone body….with the delicious Moxie,  and sense of  anticipation, exploration, and excitement that Late Summer to Equinox offers?

With less weight in my backpack!

May you have an excellent week  filled with calm, confidence and kindness all round.

Other places of interest in Sedona Arizona:

Sacred Sites In Sedona
The Mind Is Everything                                                                                                   Once You Have Tasted Flight

Today’s Music: When We Were Young- Adele (Live At The Church Studios)

For Nothing Was Simply One Thing

Yaquina Head LIghthouse Oregon USA
Photo: JoHanna Massey

“She belonged to a different age, but being so entire, so complete, would always stand up on the horizon, stone-white, eminent, like a lighthouse marking some past stage on this adventurous, long, long voyage, this interminable — this interminable life.”
Author: Virginia Woolf

Traveling the  Oregon Coast Highway three miles north of Newport Oregon is one of my favorite places, Yaquina Head. A coastal headland of hard basalt cliffs and coves, it  has for an estimated 4,000 years been a place that beckons.

Native Americans, including the Alsea Tribe, came for the mile long access to open sea. An area abundant with game, marine animals, mussels, seals, fish, seaweeds, marine gardens, it was recognized to be a place of of both physical and spiritual renewal. It is said to have been named for the female Native American Chief, Yaquina.

Located at Yaquina Head is the charmer, Yaquina Head Lighthouse .Built  1871-1873, using  370,000 bricks from the Patent Brick Company in San Raphael California to create a ninety three foot, doubled walled, one hundred fourteen iron step spiral climb  to the top beauty of a beacon.The tallest Lighthouse in Oregon,  the light visible for 19 miles. Chief Lighthouse Keeper, Fayette Crosby first lit the wicks on August 20 of the lard burning fixed white light, with a change to using mineral oil in 1888.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse began to attract many new visitors during and following it’s construction, with the Lighthouse Keepers adding an extra duty in conducting scheduled tours in addition to their maintaining the Lighthouse round the clock.

The Yaquina Head uses its original 1868 French-made, 1st order, Fixed Fresnel lens,[1] Fully automated in 1966, Yaquina Head Lighthouse continues to guide sailors safely using it’s own  flash  pattern of light a pulsing 2 seconds on, 2 seconds off, 2 seconds on, 14 seconds off, 24 hours a day, a steady reliable method to recognize Yaquina Head from air or offshore. It is delightful to climb up the lighthouse stairs and be able to look at the mechanics of the light.

On clear days, Yaquina Head Lighthouse offers  a recharge, stand up straight, realign your spine kind of view of the Pacific Ocean Coastline. It is absolutely the best place to watch Gray Whales. There are ‘summer resident’ who have chosen the Oregon Coast rather than the Berring Sea for summering,  December thru January, Grays migrate from the Berring south to Baja Mexico to have sex and birth babies, then March and April they pass by Yaquina back to the Berring.  I once was fortunate enough to spend an afternoon viewing twenty one passing Grays, simply a thrill…but so many others have told me of a hundred or more passing by during peak migration season.

Dramatic moods in coastal weather can just as easily offer a visit featuring gray green waves breaking on the lighthouse, with the wind and rain howling about as cathartic, eerie, exhilarating, introspective, sun sets unnoticed into night and the storm continues. Or the sky clears and the sunset dazzles, The Lighthouse steadfast throughout, a sense of safety and calm within.

Ghostly stories abound about Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Sweet Terry and I lived in Oregon for several years, and still have family there. A sentimental visit to Yaquina Head can create an echoing voice perhaps familiar, a glimpse of blonde curls, wrinkled hands grasping a hand sewn angel doll, shiny mary-jane shoes running down spiraling steps and gone to shadow before I can be sure. At play may be imagination, or a once familiar now unrecognized friend,  perhaps a memory or glimpse of what is to come? I return to the present through the camera lens. I’m not scared of no ghost.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse. is part of the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, with a first rate Interpretive Center, and tide-pools along the base of the cliffs teaming with colorful creatures and sea gardens for guests to explore. Whether a first time visitor, or frequent apparition, I encourage you to enjoy the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area,

“So that was the Lighthouse, was it? No, the other was also the Lighthouse.                               For nothing was simply one thing”
― Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

May each and everyone have a peaceful, joyful  and safe week.

Todays Music:Things We Do For Love’  from David Crosby’s new solo album “Lighthouse.”

 

The Key to Good Eavesdropping

Collared Peccary
Photo: JoHanna Massey 2016

“The key to good eavesdropping is not getting caught.”
Lemony Snicket, The Blank Book

Along with the few dogs walking their people, familiar birds, lizards, a coyote, solitary power walkers, and a regular group of youthful women who jog together on Saturday mornings, I also see  a particular sounder (herd) of collared peccary, during my early dawn walk abouts the neighborhood. 

There are about twelve of the Collared Peccaries, which is average for a group, the smallest a  baby and always running very fast to keep his position just beneath the slower moving mother or nursemaid. They always give me  a wide berth if in the open, or quickly hide if there is cover. The rest are of mix sizes and genders, with one, maybe two males topping sixty pounds. Locally we call them Javelina, but I’ve also heard them referred to as Quenk, Skunk Pig, B’quiro, or Sainos.

They  announce themselves with  a swampy, too deep musk odor.  Both male and female have glands that run the length of their backs, and each member of the herd ritualistically grooms with one another, mixing their individual scents into one,  to create a distinctive stink for their herd.

Today’s Collared Peccaries are quite small compared to their predecessors 25 million years ago who left behind in the Agate Springs Quarry in Nebraska fossilized jaw and teeth that indicated a skull length of over three feet.  These modern urban desert versions have dainty small feet, and fashionable slender legs to support a barrel shape body and big heads.

They can look fairly menacing with razor sharp tusks and a mouth full of teeth  that they snap together loudly when distressed. But my experience for many years has been that any  sudden charging on their part is more likely they have heard and  smelled me and are coming closer in  their very near sighted attempt to see what I am. While I have had many encounters with the Javelina, and have never been shown aggression, I would never consider feeding, touching, or cornering them, always mindful they are best as wild beasts. They grunt, snuffle, bark and woof their way through the neighborhood early to forage on the well maintained irrigated  landscaping or remain ‘outside’ on the Nation Forest Trails where they take big bite-fuls of the toughest prickly pear cactus, seemingly without distress, getting not only food, but moisture during dry periods.

While certainly not fully nocturnal, they do tend to be most active at night, dusk, and dawn, taking their repose in hidden, secluded shady overhangs, ledges, arroyos during the bright heat of the daylight hours.

People have strong, often opposing opinions, ideas, or fears about the Wildlife in the neighborhoods.  I’ve learned to never speak out loud in passing to anyone about seeing the Javelina. Even when the entire  Javelina clan are silently hiding in plain sight, eavesdropping on the unsuspecting gathering  of young women,  finishing off their coffees with some Girl Talk before starting their Saturday morning jog.

“Let’s get going.”  says the pretty brunette dressed in blue.”Something really stinks.”

I wish each and all a safe, calm, and peaceful weekend.

If you are interested in knowing more about the Collared Peccary this is a very interesting read:  Habitat Use by Collared Peccaries in an Urban Environment
Elizabeth S. Bellantoni and Paul R. Krausman
The Southwestern Naturalist
Vol. 38, No. 4 (Dec., 1993), pp. 345-351
Published by: Southwestern Association of Naturalists

DOI: 10.2307/3671613  Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3671613
Page Count: 7
Today’s Music: Dave Edmunds & the Rockpile: Girls Talk

 

Opposites

Wilson Mountain HIke
Photo: JoHanna Massey

If

“If freckles were lovely
And day was night,
And measles were nice
And a lie warn’t a lie,
Life would be delight,–
But things

Wilson Mountain HIke Photo: JoHanna Massey

Couldn’t go right

For in such a sad plight
I wouldn’t be I.

If earth was heaven
And now was hence,
And past was present
And false was true,
There might be
Some sense
But I’d be
In suspense
For on such a pretense
You wouldn’t
Be you.

DSCN0321If fear was plucky,
And globes were square,
And dirt was cleanly
And tears were glee
Things would seem
Fair,–
Yet they’d all
Despair,
For if here
Was there
We wouldn’t be we.”
E.E. Cummings

Indeed Sweet Terry and I are opposites, In both obvious  and subtle ways. Opposites attracting proven to be an excellent ingredient for a lifetime shared.

In response to WordPress Weekly Photo: Subject  Opposites

Happy Independence Day to the United States.  Today Americans  celebrate the Declaration of Freedom from Britain while Britain considers their next best steps, following  their recent vote of freedom from the European Union.

Just  listen to Lady Gaga sing our  National Athem.