Saturday, February 11, 2017

Another Chilly Day in Paradise, Squirrels are Busy, Putting a Name to Nature

Saturday, Feb. 11th brought more clouds, but I’m doing my best to enjoy what is here before we leave this beautiful park. We slept in until 7:30 but that would be due to my staying up until 11 pm last night. I just didn’t feel tired probably from a lazy-type day.
Not much of a sunrise today
After a tea I dressed and went out for my morning walk and to the Lounge to add my few pieces to the puzzle. I’ve got to finish it before Monday! It is so quiet around here that when I heard children laughing, squealing and playing at the Family Centre playground, it took me by surprise. Oh yes, it is the weekend.
The path for this mornings walk

Pretty sites

Foot bridge between Sections

Surprise! another large boulder
I still am awed by this beautiful park as I walk around it daily. It was cool at 50F but it is easy to get lost in my own thoughts. Snapping pictures of the boulders and bridges have become an obsession, but what I see is what you get in this post.
Hungry guy munching an acorn

One interesting thing we’ve noticed since we arrived is all of the piles of fresh dirt.  Small piles between 5 – 10” in diameter and sometimes 5” in height with a hole in the middle. Hmm, what critter is doing that? Soon to discover that it is the squirrels burrowing into the ground to bury their acorns. The park is full of squirrels and freshly dug caverns.
Dirt hills housing acorns
I wonder how many nuts I'll find in here

There seemed to be some action at a fenced in area close to the Members Services building so I stopped to see what was going on. The area was gated and a number of people, teenagers included, were cleaning up the area and installing a chain link fence. When I asked what they were doing, I was informed that they were putting in a ball park. Two smaller fenced areas so I’ll have to wait and see what it looks like finished.

This tree has an unusual trunk base
I reached the Lounge and managed to make a big effort on my puzzle, I’m sure I can finish it or at least come really close with 2 or 3 more visits. The rain was coming in a faint misty drizzle when an hour later Bill beeped me on our radios. He and Clemson had come for a walk and were not far away from the building.
Clemson leads with his nose
We walked back together and could feel the damp chill of the day in our bones. Nice to get back inside our toasty Suite. I had some odd things to do, writing post cards and sweeping the floors since this was another dreary day.
Teasing of blue sky
I wanted to comment on some of the things I’ve mentioned before and couldn’t put a name to so first off. The blue/black bird I’ve seen especially on sunny days. They are busy around the park, flittering from tree to tree in plain sight. These are Stellar Jays and now I see the crown on their head.

The other thing I was curious about were the smaller trees with smooth red bark. Upon searching this, I found that they are called Pacific Madrone trees or better still “Strawberry Tree”. Once they bloomed, this tree is aptly named as well.


Strawberry tree blossoms visited by bees
The big trees that I have called Acorn Oak is actually a Coast Live Oak. The squirrels love this tree and its produce.

Coast Live Oak
Also, the large pine cones I’ve seen on the ground and on the branches, grow on Coulter Pine trees.
Coulter Pine
These cones are the largest of any pine cones in the United States. They can grow from 7.9” to 15.7” high with a weight of 4 to 11 lb.! That is crazy! It is recommended that anyone working under or around these trees should wear hardhats for obvious reasons. They have been nicknamed “widowmakers”.

Well, that is my lesson for today, I was curious so thought you might be too.  After our return home, we relaxed for the remainder of the afternoon. We have nowhere to be and are in no rush to get there.

I have leftover roast beef so instead of hot sandwiches I searched for a recipe that would use it up. Taking into account our likes and dislikes I will make up a batch of Cheapskate Stew. Seems to fit!

 I’ve also recently started receiving notices of free books on BookBub for my Kobo so getting myself involved in downloading some of those. Just have to remember how to do it!

Oh, and it has also been mentioned that some people are not able to post comments on my blog as of late. Puzzling, since I haven’t changed any settings for quite a while. I’ve made a change now so it would be interesting to see if anyone is having difficulty now. I don’t want to lose my commenters!

The rest of the day went according to the Lazy Woman’s Guide to Retirement. I watched some television, I made my stew and I did some soul searching. I’ve come to the conclusion that my search confirms I’ll be ready to leave the park on Monday and I’ll be ready for some desert heat.

Clemson and I took a short jaunt down the road, short because the air was cool for someone not dressed for it. It seemed warmer looking out from inside, especially when the sun finally burst through the clouds.

Ps, supper was good and our leftover roast beef is almost gone.
didn't turn out too badly
The dumplings were a nice touch
Life is actually quite wonderful and I look forward to what lies ahead tomorrow.

This is the clearest the sky has been all day
just in time for sunset
I hope you’ve had a great day. Thank you for following along today. Your comments are always welcome and appreciated.


  1. Thanks for the tree lesson. We are slowly learning most of the brush out on the desert but have a long way to go learning the trees in town. Comments are working fine.

    1. You're welcome! I doubt I'll remember them all but that is the joy of blogging, my memories are written down. :) Glad you can still comment.

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  3. Gotta love all the different scenery we can enjoy travelling around the country, soon you be wandering about and back on the road again. Looking for new adventures.
    Never had a problem with comments here.

    1. I have certainly enjoyed the scenery in this park as well as learning the names of things. Glad you can still comment.

  4. Wow 11 pound pine cones! That was interesting ��

  5. We came across huge pine cones in Uruguay. I took one home and it lives in my garden looking like a tree next to the gnomes. I've been enjoying free books from Amazon in my iPad and Kindle readers for years. I could tell you how to find them. I would love to visit that park you are in. It's beautiful and I enjoyed your pictures.

    1. I doubt I can sneak one home across the border but hopefully I'll find them again along our travels.:) I used to get my free books from a site called Tuebl but it is no longer avail. Now I can get them from BookBub but can't find where they go after I claim them. I'll have to check Amazon, didn't realize they had free ones! thanks. It is the downloading park I'm stuck on now, I think! You would love this park for sure.

  6. Nice to get those specific names for things. Thanks.

    1. You're welcome, I sometimes forget to search for them but once I do, I feel gratified!

  7. Love the new header picture! Your pictures show how beautiful it is in your area. I also learned a few things. Thank you. Amazing how much you do on a lazy day. I live in the country back in Illinois and every year I have lots of small piles of dirt tearing up my yard. But mine are mole holes.

  8. Great adventures + you are much warmer than we are at 2C.

  9. You're blogs offer great "learning opportunities" as well as insights - love the lesson on the trees and widowmakers! Hope you find the warmth you seek. When I left Los Angeles yesterday, it was comfortable jacket weather; however, now that I'm back in London (arrived hame about 11:30 last night), I'd much rather be back in California than adjusting to the cold and snow here. Yes, it's snowing (ugh)...not much on the ground yet but the flakes are large and fluffy. Hoping it will end before the day is over and the roads will be clear for the commute to work tomorrow! Head to San Diego and further inland where the warm air is waiting (or so I've heard!) lol

  10. I thoroughly enjoy your blog! I found it by following "Our awesome travels". I have never commented before, but since you added the "anonymous" option, I took the opportunity to thank you it. I only wish that others would allow us to comment without registering because there are some of us out here that are hesitant to do that.
    I appreciate the unselfish effort you put forth to make this available for folks like myself to read and enjoy.
    God bless and be safe,
    Karen in Philadelphia