El Refugio

A place on the web for escapism.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Morning Calm - Union Reservoir

On a recent canoe camping trip to Union Reservoir, I woke early and took the canoe out for a solo spin, all the while admiring the natural beauty reflected in the lake waters.

Throughout the trip, I searched the skies to spy one or more of the Osprey that nest nearby. It appeared to be a family, two larger Osprey teaching a loudly complaining youngster. In contrast to the scream-like cries of the Red-Tailed Hawks that nested in my yard in Oakland, the Osprey's call is somewhat melodic, and less fearsome. Wheeling high in the sky, I was never able to get a photo, and eventually gave up trying, choosing instead just to watch as they soared, high and away.

A little later in the morning the wind picked up and added some chop.

These Islands look uninhabited, but in fact, are home to many million mosquitoes! Best visited when the wind is up, blowing the bugs away!

Music Therapy 2


I'm going from strange to stranger
Every year
It's going from strange to stranger
Every year
I take it back
You're panicking
I take it back
I just don't know
I really thought I wanted to go
But when you're close
You look through me just like a ghost
I like sleeping
I'm only safe when I'm dreaming
I need a new heart
This one's hollow always scheming
You wait for summer
And then you wait for winter
But there's a total lack of splendor
Zen brain
Throw away your crushes
All your childhood crutches away
Super brain
Never scared of nothing
Violence or loving my way 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Music Therapy

a bluesy musical reminder to keep a repertoire of Songs of (Personal) Power.

I'm so ready to start feeling better days
Try to survive this tortured soul
Like a river rolling down a waterfall
Lots of pressure before it hits the wall
I've been there and to no disbelief
Got to trust in something you can see
Something to believe

Leaving behind this life that I knew
Standing here at this line that I drew
Maybe I'll find I didn't waste all the time
What made me stronger was my tortured soul
What made me stronger was my tortured soul
What made me stronger was my tortured soul
What made me stronger was my tortured soul

Can't hold on much longer
Oh I'm tired, I'm tired
Of living this way
Living that way
                              Doyle Bramhall, Tortured Soul

Monday, July 5, 2010

Telegraph Road - In Shades of Green and Black

Even if you've seen my photos of the familiar Telegraph Road, just outside of Copperopolis on Hwy 4, you'll be as surprised as I was to see the contrast of Green and Black from just the few days between June 24th and July 5th.

I took this photo on the way up to the cabin June 24th, 2010.
Here's what it looked like today on the way home:

The Union Democrat reported that the causes of the grass fire at Telegraph Road remain undetermined. While the palm tree appears to have suffered quite a lot, the native oaks seem to have fared a bit better.

Evidently, the fire did not cross the small seasonal steam along
Telegraph Road, so the Windmill portion of the site was untouched.

Unburnt, yet dry, dry, dry.
The creak of the windmill
made the fire burned area
seem all the more desolate.

Linden Mural

Drive-by Mural discovery in the hamlet of Linden, California, along Hwy 26 (at Bonham Rd.)  Note the recurring cherry theme, cherie!

Driving back to the SF Bay Area from Calaveras County, a detour took me along the Milton Road, and thence to Hwy. 26, and through Linden. I was impressed by the local high school: a huge, well maintained track/field, a professional looking AG Center, complete with vineyards, together with the usual high school buildings. Driving alone, I played my tunes, and enjoyed the California agricultural scenery passing by: Cherry orchards, rolling pasture lands, spreading walnut trees  in row after row, corn stalks taller than my hands reaching for the sky. I like seeing the plants that nourish us each year, and felt grateful. I pulled a quick right turn on Bonham when I saw this mural, and I must say it is a nice contrast to the urban-themed murals one finds in SF, Oakland and San Jose.

N. San Juan Mural

 Bigley's Market & Brass Rail Tavern
29336 HWY 49 at Flume Street
N. San Juan, CA

Out along Hwy 49, you'll find the forested community of N. San Juan.  There's not a lot here, and frankly, that's part of the charm. Yet, arriving early for a rendez-vous at Bigley's Market & Brass Rail Tavern, I discovered these murals. The first one, on the east side of the bldg. commemorates a local personage, "Smiley", pictured in the center. The remaining scenes touch on local themes of the Chinese Immigrant in early California, as well as the Cherry Carnival.

This is the west end of the building; the mural here is obscured by cardboard and debris.  Both murals are beginning to deteriorate; I was unable to locate detailed info for either mural.

June 20, 2010