Walk With Me

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After all the year-end projects are finished and the holidays are put away – my mind goes blank, and my motivation flies right out the window. It’s time to get outside and clear the head. Getting off the beaten path and out in nature returns perspective – and appreciation. I hope you don’t mind me taking you off our usual garden/rescue path for a short detour.


“Sometimes we must unfocus our way to clarity.” ~ Terri Guillemets


It’s so easy to get lost in our daily lives. Tasks take on undue importance until we return them to their proper place. Headlines make us worry for the world we share. On sheltered trails under big blue skies –

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by the pond’s edge on cold, crystal days –


all of it is temporarily shed and I’m reminded of all the beauty this world holds.


“If you do not raise your eyes you will think that you are the highest point.” ~ Antonio Porchia


Restoration and rejuvenation lead to innovation and renewed passion – in any undertaking. Change your point of view, and be reminded of the world’s good grace.


I took a couple of days off to walk our American River trails and explore the nearby Bobelaine Audubon Sanctuary. The creatures were not as cooperative as my camera would have liked, but that’s OK.


It made me look up. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but I do resolve to do this more – and to bring others along. So thanks for walking with me.


“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ~ Marcel Proust

The Smallest Things


“Sometimes,’ said Pooh, ‘the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” ~ A.A. Milne

It is 96-degrees in the evening on the first weekend of October, which officially makes it too hot to write. My brain is fried. So I bring you a collection of the smallest things from the Homeward Bound Memorial Garden (and Homeward Bound in general). Warning: make some room in your heart. ♥

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My Nemesis

Anna’s Hummingbirds are common in our area and in our garden. If you’ve been a regular reader, you know they are my tormentors making me want to throw my camera in the trash. I hear their tell-tale flutter and I grab the gear. The elusive little beasts disappear. They just toy with me.

For my friends Rob and Maria – on the other hand – they sit on the fence and pose.


They are happy to primp, showing off their iridescent feathers and shocking pink gorget to the two of them.




I just get a long, cold stare and a terrible shot.

Native American legend supposedly holds that hummingbirds poke holes in the sky that become stars – or bring rain through their busy flight.



That must be why I can’t stop them in motion. They are too busy trying to make water fall through the holes in the sky.
We have plenty of plants to attract them. They love this Grevillea with its red tubular flowers…and so many places to hide.

Rob again:


Anna’s Hummingbird. My nemesis. I’ll stick to sparrows from now on.



Guests of the garden

We have a lake view! The rice fields that surround Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue have been flooded with water surrounding our eight acres of rescue paradise.


With the arrival of the water we have new visitors to the garden – most welcome. The birds were everywhere this weekend,


squabbling over territory and even feeding on our bees.


This particular creature is less welcome.


I’m pretty sure he is a water snake. I’m very sure he needs to return there post-haste!

With our heavy clay soil, I suspect the flooded fields around us help the plants by keeping the roots moist and cool. What a display!


This time last year, we were still planting. Sometimes I look in astonishment at what we have created.


Of course, we had our four-legged visitors as well. Tyson is a bounce-back; returned because his family’s circumstances changed and he was unhappily spending too much time alone. We need to find him a family that can give him the time and attention he needs.


Janie is recovering from cancer treatment. She’s doing great now, and while Judy enjoys having her as her “office dog”, it is time for her to find a family of her own as well.


These adorable pups returned for their vet check and last round of shots. They are from the litter we showed up in March – one of our First Signs of Spring. They are growing up so fast!


Our dog walkers and other volunteers pitched in to continue the foxtail eradication project. As if their other contributions are not enough, they have arrived early and stayed late the past few weekends working double time to get the weeding done. The yards and trails have never looked better – and ensure that the pups have a safe place to play and train.


But my crowning weekend achievement is this:


A spotless garden shed. And a word of warning to my fellow gardeners…it had better stay that way!!
Happy week, all! See you in the garden.