Cort Cottage Bed and Breakfast a private guest cottage near Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park

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Almanac Archive 2002

Dateline: Wednesday, December 4, 2002,
Elsah reporting in for this week

December has arrived with crisp, clear but not too cold days. I am just now eating the very last tomatoes from my garden. The hills are pushing up green tufts of grass with the promise of wildflowers to come in the early spring. While the days have been sunny and bright, the night sky has been exceptional for star gazing, the milky way is really bright as the moon has been in its darker phases. I have filled the hot tub and find myself glad at times that cottage is not too busy as I have the hot tub and the starry sky to enjoy. You see, when you are the guest here then the hot tub is for you alone and I have to wait my turn. It is very strange but I report that Christmas is still open for reservations, News Years is booked. So if you are making last minute holiday escape plans you may be able to find the cottage open for you. I do have a four night minimum for Christmas, so you can really take a relaxing break from a busy and sometimes very stressed season. Call me for detailed calendar openings, or email and please put "reservation" in the subject box as I am getting a huge amount of bad trash mail and I can't always recognize potential guest inquiries in it all.
All for now...................................

Dateline: Tuesday, November 12, 2002,
Elsah reporting in for this week

We had our first rain last week and it was powerful and wonderful. It rained almost thirty hours nonstop. Our dried up Salt Creek became a minor river, and the rock face on Case Mountain became a huge waterfall again. This is a seasonal pulsation, having the creek flow and then recede into sand and rock. The earth just seems to open a huge mouth to take in the first rain of the season. It rained eight inches up in Giant Forest, instead of snowing four inches, so the Kaweah River became a mighty force tumbling boulders and logs down its stream bed.
It is a great time to come here when "weather" is happening here. I guess many travelers think that only the perfect sunny weather is vacation weather. That is why the most of them come in the summer time when it is hot and dry here. My favorite months are January and February because of all the awakenings in the ground, the beginnings of the wildflowers and new trees showing up. This is what I felt happening with our first rain last week. I found a tiny fern pushing its curled up frond/head on the bank next to where I park my car. Spring is coming my friends, and in this time of new weather patterns, who knows when it will actually arrive. So don't be put off by weather forecasts that speak of something afoot. Let yourself be adventurous and experience the weather's interaction between earth and sky.

The air smells great and the earth is soft for falling footsteps. I am off for a walk up the canyon along Salt Creek this am. We have the grace to have a dirt road for walking and mountain biking just out the front door. So come for a visit with your walking shoes or mountain bikes and good books and nap longings and just get away for a renewal of spirit and body.

Christmas time still has some open days, but Thanksgiving is booked already. Call me for detailed calendar openings, or email and please put "reservation" in the subject box as I am getting a huge amount of bad trash mail and I can't always recognize potential guest inquiries in it all.

All for now..................................................

Dateline: Saturday, October 26, 2002,
Elsah reporting in for this week

The air temperature is changing and for the first time I have some heat floating upstairs to me as I write. Officially fall starts for me when I have to turn on my furnace. Next week I will be filling the hot tub for cozy star viewing. The hot tub has reclining seats in it and is perfect to just spend time looking at the night sky. I heard an astronomer on the radio the other day talking about the lack of darkness in so many areas of the world making it difficult to actually see the stars in the sky. He said that when one city had a black out for several hours this past year, many people called the authorities because they saw "lights" in the sky and thought that maybe terrorists were coming. They had NEVER seen that many stars at once and had no idea that the night sky actually looked that way.

Hearing this just makes me feel all the more compassionate for city dwellers. The cities may have the good restaurants but we country folk have the stars. I am continually amazed to see the Milky Way so apparent and dramatic here. The full moon rises equally fine each month. There is a sacred quality to its appearance, and that very first instant of light just peeking over Case Mountain is the most fun to try to catch.

I wish I knew more about astronomy and how to identify more stars/planets. I can tell you some of the constellations. Orion is wonderful to see, and I can now identify Leo and Taurus, and Mars when it is visible, and the intense brightness of Jupiter. Venus is the morning star for part of the year and I just have to be up in the early hours to see it proudly beaming down to us. I don't have a view of the Western sky, so when Venus is the evening star I don't see it as often.
I am telling you about all this to let you know another wonderful aspect of coming here for a visit. Maybe you can extend your vision from the tall Sequoia trees to the very Universe itself.

The Cottage has lots of openings at the moment. It seems that many people are waiting for the last minute to make reservations. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas are open as I write this. This past summer was one of the busiest I have had, and many people stayed for longer periods with an average of four nights. I think this is one of the best ways to visit here, to come and stay a while and become a Three Rivers night sky resident for a week. If you call for a reservation these days, you may not find me answering the phone during the day, so be patient and wait to hear from me in the evenings. I am very busy doing craniosacral work, feng shui consulting, teaching and doing some part-time home health nursing in the day time.

All for now.........................................

Dateline: Monday, July 15, 2002,
Elsah reporting in for this week

Fall is in the air, how do I know? The buckeye trees are in their fall color with orange/brown leaves and the buckeye seed balls appearing not far behind. The California buckye is almost half a season ahead of the other vegetation here. Or maybe everything else is lagging behind. In the middle of summer it is turning its leaves into burnt orange offerings and going to seed harvest. In the middle of fall it looks like a tree form etched in silver on trunk and branches with "ornaments" (the buckeye balls) hanging from it. In the middle of winter it is putting out green leaves and new elongated white flower stalks. And in the middle of spring it is a beautiful lush green tree and looking quite pleased with itself.

Many people ask me, "why are those trees dying?", when they come for a visit at this time of the year. This is the dry season for us, rain only visits between October and April, and the other months are a natural drying out time. The native vegetation needs this dry time, and if the local oaks or buckeyes or ceonothus (wild lilac bushes) get too much water then they will die. No, the trees are not dying.

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