A Visit from a Rainbow at Cort Cottage

A few days ago, a rainbow came
to remind us life has many pots of gold…

…and that living at the end of the rainbow,
can happen again and again.

“a view from my back yard of Moro Rock with rainbow on 9-20-11″
photo © Elsah Cort

Visiting Giant Forest for a Crescent Meadow Trek: Following in the footsteps of Hale Tharp

I’m trekking more in the Park that is in my backyard. This is one of my favorite places–Crescent Meadow, with a sideline walk to Hale Tharp‘s Log home that he used in the late 1800’s every summer. He was the first white man (that we know of) to see the big trees.

::  the fern-draped trail from Crescent Meadow to Tharp’s Log ::


::  Tharp’s Log, his home made from a fallen Giant Sequoia ::

::  Tharp’s Log Meadow, the view from his summer home ::

::  Wildflowers are still blooming in Giant Forest, amazing for late summer ::

::  stopping for a cool creek respite on Tharp’s Log Trail ::

This is the first of a series on day hikes in Sequoia….

Nature-watching…a “madia” spring

This spring has been so interesting, cooler days juxtaposed to warmer ones…..but for now it’s pretty perfect. Each spring one wildflower or two seem to be dominant and I name the spring for them. Spring 2011 has been “madia spring” as these cheerful yellow blossoms have stayed and stayed.  For a while they covered the hills around Lake Kaweah (now transformed into pink by farewell-to-spring) and they still surround Cort Cottage.

These photos were taken a few days ago on a walk on the Case Mountain trail (in the backyard of the cottage). Madia elegans is not giving up.

Madia found on a walk up the Case Mountain trail…photo © Elsah Cort

Buckeye tree and madia wave at the mountains, photo © Elsah Cort

Buckeye blossoms beginning seed formation, photo © Elsah Cort

Life at the End of the Rainbow

I love living in rainbow country!

Seeing the rainbow from the front door of Cort Cottage.

A closer view of the rainbow,
see the sliver of the waterfall in the background…
All looks bigger and more vibrant in person.

Cort Cottage Bed and Breakfast Embraces the Green of Spring

Each year Spring arrives in its own timing, sometimes early and sometimes later.  As I write these words, I can see the new leaves budding on the blue oaks while Moro Rock, up in Sequoia National Park, is dusted with new snow. It’s like having two seasons in one!

I have been walking up the hills just above the cottage, photographing the earth as it comes to life again. The public lands on the BLM property at Case Mountain are filled with sweet footpaths and even waterfalls!

Buckeye Tree is greening up, and so are the hills!

Waterfall on Salt Creek, just a short walk from the Cottage

Orange lichen on a rock near Salt Creek

…there’s no winter, only a prelude to Spring…

I look up the mountain everyday. The green is here.

The ravens say hello.
(There are actually two ravens sitting side by side on the blue oak branch.)

Oh, and the waterfall is running on Case Mountain.

And, Cort Cottage is celebrating its 25th birthday this year.

photo taken by Elsah on Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fall is falling…

Seasons are not so well defined these days, especially in the California mountains. One day it will be in the 80’s and the next day in the 60’s, but the trend is toward cooler, crisp days and almost chilly nights. Snow comes to the Park and the mountains when the rains come to Three Rivers. Already the grasses are coming up green in the foothill meadows. And the buckeye trees are decked with their ivory skinned buckeye balls on silver fingerlings of branches and gray trunks.

The ravens come daily for their bread handouts thrown into the meadow behind my house. They loudly proclaim their entitlement if I am late or miss a day.

I am still content to hang my laundry in the shorter-lived sunshine and I am making art.

This Saturday is the Holiday Bazaar at the Memorial Building just down the road. And there are more events coming up for the holidays. Cort Cottage will be adorned with angels for Christmas and I will be fortunate to have guests who come for a visit to mountain and sky.

Summer blossoms…

The pink zephyranthes are in bloom at the cottage door. I call them “zephies”.
Read more about these sweet little bulbs that like to bloom in the summer.

Last night’s wildlife sitings:

Wild turkey family heading home for the night, like they have been doing every evening for the last week, with 7 teen-aged offspring chomping dry wild oats seeds that should have been weedeated better…followed 10 minutes later by two large, 4-point bucks on the same “path”, six feet from my living room and bedroom windows, nibbling green leaves on the low branches of the buckeye tree, while looking at me out of the corner of their eye…loud, single cricket in the kitchen, piercing the quiet house around 11 pm, captured very gently in a cupped hand near the hot water faucet and taken outside the back door, released into freedom…just as the striped tail of a raccoon disappeared on the deck’s edge into the volunteer blooming oregano.

sweet swaying in the breeze…

Buckeye trees are in bloom with their long white flowered filled stalks. The wonderful cool breeze is pushing them around. They dance in perfectly choreographed waves, softly brushing against their invisible air partner.

I fall in love with them all over again. And then they envelope me with the sweet scent from flower center. I am sunk.

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