Crystal Hermitage Abstracts

In my third and final tulip post I found my macro lens in heaven capturing the tulips at Crystal Hermitage in the mountains outside of Nevada City, California.  I took the liberty of taking some unusual angles of the bright and happy tulips which I hope you enjoy. I have taken a lot of flower photos in my day and I just never get tired of it.  I keep hoping for a better one or another one or a different and new one that takes my breath away.  Thank you readers/followers for giving me a medium to share their fleeting beauty. It memorializes them forever long past their current form.

Happy travels everyone.

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Crystal Hermitage

Every now and then I get bored with where I live.  I have lived here all my life and occasionally think there is nothing left to see.  I know this is a silly thought but it occasionally comes in my mind nonetheless.  Then as quickly as that thought comes it goes again when a place like Crystal Hermitage presents itself.  I had never heard of this place.  How has no one told me of this place?!  I happen to catch a post on a friends facebook page and was enthralled.  This hermitage, located outside of Nevada City California, plants a tulip garden each year.  The tulips were in full bloom!  I knew if I was going to photograph them I better drop everything and head over because tulips don’t last long especially in this HEAT.  These days with a toddler at home the idea of dropping everything to do anything is an act of congress (and you have seen our Congress in the news these days).  So, like any good Mom would do, I played hookie one afternoon from work and zipped over by myself with camera in tow.  It turns out it was a good idea because, true to its name, this hermitage was in the middle of nowhere and it took a long time to get there.  Part of the Ananda movement and communal, the surrounding area and hermitage aim to help individuals find joy in themselves and their world.  It’s hard not to get behind a mission like that.  Behold some of the images I captured while on my short visit.  While I may not understand Ananda entirely I can let them know that they helped me find joy in my word on this day.

I am submitting this post in response to Jansen Photos “Rise” Challenge.  It certainly doesn’t get more basic that a flower rising upward toward the sunshine!

Victorian Christmas in Nevada City

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. After what felt like a year without a single rain drop in California it seems all of the missing rain was dropped in only a few week’s time. Along with all this water the leaves have all dropped and the temperatures have cooled. The malls are full and the UPS drivers seem to go past the house five times per day delivering their joyful packages. Lights are up on the house and fire places are smoking. Bakes goods are plentiful, pot lucks are seemingly daily events, and consequently my pants are fitting tightly. All of these things mean one thing! Christmas time is here again!

While UPS drivers and pot lucks are certainly a sign of the season where, you ask, does one go in Northern California to feel truly in the holiday spirit? The gold country is often where I flock to if only because the gorgeous little towns are decorated in such a charming fashion. Placerville, Columbia, Angel’s Camp, Sonora, Coloma…all lovely spots worthy of future blog posts.

This year, I finally made it to Victorian Christmas in Nevada City. Clearly everyone else had the same idea after being cooped up indoors during the torrential floods of the last few weeks. Crowds were enormous and the energy was high. Children dressed up in various forms of Victorian garb were dancing, singing, and playing instruments. Lots of dogs were decked out in funny little Christmas outfits. Carolers were singing. Even Santa and Missus Claus delighted children and adults alike. A man walked around with mistletoe on a stick catching unsuspecting couples whether they came together or not…

Shops were busy and full of customers which makes me especially happy. The last several times I have been to Nevada City the shops were very slow making me worried that the economic downturn was desperately hurting local businesses. My favorite antique stores were thriving including The Toad Hall Book Shop, one of my favorite books stores of all time.

Street vendors could barely keep up with demand selling mulled cider, jewelry, candles, toffee, peppermint bark, handmade scarves and hats, and antiques. Traditional Victorian food vendors sold falafel, fried Twinkies, hot dogs, and BBQ. (Hey people have to eat, right?!)

Nevada City Victorian Christmas was a delightful way to spend the afternoon and get in to the spirit. This blogger wishes you and yours a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. I hope you find whatever puts you in to the Christmas spirit wherever you are.

May Santa bring all of us a sack full of frequent flier miles.