Thank You, Lord, for the Rain

granitecreek

Granite Creek, Prescott, Arizona

Thirty Springs of Winter

The winds swept in as we sat under the pines and listened to the green ocean high above, swaying, roaring, twirling our hair and the heads of the Ponderosas into one giant tangled mess. This ocean smells of vanilla and butterscotch and sweetness of sap. Once in a while, a pinecone would tumble down on the roof, porch, into the creek, near my coffee and I would lift Annie Dillard’s “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” on top of my head for protection. Last summer, a pinecone plummeted onto my head from what seemed the tallest pine in Latvia, and it nearly knocked me out. Kids laughed. I have this magnificent magnetism for bird droppings, pinecones, branches, mud and now cactus particles. I drag them around. For the rainy day.

treecholla

Winter fruit on Tree Cholla, at Willow Lake, Prescott, Arizona

Ponderosa pinecones are incredibly sharp, just like the rest in the high desert. Needles, bristles, thorns, prickles, spines, scorpion stingers… I even managed to get my finger poked on a crystal in a rock while climbing. We humans are so soft, vulnerable, unprotected. I marvel at rattlesnakes carrying their delicate bellies over these sandpaper rocks. I marvel at strong Ponderosas and alligator junipers as thick as windmills. The weakened ones send out their stress signals, and the bark beetles swarm in. They dig holes, releasing the stress, letting the sunlight in, reshaping the tree into something new. There are perhaps lessons in that.

lynxlake

Sunset and Ponderosas at Lynx Lake, Prescott, Arizona

We read poetry. Painted. Read cowboy poetry. Desert poetry. Juan Ramon Jimenez and his donkey. We made so many messes. Cleaned up. Restarted. Thirty springs popped here all winter. Crispy morning air opens up, springs into bright mornings and summery days, ice flows into mud and refreeze a few hours later, reshaped. Children spot furry tarantulas on the trails in the midday, and frozen ice ‘tarantulas’ in the morning at creekside.

snowprescott5

Enjoying Snowy pines, Prescott, Arizona

We’ve been re-shaping ourselves too. The man with big shiny cowboy belt, at the gardening class ripped out a rhododendron from its cozy pot, pointed to its roots and instructed: do you think it wants to go from this, straight to the rock? Add some compost, some rhizomes, he said, let it slowly accustom. He was dangling that plant violently from its tops. It felt like me, dangled by the hair, ripped out from my 8 feet deep fertile Illinois prairies trying to lay root in the 8 millimeters of sand atop the rocks. I am needing some rhizomes. Pink dawn viburnum is blooming now, flavoring the air with lilac. Snakes are waking, birds migrating through the lakes, and the meadowlarks are splattering landscapes in yellow.

meadowlark

Meadowlark and Heron at Willow Lake, Prescott, Arizona. Prescott hosts about 360 confirmed bird species.

goldwaterlake

Watching cormorants at Goldwater lake, Prescott, Arizona

Life of Foxes and Hummingbirds

I’ve lived with foxes for a while. They taught me how to bark, talk fox language, talk without talking, they teach me how to survive. They invite me into their dark cozy den of pillows and a blanket roof in the corner of the bedroom, but they let me know, I am not their kind. I insist on bath time in a plastic tub, but they prefer the creek.
When I get out of control with bans on crumbs and juices in the fox den, they cleverly use their rainbow powers, mud puppy powers, and tornado powers to transport me back to the kitchen, so they can fill their snow sleds with water, mud, pinecones and mix up some pine needle soup.

Seasons change, and the fox den gets converted into a bird’s nest, and then we are cactus wrens carefully hopping from saguaro to saguaro, and we are falling acorns tumbling down the bed, and we are javelinas being roasted, and we are rainbow ribbons tying up the mountains. Most often we are loud blue jays, playing tug of war with a worm. At bed time, energies gather as we morph into ruby-throated hummingbirds flapping our wings at fifty flaps a second. At Hassayampa river preserve, the upside down river as natives called it, because it peeks its head from under the surface just once in a while, twenty hummingbirds buzzed around our heads. A couple were getting into fights. Yes, even hummingbirds fight, said the little gray-haired lady as we watched. We have one, whom we call “Attila the Hummer”, she continued, he sits on the highest branch, and sneers at any other who tries to land close by. And so, we hum, and sip, and fight, like hummingbirds.

sedona-deer2

Mule deer at Sedona Red Rocks State park

A Cactus Whisperer

Prescott, Arizona, is a spot of nature’s incredible ingenuity. This is the land where worlds collide. It is a land of extremes: part high desert, part tundra pine woods, part lush riparian habitat. Willows, cactus, Cholas, pines, junipers, yuccas, enjoy their own space and cohabit in what seems almost unreal fashion to my untrained human eye. Someone said, Arizona is geography by day, and astronomy by night. Someone else added, that when the day and the night meets, it is biology extraordinaire, biology in action. Coyotes come out in packs. Javelinas sniff around mountain and town edges feasting on succulent prickly pear. Bald eagles circle the lakes, terrifying the ducks. Bobcat lifts her soft heavy feet in graceful dance. But the boy does not care about -ologies and -onomies. He cares little what that tiny mushroom on the side of the trail is called. He just likes the way the edges curl and the grey speckles. The way it leans toward the cactus. The way the snow shakes off the pines when the wind blows, in fast dropping puffs and in powdery swirls. The way cottony seeds spread. The way rocks split after millennia of water and ice, and the way they feel. The way the sun bounces off of them and the way lizard twists her tail. The way tree cholla fruits tint in winter. He worries that we do not step on baby cactuses, the size of acorns. He gets down on his knees, pets baby cactus, whispering something that is beyond my wave range. He is a cactus whisperer.

New generation of pines dancing

New generation of pines dancing

People of Arizona

Boy falls face forward into the snow, on the trail, and eats a mouthful. This is a very good dinner!, he says. He recalls how that cowboy sliced roasted prickly pears and ate the slices off his boot. So he eats snow off his boot, pretending it is prickly pear. I smile thinking of the horse man in Trader Joes. He carried a worn white plastic bucket and set it on the conveyor belt next to his baguette. Good, you remembered it! smiled the checkout lady. The man in dusty boots and wide plaid shoulders, as wide as his smile, nodded quietly, modestly. He smelled of horses. He placed his baguette into the bucket, and carried it to his pickup, dusty roads, home on the range.

snowprescott

Snow eater in Prescott National forest, Prescott, Arizona. Fresh snow, good to search for javelina tracks

When snow accumulated and lingered under the pines, I walked over to my neighbor to offer my help shoveling. Twice my age, lean and pink-cheeked, he smiled, danced a bit with his snow shovel, and told me some stories of the lover of his life. The lover that called him to move here. The lover so grand, so complex in her layers and yet simple in her flowing ways, so deep, so breathtaking, it will steal your heart, rip it open, and lay it under the skies to let the starlight pour in. Grand Canyon. He said he goes to the Canyon’s North rim in February, and skies forty miles across the snowy woods, climbs down, climbs up. His eyes sparkled with the bright morning snow as he talked, every color of the Grand Canyon reflecting in his pupils. We talked and let his love and sun melt the driveway.

grandcanyon9

Grand Canyon, Arizona, after the snowmelt in December

Prayers for the Rain
The creek by the house was dry all December, and then over poured, and shrank again. As we gathered vanilla scented raindrops, boy built dams, and islands of pine needles, rocks, mud and pinecones. He dug and engineered, diverting the water, fighting against the current at times. His boy-made channels dry up first. He then proceeds to make pinecone catchers.
granitecreek2

Granite Creek, surrounded by Granite Dells, February in Prescott, Arizona

Many riparian areas had been wiped out by development. About 80 percent of species here depend on these beautiful riparian areas, where water flows. Arizona sycamores tap directly into bed streams. The draught lasted for two decades and wildfires destroyed endless acres. Anne Lemott wrote: “If you don’t die of thirst, there are blessings in the dessert”. We humans tapped into every aquafer we could, trucked the water in, engineered ways to not die of thirst. We figure out way to quench immediate thirst. It is the blessings of the desert that still escapes us.

montezumacastle

White ghostly winter sycamores drinking up Oak Creek waters at Montezuma Castle, 800 year old Native American dwelling, the bones of which are sycamores

Saguaro cactus towers over the driest acres of Sonoran desert. It reaches the heights of 60 feet, yet it consumes 3 quarts of water per day (compare that to a neighboring Tucson human averaging at 360 quarts per day). Tohono O’odham people used to pick Saguaro fruit in June, using 10 foot long poles made of saguaro bones. The fruit is the only source of sweetness this time of year. O’odham would boil the fruit into syrup, ferment it into wine, and then dance for the rains to come. Most pickers are gone now. Wine is gone. Rain dances are gone. With rain dances vanished, the ground had split, opened into its deepest wounds yet, and curious onlookers travel miles to peek at these man-made canyons.

saguarowickenburg

Small Saguaro cactus and a friendly Joshua tree at Granite mountain footsteps near Yarnell, Arizona, where wildfire of 2013 claimed over 8,000 acres of natural habitat and lives of 19 firefighters.

This morning boy peeked out the window, and announced in amazement: It is flowing! My channels are flowing again! I knew it would work!  He flitters his hummingbird wings fanning the fires of my faith with each flip.

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Willow Lake, Prescott, Arizona, before storms move in

A local rancher and cowgirl poet Carole Jarvis of beautiful Wickenburg, Arizona, writes:

I turned my eyes toward cloudless skies so often, Lord,
Just watchin’ for some sign, or scent of rain.
Sometimes thinkin’ that I heard the sound of thunder,
Far away, across a distant plain.

I watched the water tanks turn into mud holes,
Saw grasses dry and wither in the sun.
Stirred a trail of dust behind my pony,
And dreamed each night, the summer rains had come.

Then this mornin’ as I woke, I felt a change,
And lookin’ toward the west, clouds filled the sky.
And soon the lightnin’ and the boom of thunder,
Combined with rain to form a lullaby.

And no one knows no better than a cowboy,
What moisture means to life in this terrain.
And though I know You always planned to send it,
I had to tell you Lord,
Thanks for the Rain.

~~~
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About BeeHappee

Where have all the bees gone? Where have all the flowers gone? https://beehappeenow.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Kids, Nature, Photography, travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Thank You, Lord, for the Rain

  1. Scott says:

    Wow this is gorgeous. I’m in awe. I could never hop to write this well.
    Are these all your images? Stunning as well.

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you for your generous comment, Scott. I really enjoy your writing and your updates. Images are all mine, all of them but two above are just snapshots with my phone. I carry a semi-decent Nikon to special trips, but in general I do not lug the camera around, climbing rocks with kids and trying to keep up with those mountain goats, camera gets in the way. 🙂

  2. I think Yah! Nice work. You reinforce this thought: what a beautiful planet we live on. Can we just step back a ways, say 300,000 miles, and admire her and then come back and respect her?

    • BeeHappee says:

      Well, it looks like we will probably be taking that trip of 300,000 miles soon, Renee. How are things at your place. I mapped you and I think you are 6+ hours away. One day, we will head that way. I am looking forward to hear how your homestead is going along, and your art. Best wishes. ❤
      Kristina

      • Oh did you buy tickets? :-O

        No, it’s more like 9-1/2 hours but that’s totally do-able. We drove over that way a couple years ago. We went through Nevada to Vegas to Monument Valley and Grand Canyon. Then we drove down through Sedona through Prescott to Wickenburg. Just as we arrived in Wickenburg there came a giant group of back country riders down the main street all ahorseback. What a sight!

        Our home stead is going very very slowly. To drum up cash to support the “habit” we got our real estate licenses. We’re focusing on farm, ranch, hobby farms and horse property. So we’re very busy. (paint house, turn on the trash pumps, dig ditches, plant garden, go sell a house!)

        • BeeHappee says:

          9 hours? :O Not the way I drive, Renee. 🙂 This land is so vast here. It took us about 9 hours to drive from Lithuania, through Latvia, through Estonia over with a ferry to the Saarema island in the Baltic.
          We loved Wickenburg, the horses, and saguaros. Prescott is a gem with its variety, which still keeps surprising me every day.
          I like your “habit” 🙂 I think I could commit myself to rehab for the same “habit”, or drum up cash to support it like you say. If you find couple nice affordable acres, let me know!! Will PM.
          Do you get snow? Here is a pair of Hawaiian snowmen for you kids made 🙂

          • Love the snowmen! No, we don’t get snow. Just ridiculous (welcomed!) amounts of rain. This year anyway. The Sierra Nevada to the east of us does get snow and in huge amounts. Gorgeous view in the distance!

            The vastness. Yes. Reminds me of when I was in England. Being used to driving in the west where everything is so far apart caught us by surprise when, oops! we just drove right past where we were going. That happened time and again. We just couldn’t used to how “little” it was. You’d look at the map and say, oh, it’s about that far but, no, it was so much closer.

  3. Hariod Brawn says:

    This is exceptionally good writing, Kristina, uncommonly good for the blogosphere, if I may say so. Have you submitted this for publication in a magazine, or somesuch? Probably not, but it’s very worthy of wider circulation in my opinion. Many congratulations, and all best wishes, Hariod.

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, dear Hariod, you are so kind. I am too unmotivated to polish any writing for publications, thus it just goes here. It barely made it past my inner critic, but I am glad you enjoyed it. May you have a beautiful alive spring. Kristina

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Nicole. It is beautiful, indeed, often I need a minute to just sit and breathe once I climb up to look around. I am just getting to know the little things, the grasses, the bugs, the smells of pinecones, that is the real beauty for me. This land is amazing just like any other, just my relation to it is still a bit foreign.

  4. monkey give 100 % big props to prose & picture.

  5. migarium says:

    You came back with a great post, my dear Earthling friend! Beautiful scenes and beautiful writing, as always same describing you. Also, I noticed you have chosen a day for your post, February 21. Do you know this day’s importance of some people on planet Earth? According to shamanic belief in Central Asia inside the Turkic peoples also some of the others, there is a thing which call as “cemre” which is kind of live ember and falling in succession from the sun. The answer of “why it is ember question” is because the ember, so the fire, is accepted as cleaning and reborning for these Shamanic cultures in Central Asia. In Turkey it is the same acceptable and is known. And, these cemres’ numbers are three.

    If I am not mistaken,
    First of them these cemres is falling down to air from sun in february 20-21
    Second of them is falling down to water from sun in february 26-27
    Third of them is falling down to soil from sun in march 5-6

    These 3 are the messengers of the spring. Your post and its day are perfect compatible my Earthling friend!

    Besides, whenever I see the notices of your posts or comments or likes in my email box, a smiling is appearing on my face. No, it is not related with because of your avatar picture is seen bigger in email box than on your blog page; it is very cute bee you know.:) It is because it is reminding a person who is realy sincere to express for own thoughts and feelings, and a good person existence on this planet. Thank you!

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Migo, for such a heartfelt note. I hope you are feeling better. It is very interesting about cemres, thank you for sharing, I had never heard of it before. It does feel like such a transformative time of year. My own personal body is quite confused about seasons this year. We spent all summer in the Baltics, where many days were quite cool and rainy, and we wore our winter coats in May and June. And now we are spending February in T-shirts, which completely throws me off balance. 🙂
      May you find beautiful littlest miracles on your side of the mountains, Migo, and have some playful days with WD. ❤

    • Dewin Nefol says:

      Hey Migo, an exquisite mystery, thank you 🙂

      ~ Kindle ~
      Spring turned tenderly yielding
      To flare to flash her passion rising
      To flame to fire her romance igniting
      To bliss to rapture her wild Heart blazing.
      ~
      Namaste

      DN – 27/02/2017

  6. ncfarmchick says:

    Beautiful – both photos and writing. I like the mention of Annie Dillard. I went to the same college as she where she is pretty much legendary. Her one-time husband, Richard Dillard was a professor of English there but I never took a class from him (not sure why.) Her book “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” took its name from Tinker Mountain which was just beyond the campus and was the site of many traditions for that little, woman’s school. It’s lovely still. Peace, my friend!

    • BeeHappee says:

      It is very nice to see you stop by here, Dawn. Interesting on your connection to Annie Dillard. Yes, she writes about the Tinker Mountain too. Linda, a fellow blogger, recommended Annie’s books to me a while back, and at one point kids and I listened to long passages of Tinker Creek before bed. I am revisiting it now, in print, and have to confirm she is one of my favorite nature writers (at least based on Pilgrim). Peace to you also, and enjoy the spring.

  7. barnraised says:

    Oh my gosh, this is so beautiful. Magical writing! We must talk! How can I email you?

    • BeeHappee says:

      It was such a happy surprise to find you here in this magic place as well! I am still unfamiliar with the area, we are looking for farms to visit, for animals, so I have many questions. I see your Yahoo e-mail that is associated with your comment and WordPress, so I will be in touch shortly. 🙂

  8. smilecalm says:

    smiling to this well expressed
    love & empathy for that beautiful
    region of AZ, Kristina!
    much like the white mtns i lived
    in nearly a decade.
    happy to know there’s been moisture
    to water seeds of life & happiness, david 🙂

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, David. Looks like you had a LOT of much needed rain in Cali. Refiling all aquafers, hopefully. Where in the White Mountains have you lived? I had seen photos of White Mountains, and the glory of them, would love to visit, just afraid that when I go, I will be captured by that beauty and will not be able to leave. 🙂

      • smilecalm says:

        yes, must be refilling aquifers, thankfully!
        i lived with the white mtn apaches in whiteriver. similar weather & elevation to sedona. i’m sure it’s still quite beautiful, despite several fires which occurred after i left in ’98 🙂

  9. Dear Kristina.. this post just took my breath away.. I devoured each and every word from the foxes to the hum of the hummingbirds to the upside down river, ( loved that name ) and to the little man eating snow from his boots.. To the hidden treasures of Montezuma Castle, as my mind flew back to a time of what was.
    You took me to a land of wonder in all of your photo’s dear Kristina..
    And I so enjoyed diving deep into each one..
    Wishing you well in all you do my friend.. Keep spreading your seeds of Love.. And long may the waters of Life replenish and nourish your soul..

    Love and Blessings
    Sue xxxx
    ❤ ❤

    • BeeHappee says:

      Many thanks for this kindest note, Sue. ❤ I am glad you enjoyed my update. I realized I had not posted anything in 3 months, so this was an attempt to sum up the feeling of this magic place, which is really difficult to express in any words, or photos. In this land, you stand over the mountainous sunsets, and the heart just fills up with every possibility, with light. Many spiritual folks hold seminars and retreats in this area, near Sedona, and I already feel like one endless retreat in these pine woods and mountains, and small creeks and yellow patches of old thick cottonwoods.
      Many Blessings to you as well, Sue, ❤
      Kristina

  10. shoreacres says:

    I’ve been dawdling over this post, taking it portions at a time and soaking in the words and images. It’s so, so good to have an update from you, and to know where you’ve been spending time. I smiled at the photo of Montezuma’s castle and the sycamores. Another blogging friend was there recently, and photographed both. I like the serendipity of it all.

    I like that your boy is willing to pet cactus, too. I have a friend who used to make fun of me for my compulsion to pet cactus. Cactus need affection, too, I’d tell him. Even prickly things need love. He was a little prickly himself, so maybe he wasn’t willing to aknowledge that truth.

    I’ve never been to Arizona. The more photos I see, the more it becomes a place I’d like to visit. I confess I’ve always thought of it as a shuffleboard and bridge-playing place, because of all the midwestern retirees I’ve known who go there — including my parents. And Sedona, although quite different, isn’t my cup of tea. But what you’ve shown here? Wonderful. Maybe one day I’ll be able to visit, and pet an Arizona cactus.

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you for your thoughts, Linda. It is hard not to love cactus here, where the variety is just amazing and their beauty shines. Near Wickenburg, there is a great Hassayampa river preserve/nature center, which used to be an old farm near the river, now 100+ year old California palm trees towering over the whole place, once you walk there, you feel like in Dr. Seuss land. We watched many types of hummingbirds there, who are not shy at all. The preserve has a good collection of cactus species. And of course, the Botanical Gardens in Pheonix are phenomenal, we are still to go there.
      You are correct about many retirees in Arizona. We had met many transplants from Midwest and East Coast as well, and there are many 55+ communities. But I love olden people, so I love it here. In the last 20 years or so, there has been a big boom of younger families moving in as well. Which worries me as far as water sustainability goes. Although I talked to a water resource lady last weekend and she said the development is very strictly controlled based on water availability.
      Despite that, Arizona still boasts incredible wilderness areas. Arizona claims to have double the size of wilderness of what all Midwestern states have combined! it is the sixth largest state in the country, and only 17 % of its land is privately owned. 21% of land is native American reservations, and the rest is federally protected or state land.
      Sedona is not my cup of tea either. Beautiful to visit, but I would not want to live there. It became quite overpriced and crowded. But I love the variety here, especially here in the Highlands. Yesterday, we played in the fresh fallen snow in the high pines, elevation 6200 feet. We drive down the road through incredible rock formations to the beautiful Skull Valley, where painter George Phippen lived and painted, and the giant Fremont Cottonwoods are lime green – catkins already out and blooming, and the grass is green, and we shed out snow gear for a picnic. 🙂 Within 20 mile radius, you can find variety that is just mind blowing, from red/orange dells, to pine forests with green granite boulders, to valleys with willows and cottonwoods, to cactus covered granite mountains. And then if you go to the Monument valley, or White Mountains, or Sonoran desert, or trek through the variety of the 2,000 plus canyons, you will not be disappointed. So, come on over, Linda. 🙂

  11. Dewin Nefol says:

    Hey Kristina 🙂

    Spellbound, my thirst drunk on Nature’s draft and the sensual indulgence of your sinuous prayer Your writing is lithesome, symbolic, serpentine poetry flowing as nature flows to Her end always becoming.

    I live, I learn, I love, I yearn for one drop more of Her ambrosia when it tastes as sweet as the words let slip from your pen. Thank you.

    With regards to the Pinecone tumbling upon your head…might you be persuaded to explore the symbolism of Pinecones? I think you will enjoy an illuminating read 🙂

    Whenever I visit Kristina, I am reminded of the Horned Owl Seer who offered the deer with one idea her feathered ear and showed her one path more to copper Door in the whitewash haze of snowy daze 🙂 Brave-heart indeed who took that path and opened her front door.

    Thank you for caring, for sharing Nature’s innocence and beauty so beautifully. My spring is the sweetness of a verdurous boy, my season a channel for Love to flow again 🙂 Thank you for words so inspired.

    Never stop believing in the spires of Her dreaming nor cease to wonder when you wander inspired by her gleaming 🙂

    Hoping your weekend is captivating.

    Namaste

    DN – 27/02/2017

    P.S: Riparian is a most beautiful word, but one I will treasure mindfully so as not to slip or slide when treading her slippery ways 🙂

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you for your generous and eloquent comment, Dewin. Yes, the symbolism of the pine cone is very interesting indeed, and I always find it fascinating how similar symbols develop over times in various cultures and groups. I find conifers quite fascinating for their great adaptation and their ancient wisdom, after all, they are the longest surviving bloomers. Pine cones are magical too, with their clever strategies of seed distribution. We watched yesterday how all warm and open pine cones completely closed up after cold rain and snow that fell yesterday. Some are so protective of their seeds that they will not release them until there is fire that burns the forest down. My dad used to bring bagfulls of pine cones from Siberia and we used to sit like squirrels taking out and eating freshest pine nuts. 🙂
      Riparian landscapes here are beautifully intertwined networks of give-and-take. Giant cottonwood trees on the edges of riverbanks stand with their feet dipped in the waters, they soak up excess waters during floods and monsoons, and store it for the dryer days. They shade and protect the rivers that feed them and provide environments for migratory and native birds, and millions of little creatures. There are some humans, who say: let’s cut down the cottonwoods, because they “just use” water, so we can have more!!!! If cottonwoods are gone, the river is gone, the life is gone.
      May you enjoy and treasure all the Nature’s gifts.
      Peace,
      Kristina

      • Dewin Nefol says:

        Hey Kristina,

        Your writing, your stories shine with the illumination of pine cones and the many bags of energetic pine nuts you’ve enjoyed. You adore Nature and your images capture a natural sense of that attachment.

        You are very fortunate to have opportunity to enjoy Her company as frequently and as appreciatively as you do.

        This made me smile. ‘I would lift Annie Dillard’s “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” on top of my head for protection. Last summer, a pinecone plummeted onto my head from what seemed the tallest pine in Latvia, and it nearly knocked me out.’

        I enjoy your writing Kristina and the journey you paint with words. And you comments always extend that joy further…reading them adds so much more to what has already been savoured.

        I hope you’ll find chance to see as much as you can whilst where you are. She is infinite to the eye always giving pleasure to heart soul and your pen 🙂

        Namaste 🙂

        DN – 02/03/2017

  12. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says:

    Such a lovely post, Kristina. I love your words and photos. I always admire your parenting, and willingness to let your children explore, learn and love Nature. I think I told you I have family in Prescott, so I go occasionally. I especially loved your photo of Willow Lake – looks like sunset? The colors are spectacular. Your words are crafted such that they run right through the heart, where they are felt with splendor. Thank you.
    Peace
    Mary

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Mary!!!! I so missed your posts and your presence. ❤ I smelled the vanilla pines and thought of you and the pines of enchanted land. Keep me in the loop when you are coming this way. I take walks along Willow lake in the mornings to watch the birds, and kids love to climb the rocks at sunset. One of my favorite spots is out on Skyview Drive and on Iron Spring road going toward Skull Valley. The mountains seem to adore themselves in such different dresses, I was in awe yesterday as some were covered in snow and some in pines, and some in colored rock as the light danced all around them. I heard someone say: this is a magic surpassing anything that our imagination can produce, surpassing anything we may see in a dream. It truly is.
      Peace and Love to you,
      Kristina

  13. navvirk says:

    I really liked your post and the pictures are marvellous.

  14. Wow this is gorgeous…A excellent place !

  15. This one was a really good one, Bee!
    I enjoyed it a lot and envy your kids for having such opportunities during childhood. Can’t help but wonder how they will turn out to be, what they’ll do and how they’ll effect the world around them. Far to many need the magic they’re experiencing.

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thanks, Ron. Yes, the magic helps us all. Some places are truly breathing magic. Some wonderful experiences that stood out to me were long hours we spent wading in beautiful Vermont rivers and waterfalls, the most amazing sandy endless beaches of Latvia, blueberry and wild strawberry patches in Lithuanian woods, honey and windmills of Estonia, picking bucketfulls of crabs in gorgeous Maine, stars and beaches of California, creeks and wineyards of Oregon, herds of pronghorned antelopes and great Western museums in Wyoming, watching black bears in Smokey mountains Tennessee, and most golden oaks and hills in Arkansas . . . Arizona has the beauty of sunsets which grab you by the heart and won’t let you go. The ponderosa pines are tall, red, incredible. The red rocks of Sedona look like magic fairytale with yellow cottonwoods and white sycamores. The cactus will bloom soon. I miss the smell of true mud here sometimes, but there are patches when you learn where to find them, under the oaks. I never imagined I would end up here in the woods in the 300 sq foot cabin myself when I was a child. 🙂
      Sometimes we drive across wind blown prairie valleys here and sing at the top of our lungs 🙂

      We do our best, and do not have much control over where life will bring us or our kids. Enjoy your beautiful woods!

  16. Nita says:

    Lovely post! A distant friend just relocated to Prescott from his ancestral home in Indiana. He loves Prescott and the beauty of Arizona! Incidentally, he works at the library, not sure which one since we only connect briefly on Instagram these days, but he was in charge of the children’s library in his hometown. He too is a gifted writer ❤

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Nita! I love the unpredictability of what you can find in Prescott, the transition zone from desert to pines is amazing. And each neighborhood, each area is so unique and has its own character. We love Prescott library too, they have great selections and utilize the whole County network, the programs are amazing, for kids and adults. Hope your friend enjoys the spring here. And hope your rains ease up for your planting. We were considering moving to Ashland OR, and I loved it there last April, the large lush woods and redwoods, but summers seem to get rather hot. Looks like you really had much rain recently too.

    • BeeHappee says:

      Is his name Bud G by chance? 🙂

  17. Arizona is such a beautiful state. Actually the entire southwest is just amazing!
    Wonderful photos & descriptions.

  18. Michael says:

    What a pleasure to discover this today, Kristina. I feel I’ve spent some time with the mysteries of the natural world. I do love your writing here, too, as many others have recognized. There is a playfulness in your words and in the presence of your children in the photos, a sense of timelessness almost, which for me is one of the beautiful aspects of nature. It is both immediate and timeless. That is how it always feels to me. Your images carry this, too, and I love the child in the snow surrounded by such glorious light… You offer a grace and a light that moves across the page into the reader and it is a welcome rain.

    Peace
    Michael

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Michael, for most generous words of yours, you never seem to walk empty-handed, but come with a basketfull of bread to share with any hungry soul. Children are the light. I remembered how last night, I was so tired, and my boy insisted on “making a recipe”, his favorite thing to do, mix up whatever comes to his mind. I tried to convince him to go to bed instead, what mom wants to clean up a mess at 9 pm. So he gets all excited, and exclaims: “I HAVE to make this recipe mommy, I just have to! You will die, if you do not get to taste it!” I just giggle, and how can you refuse? 🙂
      Love and Light,
      Kristina

  19. This is a stunning piece of work – your pictures are magnificent. I have not quite finished reading it as I have to go out and start chores , pigs, cows etc, But wanted to say how much I love your writing and images before I start my day for real. c

    • BeeHappee says:

      Dear Cecilia, it is so sweet of you to leave such encouraging beautiful words! Thank you very much, and enjoy the cows and the pigs. Animals look beautiful and happy! And I am glad you found your camera. I know how that goes. 🙂

  20. I think you’re the only other person I’ve encountered who’s been to Montezuma Castle, which I hadn’t even heard of till we went to the Southwest last fall. I learned that the sycamores at Montezuma Castle are Arizona sycamores, Platanus wrightii:

    https://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/arizona-sycamore/

    • BeeHappee says:

      Are you not in Texas? Yes Arizona Sycamores are magical to me. There are couple really beautiful giant ones near Montezuma Well as you descend towards Oak creek. Did you go to Toozigoot or V bar V site at Beaver creek? I love the wildflowers there! We have some Arizona sycamore seeds “wintering” in the fridge right now and will attempt growing them from seed.

      • Yes, I’m in Texas, which I don’t think of as being in the southwestern United States but rather the south-central part of the country. Texas is so big that from Austin to Montezuma Castle is 1050 miles. We were aware of Toozigoot but ended up not visiting it because we were eager to get our first late-afternoon glimpse of Sedona that day. It was our second visit to Arizona in three years and still we could only see a portion of what there is to see in such a scenic state.

        • BeeHappee says:

          Oh, yes, Texas, a country on its own. 🙂 Toozigoot is great, the views are amazing and the layout is very interesting, and their visitor center is one of the best in my opinion, very informative. Did you get to hike West Fork trail in Sedona? So far, it is my favorite. Or Sycamore canyon if you like even more wilderness. Let me know when you plan your third trip out here, I have some good VRBO recommends in Prescott and some places we enjoy.

          • We didn’t hike the West Fork Trail or Sycamore Canyon, but we spent several hours walking along the creek in Slide Rock State Park. If we do go back to that area I’ll be glad to ask for your recommendations. Thanks.

  21. lifeintrips says:

    Amazing pictures with a great write up…

  22. This is such beautiful and inspiring writing. A wonderful post to the glory of nature but also how we have affected the forests and landscapes.

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you for taking time to read this long piece! It is indeed incredibly beautiful, even after we destroyed 90% of fragile riparian (wet) habitats in Arizona, I cannot imagine how it must have felt here a couple centuries back.

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