Sunset Hues

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Welcomed cloud cover has dropped the temps a few degrees, which is always a relief in our dry mountain summers. Of course, Murphy’s Law was in play– friends were scheduled to visit last weekend, but with the temperature targeted to easily pass triple digits plus for last Friday and Saturday, we all agreed another weekend would be better for puttering about shops and tasting wine. Work week and no guests scheduled, the clouds have exuberantly rolled in providing spectacular sunsets.
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Enjoy! The glow of sunset always feels as though the universe is trying to break through and say hello – I love it.
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Be sure to stop by Unknown Mami’s Sundays in My City to see what others are sharing from their neck of the woods.

Murphys Irish Day

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Given it is April and my last post says “Is it March already? – I guess you can tell it’s been a busy few months! Murphys Irish Days is always happening here and this year was no different. Often the audience is more dressed up than some of those in the parade. The Girl Scouts were out with their cookies, two roller derby teams (which I’d not seen before) skated by, Ken dragged out his kilt as he does each year, my faves the Bernese Mountain dogs were all dressed up (but hard to shoot as kids love walking alongside and around that group), the army jeeps were dousing the crowd with water from their mounted “guns” and the grocery store showed up with a gigantic (and noisy) hot rod cart. Thank you as always to our diligent “pooper scooper” group that does their best given the proliferation of well fed horses in the parade! Murphys Irish Days 2 Murphys Irish Days 3 Murphys Irish Days 4 IMG_6654 Murphys Irish Days

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Ken and Denise Murphys Irish Days

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It was a beautiful day and we were packed to the edges of town.

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Love the taps on the sneakers for one of the dancing groups!

This post is participating in UnknownMami’s Sunday’s in my City.

Over the Mountains and through the woods…

New Melones Resevoir from Parrot's Ferry Bridge

I believe I’ve mentioned that many trips – the dentist, doctor, shopping, or meetings – require a beautiful jaunt “over the mountains and through the woods” to get to the town of Sonora. It’s becoming the area superstore mecca boasting a Lowes, Walmart, Kohls, JoAnn, Orchard, Ross, TJMaxx, Staples and more.  Murphys’ family owned stores (shop local!) provide the majority of what we need, but for things like specific HP Printer ink or one inch binder clips – a trek to Staples is called for. About 20 miles and 40 or so minutes of curvy roads and stunning scenery comprise the trip. I finally remembered to drag my camera along when bounding out to make my dentist appointment.

Parrot's Ferry Bridge from Columbia side

The Parrot’s Ferry Bridge takes me across the upper reaches of New Melones Resevoir (a~ 20 square mile manmade lake built by the U.S. Bureau of Water Reclamation with the installation of the New Melones Dam; extensive hiking paths, camping and recreational activities available).

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Growing up on an ocean, I’d call these watermarks tide lines.

Parrots Ferry Bridge across New Melones

This shot and the opening shot were both taken from the same spot, same time – amazing how looking into clouds and the sun given a whole different feel to the day. (All shots were the same return trip, didn’t touch up the opening shot at all, added some saturation to the one above as it was a bit washed out from the sun).

 Sunset, Murphys CA

As impressive as the trip is, I’m always so happy to relax back at home with a view of sunset from the back deck. (Above shot is also “straight from the camera” – completely nature’s colors).

This post is participating in Unknown Mami’s Sundays in My City.



Murphys Penn Fire was much too close for comfort. Returning from Sonora Wednesday, I wasn’t certain I’d be allowed back to my home (residents only were) – or that it was even a good idea to go there. Immediately started packing the car (kitty items first), found out which local motels take pets (had an appointment Thursday here I didn’t want to miss, so although many friends offered, I wanted to stay close) and touched base with the neighbors. Then there was nothing else to do but wait – so I grabbed the camera. A bit shaky, not my best shots or editing.

View over my pump house.

Thursday’s reports had the fire at 200 acres although it’s been reassessed to 134 acres burned. As I write this, it is 90% contained, with full containment expected later today. The report shows Total Fire Personnel of 330, with 317 CAL FIRE. Thank you also to the supporting agencies:  California Highway Patrol, US Forest Service, National Park Service, Murphys Fire Department, Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department, Altaville Melones Fire, Ebbetts Pass Fire, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Pacific Gas and Electric and Northern California Power Agency.

Our heroes (taken from my front or back porch, thus one side clear, one smokey). So many more than the air crew were involved – Thank you again to all of our heroes.


This post is participating in UnknownMami’s Sundays in My City; the Gallery of Favorites, hosted by April at The21st Century Housewife and Alea of Premeditated Leftovers .

Abundance of Anna’s

The last time I mentioned Anna’s hummingbirds, I was lamenting the end of March snowstorm and their disappearance.

Well, there is a profusion of them swarming the feeders and exuberantly gobbling up sugar at the rate of five pounds plus  per week.

Thought you might enjoy seeing their return.


The mobs of luminous little birds speeding from feeder to feeder, flaring their tails and clicking to one another are mesmerizing.

Californians (or folks looking to travel) book your calendar – Murphys’ Dia de los Muertos is on for Nov 3 & 4 this year. See last year’s photos if you’re curious.

This post is participating in UnknownMami’s Sundays in My City.