The pasture hasn't looked like this in longer than I can recall.
The drought here in California has taken a mighty toll.
Trying to look on the bright side, exposed earth like this allows me to find all sorts of crap that folks before us left on the ground. I generally find several dozen rusty nails, a handful of broken glass, and other treasures each time I walk through. It's part of my shepherdess job to remove these hazards to sheep feet.
Despite the dearth of grazing, the sheep anticipate with excitement the rotation to the next paddock. It keeps them happy to have a routine.
They don't find much, but are content with searching. their bellies are full from the morning's alfalfa hay, but they are sheep and need to follow a rhythm of graze, rest, graze, rest.
Meanwhile, we look to the sky and pray for rain...
Today was one of those days where only the purity of nature could rescue my mood. When my mind dwells on dark thoughts, going for a hike forces me to be aware and alert to beauty and peace. How grateful I am to be able to walk out my door and follow a path into the woods of my own backyard!
This stump beckoned me to just sit and listen awhile.
Then I got out my High Spirits pocket flute and let my experience of place direct my fingers to a melody.
Taking some deep breaths, I looked back on the trail I had come up,
then ahead to where I might find mushrooms for dyeing. It rained some days ago and fall is a good time to find fungi.
Still enchanting colors and shapes, in this "dead" season.
And nourishing moisture awaiting some small, forest creature.
Towards the top of the hill, the forest gets denser and wetter. Perhaps this is where I should really start paying attention for mushrooms...
My fingers freezing and my backpack full, I stopped gathering 'shrooms and continued the hike to a sacred place just off our property we think of as The Manzanita Grove.
Marveled at the beauty, did a little meditation, played a flute song, and headed back home.
View to the southwest.
The hike back down brought interesting finds, too.
Ended my hike with a smile: This scene brought to mind, " You have to be this tall to be a Christmas tree."
And now I have eight different mushrooms to experiment with!
After the rain, it is such a treat to hike our property in search of stunning views and forest bounty. Colors and dyestuffs!
Mushrooms! Mycopigments! ~dyeing to use them :-}
Good thing I brought my collecting bag along.
Fuzzy, bluish-grey ones. Haven't found these before. Wonder what color I will get...
What are you doing up here? Sherpa is surprised to see me anywhere but where I throw hay for him, down the hill, near the house.
A last view before I go back inside to get warm by the woodstove and sort through my bag of treasures.