Monday, September 26, 2011

Yosemite--The First Days of Autumn

It is time again for another Yosemite post.  I never tire of this place and we try to visit at least twice a year.

In past years our Autumn visit has always found Yosemite Falls dry.  The rocky ground in the high country from which this feature gets its water relies on snow melt.  There is no soil to hold the moisture and release it slowly.  Whether it was due to  the heavy snow pack this year or the late summer thunderstorms, there was still water flowing over the falls.
It was a real treat for the late season tourists and for us as well.
Though not the thundering rush of spring I found the reduced flow to have a charm I don't experience in May or June.

Yosemite Falls was not the only place where water was unexpectedly present.  The "lake"  in Mirror Lake was gone as usual but there was still water flowing through on its way to join the Merced River.

One didn't have to look too hard to find a pool with a reflection.

It may have been the beginning of Autumn, but the park was filled with tourists from all around the world.  I was pleased that for once these late season visitors had not missed out on some of Yosemite's best know wonders.

See more of our world at Our World, Tuesday, hosted for us by Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Santa Barbara Mission

While I saved the best of my recent photos of Mission Santa Barbara for "Around California", there were a few that needed commentary and didn't fit the format of that blog.

In the early days of the automobile it was the auto clubs, not the highway departments, that put up road signs.  I even saw one of these old signs on a dirt road once.  I suspect that old road had once been "the road" before states started building paved highways.  Sad to say, that nostalgic old sign had been stolen a few years later.
The sign gives the mileage to the California missions north and south.  It is said that they were placed a days travel apart by horse or cart.  Father Serra, though, depicted here with his staff, did not travel by horse or cart, he walked.  As founder of the missions from San Diego to Monterey he walked from mission to mission.

I though this "lavaderia" quite whimsical.  At first, seeing the water spout, I though it was a pig trough.  The sign explained my error.  Another sign said that not all missions had such a laundry area but that in the local native culture  cleanliness was very important.

My only comment on this is "why should anyone need to be told?"

Find more views of our wonderful world at Our World, Tuesday; hosted for us by Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Rock

I love the rock in my header.  When we walk this path I am always anxious to see it.  On this particular evening I hurried more than usual.  The clouds were in the right place to catch the color from the setting sun.  Would I make it?  Ah, yes, just in time to catch "The Rock"  in silhouette against the sunset.
See more skies from around the world at "SkyWatch Friday", hosted for us by Sandy, Wren & Sylvia.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Michael's Staycation

While Michael's Mom and Dad enjoyed a much needed vacation in Seattle, Michael had a "staycation" with Grandma and Grandpa.
First we planned a visit to the beach.  Michael likes the water and the beach but as it turned out, we hadn't picked the best day.  In spite of the heat at his home, the weather at Zuma Beach was cool and breezy.  Not only that but the unusually dangerous surf made it impossible to go near the water.
I had learned that many state and local beaches have sand wheelchairs to borrow so we tried it out.  They work better if you pull rather than push them across the sand.  It is nice to know they are available.

The Los Angeles area has many adaptive playgrounds, built with help from Shane's Inspiration.
These playgrounds are for all children but have features making them accessible to children with disabilities.  There are several not far from Michael's home and we took him to one to play.

Grandpa snapped a picture as he waited below the slide for Michael.

He likes the swing.  The adaptive swings are popular with all children and much safer than the traditional swings.
I have noticed that many parks no longer have swings and that is too bad.  The motion helps to develop the inner ear and balance.  It was a regular part of Michael's therapy sessions.

He wasn't sure what to make of the mister.  It was cooling on a hot day but it was a new experience.  Some times it takes a little while for him to process something new.

Since it was still hot, on Sunday we looked for something inside with air conditioning.  We went to the mall.
Malls sure have changed!  Part shopping, part dining and part theme park.
A very nice attendant helped me to lift Michael onto the carrousel.  Just as with the swing, he enjoyed the motion.  Grandma made sure he didn't fall.

Not ready to go home we decided to find a place to sit and "people watch".  Grandpa and I were reminded of what a wonderful country this is.  People of many different cultures were enjoying the mall.  We are not perfect but compared to many other parts of the world where people can be attacked because of how they dress or how they look, we do pretty good.
We have come a long way when it comes to the disabled.  Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities act, we can take Michael out for the day without the roadblocks of an earlier time.  Sometimes people wonder, will ask about him but no one suggests that he should not be out enjoying life.

Like all good things, Michael's staycation came to an end.  Summer was over and it was time for him to go back to school.  His parents tell me that Michael's current school is to be closed just as the last one was.  Los Angeles schools are phasing out special need schools.  While mainstreaming may be good for some students I am not sure that it is the right choice for a child as vulnerable as Michael.

See more of our wonderful world at Our World, Tuesday hosted by Arija,  Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy.

Friday, September 9, 2011

In a Driveway

 While out walking with grandson Michael, I saw the evening sky reflected in the window of a minivan.

You can see more reflections of the world at Weekend Reflections, hosted for us by James.