Save the Cross

I feel compelled to add this petition to my blog in order to help save a beautiful white Cross overlooking Spring Lake in Santa Rosa, California. Once my sister and I stood by the lake and painted the lake with the mountain and the white Cross on it. I still have my oil painting albeit unfinished. Little did I know the touching story behind it until now. Please read this about a boy, a friend and a Vet!

Save the Cross

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Black-crowned Night Heron

The other day my sisters and I decided to go for a walk with the kids around our favorite regional park, Spring Lake in Santa Rosa, CA. Much to our surprise we discovered this beautiful bird, a Black-crowned Night Heron standing like a statue right by us! Our Dad, an avid bird watcher should have been with us. I know he would’ve been proud of our new bird watching skills!

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So Who Planted the Mangrove Tree?

My favorite lake, close to home is Lake Sonoma. On the north tributary end of the lake is Yorty Creek which boasts, the only beach on the lake and BBQ pits. We have been traveling the long, windy and bumpy dirt road to the lake for about twenty years now.

Children in tow, plus the dog, kayak and fishing pole packed to the gills (pardon the pun) with beach everything, we hang out on the sandy beach, relax and unwind. Once everyone’s happily playing in the water or eating I sufficiently relax getting into my zen, creative mode and take pictures and/or draw the surrounding scenery.

Huge oak trees dot the golden, grassy hills alternating with pine trees on the far end of the hills that slope down on both sides of the blue lake. It’s beautiful, surreal and I love it here. Interesting to me is the smallish tree on the left side of the lake sitting alone on the edge of the water so sweetly, a mangrove tree. Where did it come from and who planted it? This is not a tree indigenous to Northern California. I don’t see any other mangrove trees lining the water’s edge. Just one lonely, not from around here, mangrove tree with long spindly curved trunks and a little umbrella overshadowing its base. A tree that you would see in some far away tropical island ten times its size.

I’ve been drawing the trees in the area for some time now and I know it wasn’t there before. The mangrove tree is quite young, about three years old I guess to myself. But, there it is. I walked along the dirt path winding along the side of the lake to take a look at it in the scorching heat and ended up enjoying its tiny bit of shade. Fishermen cherish the canopy of leaves for its shade to be sure. It’s the only tree around on the dusty pathway where the heat is usually ninety or above during the summer. I sat under it, alone too, enjoying its welcoming comfort. Little finches graced its green foliage and flew off in unison together happy also for its presence. I felt at peace with the world. Who planted it or where it came from, I’ll never know. I am grateful for the mangrove tree, its beauty alone on the far side of the lake.

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Spring Lake

On Friday, I decided to walk somewhere else for a change rather than my usual route. I try to walk every day and like to mix up the routine once in a while so I don’t get bored. (That way I’ll keep exercising to stay healthy!) It had been a long time since I visited Spring Lake in Santa Rosa. After taking the kids to school, getting some coffee, (extra energy boost) and a protein breakfast (Dr.’s orders) my dog, Goldie, and I set off for the lake. Now, mind you, it’s early Friday morning, middle of winter, I’m thinking it will be quiet, no one will be there.. Nooo such luck! I was surprised to see so many cars in the parking lot during the wee hours of the morning! There are three different entrances to the park. I chose the Howarth Memorial Park entrance which has free parking. Goldie and I joined the ranks of fellow dog walkers, joggers, bicyclists, mothers pushing strollers- folks of all ages walking. I couldn’t believe how many people were there! Don’t people work on Fridays anymore? My dog and I took the paved pathway named Kerfoot trail. The pathway route I took winds to the right by the water towers after a small incline, and heads toward the campground and then turns left down to the boat dock, around the loop and back to Howarth Park. In all, it’s only about a three mile walk, unless you take a side trail. Please refer to map so you don’t get lost! There are lots of dirt trails, so definitely bring a map if you decide to go off the beaten path. I brought my camera, which I had planned, and took tons of pictures of the beautiful lake, landscapes, and wildlife. Years ago I almost got stampeded upon by a herd of deer running through the woods and I didn’t have my camera with me so now I am always camera ready! Spring lake is beautiful, the jewel of Santa Rosa. The lake’s surface sparkled like silver in the sunlight. I found my peaceful space amongst the other people enjoying the park and took lots of pictures. The trail usually takes about an hour or less, but if you are like me you will want to putts around, enjoy the views, play, meditate and pray! (There is a big white cross on the mountain over looking you to remind you!) I love living in Sonoma County and know how Blessed we are to have this wonderful park in our own backyard. If you go you will want to spend more than an hour. If you are energetic you can fish, boat, catch crawdads, bird watch or swim in the lagoon next to the lake. Camping is also fun at Annadel state park, which is connected to Spring Lake Regional Park.
Bring your family and friends and have a picnic. I try to avoid the crowds so weekdays work best for me! 😉 Have fun!





                                                        




         

http://www.sonoma-county.org/parks/pdf/maps/spring_lake.pdf