There’s Gold in These Here Hills

serene pondWent on a lovely hike in the Northern California mountains and there was a lot to enjoy from the views to the wildlife. It’s really surprising how much these hills resonate with me. Memories of childhood are springing up everywhere.

As always, click the photos for higher resolution.

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oak leavesOak trees! I forgot how much I love the look of these trees and their leaves. After the monotonous sameness of the Pacific Northwest forests, it’s really great to see so many Oak trees again.
Geese on the pondLots of Canada Geese in these parts too. We saw a bunch all clustered by gender. Seemed like such a middle school dance with all the boys on one side of the room and the girls on the other.

thistle

Though this is technically the dead of winter and though this time of year often brings significant amounts of snow to the mountains in these parts, this year is unseasonably mild so far. We’re sure enjoying it.

moss at ponds edgemanzanitaOne of the most surprising things is the amount of color we are seeing. Usually, things are so dormant and grey/brown in the cold months. From the so-very-green moss at water’s edge to the rust red bark of the Manzanita bushes, it seems like color is still everywhere. The subtle colors are really inspiring Karma’s creative drive!

beautifully subtle colors everywhereAnyone familiar with California’s rich history knows the state is built upon a foundation of solid gold. Just a few generations ago, people came from all over the world to seek their fortunes in these hills during the Great California Gold Rush and a lot of the remnants of those endeavors persist to this day as historic markers to this colorful past.

Blacksmoth shopKarma and I are big fans of urban exploring and the delicate beauty of abandoned spaces and urban decay. We came across some stunning relics of days gone by including an old smithy with hammered tin siding and lovely rusty hinges, and an incredible water-wheel driven mill.rusty hinge

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The rusty iron and the tarred timbers of the mill are holding up pretty well for their age.

Ken loves old machineryTin WallThis is a great setting for us to relax, to be inspired, and to make some magic happen. After so many years living in the Pacific Northwest, it’s been really fantastic to have a solid change of scenery. It’s been so nice to be going on walks in the hills, riding my skateboard in the sun, writing, and working on our projects.

Ken and Karma at the old mill

We love and miss everyone but this is working very well for us and was definitely the right decision for us for now.

Watch this space for more to come!

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