Posts Tagged ‘blooming flowers’

A Bright Spot in the Forest

March 4, 2011

A Bright Spot in the Forest by Cheryl McDonald

Do you ever have weeks where you think everything is going along great. You feel good, projects are going well, you have an awesome sense of joy and excitement about what is coming to fruition and then suddenly one morning you wake up in a cold sweat and wonder- “What will become of me? Where am I going? And How am I going to get there?”

That is what happened to me this morning. I was awake at 3:30 having a worry fit about what will happen in the future! So after some deep breathing, some writing in my journal and a prayer to bring me back to sanity, I fell back to sleep and when I awoke a couple of hours later, there were ideas and directions on what to do next right there in my mind where just a few hours ago had been chaos and fear. Wow! Sometimes I feel like that little yellow flower in the image at the top of the page- surrounded in the deep dark forest fighting for just a bit of light and fresh air.

Living the nontraditional life that I live, can be an interesting challenge. Learning not to listen to the fears of others is probably one of the biggest challenges. What I am working to accomplish is beyond reason sometimes, and yet deep down in my heart I know that I am on the right path and that this creative path that I am on is bringing much to this world that is needed.

Finding the path of our destiny is difficult for many to figure out. For me it has been easy to know but harder to follow and stay focused. Each day I find more and more to be grateful for and more that I can share. Each day I have all that I need and more. When you think of your version of security, can you really say that it will be there forever, no matter what? I know that the flow of life that I experience daily is as secure as it can get. No matter what, and that is what I know today.

Cheryl McDonald is and artist and philosopher who now lives in the desert in Southern California. To see her latest work please go to or


Wandering on Hwy 78

June 14, 2010
Wheel and fence by Cheryl McDonald

In the Yard "main street" Julian

Well another wonderful week has gone by and I have spent a great week in San Diego County. The weather has been perfect for me, as I really do love the coolness of San Francisco. Southern California is in the typical “June Gloom” weather pattern, cloudy and overcast mornings and evenings with just a little sunshine in the afternoon, as I said, perfect. I have been staying with friends in a wonderful country home in Vista, had the opportunity to do some gardening- pulling weeds, hanging out at garden shops and  even helping to dig a stream bed for to better drainage. It was good getting out in the sunshine and fresh air and felt good to be helpful also. Took a drive down to San Diego and visited the San Diego Watercolor Society Museum and the Quilt Museum and also checked out the North Park Arts district, unfortunately I had missed the art festival a couple of weeks ago, but the area had some great looking opportunities for art, food, and vintage shopping.

Thursday I had an opportunity to take a drive and take some pictures. Where should I go? I thought about going back to San Diego and shooting in Balboa park or Old Town or the Gas Lamp district- places I love in San Diego, but I made the decision to got out to Cleveland forest and see what was happening with wildflowers and visit Julian for some apple pie! Yum!

Yellow by Cheryl McDonald

Wildflowers in the foothills

White Pearls- wildflowers by Cheryl McDonald

Wildflowers in the Desert by Cheryl McDonald

I chose to drive out Hwy 78 and enjoyed driving through the mountains, which are so different from the Sierras, not as high, so the vegetation is very different lot’s of Scrub Oak and Cottonwood trees, mustard and grasses. I was quite surprised at the amount of wildflowers that were still blooming. Lucky Me!

Julian Pie Company by Cheryl McDonald

Julian Pie Company

The Pie Ladies of Julian Pie Company by Cheryl McDonald

Marcy, Teresa, and Rhonda of Julian Pie Company

I got to Julian about 10am a bit early on a week day for several of the shops, but not too early for the pie shops. I walked up and down main street and checked out all of the possibilities and decided I really like the look of the Julian Pie Shop. It was set back off the street with a wonderful patio out front for sitting and having coffee and pie, some of the locals were there. It was the place to meet to catch up on the news. I went in and checked out their pie selection. I do so love original apple pie , my Grandmother and Mother made awesome apple pie and so of course that is what I chose. The pie was wonderful and I was so impressed with the story of the restaurant, I decided to give them some love and add them to my blog. So check out the Julian Pie Company here, and if you get a chance to visit Julian, please check them out personally!

After seeing all the great little shops and enjoying some of the history of the town, I was ready to wander some more. I had seen a sign for Anza Borrego just before Santa Ysabel and  since there so many wildflowers through the mountains, I decided to drive on out to the desert to see what was happening out there. As I drove through the valley on S2 I ran right into a swarm of locusts that were flying across the road- ewww! They were so thick I could not get out of the car. The birds of the valley are going to be fat and happy this year!

Desert Cactus by Cheryl McDonald

Desert Cactus

Rock Formations- Anza Borrego Desert by Cheryl McDonald

Rock Formations- Anza Borrego Desert

Anza Borrego Desert by Cheryl McDonald

Anza Borrego Desert

The other side of the mountains was a complete change- the dry Californian desert vista opened up huge in front of me and although there were some wildflowers still blooming, the real scene was the cactus, the rock formations and the panoramic desert. You can see for miles. On previous treks I have driven on down the mountain into Borrego Springs and even on to the Salton Sea, but that was not on my itinerary for today, so I turned around and headed back, ending the day with good friends, good food, and good stories to tell.

Spring has Sprung!

March 30, 2010

Spring Trumpets by Cheryl McDonald

We had the most amazing weather this weekend! I had a chance to get out and wander in the city.
Everything is blooming, gardens are awakening.

People are out enjoying the sun in the parks. Life is blooming! Flowers, Trees, even the alleys are bursting with color!

Garden Alley-North Beach, Cheryl McDonaldI have always loved playing in the garden, walking into a nursery is like walking in and meeting good friends.
Plants are soothing creatures to be around. As you can tell from previous blogs I dig being out in the open,
however I also love being in garden spaces that people have lovingly created.

Garden Path by Cheryl McDonald

Spaces that are livable, functional and reflections of the people who create them. This weekend while I was out I took pictures of flowers and garden walkways, entry ways and parks.

Here are a few of the places I found. I enjoyed capturing the details and the character of these spaces.

The Red Mailbox by Cheryl McDonald

Stairways and pathways leading us in to the garden are intriguing and inviting.

The Royal Guard by Cheryl McDonald

Colorful proclaimers like the pride of Madeira or Calla Lilies trumpeting the arrival of Spring.

Now is the time to be out enjoying a garden, your garden! If you live in the Bay area and have a garden you love and enjoy, either public or private, I would love know about it, even to come and take pictures of it. We take portraits of our family, dogs, homes how about a garden portrait?

I would also like to put in a plug for my friend Barbara Paul- one of the most amazing garden designers in Southern California- she is a specialist in sustainable landscape design! Check her out here