I have alot of pix from my trip to California I want to share with you, so this week's letter is in parts. I have visited California and returned to Beijing. Wo kanwan Jalifunia he wo hui Beijing.
I saw Mt Shasta and painted by the ocean. Wo kanwan Bai Shan he wo huale dahai.
My friends gave me a warm welcome home. First party was at Cafe Maddalena, Bret and Nancy LaM. proprietors, in their darling outdoor patio courtyard under a grape arbor. There were a couple pix in last blog. Next, Nancy N. hosted a party at her house where more friends mingled in her backyard with the roses and Patti H. played her melodious harp! The epitome of August parties at Barbara C.'s cottage by the river, attended by a larger than usual crowd of locals, newbies and out of towners.
Bruce and I ran over to the coast for a short overnighter in Crescent City where I painted plein air by the sea. See last blog for details and pix. Back in Dunsmuir there was more mingling at the Saturday Farmer's Market, the heartbeat of tiny Dunsmuir, population less than 2,000. See Ron McC. in front of his hardware store in the historic downtown.
Richard duP. wrote up an article about my experiences in China with swell pix of Bruce and me laughing and smiling at each other. It was published in the little weekly Dunsmuir News.
Something else you might like to know about Dunsmuir is that bears roam at will throughout the town at night. They are very hard to photograph because their fur is like a black hole that sucks all light, leaving a black blob where the bear stands. The California Black Bear Ursus americanus is a small and common bear species. They eat anything, but they adore eating out of trash cans. This bear is thriving in North America and is not listed as threatened. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_black_bear
Barbara C., Helen C. and I spent a blissful afternoon at Gumboot, my favorite alpine lake, at 6050-feet elevation (1,844 m) it is only 40 minutes from Dunsmuir on a narrow, winding but paved road. At this elevation one can get above the humdrum of everyday living and gain a transcendental perspective.
Helen picked an armful of the yellow-flowered lotus, and I made a Chinese style brush painting of them. The California Yellow Pond Lily, Spatterdock or Nuphar lutem has fruit shaped like spools, similar to the Tsinghua lotus and provide habitat for aquatic insects, snakes, turtles frogs, salamanders, beaver, muskrat, ducks and geese. http://www.blackwaterphoto.com/Dragonflies/Skimmers/Four-spotted-Skimmer/8260242_yP9d4/1/540473912_S6734#540473912_S6734 http://creagrus.home.montereybay.com/CA-SIS-Gumboot.html
Mt Shasta, elevation 14,179-feet (4,322m) is named "White Mountain" in the Native American Karuk language, and I have named it Bai Shan in Chinese. Hard to pin down the origin of the word "shasta" but possibly Russian Tchastal, meaning white, clean, pure, from early Russian settlers in California. It is a dormant volcano and has seven glaciers, the four largest are Whitney, Bolam, Hotlum and Wintun. Oddly, these glaciers have been growing during this period of global warming when almost all others have been receding. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Shasta
Hui tou jian