Blooming Holler ~

Gorgeous blooms of the California Holler taken by Cindy Knoke.

The Holler spring bloom is on, and I am home to photograph it for a change, so I am going to post a series on Holler spring flowers, starting with these beauties. The Cup of Gold flowering vine grows prolifically, and the blooms are humongous, about eight inches in diameter.

Hong Kong Orchid Trees have stunning blossoms that blanket the trees in spring.

Matilija Poppies are one of my favorite flowers and are Southern California natives, with huge fried-egg blossoms, about eight inches in diameter.

Reliable African Iris propagate beautifully at The Holler.

Wild Stinging Lupine cover bare areas, are beautiful to look at, but not nice to touch.

The Californian Fuchsia is native to Southern California but I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was in the fuchsia family but was stumped with identification. So my talented blogging friend Eliza Waters, who has a degree in horticulture…

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A Powerful Speech

A powerful speech for voting rights.

Filosofa's Word

Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia gave his first speech on the Senate floor yesterday and it was a powerful, moving speech in which he spoke of the need for voting rights legislation and he pulled no punches in referring to the current situation, where almost every state in the union is attempting to rob minorities and others of their right to vote, calling it “Jim Crow in new clothes”.  Below is the video of his speech, and also the transcript.  I, for one, am glad that Senator Raphael Warnock was elected to our Congress … he is the voice of reason, he is our conscience.


“Mr. President—before I begin my formal remarks today, I want to pause to condemn the hatred and violence that took eight precious lives last night in metropolitan Atlanta. I grieve with Georgians, with Americans, with people of love all across the world. This unspeakable violence…

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Yes Guns, Again …

Two bills on gun safety that need to be passed.

Filosofa's Word

Two bills passed in the House last week and will now proceed to the Senate:

H.R. 8 would require a background check for nearly every gun sale or transfer. If signed into law, this bill would ensure that individuals already prohibited from gun possession under federal law, such as felons and domestic abusers, are not able to easily obtain firearms.  Under present law, such criminals are able to bypass background checks by purchasing a gun through unlicensed gun sellers – people who sell guns online, at gun shows, or person-to-person without a federal dealer’s license. Federal law already requires licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks on gun purchasers or transferees; this bill would extend the requirement of background checks to unlicensed gun sellers as well.

H.R. 1446 would close the so-called “Charleston Loophole,” which currently allows the sale of a firearm to proceed if a background check is not…

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So Cal Skies~

Beautiful pictures of Southern California Skies from Cindy Knoke.

Sunset at The Holler,

and at the beach.

Sky lends beauty to the land.

Contrail lights The Holler sky,

while a rare shower,

paints rainbows in the sky.

The pot of gold,

seemed in my reach.

Cheers to you from The Holler skies~

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Republican Party ‘engulfed in lies and fear’ per another former Republican legislator

The GOP is engulfed in Trump’s lies and the fear of his followers.

musingsofanoldfart

In an article this weekend called “Former GOP lawmaker: Republican Party ‘engulfed in lies and fear'” by Jonathan Easley of The Hill, yet another former lawmaker is sharing his concerns about how far his party has fallen. Here are a few paragraphs from the article, plus a link below.

“Former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) argued in a pre-taped interview that ran Friday that the Republican Party has lost its way and become ‘engulfed in lies in fear.

Curbelo and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) teamed up as part of the nonpartisan debate seriesIntelligenceSquared U.S.to argue that many within the GOP are knowingly pushing a lie that the election was stolen out of fear of retaliation from former President Trump.

In his opening remarks, Curbelo said that by embracing former President Trump’s election claims, which preceded the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the GOP had lost its…

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Holler Oddities~

Oddities of the Holler.

Ghost ranches, buried old cars, coyote packs, a former free range Ankole Watusi bull, The Holler is definitely an odd place, which is why we fit in so well!

Take this thorny tree for example. It is a Silk Floss tree and is about 50 feet tall.

This time of year it is covered in plate sized cotton poofs.

The poofs develop from large seed pods.

In the fall, the tree drops its leaves and devotes all its energy to producing masses of beautiful blooms.

The Holler abuts a large nature preserve and is built on very old orchards. Back in the day, orchard workers lived on site and indulged in their love of exotic plants and trees, many of which are still thriving and producing today.

I often wish I could tell them how much we appreciate living with the beautiful results of their talent and effort.

Cheers to…

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Martin Luther King’s advice on avoiding violence – a reprise

Good advice.

musingsofanoldfart

The following post was written about nine years ago, but still resonates today.

Martin Luther King once said,“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very things it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, it merely increases the hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

These aspirational words ring true even today. A historian made a comment on the news the other day, saying the only thing man has been very good at since the…

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Winning Over White Supremacists–One Hater at a Time

Winning over white supremacists one at a time.

annieasksyou...

Image from American Progress.org

I am writing this piece with images of the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol still very fresh in my mind. It is a huge stretch to think of those brutal, sadistic, remorseless thugs and imagine summoning an iota of compassion for them. But others of their ilk–and many psychologists and researchers–say that’s precisely what’s needed.

They call themselves the “formers”: former Klansman, neo-Nazis, or generic white supremacists or other racial extremists who are now devoted to guiding those who’d followed similar paths to come to a better life.

Christian Picciolini is one of them. As a 14-year-old, he’d joined a violent group of white power adherents who became the “Hammerskin Nation.” As he described his feelings to Dave Davies in an NPR interview, the group threw him a “lifeline of acceptance…I felt a sort of energy flow through me that I had never felt before—as…

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Sea Koalas~

Pictures by Cindy Knoke of Moro Bay California sea otters which seem a lot like Sea Koalas.

Wild California Sea Otters,

remind me,

of floating koala bears.

Like koalas they have a laid back approach to life,

and don’t sweat the small stuff!

This pup is clearly embracing the parental philosophy.

Cheers to you from Moro Bay California’s wild sea otters~

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