November roses

November roses

One of the joys of living in the California Central Valley is the beautiful bounty that grows here. It’s among the great blessings I appreciate at this time of year when Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Traditionally, this celebration came at the end-of-harvest. Where is that more meaningful than in a place like this where almost anything grows and where harvests are rich and plentiful? Where agriculture is the base of the local economy?

I’m also blessed that, while many of my friends in other places are already under snow, I am still enjoying my rose garden, the one planted just outside my office window, the one I can enjoy as I sit here writing. We haven’t yet experienced a hard freeze and the roses love the cooler weather that has come with the autumn. They’re thriving.

I often have roses from mid-March through early December, and I try to take the time to enjoy them. “Stop and smell the roses” has become such a cliche catch-phrase, but it can be real, too. When unexpected events arise, as events will, my roses can be a place for peaceful reflection, a quiet removal from the chaos to allow me to find my center and refresh.

At this time of year, I’m grateful for so many things. Among my great blessings is the beauty of nature, starting with the rich beauty I can see and enjoy, right outside my office window. 

May you also enjoy a beautiful launch into the holiday season.

The Pacific Flyway

The Pacific Flyway

California grows rice, about two million metric tons of it each year, and 95% of that is grown in the Sacramento Valley. Those of us who live in the valley become accustomed to the rhythms of the rice season, planting to harvest.ea

We are also firmly in the Pacific Flyway. Between our location and the flooded rice paddies, we are visited by many kinds of water fowl each winnter. December is a great time for swans, gray geese, coots, and a few ducks. We found some of them enjoying our home country this past week.




These birds were feeding in fields near Richvale, California, with the Sutter Buttes in the background. Fun fact: the Buttes constitute the smallest mountain range in the world.

Our avian visitors are always welcome. They’ll soon be followed by Snow geese, Ross geese, and varied species of ducks. We’re happy to share our valley with them all.

Look for the first three books in the “Seasons of Destiny” series, available for pre-order now. All three are due to be released on January 6. The fourth book will follow later in January. In order, the four are: Paris in the Springtime, Sunny’s Summer, Amber in Autumn, and Winter Skye. Hope you enjoy!