The Other California


The other California:

Unpeopled, quiet. A place of dramatic beauty, wildlife, and visual wisdom.

With our dogs in the back seat and our trailer in tow, we headed there last week. My veterinarian husband, accustomed to creating microclimates of sterility for on-farm surgeries, kept us on a Covid-free path. A perfect pandemic travel partner.

The perfect travel partner anytime, actually. He listens to things like trees and weather. Animals. Rivers. The land.

Things like these:


Oregon Douglas firs—strong, tall.


“. . . as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ . . .”
Ephesians 4:13


Live oaks under formerly spacious skies.

Morning fog near Big Sur.

“Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.”
Psalm 119:34


Ring-necked snake, bluffing.

Hiking with our daughter in the redwoods, I spotted him stretched across the trail.

Step over me. Dare ya.

“Looks dead,” I said, and snapped a pic.

“I don’t think so.” My brave girl flicked him off the path with a stick, and he slithered into the brush. I veered the other direction.

Turns out he and his kind are harmless, but who knew?

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves.”
Matthew 10:16


Power Grid.

Sunset near a holding field on a high mesa. Palpable holiness.

“I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as the day.”
Psalm 139:11-12


Game Trails.

Bears, cougars, bobcats, coyotes, deer, raccoons . . . countless creatures travel these hills, though mostly at night, or in the golden hours. We were hiking in this spot mid-day, so saw only the evidence of their passage—and the effect of long-established fences.

“Never move an old property line that your ancestors established.”

Proverbs 22:28


Do any of these speak to you? Would love to hear how.

Thanks for traveling with me, friends.


Watching Nature, Seeing Life: Through His Creation, God Speaks.

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Love the outdoors? I can take you there. Rural & wild PNW posts and photos from a naturalist, faith writer, and author of three books, including the award-winning novel Sugar Birds. Member of Redbud Writers Guild.

18 thoughts on “The Other California

  1. Lovely photos and even though I have an aversion to snakes, the one you spotted had unusual markings, so it was interesting to see—via a photo. Wonderful to see some a bit more of God’s creation from the view of your camera lens.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cheryl your pictures are so peaceful ( even the sleeping snake.) So happy to hear you are on the road again, enjoying nature and seeing your little Grandloves! In His hands He has the whole wide world.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your photos, married to God’s word, are amazing….you show us God’s wonders with every shutter click. Thank you for sharing such beauty and wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

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