A very special November! 2015

Jimmy and I finally plugged into Pacific Standard Time (from Beijing and the immediate switch from daylight savings to standard time), though it took us over a week to adjust.  It took me more like two weeks to return to my regular sleep pattern.  About the time we fell back into our groove, my sister announced she would come visit the week of Nov 16-20.  Mind you, I'd been pestering her about coming out to see us!  It would necessarily be a short visit, but it's always sweet for Nannie and me.

When quizzed, she said she'd like to go for a hike one day, so Jimmy and I accommodated her wish!  We took her to the Independence Trail East, all the way to the Miner's Tunnel (which we call a cave), roughly a 5-mile round trip.  The day was sparkling -- coolish -- perfect for hiking.  We had a terrific time, too.

On the old Hwy 49 bridge across the South Yuba River,
which has very little flowing water, sorry to say.

The trail is wheelchair accessible for a good part of the way, following the gentle gradient of an old mining ditch. Here we're walking across a long wooden bridge that replaced the old flume.  Except for the mellow yellow of Oregon Maple leaves, not much tree color could be found alongside the trail.

At the "trail ends" sign, we followed a really steep ... track (I wanted to say poorly maintained, but I don't think it's maintained at all, and careful footing is required) down to the So Yuba River.  Close to the river, we spotted ladybugs and tried not to step on any ... and then we realized they were everywhere!  Hundreds and hundreds converging on the ground, atop logs and in the center of plants.  I don't know if they were clustering to keep warm or possibly seeking mates or even breeding.

When Jimmy and I hiked down to the Miner's Tunnel once before, it wasn't accessible -- water flowed freely. Here you see Nannie standing inside the tunnel (there really is a light at the end of the tunnel).  All three of us had to perform some serious footwork to get into the entrance and not get a soaker, or worse!

Polished granite, worn smooth by the force of water, glows white in the sun.
It's beautiful rock.

Yes, the water is cold!

Took only two strong women to push this boulder up off the trail.

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Nannie's other request was to "go up to the snow."  Thursday the 19th was the day we picked, so that Matt could join us on his free day.  Much of the snow that had fallen earlier in the week in the Sierras had melted, at least in the Truckee area where we started.  We ate lunch at Squeeze Inn and explored Truckee on foot, and then decided to drive the approx 10 miles to Squaw Valley.  We found snow! 

Squaw Valley Village.

In our family, snow means horseplay and snowballs!
Nannie and I grew up in Niagara Falls NY, so we know about snow!

She beaned him pretty good.  He got her back!

I'm standing out of the line of fire for this one!

The snow was cold, for sure.  Nannie was the only one who remembered her gloves (except for Jimmy who was taking pictures and definitely out of snowball play); I'd left mine in the car.  Matt and Nannie shared her gloves for a while to make snowballs and throw 'em.  We had so much fun!  We always do.

Time flew by, as it always does, and we drove Nannie back to Sacramento (SMF) Airport on Friday the 20th, so she could be home for Thanksgiving preparations.  The visit was entirely too short, but it was grand that she could spend a few splendid November days with us.  Stay longer next time!

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Jimmy and I both had birthdays in November -- his is first.  He's nine days older than me; I always enjoy that!  We were Out and About on both our birthdays, walking the leaf-strewn canal paths in the cool autumn air, and feeling grateful for bodies (and a new knee for him!) that continue to allow us to walk or hike as we want despite our ages!  Very grateful, indeed.

Early morning birthday walk toward the canal trail.

 Flawless days with blue skies and cool temps, and pretty leaf color.


On our way home, we passed this golden beauty.

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And then, just a few days later, a cold front approached, this one carrying moisture with icy conditions and lots of wind. Wednesday, the 25th, after a steady, significant rainfall the day before, snow began falling at our house. Our leaf color is gone, along with our leaves.  They're now piled in the yard.  Fall suddenly turned to winter.  

The Sierra Nevada mountains picked up a foot or more of snow.  Come back, Nannie!

A lone leaf hangs in the Pink Dogwood tree.

Tergel looks cold.  I wonder if she's ready to head south?

This looked pathetic to me, and to the hummingbirds, I'm sure!  I donned my down jacket, went outside and knocked off the snow, then brought the feeder in and refilled it with sugar water.  Two days later, I spied the hummingbird sipping nectar!  Our hummingbirds stay the winter.

Oooh, it's been cold since the snow fell.  Both of us like to stand on or near the hearth with the fire toasting us like marshmallows.  Patchy spots of an ice-like snow still dot places where no sun reaches.  On Thanksgiving Day, Jimmy and I drove down to Sacramento to spend the day with Matt and Jen at their new-to-them warm and comfy home.  Her parents joined us.  The food was superb, as usual (thanks, Matt!), the turkey grilled to perfection.  It was a pleasant day, a day to give thanks for every single thing.

In two more days, we'll flip the calendar over to December, and the Christmas season will be upon us, with all its attendant festivities.  We've already begun enjoying holiday events, with yesterday's visit to a nearby alpaca farm and "Holidays at Empire Mine" today, complete with a cheery long hike afterwards.  Life is good.


  1. That snow is nice to look at.... in a picture! ;)

  2. Life and November, sounds just wonderful down your way! Such fun. I remember "going to the snow" as a kid in SoCal, we all did that, right? with trips to Big Bear and Mt Baldy, but since I moved to Northern Idaho in 1972, the snow is NOT something you go to, it is something you leave behind when you can. I have continued my life in snow country ever since, so now I leave winter behind and "go to the sunshine!" Loved you snow photos, and so glad that you two are enjoying Jimmy's new knee.

  3. What a great good time I had with youse guys! Thanks for everything....... ❤️


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