"This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affectations glow and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn."

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas in the Valley of the Moon

My first Christmas in four years spent in the company of wonderful friends Joyce and Mimi!  The weather was cold, wet, windy - but the Valley of the Moon (in Sonoma) is full of Winter Beauty! 

My TWO WONDERFUL Hostesses - Joyce and Mimi!

*Come on, Mimi, pose for Robin*!

Mimi says *You take too many photos - I want to go out for our walk - NOW*!

Mimi ADORES tennis balls...she can play *fetch* for HOURS!  (Really!)  Here she is thinking...*Toss me that ball now*!  This was one of her gifts - the green side of the ball says *Nice* and the red - *Naughty*!

Mimi *impersonating the Spinx*.

Some of you might remember that when I visited in Summer, I came across a Woodpecker hard at work digging holes in his tree....  well, I decided to revisit him to see if he was still there.  

At first, the tree looked barren and lonely... but as I was photographing it, imagine my surprise when a Woodpecker flew out of a deep hole in the centre of the tree... he was quickly followed by two more!  
I was not fast enough  to capture their emerging...it was so fantastic!  They were all angry with me though, and flew up on a street lamp across from their tree - chattering  at me!

Raindrops glistening like diamonds....

One of the many benches hand-painted throughout the area...

Of course, you know I am going to include a few Moon Photos......although La Bella Luna wasn't full until December 28th (when Marianne was visiting me - that will be my next post), I did manage a few photos. 

Christmas Eve - through the clouds

Clear and Mystical on Christmas Night....

I had so much fun - I would have stayed a little longer - but - Marianne was en-route - so I dashed back to SF so we could celebrate!  More to come....

I hope you ALL had a glorious holiday....filled with the warmth and joy of family and friends.


♥ Robin ♥

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Wishes, Happy Christmas, Season's Greetings

Last year, I posted some of my favourite seasonal music......  so, I'm doing it again!

2012 has been quite a year!  All of us have had many highs and lows...life has been full of challenges....

One thing remains a constant - LOVE. Love of Music, of Nature, of Friends, of Animals...of Family......of our World.

I'm posting this a few days early, because I am heading North on Sunday to spend Christmas with my friend Joyce and her dog, Mimi.   I will have Internet and  FB, but blogging will be difficult.  We won't have snow....but rain - and a lot of it!

Still, Joyce has a lovely home - with a FIREPLACE!   I am so happy to be spending Christmas with a...oops -   two dear friends  (Sorry Mimi)!

Enjoy the beauty and magic of the season.....whatever your beliefs are...in the end, it's really all about LOVE.

Embrace these cold, Winter months......because you know Spring will return, the sun will shine, the flowers will bloom...  Renee remains deep in my heart - and I think of her and her family so much....

I send you all many hugs, strength to enter 2013 with positiveness and a THANK YOU for entering my life and bringing me joy! 


♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Animal Wednesday - A Tribute to Midnight

Sunday, my neighbour Athena and I lost one of our Furry Ferals, Midnight.  He was the smallest and shyest of our group - and also the one who was not a real blood brother - he came into our lives a few years after the *Brood* was already born - but we opted to keep him because he was so beautiful.   Although we took him in at once - the other Furry Ones did not....  they did not want anything to do with him.  Midnight began to lose his fur under his belly.....  we were afraid it was grange.....  but after a lot of research, I decided his fur loss was caused by STRESS.  We bought him his own food dish - and placed it in a separate part of the yard.  Voila!  He knew at once this was HIS dish - and so did everyone else... his fur grew back.....the others began to accept him.....and we all had many happy years together.  When we had him neutered, we learned he was actually older than the others....though he was so small...

Midnight began to show signs he was not well a few weeks ago....we hoped he would improve...but he didn't...and Sunday, Athena took him to the Vet.. (I was working my de Young shift)  The Vet told her it was time to put him to sleep - he had a rapidly-growing tumour that was spreading...

Midnight was thirteen years old...and lived (for the most part) a good, safe life although he was feral.  He was our *Magic Black Cat*.....and now, when I go out to feed the *Boys*......I still look for that little *inkspot* amid the grass...

Athena and I miss him so.

 Love to all..... hug your Furry Ones every day!

♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Animal Wednesday

It's Animal Wednesday - and...I have some cuties for you!

Does anyone know what kind of Duck this is?   He is not typical for SF...
Coots!  They are plentiful in Winter...and followed me everywhere in the hopes I had food!  I did!  And, of course, I shared!

Mr. Squirrel says, "Thank you for this peanut, but I am saving it for a  rainy day"!

"No one will find it now....a-ha-ha!"

A Muscovy - one of my favourites!  

Another Muscovy! Look at those feet!

Most of the Geese have left...but I found this *Gaggle* on parade the other day.

Meet Charlie - one of the BIGGEST Ravens I have ever met! He is so  smart - and you should hear his *CAW*!  I wish our Lo could meet him....but perhaps one day, she will paint him!

My *Frog Prince*?   

On a personal note, I found out yesterday, my building has been sold and.....I can stay!  



♥ Robin ♥

Monday, December 10, 2012

Nureyev and Fonteyn *Romeo and Juliet*

Yesterday, I returned to the de Young Museum after a four month absence ...   currently, there is a magnificent exhibition on Rudolf Nureyev 's life.  Many of his costumes are there...and of course, posters  video clips and even a pair of Margot Fonteyn's pink ballet shoes...   

I was delighted to see that later in the day, the museum showed (for free) the full length ballet of *Romeo and Juliet* from The Royal Ballet in 1966, featuring these two beautiful dancers.

 I sat there for two hours, completely entranced....so I had to share two scenes from that famous production for you.

The choreography is Kenneth MacMillan's, 1966.  The beautiful, memorable score is by Sergei Prokofiev.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.


♥ Robin ♥

 The Balcony Scene 

Their Wedding Night - Waiting for the Dawn

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Remembering SF Opera's 2012 Season

Now, that the season is over.... as tired as I am, I am already missing the *madness* - on stage and off, the wonderful people who ARE *Opera*...and of course, the Music.  So, before it all drifts too far away, here are a few photos for you.

Our wonderful *Maestro Nikki* and some of the Courtiers

*i Capuletti e i Montecchi*

The Two Leads - Joyce Di Donato and Nicole Cabelle joking with the Courtesans

Cast photo. All Costumes designed by Christian Lacroix

All the Ladies wore Monsieur Lacroix's 6" heels!  Mon Dieu!


These *Beggars* are part of *Lohengrin*....really?  Oh yes..

Military Uniforms?  This doesn't look like Medieval Brabant....

Because it ISN'T....it's 1956 Hungary!  (Mein Gott!)  Here is the *Swan Knight* - looking more like he belongs to *The Matrix*....

And you might ask....where is the SWAN?  Look very carefully at the top back of the Stage.... yep, that's it!
But, thankfully, the singing and the Orchestra were DIVINE!

* Moby Dick*

(aka Robin's FAVOURITE of the Season)

One of the many beautiful, stunning scenes...

Our resident Company Artist, Betty Guy, did this for me..... 

*Captain Ahab*, *Pip*, *Mister Stubb*, *Mister Flask*, *Starbuck*

*Captain Ahab* (aka Jay Hunter Morris) and Me

A *Moby Dick* postscript....  next year, on PBS *Great Performances*, our production will be aired! I hope some of you will tune in....it is really an extraordinary, unforgettable Opera!


One of the Pope's *Swiss Guards*

*Scarpia* (Mark Delevan) and his Henchmen

Bwwwa.....  we are EVIL!

The *Pope* waiting to go on and Bless everyone..

Nuns, and Popes and Priests - oh my!

Whew!  That's all, Folks!  No Opera until May, 2013!


♥ Robin ♥

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Between Storms

It's been a wet and wild few days on the West Coast!  Storm after Storm....
It was cozy to have my candles on, watching a movie or reading (I finished *Moby Dick* - all 566 pages!), but after a while, this girl craves the outside....and Nature.

I was so happy when the rain stopped for a few hours, I threw on my running shoes, a hat, grabbed my camera and set off to see how things were outside - and to smell the gorgeous fresh air that one gets after a big rain.

Autumn is slowly fading away...

The Swans seem to have made it though the first two storms in good shape.....

 Mama Blanche and the two*Girls*...where's Papa Blue Boy?

Here he is in all his glory!

I came across this funny sight - a Coot, completely engrossed in nibbling on this plant!  He never even noticed I was there!

This Comorant looks like he is posing for his *Cover Shot*...but, he is drying his wings while he can....it must have been rough out on the Pacific!

I was amazed to find one lone Turtle *pretending* he was sunning himself!

As I walked around the lake, I heard a shrill cry....not like that of a typical Hawk.....I looked up and up, trying to find him.....and..VOILA - here he is!
Can't see him?

  Ok....here he is!  (This must be a favourite roosting spot for Pigeons too!)

The *Photographer*, herself...  sans makeup....

 And....a blossoming, *diamond-water dotted* plant in her favourite colour.

I made it back up the Lyon Street Steps and home - just in time.....  the rain is here.....it's going to be another wild night!  But, I feel re-energised from my few hours outdoors.  Tomorrow....the final *Tosca* - the end of our 2012 Season!


♥ Robin ♥