Sunday, July 13, 2014


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My car needed an oil change, it is a hybrid meaning gas/electric car, so, of course it needs regular maintenance. I decided to have it done right close in town at  7 am and walk around town and look at it from a tourists perspective. A coffee klatch was enjoying coffee and sweet treats at Aria Bakery. And another group was sitting outside at tables at Grounds.
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It used to be the coffee crowd gathered at the “famous” Murphys Hotel. They were empty both outside and in. Change is the only constant in life, so ’tis said.
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Not all change is pleasant. The necessity to have to chain a table to prevent theft at this one time coffee shop turned real estate company made me sad. In fact when we first moved to town, I remember a rancher complaining that he hung his long-sleeved shirt on the fence when it got warm, only to have it stolen and he groaned about the changes with new people moving in.

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I forget how charming it is to have a creek running through town. I took a similar picture at a campground in Monroe, Washington. But I had never looked closely over the bridge in town. Trees and vines and burbling waters sluicing over the rocks.
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On the opposite side of the bridge, the folks who live there have built up an inviting patio with a water wheel to run their barbecue spit.
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The bench at this candle shop was left unchained. Maybe it is all a matter of trust.
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In the backyard of an old friend, since deceased, is this unusual tree.
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He told me it came from another country as a seed in the pocket of a miner headed for the gold fields. He had no idea what it is. The light green pods are beautiful and unusual. I tried to grow one from the seed and failed. I’m going to try again.
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A cute idea to paint a rusting old sprinkling can and hang it on the fence with a plant in it.
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A cluster of bird houses is always a good idea. Made for very small birds, decorative and useful enough to foil a cat from reaching into one.
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An appropriate sign for a store that sells bathroom machineries. They are most unusual and I always haul people inside for a look. Probably the most fascinating store in Murphys. Plus, the employees believe they have a ghost.
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On one of the back streets stands a rustic gold miner’s shack, a fairly large one compared to others I’ve seen. It was occupied by a Miwuk Indian man when I first moved to Murphys. He had a chair in the Murphys Hotel where he sat everyday and told stories to anyone who would listen.  Gone, now, too.
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Whenever I see a beautiful sunflower I automatically think of  Van Gogh,  such a pleasant thought.
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This corner covered with a showy clematis vine made a worthy picture. Part of my somewhat intense scrutiny of downtown gardens was triggered by having lunch with a friend about June 1st. We wandered town and I happened upon a lavender colored rose that was also very fragrant. I wanted to find it again, hoping I could talk the owner into giving me a cutting from it. It is rare to find a fragrant rose these days. But I couldn’t find anyone around town who knows this rose, or could help me find it. I smelled a lot of blah roses.
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An obvious antique something or other decorates another garden. But what is it?  I looked and looked at it without discovering a use for it. I suppose it could be a fence “post” corner. Maybe someone else knows?
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After my car was finished, I drove to the chiropractor’s health center in Tuolumne County. Change is a constant? This climbing wall was once 12 feet tall. It has grown to 45 feet tall. Wow!  Not for the timid. Good exercise no doubt and a competitive sport . I’d like to see it in action. Maybe someday.

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