Wildflowers!

Last Sunday, we checked out the wildflowers blooming out in here in Northern California and the flowers did not disappoint!

Located about 10 miles north of Oroville, California, the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve provided the amazing views along their trails of these wildflowers.

These 3,300 acres created by ancient lava flows provide beautiful vistas of these wildflowers, waterfalls, lava outcrops, and a rare type of vernal pool, called Northern Basalt Flow Vernal Pools.

It’s a popular area right now due to the blooms, so be prepared to park a distance and to take a ton of photos.

Loved seeing these wildflowers in bloom and getting out in nature with the family!

Day Trip!

Last week, we journeyed to Yosemite National Park for the day. The kids had last week off and we needed a day out in nature! And nature did not disappoint!

We took the kids on four hikes and the lucked out on the last one with no crowds. We started the hike to Mirror Lake around 4pm and owned the trail. It can be hard to get away from people in Yosemite, but staying later paid off!

We had a really great day and loved spending a long day in a national park!

For a recent blog post about Yosemite National Park, click here.

Cherry Blossoms

What do you think about when you hear the words “Cherry Blossoms”? Many Americans picture the amazing trees set in the National Mall area of Washington DC and their beautiful blooms in the Spring.

These beautiful tress are in full bloom here in Northern California and I wanted to share a bit about how these trees ended up in a swampy Washington DC many years ago.

In 1901, Helen “Nellie” Herron Taft traveled to Manila, Philippines where she found a beautiful and inviting landscape along the river park area. In 1909, the First Lady saw potential to make our National Mall area more beautiful and started work on it.

In 1912, First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Iwa Chinda, the wife of the Japanese Ambassador, planted the first two cherry trees on the northern edge of the Tidal Basin in a simple ceremony and it ended up creating a lasting impact. In fact, the cherry trees as “landscape diplomacy” have symbolized positive Japanese-American relations repeatedly since that first planting.

You can thank a former First Lady the next time you visit Washington DC and see these beautiful trees. Also, this Cherry girl likes their name. 😉

New Backpack

A few weeks ago, I discovered a company that creates colorful backpacks. I love color! I am so drawn to anything colorful and it always makes me smile. I was that little girl always drawing rainbows. Don’t tell anyone, but I still draw them! 🌈

Cotopaxi makes these colors backpacks (and other colorful items). As I scrolled through their web site, their backpacks all made me smile. While I love the colors, I also love the uniqueness to each one. They’re all different. I had needed a new backpack and found a ton of choices.

I fell in love with Cotopaxi’s Del Dia Collection. This collection uses fabric leftover from other companies’ large production runs made in the Philippines. I love that this keeps perfectly good materials out of the landfill and reuses them for something fun.

After many clicks and moments of indecision, I decided on this one.

Once I received it, I tested it out on a hike with my dog and really enjoy it! It’s comfortable and has all the needed pockets. Most of all, I love all the colors!

It’s a rainbow day every day! 🌈😊

Happy International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day! Today celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women across the globe. I wanted highlight here a couple of the many women who have impacted our national park service. 

Clare Marie Hodges served as the first female park ranger in the national park service.  She worked as a teacher at the Yosemite Valley School and grew up visiting Yosemite National Park.  As World War I began, men were sent to serve and Yosemite needed park rangers. Clare applied to become a ranger in 1918 and wrote, “Probably, you’ll laugh at me. But, I want to be a ranger.” Park Superintendent Washington B. Lewis wrote back, “I beat you to it, young lady. It’s been on my mind for some time to put a woman on one of these patrols.”

Fran Mainella worked as the first female director of the national park service. President George W. Bush nominated her to this role in 2001 and the Senate confirmed. She worked in this job until 2006. Her first job in parks and recreation was as a playground counselor in Connecticut back in 1965.  She built her career around the parks and led the Florida State Parks before becoming the director of the national park service. From the start of her directorship, she stated “Our nation’s parks tell the story of America and the history of this country. National parks represent the soul of America and a gift to the world. They are places of great history, beautiful landscapes, protected ecosystems and endangered species.”

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, thank you to all the women who have played a role in our national park system, continue to do so today, and those coming in the future. 

“I believe that life should be lived so vividly and so intensely that thoughts of another life, or of a longer life, are not necessary.” ― Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Read Across America Day

Happy Read Across America Day!

Launched in 1998 by the National Education Association (NEA), Read Across America is the nation’s largest celebration of reading.

Share with your littles and enjoy Author Kelly Starling Lyons read her book, Tiara’s Hat Parade, aloud by clicking here for the video.

Happy reading today!

149 Years!

Happy 149th birthday to America’s first national park, Yellowstone National Park!

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Check out some of my previous posts about Yellowstone by clicking here and here.  There are more blog posts about Yellowstone on here that you can find by just searching my blog by Yellowstone if you’re looking for more!

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Cheers to 149 years to this first and amazing national park!