Even though we are far from Autumn now, I want to share our camping trip to El Capitan State Beach that we took during Thanksgiving weekend this past year. You may remember our trip to this same campground about a year and a half ago, it is an incredible, majestic place. Our outing fell in that couple of months that I was on a bit of a blogging hiatus. Now that I am back at it, blogging that is, I wonder how I ever let that time pass without checking in here and there. Busy, I guess. But still, it feels great to be back. We are approaching the fourth year of this blog's existence and through the years Paper Pie has been so many different things to me at different times. Sometimes, it has solely been a place to record my projects and work. Sometimes it has been an outlet for my feelings (and work out my feelings) about motherhood, living a creative life and all the other stuff. It has seen the creation of two fabric lines and the birth of our most precious Rylie, and simultaneously a rebirth in myself. It has seen our living space in it's many states and forms and week to week, month to month, it has seen my knitting journey unfold. It's hard to believe it is four years now, but as long as I keep showing up it will continue and sometimes in order for it to go on, I need to step back, take a breath and make sure that it still means to me what it once did. What I am finding out is that it means even more to me now. Four years offers some perspective and what was once a record of my art and craft projects has become the story of us, our growth as a family and how we spend our days months and years. That is worth all the time, effort and keystrokes that make there way into this place with each post.
Anyways, that was quite an unexpected digression there, I want to tell you about the amazing camping adventure we enjoyed back in November with our family. We had never been this late in the season, but it was perfect. It seems to be somewhat of a thing that people do around here, camping for Thanksgiving that is. We did not go on actual Thanksgiving, but the Saturday and Sunday following. The crowds were thinning out by then and on Monday we had the gray and chilly beach to ourselves. See that picture of Rylie next ot the great big tree? It is the fourth one from the last photo. It reminds me of this photo a year previous and she is wearing the same sweater. Like her mama, she loves the big trees! We also fit in a trip to the Coronado Butterfly Preserve. Remember when we went there last year? I brought my zoom lens this time and got that shot above of one of the clusters amongst the Eucalyptus. Magic. There were less butterflies this year because Thanksgiving was a week earlier in 2012 as it was in 2011. As autumn turns to winter, the number of butterflies steadily increases until about late February when they leave and go back whence they came. I'm sure I said this in last year's post, but if you live in Southern California it is well worth the trip to check this place out. You travel down an unassuming neighborhood street in Goleta and park your car on the side of the road, get out and head up the big hill into the forrest. On the way you will pass the home of an old man that knows everything there is to know about the Monarchs and their habitat and he is eager to share his knowledge. He is short in stature with a cheerful open face and very large round glasses that are as sincere as himself. He was present at the site both times we have been there and both times he was wearing the same blue t-shirt emblazoned with large, bright orange monarchs. He is a forrest butterfly gnome, I think. If you go to the Autumn Beach, you'll see how this could be true. The chilly air, noisy birds and vibrant butterflies are pure enchantment.