Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Views of Dartmoor in Devon, UK.

 


This May, we stayed for a week on Ashburton near Dartmoor in the southeast of Britain. Most days, we went on different hikes over the moor. The moors look bleak in the spring without the purple blooms of heather and the winds are cold. Here are views of some of the places we visited.

We walked along the banks of the Dart River and the Teign River. The top image is a view of Fingle Bridge over the River Teign.


 
Bluebells in the woods by a riverbank. 

 

Another day, we climbed to the top of three tors: Rippon Tor, Top Tor and Pil Tor. These tors are close together so it was only a short walk.

The photo above shows the stacked rocks on top of Pil Tor.

 

Yellow flowers of gorse bushes on top of Pil Tor. 


Thursday, May 5, 2022

Spring-blooming wildflowers in the woods of southeast Britain

 


This month, we flew to the UK to visit our family. We went to Lower Woods, a National Forest near Warwick and Chipping Sodbury in Southeast Britain, to see the bluebells and other wildflowers.

Bluebells are a lovely sight in the woods during May. The intensely blue flowers make a carpet under the trees. It’s been many years since I last visited England at the right time to see the bluebells.

In the top image, you can see bluebells with the white patch of stitchwort in the distance.

 

A closer view of bluebell flowers with the white petals of  stitchwort.

 

We found yellow primroses and cowslips. Both of these typically English flowers are in the primula family.

 


Early Purple Orchid is a rarer flower with deep magenta petals. We saw several of these flowers along the paths in the woods.

 


Other flowers are less colorful. The image above shows the green flowers of Wood spurge.


Not illustrated - We saw many patches of ramps with white flowers. Ramps are edible plants also known as wild leeks or wild onions. We also found Cuckoo flower or Lady’s mantle, which has four pink petals. 

 

Saturday, April 30, 2022

An Unwelcome Visitor - Excerpt from Lured By the Lion for #WeWriWa and #SnippetSunday

 


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Sample the work of a new author. Read snippets of stories in different genres.

I am posting excerpts from my new Sci-Fi Romance, Lured by the Lion. This story is part of a new series, Second Chances in Space, with standalone stories about space pirates, spies and second chances for romance.

I may be unable to post new excerpts for the next 2-3 weeks since I’ll be traveling to the UK. This week's excerpt is longer than usual to make up for my absence. 

Relevant background: Josie Yazzie, the captain of a small spacecraft, has flown to another planet to visit her aunt. She has made two new acquaintances, Penelope and her father, Leonardo Horlis, a widower still mourning his deceased wife.

You can read my last excerpt at: https://auroraspringer.blogspot.com/2022/04/a-priceless-vase-excerpt-from-lured-by.html

In the last excerpt, Josie made Leo laugh. In this week’s excerpt, a visitor arrives while Penelope is showing Josie around the garden.

They had admired the pink and white roses and were circling back to the table when the patio door slid open. An incongruous vision emerged of a slim man with a handsome face and jaunty outfit. His jacket bore alternating stripes of black and yellow, and his brown hair was cropped short with the ends tinted gold. He minced over the flagstones on five-centimeter high heels like a foppish townie promenading on the pier at a seaside resort.

A dangerous dandy, Josie suspected. His gaudy jacket hung wide at one side and the bulge over his hip suggested a holstered weapon.

“Drat,” Penelope groaned. “It’s Ned Grampon.” She continued in a conspiratorial whisper, “I wish he wouldn’t visit us. Now, I’ll have to speak with him and Tata will be rude.”

Ten sentences plus a few more:

“Shall I leave you?” Josie whispered.

“Oh no. Please stay. You can divert Tata, while I listen to Ned.” Ceasing to whisper, Penelope took Josie’s arm, possibly for moral support, and they walked toward the unwanted visitor.

Grampon made a flourishing bow to the head of the household, saying in a squeaky voice, “Sir, I’m delighted to see you in such excellent health.” Without waiting for a response, he rotated to face the daughter. Throwing his arms wide, he cried, “Lovely Penelope, you are a veritable angel roaming among your flowers.”

“Good afternoon, Ned.” Penelope pressed Josie’s arm and made the introductions, “Captain Ned Grampon. My friend, Josie Yazzie.”

Cringing at his florid verbosity and grating falsetto, Josie merely said, “Hello.”

He bent his head in a slight bow and resumed his flirtation of Penelope. “Allow me the pleasure of your charming company on this sunny afternoon. Will you escort me around your blooming flower beds?” He stepped forward and offered his arm.

Her cheeks blushed pink and Penelope said, “Ned, I can’t spare much time since we have another visitor.”

Unwilling to make an ignored third, Josie slipped her arm free and murmured, “I’ll chat with your father.”

Grampon steered Penelope into the path behind the rose bushes, while Josie rejoined Horlis on the patio and slid into the seat opposite him. 

His face as dark as a thundercloud, the Felicine man glowered at Grampon’s slim back as if he wished a bolt of lightning would strike the dandy.

 


Widow with a spaceship meets widower with a dangerous secret.

After the death of her ailing father, Jocelyn Navarre Yazzie is free to roam the galaxy in the Star Condor, the spacecraft she inherited from her deceased husband. She embarks on a trip to deliver her father’s bequest to her aunt on a rural planet outside the civilized sectors.

A chance encounter with the crippled Leonardo Horlis changes her future. Horlis suffers from a debilitating malady and expects to live for less than a year. Josie is strongly attracted to him, yet she cannot hope to compete with his beautiful dead wife, whose portrait dominates his house and his memories. Sympathizing with his grief and illness, Josie offers to transport him in her spaceship to the top medical center of the ultracivilized inner planets.

Their attraction intensifies in the cramped quarters of her spaceship. But, Leo has a dangerous secret that threatens to terminate their voyage and their lives. Can Josie and Leo escape the perils and vanquish the ghosts of their past to find happiness together?

Available at My Store (Discounted) or Other Retailers

I’ll be happy to reply to your comments.

Please return to http://wewriwa.blogspot.com/ to sample the works of the other writers.

I have a new virtual store offering my books at discounted prices - https://payhip.com/AuroraSpringerNovels   

Find a catalog of my published stories HERE.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains – Wildflowers and Bears

 


Last week, we spent four days in Asheville, North Carolina, and the local mountains. Asheville is a small town nestled in the Blue ridge Mountains. You can walk across downtown Asheville in 15-20 minutes. It has several breweries, a variety of restaurants, crafts, and bookstores. We like to explore the used book store. We stayed in an apartment around the corner from the Green Man brewery. The top photo shows the view of the mountains from where we stayed. We hiked in the local mountains including Bearwallow Mountain and a section of the Appalachian Trail.


View from the bald top of Bearwallow Mountain


 Unexpected visitors in downtown Asheville. We left our apartment to walk to a restaurant on evening and watched a mother bear with two well-grown cubs cross the street. 


 Spring wildflowers blooming in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Dwarf larkspur is on the left. It grows at lower elevations. Most flowers are deep purple, although a few were pale blue. In the top center, you can see a speckled form of the great white trillium. Below the trillium, is a picture of wild geraniums. On the right is a bloodroot flower. 


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Six Spring-Blooming Wildflowers in South Eastern USA #Nature

 

Spring is one of my favorites seasons. I love to see the budding leaves on the trees and the different flowers. Many of the native wildflowers are pretty with delicate colors.

Bluets, Spring beauties, and Yellow star grass grow in open grassy areas. These flowers bloom in large clusters over the lawn. Bluets are the earliest to flower in the spring and the flowers have different shades of blue from pale blue to violet.

 


Native azaleas, Irises, and Wood anemones grow in the shade of trees. Most years, we have a nice spread of anemones along the bank of a stream. The native irises are often difficult to spot under the trees.

 

Friday, April 15, 2022

A priceless vase - Excerpt from Lured by the Lion for #WeWriWa and #SnippetSunday

 

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Sample the work of a new author. Read snippets of stories in different genres.

I am posting excerpts from my new Sci-Fi Romance, Lured by the Lion. This story is part of a new series, Second Chances in Space, with standalone stories about space pirates, spies and second chances for romance.

Relevant background: Josie Yazzie, the captain of a small spacecraft, has flown to another planet to visit her aunt. She is having lunch with her new acquaintances, Penelope and her father, Leonardo Horlis, a widower still mourning his deceased wife.

In this excerpt, Josie is having lunch with them. She has aimed snide comments at Horlis about being too busy to mope over her husband’s death. In fact, she is nervous because she is strongly attracted to Leo and they are sitting on opposite sides of a small table.

You can read last week’s excerpt at: https://auroraspringer.blogspot.com/2022/04/moping-about-lost-loves-excerpt-from.html

The final sentence was: She could not hope to compete with his beloved dead wife.

Now, Leo Horlis has a chance to retaliate.

“You are fortunate to have an occupation,” Horlis said. “Did you truly fly to Wicks Paradise solely to see your aunt?”

“Yes. I had to deliver my father’s bequest to her. It’s an ancient vase with greenish glaze.”

“Hah.” His eyes crinkled in amusement. “You gave a priceless vase to a woman whose home is overrun with cats?”

Eight sentences plus a few more:

“Priceless?” Josie gasped. “Oh, surely not. Anyway, she put it in a glass cabinet.” A bubble of laughter burst from her lips, and she stammered, “Father can’t have known about her cats.” One glance at the laugh twitching on his lips made her bury her face in her hands to stifle her chortles.

To her surprise, he joined in with a loud guffaw.

Growing calmer, she wiped the tears from her eyes and looked at him.

He rubbed his face with both hands, exhaled in a gusty sigh, and smiled. “My spacefaring lady, your visit has done me good. I haven’t laughed so much in years.”

She wrinkled her nose, saying tartly, “I’m glad you find me entertaining.”


 
Widow with a spaceship meets widower with a dangerous secret.

After the death of her ailing father, Jocelyn Navarre Yazzie is free to roam the galaxy in the Star Condor, the spacecraft she inherited from her deceased husband. She embarks on a trip to deliver her father’s bequest to her aunt on a rural planet outside the civilized sectors.

A chance encounter with the crippled Leonardo Horlis changes her future. Horlis suffers from a debilitating malady and expects to live for less than a year. Josie is strongly attracted to him, yet she cannot hope to compete with his beautiful dead wife, whose portrait dominates his house and his memories. Sympathizing with his grief and illness, Josie offers to transport him in her spaceship to the top medical center of the ultracivilized inner planets.

Their attraction intensifies in the cramped quarters of her spaceship. But, Leo has a dangerous secret that threatens to terminate their voyage and their lives. Can Josie and Leo escape the perils and vanquish the ghosts of their past to find happiness together?

Available at Amazon  iBooks  B&N  Kobo  GooglePlay  Other 

I’ll be happy to reply to your comments.

Please return to http://wewriwa.blogspot.com/ to sample the works of the other writers.

 

Find a catalog of my published stories HERE.