Sunday, February 01, 2009

Days Like This Should Be Illegal

Um, can I just say that it was AMAZING today??

I wanted to paint, but it was so freaking gorgeous outside that I took all my stuff out to the back porch to do a little au plein air painting. It was about 70 degrees and I actually got hot sitting in the sun. I also had a little friend visit me.

This is little mister Tom Cat Neighborhood Kitty. He is sooo cute. We finally figured out which house he lives at, but he's certainly not picky. He would come in for a snack if we'd let him (if our own kitties wouldn't have a heart attack at the sight of him).

He tried to roar at me. Oh wait. That was a massive yawn.

Then, I got way too hot sitting in the sun and figured I would continue the creative outpouring by taking my camera to the cemetery and have a nice walk.

Like I mentioned, we now live about three blocks from the amazing Mountain View Cemetery. It's really one of my favorite places in the Bay Area and now it's my backyard park. You can read about the history here.

Lots of beautiful water features, right off the bat when you walk in.

This place goes on for acres (226 acres, actually).

I'm so excited to be able to watch all the foliage transform from winter's bare branches to spring's blossoms. They're actually starting to bloom now, crazy flowers.

Here's one of my favorite photos from the day. This pretty little angel is adorned with stars, which I love. She also has a book in her lap. I took way too many photos for this one post, so I'll post more over the next few days.

A closeup of the stars. I would like relief stars like this on my own headstone.

It's so interesting to look at the dates on the graves. This is a lovely example of some of the older ones, 1871. Poor baby Nellie. Lots of children's graves from this period, so heartbreaking.

There are no shortage of amazing memoriams in all shapes and sizes. You just wander and wander and at every corner, something else beautiful pops out.

I think this is called Millionaire's Row (or at least, I've heard it called that). There are two or three rows of these amazing little 'houses of the dead'. Lots of Bay Area historical figures are here now. They have incredible views.

The hill going up can be quite steep. Here's one of the little sprints I've been doing. It's so much fun! After each sprint, the view becomes more impressive.

A stunning view of the cemetery and downtown Oakland.

Once you reach the top, you are rewarded with a view of the San Francisco Bay, including the city, the Bay Bridge, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

This statue has a large anchor at her side, as she gazes out towards the ocean. I think she symbolizes the wives and daughters left behind as the men went out to sea. I've found quite a few stones from the 1800s with "Lost At Sea" engraved upon them.

Back down at the entrance, there are a few buildings meant for the living, including this pretty chapel. I think it needs some flying buttresses.

Stating the obvious:

Right inside the gates is this perfect little picnic spot.

The day was capped off with some excellent Super Bowl snacks and some time spent reading flopped on the bed with the cats. I could do with a few more days like today, I tell you.


Eva said...

Those cemetary pictures are beautiful Daphne. I love cemetaries, so I'm quite jealous of you!

Nymeth said...

I love this post! Absolutely gorgeous photos. And the one of the kitty yawning is just perfect :)

stefanie said...

70 degrees? 40 degrees right now would make me happy. What a beautiful day you had and such lovely photos to show for it!