Tag Archives: Sequoia National Park

A Visit from a Rainbow at Cort Cottage

A few days ago, a rainbow came to remind us life has many pots of gold…

…and that living at the end of the rainbow, can happen again and again.

“a view from my back yard of Moro Rock with rainbow on 9-20-11″
photo © Elsah Cort

First Snow…

Snow dusting Case Mountain, view from Cort Cottage.

Deep into summer, high into mountains…

Summer is a reflective time, a slowing down for me.  I work at chores early in the morning.  Then spend time with the outside world online for a while online.  Maybe some art-making or “putzing around” in the studio.  Of course, a nap, if needed. And swimming in the river in late afternoon, where the breeze is cool from brushing over the melted snow that is called River.

The mountains know a slightly different summer, with high elevation meadows and big trees grinning wide to the glorious big sky.

Cottage meadow summer-style

Cottage meadow summer-style

Big Trees summer-style

Big Trees summer-style

Closing in on Summer

We are few days away from the Summer Solstice when the sun is supposed to stand still.  I am getting into my summer mode, slowing down, watching the sky, and smelling the river as I walk in the mornings.

The birds seem to be extra busy around here for some reason.  It could be that they are just loving the birdbath water I keep fresh for them.  When I sit on the deck near the bird bath, they are landing on the clothes lines just a few feet from my head.  They are chirping and talking all the time.  I saw a hummingbird sit on a branch eight inches away from a phoebee who was flitting his tail.  They seemed to be talking away at each other.  I longed for a translator.

The cottage has been slow in booking this summer, so there are scattered openings through August.  It would be best for you to call or email with your dates and keep your fingers crossed that it is available for you. I have always said that the cottage stays open for the people who are supposed to have it.

That could be you! (PS, this Father’s Day weekend is still open….very unusual.)

Bridge to Nature

I have always known that Cort Cottage Bed and Breakfast is a bridge to nature for its guests.  Bridging between city and country, between fast pace and slow pace, between asphalt and mountains, between high tech and low tech, even though the cottage has wireless internet, and between stress and relaxation…

Looking from the Dinely Bridge on my early morning walk today, the Kaweah River has dropped ten feet since last week but it is still rushing by.

upriver  upriver downriver downriver

We locals wait to swim in the river until late June, all through July and early August.  Swimming now would be placing your life in a precarious position.  When you come to Cort Cottage in mid-summer, I tell you about one of the best swimming holes in Sequoia National Park, one with granite pools and many waterfalls. I also say that swimming in the river washes your sins away.

the glories of February

Rains that come and go, leaving golden light upon the hills. A few days ago it was “snowing” here with huge flakes filling the air but none were exactly sticking to the ground outside my window.  They just dusted the hills like a baker sifting confectioners sugar over cupcakes.  It was white, white across the canyon.  Two hours later the sun powerfully blasted out from all the clouds and the hills burst into brilliant green.  I took a nap.


This is the time to come to the cottage to see all this sky-air-earth drama.  I think some of my prospective guests have been scared away by weather.  Winter only lasts a few hours a day here, so don’t let it keep you away.

Lupines in the Rain

Transplanting lupine seedlings in the rain…..this is the only way I have found that the lupine bushes will thrive and survive, to be uprooted in the rain and to be replanted in the rain.  I have hundreds of these little seedlings in the stone scattered driveway.  They are 4th generation seedlings with ancestral linking to first lupine bush that was planted (by me, in the rain, from the river’s edge) twenty years ago.  The original great-great-grandmother bush gave up her body years ago, she retreated into the earth itself and became the soil bed from which her children now arise.

Lupine seeds are crusty and hard.  They need scarification to sprout.  This means they have to be scratched and scored and broken open by the essence of broken-open-ness itself, so the seedling can emerge.  They welcomed the stony gravel of the driveway and so they came, hundreds of them, just where the car has to passover.

This is the native California plant called bush lupine, or lupinus albinus, named for the white underside of their silvery soft green leaves.  These transplants will bloom after a few years, eventually with vibrant, deep purple-blue flower stalks covering them like fully evolved bouquets held by the long tap roots that support their stems.


Greetings from Cort Cottage Bed and Breakfast and Elsah’s Almanac from the Edge…….for more to come about how you can come for a “weeding retreat”, visit http://www.cortcottage.com, located in Three Rivers, California, at the entrance to Sequoia National Park.

Do you have a need for weed-ing in your heart and hands?