Monday, April 11, 2016

Spring an a Northern California Garden

I've taken these images over the last few weeks.  I had never appreciated the succession of bloom until moving to northern California.  It is like a symphony, as the weeks go by different flowers come into bloom as others fade away.















The daffodils were first but I neglected to get an image of them.  Next came the red tulips and then these beauties in shades of yellow and orange.

















The dutch Iris added there music,








Color and a heady fragrance came with the wisteria.
The dogwood didn't bloom well this year.  Perhaps it was the  drought.  Some years it has so many blossoms it positively glows in the moonlight.
All of these are done now and I must wait for next year to see them again.
Now it is time for the poppies and in the shade there are white and pink azaleas.
The last of the Dutch iris grow with the clematis.  Roses bloom now as well and some of my tall bearded iris.  Later will be the lilies.  The fruit trees and blueberries which bloomed earlier now have fruit-lets promising new delights as the blooms of the garden fade.

This is my world in the Spring.  Find more views of the world here at Our World, Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What's in a Name

We were in Yosemite on March 1st when the names of some of the parks prominent lodgings were changed.

The "Camp Curry" sign has been a fixture for years
 and while the canvas sign covering the old name doesn't have the charm of the old sign I have no problem with the new name.  The Curry family is long gone from the park.  Likewise, I have no problem with changing "Yosemite Lodge at the Falls" to simply Yosemite Valley Lodge.  I've always simply called it "The Lodge".
The Name "Ahwahnee" honors the native people and it is sad to see that one go.









Waking up on March 1st we found that most traces of the old name were now gone.  The old logo and name on the trash cans had been covered over, the dishes in the dinging room had been replaced with plain white ones, replacing those which had been in use for as long as I can remember.















Later that morning I heard a noise at our door, on opening it I found that the "hibernating" tag had been replaced and the doormat that had the Awhahnee name as logo was missing.  I half expected some one to come in and demand the robes hanging in the closet!







My feelings about the whole thing were part amusement and part sadness.  Yosemite has been an important part of my life since I was five but changing the names does not change the beauty of the park and I don't think it will reduce the number of visitors.  So, what's in a name, not much.

This is a view of my world, you can view other parts of Our wonderful world here

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

California's Water

There was plenty of water flowing in Yosemite Falls the end of February.
Water too, in the seasonal Royal Arch Cascade
Unseasonably warm temperatures have caused the Sierra snow pack to melt early making things look better than they are.  In truth, the March snow survey showed the snow pack to be only 83% of average for this time of year.
 The early runoff has brought Don Pedro lake up enough for people to launch small boats but it is easy to see it still has a long way to go, as do all of the reservoirs in California.  We are still in a sever drought.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Walking the Neighborhood

Jules and I try to walk each day and our most frequent walk takes us 5 miles through a combination of residential streets and open space.  I won't show you the streets, one looks much like the other but the open space makes the walk worth while.
























A half mile from our house we enter this delightful oak woodland. Acorn woodpeckers and scrub jays add their raucous voices to that of the song birds.
 
 
 
 I love this view of the granite and oak against the sky.
I turn around and get a different view.
Four  miles from the start of our walk brings us to this pond.  Sitting on the thoughtfully placed bench we rest in this mostly quiet spot and enjoy watching the ducks and geese.  Usually the resident snowy egret will come near, sometimes I catch a glimpse of a belted kingfisher.  Usually there is a phoebe darting from a branch in search of insects or a hawk soaring above.  We sit a while in quiet contemplation then head for home.
See more images of our world at Our World, Tuesday

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Consumnes River Preserve

We've been getting a lot of rain here in Northern California (at last!) but Saturday was dry with some lovely but non threatening clouds.  Since we had family visiting from the southern part of the state we decided to visit the Consumnes River Preserve.












There were picnic tables at the visitor center and a boardwalk that made the wetlands accessible. We started our visit with a picnic and then checked out the visitor center which is staffed by knowledgeable volunteers.  We then strolled along the boardwalk to see how many birds we could find.  There were a lot, both in number and variety.












Cinnamon Teal









 Gadwall







 Green Winged Teal
 Northern Pintail











 Northern Shoveler









 Common Snipe?
(not sure about this one)















American Kestrel








 For more information about the preserve check out their website http://www.cosumnes.org/
You can find more views of our amazing world at Our World Tuesday.
More birds can be spotted at Wild Bird Wednesday found on Stewart's blog "Paying Ready Attention"

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Egret

I love the variety of bird found here in Lincoln hills in the winter.  When the hawks, egrets and herons return we know that summer is over.


The most frequent of our daily walks takes us to a pond full of mallards.  It is a favorite breeding spot for these ducks.  Mallards aren't the only birds to be found here, though.

A few days ago I brought my camera hoping to get a shot of an owl that has been hanging out in the area.

The owl was nowhere to be seen on this afternoon but a little snowy egret could be seen hunting at the edge of the pond.





















It took little notice of me as I clicked away, hoping for a great shot.  The one at the right is the sharpest but the one at the top may be my favorite.








Check out Wild Bird Wednesday at Paying Ready Attention to see more of our avian friends.


Monday, January 4, 2016

Down to Earth

We spent the Christmas Holiday in Southern California with the family.  While there we all went to the California Science Center to view the space shuttle Endeavour.  Of course, I left my camera at the house and had to use my camera to get a few not too good shots.  It was impossible to get far enough away to get the entire vehicle in one image.
I was impressed by the quality of exhibits about the shuttle program that visitors passed on the way to view the Endeavour.  The galley and "potty" had been removed so that visitors could get a closeup view.  




This spacehab, where astronauts could do experiments, store tools and live was also on view. I had no idea it was so small!  My closet is bigger.

Docents, many of whom had worked on the shuttle program, were available to answer questions.




 The plan is to build a building where the shuttle could be placed upright with ramps allowing visitors to get a better view.

For more information visit

If you are interested in this part of the NASA program I encourage you to visit the California Science Center if you are in Los Angeles.  In addition to the Endeavour there are many exhibits especially designed for children.  It even has a walk through aquarium.  
It is a far cry from the old Museum of Science an Industry that occupied the site in my youth.  That one I never found very interesting when I was taken there by my parents. This museum would have had me begging for return visits.


Find more views or our world at Our World, Tuesday.