Thursday, December 31, 2009

Foggy Morn

Foggy mornings are the norm here this time of year. While in other seasons I can often see to the far side of the Sacramento Valley in the winter sometimes I can't even see to the far side of my yard. On this morning I was fortunate that the fog tapered off just to the west allowing the fog to catch the rays of the rising sun.
Find more interesting skies at Sky Watch Friday, hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


We drove out to Malibu Sunday to see if we could get a few pictures. It was a gray day but there was enough sun shining through the clouds to put a little shine on the ocean and a little color in the sky.
The weather didn't keep this paddle surfer out of the water.
See more watery sites at Watery Wednesday.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Home from the Holidays

We had a nice Holiday at Eric's house but we're glad to be home. As soon as I boot the computer, McAfee wants to do a scan so I won't bother to check out my photos tonight. I did put up a new head. The damp weather has brought the moss to life on the rocks in the oak woodland and the grass is starting to grow. I took this shot a couple of weeks ago. It's almost spring!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Holiday and that the New Year will bring nothing but good stuff. I'll be back in the blog mode in a few days.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays

To all my blogging friends I wish you a wonderful Holiday Season.

We are on our way south in our mobile guest room to spend Christmas at Eric's house.

Mark will fly down and join us so our little family will all be together.

Michael helped to decorate the tree at our house while he was here for his dad's marathon run.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My World of the HOA

Those who live in a community governed by a home owner's association know that they ofter discourage displays of individuality, ours is no exception. No garden ornament is allowed except for three pots which must be of a certain size, certainly not pink flamingos.

Home owners are allowed to decorate for holidays for a specified length of time and this is where people show their creativity.
This home owner says he would never have wanted a pink flamingo except it is forbidden. For Halloween it is a witch, for Thanksgiving a turkey with a pilgrim suit and for Christmas Santa who has a bit of trouble keeping his beard in place.

At Easter this same flamingo sports bunny ears and a cotton tail (I'm sure he means no disrespect LBR).
Another homeowner claims that these are the three wise flamingos.

We have many lovely Holiday displays here in Sun City, most are more traditional (and many seem to be moving the displays closer to the ground as we are getting older and shouldn't be up on ladders). These displays tickle my funny bone and I wanted to share.

See more worlds at My World Tuesday hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Drawbirdge Shadow

This lift bridge is a temporary structure while the beautiful "Bridge of Lions" in St. Augustine Florida is being reconstructed. The five year project is due to be completed next year.

We visited St Augustine in 2006, a great place for photographers.

See more interesting shadows at Hey Harriet.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jekyll Island Sky Shot

This is an archive shot. With the holidays I have been short on time (hosted 25 tonight for a sit down dinner but had lots of help from guests).
We went to a photography Elderhostel (now called Exporitas) on Jekyll Island a few years ago. I got lots of great sunrise and sunset shots so you will probably see more in the future.

Find more skies at Sky Watch Friday, hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dry Martini?

For Watery Wednesday I have gone to my archives. I took this picture last spring near where Tenaya Creek flows out of Mirror Lake in Yosemite.
We returned in the Fall.

This is almost the same spot and someone had used sticks and stones to outline a martini glass on the dry creek bed, complete with swizzle stick.

Find more watery scenes at Watery Wednesday, hosted for us by 2sweetnsaxy.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bishop--My World

Bishop, California, for 15 years it was our home town. The largest town in the Owens Valley and the largest in Inyo county, it has a population of less than 4,000 with little room to grow. Most of the surrounding land is owned by the City of Los Angeles. Most of what LA doesn't own is owned by the federal government or is held by Piute-Shoshone bands. Los Angeles is over 200 miles south and Reno, NV 200 miles north. Few highways cross the Sierra to the west and most of these are closed in winter.
The economy is largely dependant on tourism. With abundant hiking, fishing and rock climbing in the area, the town tries to make itself appealing to tourists. In addition to sprucing up main street the town has had murals painted in several places where there are large exposed walls. These murals depict scenes from the area's past and are some of the nicest I have encountered in my travels. The first one we spotted was over a store entry and commemorates the early railroad. The slim princess is on view at the local railroad museum of Laws.
This one is on the side of a restaurant and depicts the inn which had once been on the site.
Across the street is a large three part mural showing more of the areas history

Father Crowley was priest and friend to the area's residents. In the 1930s he was an advocate for area tourism. The LADWP named a major reservoir in his honor.

This one is the most personally meaningful to me. It shows the area where we lived, at the confluence of Pine Creek and the Owens River. Our children went to school in Round Valley with the children from the mining camp at Rovana. Round Valley and its K-8 school was our world until the boys started high school in Bishop. Then Bishop became our focus.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, Hubby in the Bronx. Who would have thought that the most important years of our lives would have been spent in this small, isolated, rural community.
See more worlds at My World Tuesday, hosted for us each week by Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia.

Friday, December 11, 2009

White Sand Shadows

Some may think of death and destruction when they hear "White Sands, New Mexico". It's true, this is the area where the first atomic weapons were detonated.

It is also a place of great beauty, the white sand a perfect canvas for shadows.

It's hard to tell the spiky leaves from the spiky shadows.

Spent pods, twigs and the ripples of the sand itself all show their shadows.

Find a world of shadows at Hey Harriet

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dawns Early Light

Early morn and the clouds were moving in from the west.

Ten minutes later and they were overhead as the top of the birch tree caught the first rays of sun.
For more skies go to Sky Watch Friday, hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cooper's Hawk

I hadn't been planning any bird posts but this was too good to pass up. We saw this handsome fellow on the neighbors fence yesterday morning. He was checking out the possible menu items. He took off hunting in our yard and the open space beyond. I don't think he was successful.
A few hours later he was back on the fence, this time with his supper. The photo below is not for the squeamish but I was thrilled to get such photos through my window.

I suspect it was a quail. The ongoing struggle for survival.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snow!--Watery Wednesday

I know, no big deal for most of you, but I live near Sacramento, California at an elevation of only 300'. This solid form of water is a once a decade event. I was not the only one out with a camera this morning. While most people enjoyed it the cold temps in the 20's were not welcome to the farmers in this citrus growing area.

To view more watery sites, liquid and not check out Watery Wednesday hosted for us each week by 2sweetandsaxey.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Another Marathon--My World

Marathons aren't really my world but since they are my sons' they have become part of my world by default. Our sons, Eric and Mark, both decided to participate in the California International Marathon this year. The course starts near Folsom reservoir and ends at the Capital Mall in Sacramento.
It was a cold day. Michael and his Mom were bundled up waiting for the guys to finish. It was much to far for Michael to walk so we brought his chair.

I had dropped Eric near the start at 6:15 am. Mark lives on the other side of the course and had arranged to take a shuttle that almost didn't show up in time.
After dropping Eric off I went back home to get breakfast. By the time we all got ready, drove to Sacramento, parked and walked several blocks to the course the guys had been running for over four hours.

I walked down to the finish to see where it was.
Then I walked back to where Hubby, Michael and Mimi were, a spot we though would be perfect to catch shots of Eric and Mark as they headed around the bend into the home stretch. As it turned out, Mark was already across the finish line and Eric came in while I was walking from the end to our perfect vantage. The others had missed him too.
They didn't freeze, they said for the most part they were not cold (temps in the 30's most of the time). Both had personal bests although Mark was dissapointed that he missed 4 hours by just a few seconds.
Both were tired and stiff but pleased with their accomplishment. It was a long and busy day for all of us.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Lodi Shadows

On our way to visit the sandhill cranes we passed through Lodi. The area around Lodi is one of many wine producing areas of California though certainly not the best known. I found its historic downtown to be quite charming and well maintained.
At one time most visitors would have approached the town through this arch, one of few remaining mission style arches in California. It is adjacent to the railway depot. In 1907 when the arch was constructed the railroad would have been the main source of transportation. I wish I could have had a higher viewpoint to better show the arch's shadow.
It's easy to see the shadows on this building, an adjunct to the refurbished train depot, it seems to be a bus depot.
Shadows from a nearby tree grace this lovely mural commemorating the Tokay Carnival of 1907. The right side advertises the annual Grape Festival now held each year in September.

I think Lodi is worth more time than we gave it but the sandhill cranes were our primary goal this trip.

To see mores interesting shadows visit Hey Harriet.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Reach to the Sky

I rather like the way this oak branch seems to be reaching for the sky.

Michael and his parents are comming to visit for five days so I'll try to get some posts ready ahead of time but I probably won't have much time to visit other blogs. Michael seems to keep Grandma busy.

I encourge you to visit other beautiful skies by going to Sky Watch Friday, hosted for us each week by Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Watery Yellowstone

No interesting watery images jumped in front of my lens this week so I have gone to my archives and picked some images from one of my favorite places, Yellowstone.
I love the varied colors of the pools in Yellowstone, the clear turquoise,
the reds and golds,
some are a mosaic of colors
and some are an emerald green. The color is determined by what grows in the pool, living creatures that can survive the high temperatures and acid water.

For more watery sites visit Watery Wednesday hosted by 2sweetnsaxy.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Who's in my Garden--My World

I'm not an experience birder so when I do a bird post I have a guide by my side and the Cornell birding site on my browser. I am also not a programmer so I have had to totally redo this post to have it make sense.

This bird is easy to identify. The Western Bluebirds love to anoint my patio umbrella.

The Anna's Hummingbird has a bright pink head and throat.
Who is this cute guy? There are several red finches.
The brown cap and cheek indicates a House Finch.
This feeder has both cracked sunflower seed and niger. The little Lesser Goldfinch is attracted by the niger.

Who's this little guy, I don't recall seeing him before. Maybe I wasn't paying attention.
He's a Yellow-rumped Warbler.
The big guy here is easy to identify, a California Quail. I think the little one is a lark sparrow.
See more worlds at My World Tuesday hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hiding in the Shadows

On one of our walks Hubby and I stood on a little bridge, looking to see if there were any birds in the creek below.
Turning around my eye barely caught sight of this hawk, perched in the shadows in the nearby willow. After downloading I tried to identifuy him. None of the hawks seemed right, none had banding like this on its breast, he was looking at me so I must have been viewing his front. Wrong, I finally realized I wasn't seeing his breast, it is his wing we see in this shot. He's looking over his red tinged shoulder.
He's a red shouldered hawk, brightened up here for better viewing. It was a neat experience to see him so close, about 15 feet away, in the wild.

Find more shadows at Hey Harriet.