Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Garden for the Hummingbirds

The Hummingbirds are back in full strength and having some natural nutrients in their diet is always a good thing.  As it happens, I found myself at the nursery today and a bunch of Salvia species and hybrids and a little hysop found its way into my garden to provide the hummers a little bit more than just sugar/hummingbird food mix that I put into the feeders.

Hummingbird Hysop

Pineapple Sage

Salvia 'Amistad'

Salvia urica var compacta

Sunday, May 29, 2016

American Orchid Society Awards for the San Diego Region for May, 2016

American Orchid Society Awards for the San Diego Region for May, 2016

Ansellia africana 'Rainbow Valley' HCC/AOS

(Blc Willette Wong X Pot Mem Jim Nickou) 'Arnie' AM/AOS

Encyclia Rioclarense 'Arnie' AM/AOS

Encyclia Rioclarense 'Arnie' AM/AOS

(Laelia praestans x Laelia crispata) 'Brazil Treasure' AM/AOS

Myrmecocattleya Mem Louise Fuchs 'Purple Rain' FCC/AOS

Paph Jolly Holiday 'Seagraves' AM/AOS

Phal Haur Jih Fancy 'Cherie CT #2' AM/AOS

Phal Haur Jih Fancy 'Cherie CT #3' AM

American Orchid Society Regional Judging Awards for the San Diego Judging Center, April, 2016

American Orchid Society Regional Judging Awards for the San Diego Judging Center, April, 2016

Brassavola nodosa 'Big Deal' AM/AOS

Comparettia x maloi 'Windflower' AM/AOS

Paphiopedilum wenshanense 'Arnie' HCC/AOS

Phalaenopsis Sogo Rose 'Arnieberry' AM/AOS

Renanthera imschootiana 'Feuerbach' AM/AOS

Renanthera imschootiana 'Feuerbach' AM/AOS

Tolumnia velutina 'Isabella' CCM/AOS

Saturday, March 05, 2016

March San Diego American Orchid Society Awards

Here are the awards from the March American Orchid Society Judging in San Diego, California.

Dendrobium Greta Snow 'Charley's Favorite' AM/AOS

Restrepia lansbergii 'DMH' AM/AOS 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Jackrabbit on the Run!

This large Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus, was entertaining a wonderful couple who were nice enough to point him out to me, prior to him bounding off into the bushes.  As opposed to those cute little cottontails, jackrabbits are quite large, super fast when on the run, and are actually in a different genus.  Here, at the Tijuana Estuarine Reserve, they have desert cottontails, Sylvilagus audobonii, also known as Audubon's cottontail.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Female American Kestrel Falco sparverius

Female American Kestrel, Falco sparverius, at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, resting on barbed wire while scanning the grass below for grasshoppers, lizards and other small prey.  It always amazes me how birds leisurely lounge on  barbed wire without ever apparently getting poked.  I've even seen birds on Chollas cactus (for example, the cactus wren), which is no small feat.

Broad-Winged Hawk

A Broad-Winged Hawk, Buteo platypterus, hunting for rabbits, mice, lizards and other small prey at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve.  This particular, rather large hawk appears to be staring directly at me, or perhaps my small dog which was walking with us, deciding if we were an appropriate meal.  With some relief, I note that it decided that we were not.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Huge Flock of Wintering Willets

A huge flock of Willets (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus), in their Winter colors, adopts a Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) or two and a Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa), all rising up in unison forming a zig zagging cloud of  wings, confounding hungry hawks.  Tijuana Estuarine Preserve, San Diego, California

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Nightmare Goatfish!

Bandtail Goatfish, Weke Pueo in Hawaiian, with a small Papio (Jack in English).  Small papio will hang out with goatfish, often eating small shrimp and other critters scared up off the bottom the by the goatfish, which grubs in the sand.  This particular somewhat uncommon goatfish is rumored to be hallucinogenic, if eaten (particularly the eyes and guts...bleah), causing nasty nightmares.  I'd bet it's caused by something that this particular goatfish eats.  Weke, pronounced veh-keh, is the generic name for goatfish in Hawaiian.  Pueo, if I recall, was owl in Hawaiian, perhaps alluding to the weird nightmares it causes when eaten.  As for me, I think it's one of the more beautiful goatfish and would just as soon leave it to live a long and happy life in the ocean.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

December American Orchid Society Awards for the San Diego Judging Region

Cattleya trianae 'Supreme' HCC/AOS

Clowesetum Maeve 'SunsetValleyOrchidsFreckles' AM/AOS = Clowesia Rebecca Northern X Ctsm. Mark Dimmitt

Ctsm Millie's Frilly Dragon 'SVO Frills' AM/AOS

Ctsm spitzii 'SVO Gold' FCC/AOS

Phragmipedium Don Wimber 'Amazon Sunset' HCC/AOS

October American Orchid Society Awards for the San Diego Judging Center

Gomesa colorata 'Jenny' AM/AOS

Gomesa colorata 'Jojo s Firecracker' HCC/AOS

September AOS San Diego Awards

Cattleya (Laelia) colnagoi_Windflower CHM/AOS

Cattleya jenmanii_Kimberly Burzell AM/AOS

Vanda falcata_Feuerbach CCE/AOS

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Monaco/Monte Carlo and Cannes, France

 Cannes and Ile Sainte-Marguerite

 Cap-d'Ail, Monte Carlo/Monaco, and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
Venting gas at the refinery at Etang de Berre/Marignane.  It was burning, every time I passed by; I don't know if it burns 24x7x365 but it seems to be a constant presence.

Carry le Rouet

Some shots from Carry le Rouet, France.

Pup resting on the beach while sitting on his master; you can see a tiny bit of knee to the left.

Odd two tailed plane passing overhead.

Flock of Egrets

Fossilized scallop from an ancient seabed.  Do you suppose there is a tectonic plate being forced up?

Cutest lab-terrier mix.  Mom was this tiny terrier and dad was a very persistent black lab.  He was up for adoption as his owner was moving into a small apartment and didn't have space for a lab mix.

The Carry le Rouet lighthouse under cloudy skies.

An old, unused boat ramp.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Chateau de la Barben

This photo of the Chateau de la Barben was shot from the road, looking towards the castle.  This mediaeval fortress, mentioned as early as 1069, belonged to King RenĂ© of Provence in the 15th century. It was, at some point, sold to a merchent family (who sold furs and pelts) that supported the King, and was altered and extended in the 16th and 17th centuries.  The keep was burned at the beginning of the French revolution and the family, who supported the King, was executed (beheaded) later during
the revolution.  Restoration work was carried out in the 19th and 20th centuries and the castle remains run and maintained by private owners who conduct tours, cater out events and run a
hotel at the site.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Day in Marseille

A quick trip to the Musee des Civilisations de l'Europe et la Mediterranee in Marseille and some of the surrounding sights.  The weather was bright, sunny with a light breeze.  The museum and the surroundings were quite captivating and lunch after was wonderful, but then that is another story for another day.

Athlete vainquer au pugilat

Cathedrale de La Major, under restoration

Ceres Borghese

Greek Vase Oenoechoe

Icone au Saint Michel Pesant Les Ames

A guy jumping up and down on a tightrope, as if walking was not hard enough!

La Vierge et l'Enfant by Sheikh Sana'an

Medusae Jellyfish in the calm waters outside the Museum

A huge storage vase for grain or olive oil

The old entrance to Marseille