Monday, April 30, 2007

Surfing Semi-Finals

They had a surfing contest semi-finals (sponsored by Monster) at Mission Beach on Sunday. The waves were actually decent sized, considering it was just Mission Beach. There were some pretty cool maneuvers like this one of a guy going down the wave face backwards. I was certainly impressed.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

New Lows in Product Placement

Sea World (aka Anheiser Busch) has a Sea Lion and Otter Show. In it they have the cutest little otter who, ironically enough, they have trained to carry Pepsi. Where will the product placement people stop? Shamu juggling cans of Bud? I admit, it was cute and probably harmless enough although it did seem a little cheesy of them. Hmmm, I wonder if they'd pay me to put beer ads on my T-shirts? A career limiting move you say? Perhaps.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Dolphin Social

A little dolphin socializing was going on at Sea World. It was feeding time and the dolphins all came up to the wall for fish. As this young child found out, they seem to also enjoy the occasional rub.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Cactus Rescue

Call me silly but I hate when they glue those fake straw flowers onto cactus. They always glue them right on top of the growing shoot/center, making it very difficult for the cactus to survive. I found this little cactus at Walmart and it had remarkably broken through the glue and had two bright, cheery red-orange flowers. So, I figured I'd rescue it from it's Walmart existance and give a nice, new, glue-free home. I have another refugee cactus that lost all it's spines breaking through the glue and, hence, has an endearing bald spot (spine free) in the middle of the cactus. Anyhow, have a nice weekend and remember, glue-free cacti!

Longing for Home

Figured I'd post one of my photo-art experiments with a Japanese theme. I call this "Longing for Home." It shows a Japanese woman looking out the glass, longingly wishing for something better (perhaps a nice Hawaiian beach, lol).

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Feeling Grand

There is nothing like nature to put things in perspective. These two people appeared to be having a bit of a heated conversation. However, in the overall scope of that very large sandstone cliff they are perched on, it all seems rather trite.

Meanwhile, I've been experimenting again. Last night it was banana/carrot/zucchini/raisin bread. A total hit with the secretaries in the office I might add. It was even a bit healthy with raw almonds, raisins, cannola oil and whole wheat flour. Tonight, it was the spicy sweet and sour fish (oh yummm). Hah, you readers are missing out! Nobody goes hungry in this household, not even the dog. ;-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Later Alligator

Found this Fence Lizard on the trail at Torrey Pines sunning himself. I really enjoy the mosaic of colors on these guys including the baby blue spots. They're pretty fearless too, meaning that you can get close enough to take a picture without them running off.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Willet or Not?

I think this is a Willet but, honestly, between Willets and Godwits and a few other of those shore birds, they've got me guessing. Perhaps if he opened his wings to show a few markings, we could tell. Either way, this Willet was contentedly eating in the sand below Torrey Pines. I've surmised that they eat worms in the sand based on a little digging into the sand where a flock had been recently eating. However, it is hard to be sure. If you know the answer to both of these questions, please share as curious minds want to know. ;-)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Strawberry Tart

The SO's been cooking again. This one was (note, I said "was"...urp) a strawberry tart with almond filling. Yummm. I could get spoiled (and fat). What to do, what to do. I may have to go hiking again to work it off, grin. So, if you were a pastry, what kind would you be? I think I'd want to be warm/fresh hot cross buns or maybe a bear claw (raawrrrr). Chuckle.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Torrey Pines

Four of us went hiking today at Torrey Pines State Park. While the weather report said it was going to be rainy and the sky, just a few miles inland, was dark and overcast, the weather on the coast was bright and sunny with a light breeze. Going with the Spring theme, I included a picture of the sand verbena that was blooming in patches in the soft sandy soil along the tops of the seaside cliffs.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Weekend Walk

The weekend walk is always a little more pleasant in the Springtime. The flowers are blooming in full force and, after last night's rain, are covered with dew. I found this Clematis growing along a white picket fence, showing off it's huge lavender flowers.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Cleaner Shrimp

These cleaner shrimp are so named because they set up cleaning stations on the reef where they remove parasites from passing fish. The fish wait stationary in the water and open their gill flaps and mouths as the shrimp crawl over them, eating tiny parasites and crustaceans. Having watched the BBC "Blue Planet" DVD tonight, I was feeling motivated to pop in some sea life. This picture was snapped at the Maui Ocean Center aquarium in Maalea, Maui.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

To GIF or to JPEG

The picture is of the dark slope of a hill at Mission Gorge with the sun backlighting some red monkey flower so that they glow like fireflies in waning light. I fought with this image in JPEG, losing the flowers at most smaller resolutions but, when I converted to GIF, found that they stayed. Ah what a difference a few KB makes. Again, it's the little things in life...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wild Roses

The wild roses are blooming. It always amazes me how they get around. They had them in Colorado. They had them back East and they have them here in sunny San Diego. Always a harbinger of Spring in simple pinks on long graceful branches.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Wild Peas Blowing in the Wind

Besides daisies, there were also many varieties of plants from the pea family in shades of yellow, white and purple. This one was obviously popular with the pollinators, having a stem full of seed pods. The really cool things was that, once dry, the pods made a gentle clacking percussion sound when the wind blew. I suppose it is the little things that make life special.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Crackle Glazed Stoneware

The other half is getting quite good at making pots and bowls. Here is one of the really beautiful ones. I like the antique, crackled, blue-glaze look to it. Maybe we can even collect enough of them to have a little show sometime!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Catch the Monkey

Monkey Flower is a small shrub that grows in Southern California in the dry canyons. The flowers come in various shades of bright orange and red. I found this particular monkey flower in a shaded area with the sun backlighting the flowers so they just glowed. Sometimes it is the little things that make us happy.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Something Furry

The sun was shining brightly this morning with barely a hint of clouds. There was just enough cool ocean breeze to keep it from getting hot without getting chilly. Not being ones to waste good weather, we decided to hike the Mission Gorge trail and check on the Spring wildflowers. There were a host of flowers, mostly daisies in various shades and sizes, various plants in the pea family as well as big swathes of mustard that turned the hillsides bright yellow. I also found this odd vine with these strange furry seedpods or perhaps flowers, I'm not sure which. In any case, the sun was shining on them, highlighting the white translucent hairs in a delicate way so here they are in all their glory.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tough Feet

Are our feet tougher when we're younger or when we're older? Or perhaps, our ability to ignore hot, sun soaked lava rock is better when we're younger? Or our willingness to hop off of lava rocks into the ocean? Either way, you wouldn't catch me hopping around on lava rock bare footed. Nope, those feet are way too used to those soft, cozy shoes of mine to get away with running across lava rock. I don't remember wearing shoes very often in grade school, however. Maybe there is something to it after all?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Nighttime at the Barking Crab

Boston is full of seafood joints; my only regret is that it was that I arrived too late at night to try any of them. Alas, I had to settle for a few pictures. Here's a picture of the Barking Crab, a huge tent-sized seafood restaurant. Admittedly, I have no idea if their seafood is top notch or not but the colors of the tent and the reflections off of the dark night waters made for a nice picture.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Snowy April

I just flew back in from Chicago. It was snowing something fierce over there. Driving back to the airport was a minor adventure although, were I not driving, I'd be tempted to say that it was really beautiful, with the snow coating the windward side of the trees in big, wet, white, sticky flakes. Unfortunately, the flights were all backed up at O'Hare and there were hoards of really cranky people all over the airport. Just as I was wondering if I would ever get onto my flight for San Diego, the snow turned to rain and the flights started to get out again. I'm home and happy to be in warmer weather again. Hope you all had a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Boston by Night

It was cold and frosty out. Nippy for April. However, after a long flight and a quick dinner, a quick, brisk walk along the Charles River was in order. So, I gathered up my trusty faux suede jacket (yes, no cow died for this jacket) and headed out into the cold. Overall, the shopping/walking area that the concierge promised turned out to be a broad walkway and a few restaurants along the Charles including a Chinese retaurant (quite dark and very closed), a bar, a crab shack and a lobster wholesale place. The lights of the tall skyscrapers glowed in the night haze and reflected off the river in a myriad of colors and, admittedly, it was refreshing to get out of the hotel and get a little exercise. Not surprisingly, given the frosty weather, the hotel looked all that much more welcoming and warm on the way back.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Hippo Ballet

The hippos was doing lazy circles in the pond. It literally lept through the water, each step gliding gracefully through the water as if flying. Round and round, with each loop the heads of the spectators followed, synchronous with the hippo's turns, as if mesmerized by its movements, cameras, camera phones and other gadgets at the ready. It went on like this, a few people coming and going and the hippos doing his lazy loops.

Meanwhile, I'm in Boston. The hotel has pictures of ships and naval battles decorating the walls. The oceanfront is very modern, covered with skyscrapers and broad walkways with long rows of lamps that penetrate the cold Boston Spring evenings. The lights penetrate the night, lighting even the nooks and crannies under the piers. Under one pier, there were huge torrents of water falling down from pipes below what appeared to be a lobster warehouse. I'm guessing that there were huge tanks inside full of succulent lobsters waiting to be shipped to stores nationwide.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Duck's Day Out

It's dreary and drizzly today. It's a good day to nap but also a good day to hang out at the zoo and check out the animals. The birds, in particular, were very active, flying every which way.

The ducks have notably had a very productive spring. The mom of these ducklings apparently hit the mother load. These ducklings were drinking runnoff out of a crack in the pavement and seemed pretty oblivious to the curious children trying to touch them.

Happy Easter!!!

The bunny rabbit commeth,

He bringeth rabbit joy;

With chocolate eggs and candied chicks,

He's quiet and shyly coy,

Walk softly, says he,

And carry a stout basket.

Happy Easter to all,

And to all a good year.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Pontiac GTO

We stayed at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. It was gusty and icy cold outside with a light dusting of snow. Inside, however, it was pretty comfy and, as it turns out, there was a scattering of really cool old cars from the General Motors Heritage Collection. I managed to snap a picture of this one just as it was being wheeled off the floor. I'm pretty fuzzy on my old cars, mostly remembering fishing poles held up by twine and some triangular tail fins that reminded me of a shark's dorsal. However, I think this one is a Pontiac GTO. Real cool. I only wish I could have heard her rumble.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Airborne Sunset over Chicago

Sometimes you get those photo moments when you wish you had your camera. I was flying from Chicago to Detroit and the plane had just taken off from Chicago. As we rose above the clouds, the snow disappeared and you could see fluffy white clouds that extended as far as the eye could see. The sun was a deep red-gold ball illuminating the clouds as if threatening to dive in head first. Unfortunately, the seat belt light was still on and the camera was in the overhead. It was sooooo close, oh soooo close. Just as I got the flight attendant's attention and pulled out my camera, the plane banked to the right. What you see is the last glimpse of a glorious sunset at extreme angle over the tail of the plane, with the sun reflecting between the double panes of the window.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

White House Reflections

As long as we're looking at photos with still, reflective water, here's one of the White House. I really enjoyed having all those big, still pools of water to add that extra flair to the photos! Of course, you're only seeing the ones that came out.

Washington Monument

The Washington Monument has a really long pool of still water in front of it facing the Capitol. It makes for great parallel lines and reflections in either direction. The red leaves in the water add a little character for the time of year. It was moderately empty as it was late in the day and a little nippy.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Reflections of Evolution

This is a fun picture that I call "Reflections of Evolution." In the reflection, you can see rays of light, each representing possibilities for the future and the past. All this, while the fossil reptile looks on, perhaps in wonder at where life has gone and will go. Overactive imagination? Perhaps. But it's all in fun.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Gorgeous Weather

It's shorts weather again. Of course, some people say it is always shorts weather in San Diego. Either way, love is in the air; the flowers are all in bloom; and the lines in the garden shop are triple length. I, for one, have a brand new tomato plant. The pot probably cost more than a bushel of tomatos from the farmers market but I figured it was a long term investment and it was nice looking. Plus, there is nothing quite like vine ripened tomatoes! That is except for, perhaps, tree-ripened peaches! Yummmm... This year I bought bird netting and we will see if I can keep the birds off of the peaches or not. Last year they bit each peach once so I wouldn't pick them and then ate the peaches at their leisure as they ripened. Smart little guys.