Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Today's walk report: 043013

 Sidewalk art? It was a rather pathetic display. I hope they had fun or something... I smelled reefer.
Otherwise, it was a power walk for me, getting it done.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Today's walk report: 042913

Bird/Prey

Red tailed hawk tearing into some varmint. It's a point and shoot day on the camera so you'll have to use your imagination a little... or not. That bird is BIG and I'm guessing that was a young jack rabbit.


That's about it and for me too...


This was what brought me home by the way... I have 12 versions of Supper's Ready in my iTunes playlist. I never tire of this song.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Today's walk report: 042813

Whatever kind of turnout they had for the "Farm Walk" it was all clear by the time I hit that side of the campus. Thank you.


I see a lot of lizards. For the most part I believe they are all one form or another of fence lizard. I mislabeled my JPEG here and I think this is probably a female northwestern fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis.) If anybody ever wants to call me on any of my IDs for anything you're more than welcome.


Some species of Nymphalidae on silver sage, there's only about 6,000 of them so... Actually I think I have tried to ID this butterfly before but I'm too tired to go back and look. Besides the fact that nobody cares and only about 10 people even look at this blog at this point.
Update: This is a Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).


Carpenter bees (the genus Xylocopa in the subfamily Xylocopinae). Sometimes when they fly past quickly and are out in my peripheral view I think it was a hummingbird.


Bumblebee. Any member of the bee genus Bombus, in the family Apidae. There are over 250 known species. I haven't been happy with any of perhaps a few 100 bumblebee shots so far this year.

 
Young Allen's hummingbird. I had a few Anna's hummingbirds literally 15" from my face today, just hovering, I think mocking me beause I had the wrong lens for a photo op.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Today's walk report: 042713

This is happening tomorrow until 4 PM which might cause a major re-route for me. It appears as though the campus is anticipating a lot of people. It was nice of the Fine Arts department to lend a hand on sign making.

Allen's hummingbird on red mountain sage. The sage is really dense, always tricky to get a nicely focused shot in there. This, even by my meager standards, is a rather weak hummingbird shot. But the red mountain sage and the bog sage next to it, which is about 1' behind and only starting to show signs of 1st buds, both play a really significant part in upcoming hummingbird activity. So I wanted to point this out. Even today in this really dense sage 3 or 4 hummingbirds all seemed to want to dominate the territory.


 Female Gulf Fritillary or Passion Butterfly (Agraulis vanillae) on verbena.


Grass skipper on verbena. I hadn't even noticed the grasshopper when I was shooting.


Opuntia parryi (I think.)


Oh, almost forgot this. For the 3rd time on a walk over the past 6-7 months, I found GREEN!





Friday, April 26, 2013

Today's walk report: 042613

Turtle theives.

This was the 2nd time I caught these two kids (11-13) trying to steal red eared slider turtles from the pond at the botanical garden I frequent. This time they had a turtle which they were putting into a Tupperware container just as I was walking up. Startled, one of them started saying shit like, "Turtles? We don't know anything about any turtles..." Then he proceeded to throw his little fish net into the cattails behind him, dump the poor turtle from about 4' back into the pond and chuck the Tupperware, also into the cattails. I was pretty pissed off over the entire display. I told them more than once, "do not fuck with the turtles." I asked the one engaging in act to tell me "I will not fuck with the turtles." He replied, "my mama taught me not to use bad words." So I asked him if his mama taught him not to steal, or about treating other creatures humanly... how about littering? She obviously hadn't taught him about turtles carrying salmonella. I explained the little ecosystem that was going on with this pond and the turtle's involvement. I explained to them how in their possession the turtles would not be "happy" and that they would ultimately kill the turtles by removing them, etc. The other kid was just pissed, I could sense it. I could feel his thinking was already heading down a wrong path. When they took off they figured on their bikes they were home free so the 1st kid yelled out something about the other one still having a turtle. This, of course wasn't true. I understand they were just being stupid kids but when I was a stupid kid I used to at least listen when somebody was laying stuff down straight. For the most part I was stern but I was really rather pleasant with the boys. Also, for me, there are no bad words. Tell your mama.

Turtle thieving equipment. I made them pull this out of the cattails. They left it behind out of their own stupidity.

 Then I took some pictures and got back into some groovy music...

Cotyledon orbiculata


I don't know what these cacti are called but I probably could find some inappropriate names for you.



This is some nasty looking thistle that was growing along side a chain link fence. It somehow doesn't look so ugly now.



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Today's walk report: 042513

Shoes...

Running shoes are about the only shoes I ever wear these days. My son thinks I get these wild looking shoes as some sort of eccentricity or something. OK, truth is I did that once but since then all of my shoes are chosen as follows....

I go online to Nike Clearance, sort running shoes for men by my size (12) and have them priced lowest to highest. Then I pick whatever shoe looks like it's going to give me the most comfort and the best bang for the buck. I can't help it if they often look like they were designed by some black light poster artist from 1968.

Shoes are also sort of the bane of my existence. Or my feet are. Anyway, for anyone following this senselessness the last few days, today I went back to the new New Balance shoes I bought this round from Amazon because they looked like a go and they were $50 delivered. That's $20-$30 less than I've been paying. These NB's provided two days of foot pain the day of and day after their debut. Yesterday no pain... so today, I shortened 7.18 km walk to continue breaking them in. Or because I have masochistic tendencies. I'm not sure where I was finding the logic but it turned out to be a smart move. I certainly want the $50 investment to work out.

Now, I digress, let me point something out for anyone stumbling into the Walk Report who hasn't heard me mention what I have mentioned a few times under it's old Facebook format (the transition story is here)... I will never give the pretense that there is, or that there will ever be, anything interesting in the walk report. Thank you for reading though.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Today's walk report: 042413

On a "performance" level it was a wonderful walk. I felt fantastic. I haven't hustled through the regular 8.78 km walk with virtually no pain in quite some time. Hey, I'll level with you, I almost always have foot pain. At least. But I walk though stuff and endorphins usually kick in about the 1 km mark. It worked out great too since I wanted to get back for Dodgers baseball. I walked in bottom of the 5th to a 1-1 tie against the Mets.

Meanwhile, there was this t-shirt sort of artsy statement against rape on the college campus. I could read some short ones in passing and it was interesting that there were statements regarding rape against men too. For the snapshots I simply pointed and clicked. The long shot represents about 1/4 of the total number of shirts.

(3-1 Dodgers, bottom of the 6th... see ya.)



Monday, April 22, 2013

Today's walk report: 042213

I walked to the bank and back, 1.5 miles and stayed home after waiting for a delivery. How exciting is that?

However, the music along the way was groovin.' I happen to think this concert, Live from the Road to Graceland Tour, Sylvian & Fripp, 1993, contains some of the finest live Robert Fripp guitar I've ever heard. Truly mesmerizing. Dig it or leave it.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Today's walk report: 042113

What a difference a day makes. This morning I noticed my left sock from yesterday and the post operation blood stain. I'll just say I must've over trimmed some aggravating callous inside of my little toe. Anyway, my foot was much happier today, thank you.

In the order they appeared...

Former spouse, or perhaps a neighbor???


Lots of tiny flowers, Common yarrow (Achillea millefolium.)


Teenage ladybug (pupa) on a catmint leaf (Nepeta.) Nepeta is a genus, with the common name catmints, of about 250 species of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae. This particular catmint was tested on Luct the Cat last year and she only gave me an aggravated look like, why are you putting this in my face?


Aphid, maybe 3mm long. What can I say, that's a tiny little creature right there. Just wait until the ladybug is flying, buddy.


My red-tailed hawk friend photographed last for the walk report, 2/17/13. This time on top a street lamp about 25 yards away and about 12' higher from its previous location. I was also losing light here. Still fearless though. I walked all the way around this bird and it watched me but didn't seem bothered by my presence.



That's all folks!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Todays walk report: 042013

Today's high, 93º f. Walk temps low 90s to upper 80s, a huge contrast to upper 50s to mid 60s a week ago and that made for a short walk, 6.37 KM. I changed back to old shoes but yesterday's decision to wear new shoes had a residual effect. Owww. I had also done minor toe surgery in the AM, don't know if it helped much.

It crossed my mind today while in the garden that the walk is always telling me a story. Not necessarily a good one but a story nonetheless. 

Happy family.


Unknown tiny green spider on blue hibiscus, Alyogyne huegelii. It's neither blue nor is it a hibiscus. What's the deal with these botanists who name plants? Do they drink a lot?


I so wanted this series of shots to come out better but again, this spider is tiny, probably less than 1 cm in body length and it was windy. I was holding and sometimes twisting the lower stem of this flower while trying to take the shot but the wind was blowing the petals too much not to pick up on movement. At the same moment I was feeling a certain amount of awe in the spider's ability not to be blown away.

That's the 2nd biggest asparagus I've ever seen!



Friday, April 19, 2013

Today's walk report: 041913

Today's walk report: Despite my best intentions to do extended walks this weekend my new shoes today were begging to differ. However, I made it through a regular 8.77 KM walk just not too happily.

How could you not love this face?


One of my favorite flowers of spring just beginning to bloom in the nearby botanical garden. Caesalpinia gilliesii, commonly referred to as Mexican bird of paradise however it's not related to the bird of paradise genus, Strelitzia.


and a couple of more artsy close-up views...



The blue palo verde trees (Cercidium floridum), are also blooming heavily. The carpenter bees are loving it. A year ago I thought these were just really bad ass bumble bees. See, I learn stuff too.


Male Anna's hummingbird. I had full on glare from a 6PM declining sun in my face and was shooting a little on the blind side.







The "best of" The Walk Report (and related babble)


A Brief History of The Walk Report

Ever since I got sucked into Facebook, August 27, 2008, I have made a habit of posting photos, events and music which have taken place on my "daily constitutional," a walk which I have done now with a great deal of dedication, rain or shine, in sickness or in health, for the last 12 years. I seem to be one of the rare individuals who actually make social media, social. I make it about me, my reflection onto my world which includes people I care about. I don't claim that this is very interesting but I find personal interaction more satisfying than what most people I see post on Facebook, Twitter, whatever. I almost instinctively want to entertain other people with the simple side of my life and that's what I like back from others who touch my life. Having some device tell social media what shop or restaurant you're at is just pure boredom unless it's accompanied with how your effected, by the contribution you've made to the event, or the joy, sorrow, or even the dullness you've experienced. If you want to say you saw a movie, a play, went to some other place of interest share the experience.

On or about March 25, 2012 I began labeling these Facebook posts as, Today's walk report. Eventually I found out that some "friends" would look forward to the Walk Report. I also found out that my son, 22 and his girlfriend, 21, enjoyed my report. Wow! I'm appealing to a younger audience. Unfucking believable, I thought to myself. This too has been a primary motivation in moving the report since "the kids," like many kids, have recently bailed on Facebook. I myself have bailed on Facebook 3 times in order to "refresh."

Here's the thing about the walk itself.... It is rather routine. It's typically the same 4-6 mile trek each and every day with only minor variations and extensions depending on how I feel and how much time I have. Occasionally there is a supplemental walk of some sort. I might actually go to and from a location like a movie theater, a store, or I'll report on something related to walking in general--like shoes, foot problems, injuries. Once in awhile I'll report specifically about the diversions that take place with music during walks. Music is a huge part of my walks. In relation to the report itself the walk is almost superfluous yet it becomes, at times, the challenge of tying to find something interesting within the banality of the act itself.It encapsulates a subconscious desire of making something ordinary and mundane somehow interesting to another person... or not. Aside from the report the walk is--routine exercise.

Why it's moving here...


The main reasons to move from Facebook are so I may share with non-facebookers in my life and to further remove myself from Facebook because, for the most part, I feel Facebook blows. A good part of this disdain comes purely from the software ergonomics of the application. Most specifically, the "fail" factor of its image loader, the compression of images when you're going from high resolution images down-sized to their low-quality progressive scan jpegs, the whole "square" mentality for presenting images on one's wall (I reposition 99% of my uploads), the aspect ratio for the "cover photo"is also lame. By my measurements it's 2.35:1, that's not a common aspect ratio, they just made that shit up. The overall look of "Timelime" is in fact ugly and its juxtaposing of posts is confusing. Facebook also edits your "wall" activity. As you go back into your posting history you'll see gaps within about 2 weeks. For example, right now my wall activity goes from "10 hours ago" down to April 5th (today being April 14th), then there's a gap marked by "Earlier in 2013" and we jump to March 23rd. So somehow, by some algorithm out of my control, March 24th-April 4th became insignificant. If you missed my shit, well, that's too bad. The only way to see all of the entries you made is to "Download a copy of your Facebook data." I last did this March 20, 2013. It took dozens of attempts to download a 1.13 GB .zip file. Once you accomplish the download you can then effectively see all of your history on Facebook. If you deactivate your account it may not work very effectively since these HTML docs have a great number of links back to Facebook. Anyway, before FB implemented "Timeline" I could effectively go back into my wall posts and look up events, remind myself of dates, etc. I can't do that anymore. Well, I can but it's a pain in the ass. The "best of" here is going to come from skimming over my wall.html file from my 3/20/13 download. That and  using one's FB "Activity Log" are the only ways to accurately reference back on your data. That's the pain in the ass I'm referring to. Only you can see your Activity Log, it's under your Privacy Settings and Tools. But it's YOUR activity. If you want to see a post in full, meaning friends comments on the post in the log you'll need to click on the link to the post. So, aside from any stupidity you might run into on a user level, I don't like the design and usability of Facebook. End of rant.

I hope at least a few people find some sort of entertainment in the idea of somebody posting ordinary drivel of a routine event... that's another thing about posting here... people can just bump into me, don't have to feel obligated to "Like" because they are my "friend," they don't have to "belong" to Facebook, etc. and who knows some of you might get it and come back for more.

On to the report...
Finally... to familiarize this audience with the Walk Report here are some sample postings from the past year or so... my so-called, "best of," more likely they are random selections--I don't know myself at this point.

 March 17, 2013
Today's walk report: This ALMOST happened yesterday, same exact spot about the same time, except yesterday as soon as I raised the camera it was bye-bye birdie. Red tailed hawk, I took close to 200 shots from 45 to 6 meters away. He/she (really hard to tell with RTHawks) sat and watched me until I left. I thought I took a ridiculous number of pictures but now I think I should have kept going until we parted together.


Sometimes the report is a little abstract...
March 11, 2013
Today's walk report: All I did was walk. I think the walk looked like this.



Serious moments. This was the report the day after my mother passed away, here in my childhood home with me at her side, age 90.
Today's walk report: I discovered that I cannot cry and walk at the same time so, for the most part, I walked, 5.45 miles and took in some really great music. Today was the 2nd worst day of my life. It only stands to follow, they will get better.
March 6, 2013


Revelations about my personality.
Today's walk report: End of the walk, back home. People thought I was watering but what I was really doing was making rainbows. Sometimes you just need to make your own.
February 28, 2013



Hummingbirds have been the subject of several walk reports but what typically is going on is the exoneration I find in the process. Taking photos is about what it does for my spirit, if I happen to get a nice picture or two than that reward is comes later.

Today's walk report, SPECIAL, MATINÉE EDITION: For those of you who have an idea about what goes on in my life... The mom's been pretty sick last few days. This is on top of a rather rapid decline in her overall fitness over the past few weeks. So, that's where my attention has been. My sister came for a visit today and that gave me a couple of hours to take an early walk. It was really nice to have so much light. I should go out earlier more often. It's really windy today so that did a number on some close up picture takin' but my hummingbird friends ultimately provided some nice photo ops.
February 24, 2013



There have been financial rewards on walks.
Today's walk report: That's about $1 a mile. This was on the sidewalk just short of the 1/4 mile mark. I walked about another 30 yards thought "wait a minute" and went back looking for more to no avail. Someone might remember the walk last year when I found $1... I'm working my way up to the big money. See, exercise really does have its rewards.
February 13, 2013


 Frequently there are sunsets in the report...Today's walk report: A little sloppy but so be it. 6 image panorama of the first Woodland Hills sunset of 2013. I never mention this but when I'm out on a walk--that's the main deal, the walk. Happy New Year again... I hope everyone had a wonderful 1st day of 2013.
January 1, 2013


Sometimes I just make shit up...
Today's walk report: I dunno the story here. I hardly think that's going to contain him though. The Sheriff told me, "it's just a kitten. It's not too bright."
December 21, 2012



Simple observations...
Today's walk report: Bolero Hat.
November 9, 2012


That's it, in a nutshell and from today, April 19, 2013 it's happening from here. Please, please, contain yourselves... the applause is deafening. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Be good, have fun!