Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Today's walk report: 123113

Final report, 2013.

Out a little early again today for two reasons. One I understand the behavior of a lot of people on a night like New Year's Eve and  two, I wanted to get home and relax for the coming of the new year. This morning I drove downtown and submitted paperwork ending another phase in the wonderful probate process in Los Angeles County. I actually got in and out of L.A. Superior Court quickly enough to only have to pay $5.50 of a $10 maximum for day parking at the lot I choose to park at. This has never happened before. It was called to my attention recently that a lot of people don't know what probate is about so in a nutshell...

Probate is a legal process that takes place after someone dies. It includes:
  • proving in court that a deceased person's will is valid (usually a routine matter)
  • identifying and inventorying the deceased person's property
  • having the property appraised
  • paying debts and taxes, and
  • distributing the remaining property as the will (or state law, if there's no will) directs.
Not on that bullet list, it's a big pain in the ass but it wasn't enough of a pain in the ass for me to pay a lawyer to do it. The biggest problem is that process itself was essentially created by lawyers with their best interest in mind. So despite an independent Administration of Estate Act (IAEA) it appears to me things have been designed to confuse and intimidate the novice going in. This is something I've had to rise above.

The walk. I was out the door by 2:15. There were very few people out driving. In fact it was the same driving downtown today, it was like it was already a holiday--no traffic. In Los Angeles this always amazes us.

Onto the campus.

I think this is the same Anna's hummingbird I've been seeing lately, it's in the same spot as the 1st photo taken 122613. I got close enough this time to fill the the shadows from the palo verde tree that looms above and behind this Cesalpinia bush with the on board flash on my camera. This was a good reminder to do some tests with an old but decent Vivatar flash unit I have and that project is coming up this evening once I get myself cleaned up and over to the living room couch. The on board flash on most cameras is good for about nothing.

This is a turkey vulture above and seemingly challenging a red-tailed hawk for airspace. I had 5 birds of prey all coming in my direction in a circular pattern at the same time. I may have lost track of who's who watching through the lens. There may have been a Cooper's hawk in the mix. I was certainly spinning around in circles too.

This I'm almost positive is two red-tailed hawks.

Here's a closeup of that same lower red-tailed which circled directly over my head.

This, unfortunately, was the best shot I got of the turkey vulture. The second turkey vulture was way outside of the action zone.

That's it for 2013! I had a great 8.79 km walk on a beautiful day. On the way home I was already seeing some suspicious driving so I'm glad I'm not out amongst the holiday drinkers. Hopefully people are getting smarter about free Metro transit services here in L.A., and even free towing service from AAA. Please don't drink and drive. Happy new year and thanks again for joining me on my walks!

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