Sunday, September 16, 2018

Today's walk report: 091618

It's been a long time since I did the stroll...

What can I say? Shit happens. The last walk to or around and nearby our botanical garden hang was on June 16, 2018. While the excuse for the most part is horribly hot days there was also that near death experience. I won't get into the details. Suffice it to say, I'm much better now. Anyway, we did a drive and walk today and even though the walking part was only a mere 2 miles it was kind of a big deal. Now I know, had the car been removed from the equation, I think I could have managed the extra 2 miles driving afforded us. So, next time.

Meanwhile, it was a beautiful morning and despite the garden having suffered miserably from this summer's heat there were some photos to be had...

Male, lesser goldfinch, Spinus psaltria.
The same bird on Salvia  darcyi.
Cactus flower.
Male Calypte anna hummingbird.
Female Selasphorus rufus hummingbird in a palo verde tree.
The same bird in a different part of the same tree.
Some type of agave flowering.
The same stalk as above in a portion with flowers open.
You've heard of the Fool on The Hill, here are a couple of asses on a hill.
Another ass hanging with some goats.
There were two of these black cats playing together. They were really big. I thought almost frighteningly big.

We saw several red tailed hawks. This is the same bird in different locations.

That's all, thanks for coming along. As side note trivia and something I learned today. The line that starts out this walk report, It's been a long time since I did the stroll, is from Led Zeppelin's song Rock and Roll. I can't even imagine how many times in my life I've heard that song but only today I found out that it's the Stroll and the Stroll is a dance from the 50s-60s that goes like this...

I'm a little more partial to the tune, that goes like this... It's got a good beat and I can dance to it!


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Today's walk report: 051618, The Japanese Garden

Nestled in the not so lovely city of Van Nuys, CA The Japanese Garden is a 6.5 acres public Japanese garden located on the grounds of the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant adjacent to Woodley Park, in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area of the central San Fernando Valley. With a general admission price of $5, or $3 for seniors (62+) and children, it's a wonderful local escape. A slight downside are the hours 11 A.M. to 4 P.M., at least they were for us with the sun high for picture taking from slightly after 11 until about 12:25. Nevertheless it was good fun, quiet and relaxing.

This is a 4 shot panorama taken at 70mm. Please click on the images to see the larger version.

Several Canada geese were mostly resting comfortably in white clover.

This device was feeding water from a small stream behind it. The top bamboo piece would slowly dribble water into the lower one until it was heavy and then that would pour the water onto the ground before returning upward. Transcendental?

Water lilies.

I'll assume the fish are Koi but they all seemed to be a rather drab gray.

The Egyptian goose, native to Africa south of the Sahara and the Nile Valley. Egyptian geese were considered sacred by the Ancient Egyptians.

Mallard ducks, a male and a female. The new Eric and Docken ducks?

Egrets were the most entertaining of the birds we saw.

I waited patiently for the Double-crested cormorant out on the rock to take flight but alas he decided not to cooperate.

 This green heron was a really slow and methodical fisher, contemplating mosquito fish and then shooting his head forward to catch one.

A penny for a wish, seems pretty cheap.

Waterfall, nothing can harm me at all,
My worries seem so very small
With my waterfall.

Day lilies, on the way out.

Thanks for tagging along!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Today's walk report: 050518, BEES!!!

This is a no walk-don't ya dare go outside report for May 3, 2018--a couple of days ago. My girl, Docken and I were home minding our own business, I was in my office she was in hers. Her office looks out onto the front of the house, street view. Mine looks out onto the backyard. Apparently in simultaneous bewilderment combined with a strong sense of freaking out we both exclaimed in hush tones, what the F@%* is going on with all the bees! Seriously, this was like something right out of a Hitchcock movie, outside both our windows, literally surrounding the house, were 1,000s of bees. After wild thoughts of some sort of apocalyptic event taking place we realized that someone nearby must have destroyed or attempted to destroy a hive. Typically the fate for bees that lose their hive is not a good one, there was some sadness over that.

The video doesn't come close to representing what was actually going on outside even if you make the effort of clicking a couple of times to go full screen. With windows closed you could hear the bees from inside the house. The tall flowering spires of the pride of Madeira are always a magnet for bees and while some of the newly arriving swarm seemed to be making their way to those and other flowering plants most of the bees in the swarm were darting about frantically. A few even crashed into the windows right in front of me. They were agitated. It was not something you'd want to find yourself inside of.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Today's walk report: 032118, a kaleidoscope of nature

For the past month I have been spending moments here and there having a Zen-like experience creating digital kaleidoscope images. This all started with an idea for a background image for a product label I was working on. I went nuts from there. The following images were created using an effect in a motion graphics application. The projects were composed in 4K Digital Cinema, 4096 x 2160 and cropped as deemed appropriate from exported still frames.

This is also a flashback to childhood. Remember these?

Some of these images were created from photos used on previous walk reports and I'll provide a few links to those pages. See if you can find the original images... or don't but you might have more fun if you do. Please click on the images to get the BIG picture.

Acacia boormanii, Snowy River wattle.
Monarch perched in a palo verde tree.
Phacelia tanacetifolia.
Vanessa cardui butterfly on African daisy.
 Two Vanessa cardui butterfles on African daisies
Palo verde flowers, looking upwards.
Passion butterfly on Baja fairy bush.
Monarch butterfly on Salvia uliginosa.
Bee head down on Senna bicapsularis.
This is a focus stack of 6 images from our front yard, 2014.
African daisies, note the "pumpkin" faces.
Scarlet flax.
Baby snapdragons.
Bird of paradise.
Conejo buckwheat.
Oxe eye dasies and sweet alyssum.
Shirley poppy.
Mystery plant.
Mostly Clarkia unguiculata, elegant clarkia.
Plains coreopsis.
 Shirley poppy, Papaver rhoeas.
Kangaroo paws.

March 21st, spring has sprung and it's raining outside. Delightful!