Sunday, November 11, 2018

Today's walk report: 111118

California is on fire (again).

 

There was virtually no walking. Walking around was a bad idea. However, we did see people, jogging, bicycling and walking. A few were wearing respirator masks (still crazy) but most were not (really whacko).

This is the Woolsey Fire. There appeared to have been two small flare-ups that just started as we pulled into a parking lot. In less than 200 yards and the time it took to park the car, there were three spots and a lot more smoke. I don't ever recall flames coming so close into the Valley. This fire and others throughout California this week have been a real tragedy. To top things off idiot #45 had to say some really wrong shit about a horrible situation.

As the crow flies we were just a little over 5 miles away from the flames here. This was the first shot I took. There are three flare-ups in the image.


This is the same shot zoomed in.


This is a five image panorama taken 7 minutes later.


I believe this is a Grumman (Conair) CS2F Turbo Firecat.


Later... Grumpy Bird is feeling pretty grumpy. Besides all of the tragedy and heartache for so many humans, think of the terror for the animals. In all probability this was all about some human fucking up.


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Today's walk report: 110418

Lizard's regret.

Hopefully we're finishing up the really, for sure, last and final heat wave of the year here in SoCal. We've had temps up to 94º over the past few days and it has gotten pretty tiring.

Meanwhile, pictures from today...

This little fellow came right up, knowing Docken had bird food.
This is the same Calypte anna's hummingbird in other recent walk reports. He's just looking a lot more mature now.



A Northern flicker woodpecker who was quite evasive.
 Here are a couple of reminders to vote democrat.


 and one more.


Docken spotted this fellow. We haven't seen an egret for some time now. He was stalking lizards and he got one.





In a flash, he's got it. (Click the image so you can see better).
 

Here's the tail end of the story.


I'll leave you with a sunset from last night. We drove for this one.



Sunday, October 28, 2018

Today's walk report: 102818

Stuff from last weekend, this weekend and what was stuffed in the middle.

Last Sunday, October 21. 
It wasn't too inspiring photo-wise hence the delay.

Bees seem to enjoy the water that seeps through cracks in the garden fountain.
Our usual male Calypte anna hanging out near the salvias.
Here he is fly catching...


Taking off to catch more flies. He needs no honey.
The in between weekends stuff was another venture in home improvement. This time replacing the kitchen faucet. I only bring it up because it was a big deal and a lot of hard work for both me and my girl, Docken. It was a serious pain in the ass and it put a huge damper on the ability and will to go walking. Now that weather isn't so severe we should be weekday walking too. Anyway, this originally started out with what seemed to be a simple faucet leak fix on a Moen kitchen faucet that was installed a mere 6 years ago. The faucet was "new in the box" but it could have been siting in that box for 20-something years for all I know. It came with the house. It wasn't a simple fix. Short answer: Moen uses a faucet valve cartridge which, in this case, was impossible to remove in order to install a replacement. In fact, before you buy a Moen or any other faucet that might use something like this cartridge, I recommend you look up some YouTube videos of people trying to remove and replace them.

Plan "B" was replace the entire faucet but not so fast... There was a center horseshoe brace bolted down under the sink that, despite four treatments of Liquid Wrench, another lubricant or two and a soaking in CLR, wasn't gonna let us remove a rusted nut on the bolt.

This is what it looked like before the treatment with CLR. You may also notice there's not much room there for trying to put torque on that nut. Nevertheless, the handle to the socket wrench we were using was actually bowing under the stress of trying to budge that nut. So, the metal horseshoe and the 1/2" deep plastic one under it needed to be manhandled until it was busted up sufficiently to pull it up through the hole topside-- enough to hacksaw some off  to get the whole thing up and out. Doc gets credit for that idea. I get credit for the manhandling under the sink although her counter-struggle above the sink, holding the faucet in place was a bitch too.


Now, if I haven't gone off on a serious enough of a tangent by writing about our kitchen faucet woes, hold on...

Hanging out under the kitchen sink reminded me of a dream I had in 2010. It was such a bizarre and vivid dream that I ended up illustrating it for my Facebook account at the time. You see, Will Ferrell had showed up one day under my kitchen sink. There he sat, in the lotus position.


He explained to me that he had invented a device that permitted one to travel through space by either accelerating or shrinking time (sorry, it was complicated, I can't remember which). Through some sort of wacky malfunction, or was it fate, he ended up under my kitchen sink. For some reason he trusted me and he wanted to share with me the wonders of traveling through space by manipulating time. The device itself was a modified Victrola. I don't remember the brand.

Here's Will visiting the San Francisco Bay area...


 Here he is again in Venice, Italy...


Today's walk. Sunday the 28th of October.

Leptotes marina on a Baja fairy duster seedpod.
Male rufous hummingbird on Nolina nelsonii.
Variegated meadowhawk dragonfly.
Red-tailed hawk.

Here's another red-tailed hawk. I believe the bird that was chasing it was a Northern Mockingbird. Red-tailed hawks are frequently chased off by smaller birds. Basically, I think, they don't care and don't feel like expending the energy to rip them to pieces using their formidable, large sharp talons.



The mockingbird is above the hawk's right wing in this image.


See?


I didn't realize how close I was turning toward the sun until...


Interesting flares but not an especially smart thing to do to a camera's sensor.

That's all!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Today's walk report: 102718

This isn't really a walk report, although I had just finished doing a lot of walking around at a local Home Depot for a third time today. This song came on the radio on the way home. I cried. It's on top of another sad day in America.





Under Pressure

Queen, David Bowie

Mmm num ba de
Dum bum ba be
Doo buh dum ba beh beh

Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you, no man ask for
Under pressure that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets

Um ba ba be
Um ba ba be
De day da
Ee day da, that's okay

It's the terror of knowing what the world is about
Watching some good friends screaming
"Let me out!"
Pray tomorrow gets me higher
Pressure on people, people on streets

Day day de mm hm
Da da da ba ba
Okay
Chipping around, kick my brains around the floor
These are the days it never rains but it pours
Ee do ba be
Ee da ba ba ba
Um bo bo
Be lap
People on streets
Ee da de da de
People on streets
Ee da de da de da de da

It's the terror of knowing what the world is about
Watching some good friends screaming
'Let me out'
Pray tomorrow gets me higher, high
Pressure on people, people on streets

Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don't work
Keep coming up with love but it's so slashed and torn
Why, why, why?
Love, love, love, love, love
Insanity laughs under pressure we're breaking

Can't we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can't we give love that one more chance?
Why can't we give love, give love, give love, give love
Give love, give love, give love, give love, give love?

'Cause love's such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love (people on streets) dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves under pressure
Under pressure
Pressure

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Today's walk report: 101418

Theme and Variations.

Photos from today...

This is the same Allen's hummingbird as shot yesterday. He was being abundantly evasive.

Selasphorus sasin.
Southwestern fence lizard.
Leptotes marina on a Baja fairy duster bush.
Variegated Meadowhawk on a prickly pear cactus.
Another Variegated Meadowhawk.
Another Leptotes marina this time on Westringia.
Gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus) on the same Westringia.
Same as above with a new pose.
Yellowstriped armyworm on a water plant in the garden's fountain.

 If you live in the United States and are at least 18 years of age please make sure you are registered to vote and get out and vote Tuesday, November 6. Think about the future of your children and your children's children--think about the future of the planet.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Today's walk report: 101318

Rain, come down, and fall forever
Drain, the dirt, into the wasteland
Pray, for sound, to quiet the howling... *

Cheery, no? But HEY!, we got rain last night a whole .32" of it along with thunder and lightning! It was a big surprise too since the weather people have been faking us out with predictions as high as an 80% probability for almost two weeks now and--nothing. Anyway, it definitely felt like fall for today's late morning walk.

Here are some photos...

Spooky crow.
Male Allen's hummingbird.
Female/Immature Anna's hummingbird.
Male Anna's hummingbird.
Same bird as above, right profile.
That's all I've got and it's time for Dodger baseball.
 *

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Today's walk report: 100718

It might be fall? If you didn't know the date and were beamed to SoCal from most anywhere else in the U.S. you would likely find the season to be questionable. Technically it's fall but it isn't always obvious, at least not in October. Right now, early afternoon it's 79º  (26º  C) and it's a beautiful day. But fall? Humph! Whatever.

Here are pictures from this morning...

A Northern mockingbird and a crow.
The mockingbird and the crow suddenly vacated the pine tree. I wonder why?


I got a little closer.

Red-tailed hawk and a healthy one at that.
Various shots of a  Common Green Darner dragonfly (Anax junius) since it was so accommodating by staying put.




I read on Answers.com: A female dragonfly curls its tail when she is looking for a place to lay her eggs. She is disguising herself to look like a stinging insect so that her predators don't bother her.
I'm taking that claim with a grain of salt.


Female rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus).
California towhee, a.k.a,, grumpy bird.
This Variegated Meadowhawk dragonfly (Sympetrum corruptum) dodged the Allen's hummingbird below a couple of times. Dragonflies have keen eyesight and are masters of flight. I don't think the hummingbird was trying to catch it but it was rather annoyed that the dragonfly was in its space for catching small flies.


Allen's hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin).
Same bird, same bush.
A scrub jay wondering where to hide a nut.
Thanks for stopping by!