Friday, March 5, 2021

Once Upon a Walk Report - Part Three

 Ah ha! We meet again... 

I have now lost track of how many photos I have purged due to redundancy and other factors. I've gone through 13 or 14 folders and it looks like I have another 12 to go. I could figure it out with some accuracy but it's not worth it. Guesstimate? Somewhere close to 60,000 photos have been forever tossed into the digital netherworld. No regrets. 

Last OUaWR I indicated I had finished 2014 but that was not true, there were a few more in the next folder. The folders are sorted by the image name the camera hands out and not necessarily by date since the camera goes from IMG_0001.JPG to IMG_9999.JPG. I've always manually imported from the camera's SD card into folders on my iMac. Whenever a folder says a file by the same name already exists, that's when I start a new folder. The last folder contained about 9,800 images.

Anyway, here are the photos I selected. Not everything is from bygone walks some of this is from bygone wildflower gardens around the homestead. Again, dates are in the captions.

There's a duck in there somewhere!


  What do you know? It's the famous Eric Duck.

And close by we find the lovely and demure Docken Duck. Both human Eric and human Docken really miss these ducks.

Okay, now it's official. We're into 2015. Kalanchoe delagoensis, AKA. Chandelier-Plant.


Back at home, the ox eye daisy plants (Leucanthemum vulgare) were starting to bud. I think I might have done this before with an image of these. But look at it, how could you not see that? Leucanthemum vulgare are starting to bud with a few opening again right now but with the limited rainfall this season (4.11" to date), almost no collecting of seeds from last year and zero seed purchasing, I don't think there's going to be much of a show.


"I didn't break it. It was like that." Male Calypte anna (Anna's hummingbird).


Gilia tricolor, one of my favorite flowers to photograph. It was especially nice to see bees get covered in blue pollen. The flowers are approximately 2 cm in diameter.



Since neither of the above images show off the blue pollen, here's one from 2013. I suspect the yellow pollen you see in the above images is from nearby Dimorphotheca sinuata flowers. 

Another favorite flower for picture taking, Linum grandiflorum or scarlet flax. There's an illusion to this flower. Are the petals convex or concave? Look at this image, you can mentally flip the petals. As if it were an open umbrella. Are you looking at the umbrella from the top or from below the umbrella canopy?


 Of course, you're under the umbrella.

I haven't seen any of these in some time. They were once everywhere. Nemophila menziesii, known commonly as baby blue eyes or baby's-blue-eyes.
 Vanessa cardui butterfly on Centaurea cyanus, commonly known as cornflower or bachelor's button.

Danaus plexippus, AKA, the monarch butterfly on Salvia leucophylla.



 Honey bee on Dimorphotheca sinuata.

Cooperative insects and birds: It's always nice, especially when the lighting is good, to have congenial subjects that hang out for prolonged photo sessions. I'm not sure how many images I started with of this blue-eyed darner (Rhionaeschna multicolor) dragonfly but I ended up keeping 80 shots.

Bulbine frutescens is a species of flowering plant in the genus Bulbine, native to southern Africa. Hey! I actually donated to Wikipedia once.
I never got an ID on this cactus.
 Pieris rapae or the cabbage white butterfly. I have a special fondness for these butterflies. The sage is
Salvia mellifera or black sage, a California native.


Light, oh how the light can change everything. This small daisy, about the size of a nickel, was the only plant of it's kind in the side yard in 2015. The second image was taken one day after the first, about 1.5 hours later in the day.



The back yard has been the hot spot for poppies for the past several years. Mostly Papaver rhoeas,
Papaver nudicaule, Papaver orientale and an occasional Eschscholzia californica plant or two.




These are Calendula officinalis flowers in the process of unfolding.

Another favorite flower mentioned here before, Linaria maroccana or baby snapdragons or toadflax if you prefer using a really ugly name.


I also mentioned in a previous edition of this little project that I was going to plant some Linaria maroccana seeds indoors to be moved outdoors once A.M. temps are slightly more accommodating. Here they are. There are 10 cells like this in the seedling starter tray. The giant white chunks are actually small pieces of perlite.


 The front yard four days before the March equinox, 2015.

When I first started this urban meadow idea it was done with my mother in mind. I wanted to scatter some beauty about which would be right outside the windows for her to see. This started in 2012 with my using an electric cultivator on the property and going over front, side and backyards several times. The ground was mostly hard, mostly clay and the cultivator would often bounce around like a jackhammer on steel plates. Then there was the hand pulling and raking of deeply embedded weeds. After that there was the introduction of mulch provided by the city shoveled by me onto the sheet covered rear of my tired old Jeep Cherokee. Seeds were purchased from the local big box hardware store and were scattered mid-October of 2012 when the first rains arrived. The earliest flowers, mostly California poppies, began opening as we entered March of 2013. Eight years ago today on March the 5th, 2013 I ended up describing these first blooms to my mother, she was lying in bed unresponsive. She was shutting down and it became almost instinctively apparent to me that I needed to tell her about the beauty appearing outside of her home, about arrangements that were made by my sister so she would know she was going to be placed near our father, to tell her how much I loved her and how important she had been in my life. I knelt on the floor holding her gently as the hospice nurse was outside organizing for her visit. She passed as I was escorting the nurse into the house. 


  1. Stunningly beautiful pics and an equally beautiful story about you and your mom in her final moments. I remember that day well.

  2. I'd forgotten that today is the anniversary of our mother's death - I make a point not to observe the anniversaries of losses, preferring to recall birthdays, but I do remember. 2013 was a difficult year all around. Excellent photos as always.