Saturday, May 29, 2021

Today's walk report: 053021

 I decided not to walk today due a persistent leg pain mentioned here, Today's walk report: 050821. I'm lining stuff up trying to find out what the deal is since it was diagnosed as a contusion and while I'm only a doctor when I'm on the Internet, I can categorically say, it's not a contusion. Anyway, I'm giving it a rest on a three-day weekend where I'd really like to visit the local botanical garden, since I figure that will be a ghost town. Maybe a drive and walk come Monday. which is Memorial Day. We'll see. I'm providing that link to Wikipedia thinking people outside of the U.S. won't know what Memorial Day is about. Don't worry, a scary number of Americans don't know either.

From my first walk of 2021, linked above, up through the walk I took yesterday, I've paused to take pictures of discarded face masks. It appears to be the street trash of the new decade. A couple of years ago I started taking pictures of fast food trash because there was so much (mostly McDonald's and I don't even know where the closest McDonald's is) but now it's face masks. Some of them even appear to have cost more than a couple of dollars. Here are several...

 I thought, if I started to lose count, this might come in handy.

 This one was displayed here before.

 And then, there's always an odd sock.

Another point to this entry. This is my first post on a new computer, something I didn't care to do but the writing was on the wall. After close to 10 years of use my mid-2011 iMac is about to go from ones and zeros to just zero. The only photo work on this post was in resizing images. I used Affinity Photo which I'm slowly but surely adapting to after using Adobe Photoshop for 22 years. I'm going to miss Photoshop but I will try and be diligent between The Gimp and Affinity Photo. These are all iPhone photos of dirty stuff so it hasn't entirely hit me yet. Blogger was also dying on the iMac due to Google's last update and my reluctance to out date other application software to keep up with Google by updating my OS beyond Apple's Yosemite (released in October, 2014).  In the words of Kurt Vonnegut... "So it goes". Death of a computing experience.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Today's walk report: 052321

 Here are some wide shots I missed yesterday for lack of proper lenses. I'm not adding any descriptions. I have a lot to do today. But note the last shot, of the palo verde tree, the tree I took pictures of yesterday which has had some major lower branches cut off. Also, the first palo verde tree when you walk into the garden has been seriously cut back. Most of this doesn't matter, you didn't see it before, unless you go back and scour this blog, it doesn't matter. Docken will know, so these pictures are mostly for Docken. For me there seems to be a balance between that which has become overgrown and that which has been seriously cut back or removed. There are also numerous new plants being established. It's yin and yang.

One other thing, the significance of the crow shot. Both yesterday and today I drove part way in, near the campus, mostly because I wasn't sure what would happen once I got there. Even though I was told it would be okay to do what I wanted to do I was a little apprehensive. Today, less than 1/4 mile into walking onto the campus, I had a photo op for a much better crow image. That's when I discovered "no card". Yep, I had forgotten to take the card out of my computer yesterday and put it back in the camera. So, back to the car, back home and I shot about 25 minutes in the process but it was a heck of a lot better than being over a mile in and discovering I couldn't take pictures. So, the first crow warned me to turn back. This might even be the same crow, only the crow knows for sure.

 PS, the computer I've been using for this blog for almost 11 years is about to bite the big one. I've never used a computer consistently across such a long span of time before. My computing world is about to change dramatically. For one, I'm pretty much saying goodbye to all Adobe products. I actually Beta tested some Adobe software way back when. The first version of Photoshop I ever used was .87. It was an Alpha version not for distribution. That was in 1989. I was a small child 😏. I also sold at least hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Adobe software in my lifetime and all I ever got were some nick-knacks and t-shirts. Thanks Adobe! Anyway, there may or may not be a pause on things here. I'm about to find out.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Today's walk report: 052221


We are stardust, we are golden
We are billion-year-old carbon
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden*
And so I did. My last trip to the local botanical garden was posted here March 15, 2020. The following day the campus was closed due to Covid-19. Technically, it's still closed but essentially that is to large groups of people congregating and possibly doing stupid stuff. It's a longer story, essentially I asked for permission and permission was granted. 

I arrived at about 6:40 A.M. I didn't see another soul. That was wonderful. Taking pictures was a little awkward. I was happy to be there but I felt a little uncomfortable. It would take too long to explain and I'm not exactly sure I can, so, onto some pictures.

I knew I was headed in the right direction.

I guess I was a little anxious out the door looking forward to seeing the garden again. I should have brought a couple of other lenses, specifically my close-up attachment for the 70-300 mm I did bring and more importantly a shorter lens for wider/taller shots. There's always tomorrow. I could not figure out what happened with this palo verde tree. I don't remember low, lying branches anywhere near this size from a year ago. There's about 25' of tree towering above this.

I don't know if my presence was annoying this male mallard or if he wanted me to follow him. I ended up walking away.

Unfortunately I have missed a lot of plants flowering but these blue nolina (Nolina nelsonii) were pretty.

As were a few other palo verde trees.

Sylvilagus audubonii were plentiful. You know... rabbits? That's what they do.

My mildly apprehensive mood plus some general aches and pains that are a consequence of not walking in over a year effected my usual patience in getting hummingbird shots. Plus it was early and still a bit chilly. I'll do better next time. Or maybe not. Female Selasphorus sasin enjoying Callistemon salignus.

The bush sunflowers (Encelia californica)) are on the way out.

Oh, and look... the agapanthus are blooming. Yes, the agapanthus are blooming.



Peace. Get vaccinated.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Today's walk report: 051321

 Another early morning walk, this time I had company, the lovely Docken was on the phone for most of the journey. I gave her a ringy-dingy about 1/4 mile in, as soon as Trains* was over. This also occurred on Tuesday, early evening (except the intro song was Black Dog, live). The evening walk began shortly after 7 PM, was about 40-something minutes long, with temperatures somewhere around 74º-68º and was precisely 2.03 miles long. Okay, I crossed streets to avoid humans about 5 times and I didn't factor that in. That's about 9.5 yards per crossing. So there. This morning's walk, which I should point out required my taking a shower at 5 AM, was certainly less than one hour, was precisely 2.26 miles (3.64 km) long, with a pleasant coolness of precisely 58.6°-59.6º. What's the point? The point (aside from me being anal about measuring shit) is I went for a couple more walks and nothing bad happened. 

If I don't wander into the current socio-political climate and I keep my head away from thinking about the avoidable tragedy regarding the loss of 583K people in the United States mostly due to the complete and utter incompetence of a single individual, I felt some sense of normalcy reentering my psyche. Psyche using, more or less, the Freudian definition of the word, the totality of elements forming the mind. Next, let's throw in getting out and getting some exercise. Wow! It's a win-win. I'm still not too fond of other people milling about but hey, was I ever? And eventually, forces willing, that too will improve.

One picture from the PITA phone. This was a WTF  for me but it's indicative of city workers or those sub-contracted by the city. I've spoken to some of these people, they've told me, we do as little as possible in order to pass a potential inspection. Here that was, stop the tree from taking out more of the fence. Who cares about how it looks, the general well-being of the tree or what future growth might instill. The fence is to keep people and critters from going up a short embankment above and wandering onto the 101 freeway.


PS, I think most walks moving forward won't be reported, unless the focus is on photography. Right now the walks have a special significance in building my confidence for breaking free from the bonds of Covid-19. I am parading my liberation. In a sense this report and the previous one revert back to the the beginnings of my writing about my boring walks, later they were much more about efforts in presenting pretty pictures to mostly random viewers. That's where I'd rather be.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Once Upon a Walk Report - Part Eight

 Continuing with 2016 photo folder housekeeping. This last folder contained 8,654 images and it was trimmed down to 1,287. A lot of this folder contained macro images that were taken for reference. Mostly for examining phenotypes in plants which were difficult to observe without some optical assistance. There was no reason to keep most of these.

Here are some photographs I decided to showcase.

Male Calypte anna hummingbird. Getting agitated?


Eric Duck hot on the tail of Docken Duck.

Male Calypte anna hummingbird resting on a Caesalpinia gilliesii shrub.


Back at home a Nezara viridula, commonly known as the southern green stink bug. It's in the 5th instar phase of its adult life. It's about to become entirely green. The plant is a poppy seed pod, probably Papaver orientale.


Honey bee squishing his little antenna, going in deep on a Salvia 'Amistad' flower.


Back home again with a couple of scarlet flax flowers (Linum grandiflorum).


Female Allen's hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) on Hesperaloe parviflora.


These baby ground squirrels were just starting to come out on their own to explore. Mom was close by watching.


Bee on a rose.


Male Calypte anna on kangaroo paws.


Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on Buddleja davidii.


My first, second and only experiences taking pictures of the Bullock's oriole (Icterus bullockii). I also managed to get a few shots off of a female but they were less than spectacular.




Leptotes marina (blue marine) butterfly on a Baja fairy duster flower (Calliandra californica).


Female Calypte anna hummingbird.


Female Selasphorus sasin hummingbird getting an early start on these agave flowers.

Monarch butterfly, Lord of the toothpick plant.


 Female Selasphorus sasin in a field of red mountain sage (Salvia darcyi).

 That's it for now. It's been a really long, freaky day--trust me. The next folder, number 14 of 21 (I think) only has 3,957 items in it. It too looks as though many shots were taken in order to see details of things as opposed to looking for photographic merit. We shall see.