Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yellow Douglas Fir Borer

"Busy" is not the word. I'm absolutely swamped with creatures standing in line to have their picture taken. It's a scene right out of images we have seen of the animals waiting to get on Noah's Ark.
Today's winner is a Yellow Douglas Fir Borer. I took him/her first because of a sob-story about a sick mother back at the old fir tree.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Yesterday, hiking along the Earthquake Trail in Point Reyes, Bob T and I ran across this human head carved from rock. To say that we were taken aback would be an understatement. I rushed home and,  doing some research on the Internet, was able to figure out the origin of the head. All that remains to be researched is how the head got from the Easter Islands to the San Andreas Fault in Point Reyes. Could the 1906 quake, which measured 7.8 on the Richter Scale, have transported the sculpture half way across the world? Hard to imagine, but if you have a better explanation, let me know.
Moai (or mo'ai) (IPA: /ˈmoʊ.аɪ/) are monolithic human figures carved from rock on the Polynesian island of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) between 1250 and 1500 CE. Nearly half are still at Rano Raraku, the main Moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone platforms called Ahu around the island's perimeter. Almost all Moai have overly large heads three-fifths the size of their bodies. The Moai are chiefly the 'living faces' (aringa ora) of deified ancestors.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Male Acorn Woodpecker from this morning's hike at Point Reyes with Bob Towler.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Always trying to please, I am bowing to the entreaties of the few conservative, straight-laced, followers among you, and am officially renaming the Artsy-Xxxxxx category. The new name shall be "Artsy-Abstract".
Today's Artsy-Abstract depicts some sun-dried kelp and its shadow created by yesterday's setting sun. A teenie weenie bit of Photoshop also happened along. I take solace from the fact, that Anselm Adams (not my favorite photographer) spent hours upon hours fiddling in his darkroom.
Actually (as Albee would say), I shouldn't even tell you what the picture depicts. I prefer to let it be judged on its own merits.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Brown Pelican

Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking pix of the North American Open Water Rowing Championship, and I was privileged to follow the race from aboard a little boat. And that's how I got this picture of a Brown Pelican. Most of the Pelicans we see in Marin are American White Pelicans, while Brown Pelicans are unusual. It's the other way round in the Marina, on the San Francisco side.

Not My Car!

That's right ~ it's not my car! But it is the rear window of a car that's been sitting near Dunphy Park in Sausalito for years.

Friday, July 25, 2008

St. Vincent's

I normally shy away from postcard-style pictures and I'm not sure why I made an exception with St. Vincent's Church in San Rafael. Perhaps the reason is that I happened upon a good angle, or perhaps the light was just right.
Whatever the case, here's what I found when I got home ~ St. Vincent's, an Italian Renaissance Mission-style church, was constructed in 1855 and is designated a California historical landmark. The state's oldest home for dependent children, the school began as an orphanage during the Gold Rush. St. Vincent's now provides residential care to boys ages seven to 17 with serious emotional and educational problems.
A few months ago the following information ran in the Marin Independent Journal. "By a one-vote margin, the Marin Board of Supervisors tentatively agreed to allow more housing than the 221 units county planning commissioners recommended for the 1,230 acres of north San Rafael ranchland owned by St. Vincent's School for Boys and the Silveira family".
To be truthful, I don't know whether I have my facts right, and may be mixing apples and oranges. What I do know is that Tamalpa Runners used to have an annual Sunday race starting near the church. And, rather than starting at 9 AM, the race would start at precisely 9:18 (I think), in order to give the parishioners time to leave the premises after the service!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I told him that his picture would come out blurry if he didn't stop for a moment, but did he listen? Of course not! Typical pig-headed macho guy! But I still like the shot. Taken on the Bear Valley Trail in Point Reyes last Tuesday.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I hope that, with this picture, I'll get insects out of my mind for a few days and move on to bigger things. Do note the yellow pollen on the bee's body. No other comments on today's presentation!
But I do want to tell you that I woke up at 3 o'clock this morning with yesterday's caterpillar before my eyes. And suddenly I knew that, of course, it was an inch-worm! Duh! Then I was able to go back to sleep.
This morning I consulted the Internet! Inchworms are the name for the larvae of moths of the family Geometridae. Also called measuring worms, spanworms, and loopers, they lack appendages in the middle portion of their body, causing them to have a characteristic looping gait, which gives them the name.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


This little gal/guy literally dropped down from the sky! Bob T noticed her/him dangling on a thread from a branch at least thirty feet above our heads on the Bear Valley Trail this morning. How a caterpillar, less than 1 cm in length, produce enough thread for a drop like that, is beyond me. We gently usher the little gal/guy onto a leaf, and this is when she/he began these gyrations for the camera. Once again my guidebooks left me in the lurch. And I don't even know whether caterpillars are gender-specific.

Monday, July 21, 2008


It took me a mere fifteen minutes, studying my guide-books, to come to the conclusion that I could not positively identify this butterfly. That's pretty fast, isn't it? I took the picture yesterday at the Ponds (Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District Ponds, for you sticklers for detail).
Once again, kudos to Mother Nature!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


For a change of pace, here's a picture I took in Havana, 4-1/2 years ago. It shows a group of our dangerous enemies cavorting in front of the camera. I was in Cuba to, allegedly, study Spanish at the University of Havana. I took this picture on film. Do any of you remember film?

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Anyone who doesn't, by now, know that I'm a confirmed tattoo-freak, has had her/his head firmly stuck in the sand. My latest contribution to the world of tattoos, depicts gorgeous, demure, Rachel of the fair city of Fairfax. For the few among you who are strangers to Latin, "tibi crede" means "trust yourself". And no, I did not flop the picture. The message really is reverse-reading, for the convenience of the tattoo's owner when admiring herself in the mirror. Makes sense to me!
Why don't I have a tattoo? Perhaps I neglected to mention that I like to see them on others, not me.

Friday, July 18, 2008


San Francisco 9th Street doorway converted into an Artsy-Fartsy work of art!. They sure use bright colors on some of the houses in San Francisco.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


The other day, after visiting the Chihuly exhibit at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, Marty and I took a close look at the huge bronze vase in front of the museum. It is literally covered with cherubs, engaged in a variety of activities. Here's one of these little guys, hugging a bee (?). While I am not enthralled by this sweet, romantic, kind of art, I must confess that I really like the vase, which I have never before taken a closer look at (never end a sentence with a preposition). I deserve thirty lashes for not checking who the artist is. And Google was no help (how about, instead, a list of restaurants or motels within a five-mile radius of the Park?). Next time more better!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


There's nothing quite like a bunch of kids having a good laugh! From left to right, Sam, Phil, Dick & Margie (three runners and a walker) from my Tuesday morning Point Reyes group. They are sitting on "our" bench, around the corner from the Bovine Bakery.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Black-crowned Night-Herons are night foragers and, during the day, usually roost in trees and are too far away for a decent photograph. The other day was different. I was out at the Ponds very early and thus able to get quite close to some of the birds, still crouching quietly at the water's edge, watching for their breakfast.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Well, I'm back again at the Pride Parade. I thought these two kids with their sunglasses were mega-cute and absolutely worth a picture. I believe they were twins but I don't know about identical. What I do know is that they had two daddies. Get used to it!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

San Francisco

This recipe is very simple ~ 1 medium size bowl of San Francisco, 2 teaspoons-full of Photoshop, and 2 ounces of humor. Voila!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My Spoon

Thursday morning Marty and I settled down at our table at the Half Day Cafe in Kentfield. Great ambiance. Marin's finest surrounding us. We were hungrily studying the menu, when I happened to glance at my spoon. "Eeeeeek" I cried as I recoiled! Then, with remarkable presence of mind (even if I say so myself), I grabbed my camera, set it on close-up, and stealthily closed in on my prey. The resulting masterpiece is attached. I think you will all agree that I caught a great reflection of the overhead light-fixture.
I wonder if, were the Cafe ever to serve dinners, its name would be changed?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Here Comes the Sun

Yesterday, when walking down 9th Avenue in San Francisco, Marty Albion and I came upon this PG&E gas valve lid. Somebody had created a beautiful design while the concrete was still wet. What came to mind was the 1978 Beatles' song "Here Comes the Sun". If you were not around thirty years ago, or wish to reminisce, click on:


Generally I don't believe in sending out pictures of other people's art. But I think that catching the reflection of Dale Chihuly's work gives me a little license. The exhibition, now showing at the de Young Museum, is really worth seeing. It is also one of the rare occasions when photography (albeit without flash) is allowed. Chihuly's creations remind one of the blown glass in Murano, the island in the Venice lagoon.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Here's a portrait of James Spencer Nosuchguy, the renowned British perturbinger. At this time I'll divulge only the artist's first name ~ Lucy. Due to her tender age (two) I want to protect her from too much publicity. You may have to employ your imagination a bit to interpret the painting, but remember how the public was, at first, at a loss when viewing the early Picassos.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


We are surrounded by beauty. All we must do is open our eyes. Some of the most beautiful paintings of grass that I have ever seen are by Albrecht Dürer (1471 - 1528 Nüremberg, Germany).

Monday, July 7, 2008

Strange Sight!

I caught this gentleman, playing his fiddle, at the Marin County Fair on Saturday. I think he was rehearsing while waiting to go on stage with the Dunsmuir Scottish Dancers. He sure found himself a comfy spot!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Go fly a Kite

Very early this morning I paid a visit to the Ponds and observed these three White-tailed Kites behaving very strangely. They were making a lot of noise (screeching), circling, and apparently attacking each other. Normally these little hawks are solitary during the day, but today they had an issue they were trying to resolve. I watched them until they finally lost interest in their squabble, and separated.
I guess boids will be boids!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mount Tamalpais

Hualalai, Kahoolawe, Mauna Kea, Mahukona, Kohala and Loihi. All great-sounding names of Hawaiian volcanoes. But who needs them, when we have Mount Tamalpais right in our own back-yard. And besides, Mt. Tam is not likely to erupt.
Obviously it was the palm trees that made me think of Hawaii. I took this picture from the former Hamilton Air Force Base in Novato, now a housing development.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Grand Marshal!

I had planned to go to the Bolinas Fourth of July celebration, but wound up at the Sausalito Parade instead. And here is my favorite picture. Judging by the crowd's reaction, I think I caught the Grand Marshal, sporting that Uncle Sam top-hat!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Here come the Brides!

Here's one of the dozens of brand-new same-sex married couples in last week's Pride Parade. They were celebrating the May 15th ruling of the California State Supreme Court that struck down the State's ban on such unions.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Here's another picture of Sunday's Pride Parade. I couldn't help noticing the similarity of the balloons with Dale Chihuly's glass-blown works of art, now at the de young Museum in Golden Gate Park. The parade is history but, if you haven't seen the exhibit yet, gather your loved ones and get thee there pronto!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Leaving the Pride Parade on Sunday, I noticed a lady sitting in front of a shop. The glitter on her eyelids caught my eye. In my usual bashful manner I asked her if she would let me take a picture. She agreed. As I was shooting, I noticed the shadow her eyelashes were throwing on her cheek. And this is what I zoomed in on (bad sentence structure). In case you must know, the lady told me she was Mongolian.