Sunday, August 31, 2008

SFWD Smilie

You gotta trust me on this one. The Eucalyptus leaf really was on the SFWD lid. Alright, mebbe I moved it a tad, but that's all. This was near the Academy, in Golden Gate Park. Note that the lid was made in Oakland!
I am not in the habit of handing out awards. But today I am making an exception. Carlo, the lighting engineer at the Palace of Fine Arts, responded to my picture of the Albino Alligator by saying that he thought it was a pigment of my imagination. For this he is deservedly rewarded with the first ever Hans Bon Mot Award.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Albino Alligator

After all you've had to put up with for the last few days, here, finally, is something you can sink your teeth into. So to speak!
Here is the California Academy of Science's Albino Alligator, at the new (old) location in Golden Gate Park. The Academy will open to the public on September 27th. Your assignment is to become a member. You can get the details at .
Our alligator, resting on a heated rock, is one of only about 30 worldwide. Allegedly, peering into its cloudy eyes will bring good luck (but don't believe everything you hear).
A 1996 film, Albino Alligator, directed by Kevin Spacey earned rotten tomatoes.
And now you know exactly as much as I do on the subject!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Four Choices

You have four choices for this one ~
1) Dead dog.
2) Dog, wanting its belly scratched.
3) Eucalyptus bark on Corte Madera Creek Trail.
4) Hans, you're losing it!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Limantour Beach

And, on a happy note, I bring you greetings from Limantour Beach, in Point Reyes, visited with Marti Albion this morning.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Clapper Rail

My visit to the Corte Madera Marsh, yesterday, was not exclusively hallucinogenic. I also managed to take some interesting bird pictures. Here's a shot of a Clapper Rail. It is an endangered species, with only about 3,000 of these beautiful birds remaining. Its population is so precariously low due to the destruction of marshland by land-development and shoreline-fill.
Please note that the name of the Marin Audubon Society's monthly publication is "Clapper Rail". I am a member of the Society, and recommend it to anyone who loves birds. It offers many lectures and outings.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Richmond-San Rafael Bridge

Today's picture is not my fault. I was desperate. You see, all my regular co-hikers were out of town, recovering from surgery, taking the cat to be surged, etc. Add to that the fact that I had to take a friend to the Marin Airporter at 5:40 AM, and you have my state of mind. I decided to go to the Corte Madera Marsh  instead of the traditional Point Reyes. And, as luck (or the time of day) would have it, the sun decided to rise behind the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. I rushed the picture home and that's where I fell in with some bad company. Photoshop! The rest is history.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Orb-Weaving Spider

This spider came up to me at the Ponds this morning demanding to know why we haven't had the picture of one of her/his kin in a long time. What could I do but oblige. I believe that she/he is an Orb-Weaving Spider.
Let me grab you before you try to sneak out of the classroom. The Orb-Weaving Spider hangs head downward near center of web, or remains at a nearby resting site connected to the web by a signal line. Egg sac is attached to a plant near this retreat or on foliage nearby. Spiderlings disperse after hatching.
Each night the old web is replaced with a new one, spun in complete darkness by touch alone.
While I, once again, raise my glass in a salute to Mother Nature!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


This is a picture of inadvertent street art. And yes, to my surprise, the word 'advertent' does exist and means 'heedful'. Trust me, it is true. Back to the picture. I took it this morning, on a street near Bob Towler's house, in San Rafael.
Sending out my Daily E-mails is a dicey proposition. My addressees range from anarchists to right-wing Republicans, from my eighteen-year-old granddaughter, Kelso, to my eighty-one-year-old friend, Wally. I send it to friends in Austria, Germany, New York, etc. Some of the recipients are artists, others are real art-aficionados, while some proclaim categorically "I don't like modern art". There are some photographers, and a couple are better than I. I have straights and gays. Some are linguists. Some have a great sense of humor, while a few are dry as toast.
Here's where I'm going with this ~ I want to proclaim that, unlike our politicians, I try to please only myself. Sometimes I am tempted to cater to the preference or taste of one of my addressees, then I quickly steer away from that thought and stick to my motto of "I shoot what I see". I want to remain free of outside influence. The beauty of being retired is that you don't have to kiss anybody's behind! So now you know!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Farmers Market

Beautiful veggies at the Civic Center Farmers Market at the San Rafael Civic Center. There is a question about whether it should be Farmers, Farmer's, or Farmers' Market. Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn! And Spell Check allowed all three versions. So there!
I'm Hans Roenau and I approve this message.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Please don't bore me with excuses of why you are not at the Olympics. I didn't go either, but I didn't have to. Instead, my friend Marti and I went to the McInnis Skatepark in San Rafael yesterday, and watched all the action up close. The new 25,000 square feet concrete facility is at the end of Smith Ranch Road. If you are a genuine stick-in-the-mud and don't want to drag your behind to a real fun place, you can visit virtually by copying and pasting this URL (no, for some reason or other, you can't just click on it).
Despite all the foregoing, my main pursuit, as usual, was photography and composition, not the fine art of skateboarding.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I can never resist the temptation of photographing beautiful women. As was the case yesterday, when Victoria posed for me in the downtown plaza in Mill Valley, while listened to a lovely concert of Cajun fiddle music.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I think you must agree that, if I have one talent, it is to milk the most out of a photo excursion. So here is yet another photograph from the Stanford Museum. This one is of the banister at the stairs of the main entrance. No matter, what really caught my eye, and what I was trying to catch in my picture, were the beautiful abstract shapes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


May I introduce my new neighbor, Elijah Luis Maiquez, four days old today! Can you believe that Elijah weighed in at 11 lbs 2 ozs? He's 22 inches tall (long?).
Borrowing from Wikipedia ~ Elijah was a prophet in Israel in the 9th century BCE. According to the Book of Kings, Elijah raised the dead, brought fire down from the sky, and ascended into heaven on a chariot.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Another one from the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. Coming down the stairs of the museum, I was struck by the competing patterns on the floor and the receptionist's desk stuck smack-dab in the middle of all the confusion. I suspect that, when the floor was designed, no thought was given to any furniture that had to be placed on it!
The phrase smack-dab means "slapped precisely in the center." According to the Oxford English Dictionary, smack-dab showed up in print in 1892: "He hit him smack dab in the mouth".
I'm not sure the lady's job-title is "receptionist", but it's the best I could come up with. And remember, my objective here is creative photography, not words!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Gotta keep practicing my Shanghai Dialect in case I visit my former home again.
Xiao-Ling on her birthday last Thursday.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bob and David

Yesterday, my friend Bob Towler (on the left), rarely at a loss for words, didn't quite know how to approach David, a concrete worker (also known as the 'Slab Man'). You see, David lives in the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, and hasn't moved a muscle in thirty-two years. He is the work of American sculptor Duane Hanson (1925 - 1996).

Using cast polychromed fiberglass, vinyl or bronze, and enhanced by real clothing, accessories and props, Hanson's sculptures capture a realism that compels the viewer to approach the figures for a closer look. The viewer is challenged to question the distinction between reality and illusion.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Stanford Museum

This morning, at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, it suddenly occurred to me that some of you may want more than just one of me. Trying to please, I took this picture from the outside, looking in. Happy now?

Thursday, August 14, 2008


According to Wikipedia this is Thistledown, utilizing a method of seed dispersal by wind. The tiny seeds are a favorite of goldfinches and some other small birds. Seen at Lake Lagunitas.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


My cute neighbor, Angeline sends her regards. And I am saved a trip to Peru.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


After several years of running, and later hiking, on the Bear Valley Trail in Point Reyes, today was the first time I've ever encountered a chipmunk. I know that my picture is less than perfect. My excuse is that it was still a little dark and I didn't dare getting too close to the little critter.
Meanwhile resident super-sleuth Margie, positively identified yesterday's thistle as a Cirsium. Boy, that woman is good!

Monday, August 11, 2008


Bob T and I took so many pictures of this thistle out in Point Reyes last Tuesday, we almost wore it out. Now, you'd think it would be super easy to positively identify this plant. But no such luck! Lotsa very close look-alikes, but no cigar!
My unsuccessful search did, however, yield some fascinating information. Who'd a thought!

Cardonnacum, derived from carduus, is the Latin for a place with thistles. This is believed to be the origin of name of the Burgundy village of Chardonnay, Saone-et-Loire, which in turn is thought to be the home of the famous Chardonnay grape variety. Which deserves another 'who'd a thought'.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Carrera de San Rafael

Yesterday's 'Carrera de San Rafael' Bike Race.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I took pictures for the SCOPE at the Carrera de San Rafael - the annual Criterium through the streets of downtown San Rafael. A Criterium is the most common form of American bike racing. It is a multi-lap race of 25 to 60 miles held on a closed course, generally a mile or less in length.
I'll send pictures of the race to the paper, but for you I have a special treat, the rear view of the sound engineer, or is it mixer, who was providing the music (?) for the event. On his tee it said "KICKS, CHICKS & PORNOFLIX". Leaving no stone unturned, no quotation unGoogled, I found that you can buy this tee from ~
But, if you prefer, they also carry tees that say "HEIDI LOVES LA COKA NOSTRA".  I don't know what that's supposed to mean, but it sounds sick (supposedly the new term for 'cool').

Friday, August 8, 2008

Beetle on Gumplant

This beetle looks very much like the Yellow Douglas Fir Borer I shot a few days ago, though I'm not sure. I am more convinced that what it is sitting on is a Gumplant. I took the picture at the Corte Madera Marsh. But mind you, I am less interested in identification than I am in the scene and the beauty of the insect and the flower. "Art for art's sake". Note that "ars gratia artis", is used as a slogan by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and appears in the oval around the roaring head of  Leo the Lion in their motion picture logo.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


In honor of the Olympics, scheduled to start tomorrow, I contribute this picture of the start of  "The Shanghai Cup Marathon" which I ran on March 26, 1988. Not quite the Olympics, and not quite Beijing, but what the heck, it was a marathon, and it took place in China. So don't nit-pick. Yours truly ran a memorable 3 hours and 26 minutes, my slowest of 40 marathons! It poured the entire time and was colder than cold. In fact, it was so cold, that I was unable to raise my arm and wave to the few brave onlookers along the route. By the way, I'm the guy with the number 5 on the Stars and Stripes tank-top.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Long and Short of It!

We met these two on the Bear Valley Trail in Point Reyes at &:15 yesterday morning. We were just starting our hike, while they were coming out from Sky Camp. They said it had been very wet, though there had not been any precipitation. "We slept in a cloud!" is the way the young man put it.
Please file this picture as "The Long and Short of It!"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Warning - Horses May Bite

Warning - Horses May Bite
Girls and sign at the Morgan Horse Ranch in Point Reyes. This morning.

Monday, August 4, 2008

East Bay Hills

The East Bay Hills as I saw them yesterday from the Corte Madera Marsh. Yes, I do have friends who approve only of my land- and seascapes!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Great Egret

I have conveniently misplaced my "Rules of E-mail Etiquette", and don't remember what it says about how often one may politely present pictures of Great Egrets. Ignorance is bliss, so here's one I took yesterday morning at the Corte Madera Marsh.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Xiao Ling

Today's picture shows my beautiful friend Xiao (Small) Ling. She is a native of Shanghai, living in Mill Valley. I get to practice my Shanghai Dialect with her, though she keeps chiding me "they don't say that any more, that's old-fashioned"! No surprise. I left Shanghai fifty-nine years ago and, while my retention of the dialect is fairly good, the Shanghainese have had the audacity to make changes! For example, the common greeting was "have you eaten rice?", which actually meant "have you eaten yet?" The required answer was "I have eaten". Just like our answer to "how are you?" is "fine!" Well, prosperity has obviated that little formality, and now the Chinese say "Ni hao?" - "You well?", the only Mandarin words Westerners learn, no matter how long they vacation in China.
I regret to tell you bachelors, that Ling is married and has two great kids!

Friday, August 1, 2008


To those of you who lack imagination, this is the picture of splatter, of an unknown origin, on the sidewalk of Throckmorton Avenue in Mill Valley. Which is precisely what it is.
But to me, and I hope most of you, it was a manifestation of the Olympic Games, now only seven days away. A case of accidental art, coinciding with an upcoming event of major importance. Simply put ~ a sign from heaven.
I will not try to interpret the picture for you but will rather leave it up to your own creative genius. At the very least, you must agree, that the image packs a wallop! Good luck!