Saturday, November 29, 2008

Laughing Rock

When you're retired, the whole world comes to life!


I am signed up for a December 4th Beginner's Photoshop class at the Mill Valley Library. Who knows what mischief I'll get into after I have that under my belt!
I took the attached picture at about 8 AM this morning at the Corte Madera Marsh. Weather clear, temperature about 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Centigrade)

Friday, November 28, 2008

California Academy Of Sciences

The gorgeous, brand-new, California Academy of Sciences is touted as "a four-story rainforest, an aquarium, a planetarium, and a natural history museum all under one living roof!" What more could one possibly expect? Well, I found some thrilling shadows and reflections, unnoticed by the teeming crowds, attuned solely to the official presentations.
I took my picture, looking up, from a spot not far from the main entrance. The beautiful lines and curves were in constant motion, as I stood enjoying the spectacle.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

More Egrets

Just in case you needed to see more Egrets, here's another one of the pix I took at Rush Creek eight days ago. When I went back four days ago, I didn't see a single Egret.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Art Nouveau

A century ago, and for fifteen years, Art Nouveau flourished throughout the Western World. It is still wildly popular among many art-lovers, yours truly among them.
That being said, I was truly surprised when I saw a whole field of Art Nouveau-style, what I think were, Common Thistles, at the Olema Marsh. Usually Art mimics Nature, but here we have a reversal. Could I have stumbled on a new movement?
Now that your pulse has returned to normal, take a good look at my picture, and tell me what Tiffany, Gaudi, Mucha, Klimt, et al, would say to my discovery, were they alive today.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Bob T and I wandered out the Bear Valley Trail In Point Reyes this morning. There was a light drizzle so we decided to leave our cameras in the car, thinking there wouldn't be much to photograph anyway. Of course we were proved wrong twenty minutes later as we came upon these beautiful mushrooms. We continued on our hike, passing the mushrooms again on the way back. "They'll still be here next week", we rationalized. By the time we got back to the car it had stopped raining. Now our creative conscience began to plague us, so we trudged back to the mushrooms, this time with cameras in hand! And you are the beneficiaries of our travail!
After unsuccessfully searching through all my guide books, I E-mailed Emma K., the head of my Mycological Research Advisory Group for assistance. Being Ukrainian, Emma has been on a first-name basis with mushrooms since she was two years old and, astonishingly, is still alive. Anyway, she responded post-haste and wrote "Those are not edible mushrooms, they are called LBMs (little brown mushrooms). Some call them LYMs or LWMs (yellow or white). They are similar to honey mushrooms which are edible, but those have little hairs on the top and much more brown/purple coloring". Being of a gullible nature, I am taking Emma's words for gospel, though somewhere, in the depth of my brain (ha!) I suspect that the wool is being pulled over my eyes.
By the way, I hope that, after all the above ranting, you like the picture. Which is what it's all about!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Early Morning at Rush Creek

A heavy fog lay over Rush Creek this morning, as Bob T and I ventured out. The rest, of course, is photography!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Oh No!

Oh no! Hans is back to his wicked ways again! He says, that every so often, he just can't help himself, things just happen.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

More Rush Creek

Here, finally, in an attempt to mollify the conservative traditionalist members of my fan-club, is an original Hans Roenau landscape, this one a beautiful view of Rush Creek. Are you happy now?
Signed and numbered 8" x 10" prints are available, at a special Holiday Sale price of only US$ 182.73, plus Sales Tax where applicable. Shipping is included in the purchase price. Order today and delivery by December 12th is guaranteed.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I can hardly take credit for this picture. I was watching the mind-boggling show at the new California Academy of Sciences Planetarium. We were told "no flash, no cell-phones, no nothing". It was really dark during the show but I decided to take a picture anyway, of course without flash. It took forever and then, to my embarrassment, the whole back of my camera, unexpectedly, lit up like a Christmas tree! I quickly turned my camera off as I sank into my seat (the ground).
When I downloaded my pictures I was totally amazed at what came up!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Chase

Here's another one from yesterday's Rush Creek excursion. Bob H alerted me that something strange was going on. The Avocets were busy digging in the mud just under the water under the watchful eyes of some beady-eyed Gulls. When one of the Avocets scooped up a delectable morsel and flew off, a Gull would follow in hot pursuit. If the Avocet dropped the goodie, the Gull would swoop down and pick it up. It was almost as though the Avocets were the unwilling slaves of the Gulls!  Size does matter and Might is Right!
Not easy to photograph, though! Nobody stopped to pose! The attached picture is the best of dozes I shot.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Bob H and I could hardly believe our eyes this morning when we came upon this scene at Rush Creek this morning. Neither one had ever seen anywhere near this many egrets in one place. Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets, with some Avocets and Gulls thrown in for good measure. A photographer's dream! Once again we had hit pay-dirt!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bridal Veil

A beautiful morning at Point Reyes. Everything covered with dew.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Canada Geese Again

When I started out around the Ponds with Bob T. this morning, there were 483 picture opportunities that I was looking for in my mind's eye (huh?). A flying flock (try repeating that fast) of Canada Geese, outlined against Mount Tamalpais, was one of them. Here's the picture, and now my wish-list is down to 482!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Street Art

Something about this three-way splitter and jumble of wires caught my eye. Real, accidental, Street Art, I thought! It happened yesterday in Fairfax (the town whose citizens voted almost 80% for Obama).

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Just don't tell me the trees aren't listening.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Acorn Woodpeckers

Hiking around Lake Lagunitas the other day, I heard a big commotion on one of the trees. Looking up I saw about twenty birds flopping around in, what seemed to be, some kind of dispute. By the time I got around to taking a picture, only a few were left. From the ground I couldn't identify the birds, though I noticed, as they flew away, that their wings appeared black and white on the underside. When I got my picture on the computer screen I realized, that what I had seen, were Acorn Woodpeckers. I had always believed that woodpeckers were solitary birds. But, looking in my 'Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior', I found that "The Acorn Woodpecker is a communal, cooperative breeder, with groups of birds filling, using, and defending granaries. The granaries can be quite substantial. One study reported Acorn Woodpeckers storing more than 60,000 acorns in a single granary". I live and learn!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Once in a while I give in to the clamor of some of the members of my fan club, who insist that I show pictures from my colored past. So here is one that goes back to 1946, at the Kiangwan Airfield outside of Shanghai, where I was working as a civilian employee for the US Air Transport Command. You see me posing with two Chinese Nationalist (Kuomingtan - Chiang Kai-shek) soldiers in front of a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. I was working as an air-transport clerk. Sometimes I got to operate a fork-lift (years before I learned to drive a car)! I was eighteen and three inches taller than I am now! This was three years before the Communists, under Mao Tse-Tung, won control of all of China. Shown below is a picture of a B-17 which I stole from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time! I know that some of you hate the images that I photograph on my walks, while others really like them. And I can't help it if they insist on popping up. This one appeared to me at Lake Lagunitas on Monday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


No, this is not the greatest picture of a squirrel you have ever seen. And no, it is not a rare and/or endangered species. What it is, is (spells Isis) the first time in over three years, that I succeeded in getting, an at least halfway decent shot, of a squirrel from my kitchen window. You see, they don't sit still, but jump from branch to branch at record speed. I think it's a Douglas' Squirrel, also known as a Pine Squirrel. And now you're at least as smart as I am on this subject.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Legacy of a failed administration.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


This is the picture I meant to use! First mistake this year!

More Limantour

I thought these two riders and their horses made for a really good photo-op! What is not apparent from the picture is, that the horses (but especially the Pinto) refused to go near the water and there was a bit of a struggle! Perhaps it was their first time. All this took place at Limantour Beach last Friday.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Common Buckeye

Yesterday Bob H and I saw several Common Buckeyes on the trail to Limantour Beach. They have a funny habit of flying ahead of you, alighting on the trail, sitting there for a while, and then taking off, only to repeat the procedure!
I found an article about the 2006 Buckeye postage stamp, that I thought might interest you. Here it is ~
javascript:openWindow7();Common Buckeye (First-Class 24-cent postcard stamp and First-Class second-ounce rate)

This definitive stamp depicts the Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia), an attractive butterfly named for the distinctive eyespots on its wings. The stamp's 24-cent denomination covers the rate for mailing First-Class postcards.

Stamp Artist Steve Buchanan began the project by borrowing a preserved specimen of the Common Buckeye from The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and studying it under a microscope. Then using a digitizing tablet and stylus he "painted" a portrait of the butterfly on his computer, positioning it against a plain white background with a shadow to suggest depth. After consulting with an entomologist at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, Buchanan made some minor corrections and adjustments to the artwork. The final result is an exquisitely detailed and precise artistic rendering of this handsome butterfly.


Friday, November 7, 2008


Bob H and I hiked out to Limantour Beach this morning. It was a gorgeous day and we ran across all kinds of shells, dried algae, rocks, etc. My favorite, however, was the image I photographed (attached). I'll leave it up to you to identify it and to give it a name (if you are so inclined).

Thursday, November 6, 2008

China Camp

Here's another one from my recent visit to China Camp. The creek, winding its way through the wetlands paints a nice design. The little building in the background is one of a chain of old duck blinds. While this is duck-hunting season, I'm not sure that using the blinds is legal. Obviously, being a birder and a vegetarian, I abhor the practice of duck-hunting. In defense of the hunters it must be said, however, that they contribute a lot of money to the addition and preservation of wetlands.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


After all the excitement of the elections, it is time for a little reflection. Yesterday's picture of raindrops on a blade of grass mirrors my mood this morning. Sometimes simplicity is the name of the game.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


After a, photographically speaking, minimally successful walk on the Bear Valley Trail, we sat on our bench in Point Reyes Station, enjoying Bovine Bakery goodies. Which is when I looked up and, lo and behold, here, staring me in the face, was the prize-winning picture. All this happened this morning.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Oak Tree

You will find this Oak Tree on top of a hill, circumscribed by the Turtle Back Nature Trail, off North San Pedro Road. This is a very pretty rather short trail, that has recently been upgraded.
Please note, I have never been good at placing commas where they belong, and it's too late to teach an old dog new tricks. So please forgive me when I sin!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cogs on Gearwheel

Yep, sounds archaic, but that's what they are ~ cogs on a gearwheel! On the dock, out at China Camp Village, on North San Pedro Road in San Rafael. And then I got a little help from my Photoshop friend!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Redundant Again

Just a wild guess ~ perhaps the store is open every day too?
With signs like this one, rat here in the good ole US of A, we should not ridicule Chinglish.