Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blackberry Leaves

Slowly, but surely, my computer and I are getting to know each other. Today's Daily E-mail has been easier to produce!
What you see are blackberry leaves (I believe), left from last year. Margie and I spotted them along Sir Francis Drake Blvd in Point Reyes. The moisture from the early morning fog accentuated the color and produced the lovely teardrops.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Barbed Wire

Still having problems with my new computer. But I did take this picture on Sir Francis Drake Blvd in Point Reyes this morning. I rather liked the composition and colors.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Red Truck

Red truck this morning at the Ponds

Friday, December 26, 2008


Dang! Margie won't let me get away with anything. Hardly had I sent out my Daily E-mail when she wrote to set me straight. "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" was written by Betty Smith." Who is Dorothy McGuire"? she asked.
A quick check straightened me out. Betty Smith is indeed the author of the book which was published in 1942. Dorothy McGuire acted in the 1945 film.
I sit corrected.

Tree in Car

Reading Dorothy McGuire's 1945 classic, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, did not prepare me for what I saw today. What next?

Thursday, December 25, 2008


This is the scene that greeted me when I arrived at Divide Meadow a couple of mornings ago. I was so awed, that it would not have surprised me to see Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, or even Barack Obama emerge from the fog. Though Obama would have required a change from his usual wardrobe!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings
and a
Happy New Year!
With apologies to those that have already seen this picture.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What is it?

This morning none of my cronies showed up for the regular Tuesday morning run/walk on the Bear Valley Trail in Point Reyes. So I ventured out by my lonesome. But when I saw what is depicted on my photo, I began to wonder whether it's wise for me to go it alone. What do you think?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mohandas K. Gandhi

This morning I took the ferry to the City and wandered around a bit. I revisited the beautiful Gandhi statue and took a picture. That's the Ferry Bldg behind Gandhi, and a building housing condos behind it. The statue, by sculptors Zlatko Pounov and Steen Lowe, was dedicated on October 3, 1988. It is often decorated with Hawaiian leis. Other than that, it receives embarrassingly little attention.
Mohandas K. Gandhi, or Mahatma Gandhi, as he was commonly known, lived from 1869 to 1948. He said "Non-Violence is the greatest force at the disposal of Mankind. It is the supreme law. By it alone can mankind be saved."
Albert Einstein said "Generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth".

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Meggendorfer- Blätter

It's a pity that so few among you know German. For here's another gem from the Famous HGR Literary Collection. It's a book, containing several months worth of the Meggendorfer Blätter 1915, billed as the Magazine of Humor and Art. It is richly illustrated with cartoons which, today, wouldn't even trigger a smile! I don't remember where I snagged this book, but on the inside back cover, is written in pencil  $1.25! Most of the stories, cartoons, and jokes revolve around the war (1914 - 1918).
The poem under the illustration is entitled "Christmas Mail". I'm too lazy to translate it, but the gist of it is that the Christmas mail and packages have arrived. This is no ordinary mail, for if you look closely into the coach, you will see none other than the Christ child itself. The mail has stopped in front of a civil servant's (perhaps the mayor) house. A maid brings the coachman a little glass of grog, while the mailman struggles with the heavy boxes and packages. Those that don't receive anything still enjoy watching happily, thinking to themselves "it's all for the best, it's Christmas!"! (I wonder about that sentiment! ~ Ed.)


Don't these guys know that smoking causes lung-cancer?

Friday, December 19, 2008


I never tire of admiring the beauty of raindrops on blades of grass.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Picture taken at the Northgate Shopping Center in San Rafael.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Der Weihnachtsmarkt in Berlin

About a year ago I really scored when I found a book containing a bound year's worth of a weekly German newspaper in an antique store. The Illustrierte Zeitung, published in Leipzig, dating back to 1845, was the first German newspaper to carry illustrations! Woodcuts, to be precise.
The attached, timely picture, is called "Der Weihnachtsmarkt in Berlin" (Christmas-market in Berlin"). To place it in time ~ the Civil War ended two decades after this paper was published!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I live (so far, so good) and learn (hopefully)!
The other day, at the Ponds, I met a dyed-in-the-wool birder, who awakened me to the fact that there are many, many, specific names for flocks of different birds. Thus flocks of Cormorants are referred to as flights, or gulps. Ya coulda fooled me!
Which leads me to my picture of a flight or gulp of Cormorants, which I saw at the Ponds the other day. I think they were Double-crested Cormorants, though they seemed a little light in color. The sight was a little strange, since I usually observe being rugged individualists, though I have seen large flights (or gulps) of them skimming over the water in the Bay.
Looks like the bird in the right front was barking out orders. But Cormorants don't bark.
Enough of this tomfoolery!

Monday, December 15, 2008


What evil beast lurketh, not a hundred yards from my abode? This morning. I think I'll have to get no less than a pit bull to protect me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Here's a picture of Emiliano (on top) and Conchita, in a tight embrace, at the Academy. They are Phyllomedusa sauvagii, commonly known as Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs. Note that Conchita, being a girl, is quite a bit larger than Emiliano. They are madly in love. Conchita actually fell for Emiliano when, day after day, he brought her delicious insects, and especially fruit flies, which are her favorite. Their ancestors came from Venezuela (before Hugo Chavez's rule). They walk, rather than hop, hence the "monkey" in their name. In the wild, Conchita would lay eggs down the middle of a leaf before folding it, sandwiching the eggs inside. She would then place them in a nest, so that hatching tadpoles would drop into the water. I'm not sure what she'll do at the Academy. But regardless, it's all very romantic!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Leafy Sea Dragon

Yesterday, at the California Academy of Sciences, I saw the strangest creature I have ever seen. It was the Leafy Sea Dragon, Phycodurus eques, a marine fish related to the seahorse. Leafy Sea Dragons are found around southern and western Australia. They look like floating seaweed, and this is their camouflage. The Leafy Sea Dragon is the official marine emblem of the state of South Australia. A biennial Leafy Sea Dragon Festival is held by the District Council of Yankalilla, South Australia. If you don't believe me, look it up in your Funk & Wagnall, or rather, on your trusty Wikipedia!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rock Pigeon

Once again, a picture of a Rock Pigeon (Columba livia). As you know, I'm a pigeon-fancier. What you probably don't know is that a pigeon, named Cher Ami, received several medals in World War I, for saving the US Lost Battalion of the 77th Division in the Battle of the Argonne, October 1918. Visit to read more about this famous bird. The pigeon on my picture, not quite as famous, posed for me yesterday on the Great Highway in San Francisco.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Now, here's my point

The title of the photograph is "Now here's my point"
I took the picture today at the Beach Chalet Restaurant at the foot of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, along the Great Highway. I was drawn by the animated conversation the two gentlemen were having, their silhouette, and the way in which the red wine in their glasses provided color.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Spiderweb No. 378

Please file under SPIDERWEB NO. 378!
From yesterday's walk in Point Reyes.
# end

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Here's a gaggle of Shovelers doing a circular dance, yesterday, at the Ponds. According to a birder, who happened to be passing by, they were actually stirring up the mud in the shallow water, to bring up little worms and other delicacies.

Monday, December 8, 2008


It was cold and overcast at the Ponds this morning. However, the weather did not deter this flock of beautiful Avocets from their search for breakfast. They seemed to be standing in line in the shallow water. Birds always seem to be clothed appropriately. I thought of the Avocets a little later, as I stood in line at the checkout stand at Trader Joe's (for the uninitiated ~ it's a supermarket).

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Archeological Find

I beseech you to keep this information under your hat.
I'm not sure how many of you know that, in addition my other talents, I am also a passionate archeologist. Yesterday, I finally hit the jackpot, when I practically stumbled over the fossilized human skull shown on my picture, right here in Marin County. Upon cursory examination, the prehistoric find seemed in excellent condition. Fortunately I had my camera along, enabling me to take some pictures and immediately send them to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
You are certainly curious to know where I made my discovery. Unfortunately, but for obvious reasons, all the details I can divulge at this time, are that it was in the general Corte Madera Marsh area. Watch the local newspapers for more information as it becomes available for dissemination to the public.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Blue-toothed Entoloma

The fact of the matter is that I am clueless. I searched in my 926-page Audubon mushroom guidebook and Blue-toothed Entoloma was the closest I could come. What I do  know is that Margie, Bob T, and I came upon this little mushroom on the Bear Valley Trail in Point Reyes a week ago. As you can see, it was covered with dew,  glistening in the early morning light. Once again, I sit in awe of Mother Nature.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Moneysaver Bird

In these hard times, everyone is looking for ways to economize. The tiny bird on my picture is guaranteed to save you thousands of dollars (Schillinge or Mark). Instead of going on a arduous, expensive, trip to Madagascar, Borneo, and/or Costa Rica, to see the little guy/gal, you can simply take the Muni to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. And, thinking green, you won't be wasting a lot of our natural resources, and your footprint will almost be invisible.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I took this picture in the Rainforest at the California Academy of Sciences a couple of days ago. Don't ask me what kind of butterfly it is! You see, the birds and butterflies are from places like Madagascar, Borneo, and Costa Rica, and are not identified. They fly around freely inside the 90-foot diameter dome. To enter, visitors first step into a little cubicle (like an elevator car); the door is closed behind them, then a door on the other side is opened when they may proceed. The birds and butterflies are not at all shy, and alight on feeding platforms, located just a couple of feet from the spectators. There is even a little nest nearby, and I saw the babies being fed by their parents.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Through a glass darkly

I took this picture at the Academy today. I shot up, through the aquarium, at the audience above. I decided to call the picture "Through a Glass Darkly", for no really good reason. The phrase dates back to the New Testament - Corinthians - and refers to humans having an imperfect perception of reality. So what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Beats me! Just look at the picture!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Simplicity two days in a row! I hope I'm not sick. I better check my temperature!


Thank goodness, once in a while Simplicity wins out!