Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Mushrooms are Back

My Viennese friend, Elli, is the greatest children-books illustrator in the world! Bar none. I will see her and her husband Jean, in May, when I head for Austria.
Upon receiving my mushroom-picture a couple of days ago, Elli immediately hopped on her Photoshop, created the attached, and sent it to me.
And she wrote ~ "Here you see Elli, who fell asleep while 'picking' virtual mushrooms".

Friday, February 27, 2009

Log with Lichen

Here's a log with lichen which I saw at Lake Lagunitas the other day. Or could it possibly be ..............................?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

(no subject)

Lake Lagunitas, yesterday.
What we have here are stalked polypores, growing in an overlapping, bouquetlike cluster. Or, in other words, I don't know what the heck they are!
But that's not the point. I don't claim to be a mycological expert. What I want to be, is a photographer capturing the wonders of the world with his camera, and sharing them with his friends. And retirement affords me the luxury of roaming around whenever, and wherever, my fancy takes me!


Lake Lagunitas, yesterday.
What we have here are stalked polypores, growing in an overlapping, bouquetlike cluster. Or, in other words, I don't know what the heck they are!
But that's not the point. I don't claim to be a mycological expert. What I want to be, is a photographer capturing the wonders of the world with his camera, and sharing them with his friends. And retirement affords me the luxury of roaming around whenever, and wherever, my fancy takes me!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


After all that rain, it was really wet around Lake Lagunitas this morning. And that brought out the newts (good newts)! And here's a soon to be mama. Newts are fairly easy to photograph, since they are not the swiftest creatures around. And that's why good Mrs. Honda (really?) and her fourth grade Manor School class put up the warning sign. Cute! Huh?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When You're Smilin'"

Everywhere I look I see faces. Should I see a shrink? Maybe not, since most of the faces are smiling or, at least, wistful. As is the case with this chocolate chip cookie which looked at me as soon as I opened the box.
And, if you have white, or even gray, hair, you will remember the beautiful old song WHEN YOU'RE SMILING, written by Shay, Fisher, and Goodwin. Louis Armstrong recorded it with his orchestra in 1929, and again in 1932. Then with his All Stars in 1956. This is how it begins ~
When you're smilin'....keep on smilin'
The whole world smiles with you
And when you're laughin'....keep on laughin'
The sun comes shinin' through

Monday, February 23, 2009

Canada Geese

Canada Geese helping me create an artistic impression.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier at the Las Gallinas Sanitary District Ponds on Friday.
These hawks have a 4 foot wingspan and an owl-like face. They are fun to watch as they fly low to surprise their prey, looking and listening for rodents, frogs and baby birds. Once they see something move, they drop and strike with amazing speed.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Don't look for a face or other recognizable subject today! What a relief! All we have here is a log with lichen. Or an abstract composition.
However, and while we're on the subject, lichens are fascinating organisms. They are thought to be among the oldest living things on earth. There are about 25,000 species. A lichen is a symbiosis. That means that it is two or more organisms living together such that both are more successful within the partnership than they would have been if they were living on their own. They require no food source other than light, air and minerals, and can withstand great extremes of temperature. Lichens appear in many different forms. One extreme is Old-man's beard, which resembles our Spanish moss at Point Reyes. Before the discovery of aniline dyes, lichens were much used for silk and wool dyes. Some people think that the manna of the Bible was lichen.
And now you know at least as much as I do!

Friday, February 20, 2009


Even a simple puddle can be beautiful!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Singing Bird

You may wonder where all my Japanese influence stems from. The answer is that, lo these many years ago, I spent close to five hours in Tokyo, on a stop-over on a trip back to San Francisco from Shanghai.
So here is a picture of a singing bird (歌う鳥) which I photographed at Mc Innis Park last week. I kid you not, take a close look and you will see the bird is actually singing (or at least chirping).
International art is so invigorating!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

.Neither rain nor snow, nor sleet nor hail…

Another one of the Amgen Tour. Here's Demian and her two kids, Enzo (2) and Logan (10), trying to stay dry while waiting for the race to arrive on the bridge from Sausalito. An inspiring trio, at 8:00 AM! The cyclists were not expected for another 45 minutes!


A group of Martian bikers, clearing the way for the Amgen Tour cyclists, on the Golden Gate Bridge, yesterday morning.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tam High

Here's one from my archives. It's a picture of Tamalpais High School which won me a prize in the Mill Valley Click-Off Competition a few years ago.
Yesterday's caption should have read "HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!' rather than "HAPPY HALLOWEEN!"

Saturday, February 14, 2009


These two hearts adorn a fence on Sir Francis Drake Blvd where Bon Air Road dead-ends. The silver heart sparkles when the sun shines. I first noticed them several months ago and waited for an opportune time to take a picture. Yesterday I parked nearby and finally did it. I wonder who put the hearts on the fence.
And by the way ~ HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Elephants at Rush Creek? Moo!

Happy Face

Some of my friends don't like these creations of mine. But I do ~ so there!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oak Tree

Oak tree at Rush Creek last Sunday.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Should I?

Should I venture forth?

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Ugly Duckling

Here's a picture I took at Rush Creek yesterday. Could this have been the Swan from Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale The Ugly Duckling?

Once upon a time down on an old farm, lived a duck family, and Mother Duck had been sitting on a clutch of new eggs. One nice morning, the eggs hatched and out popped six chirpy ducklings. But one egg was bigger than the rest, and it didn't hatch. Mother Duck couldn't recall laying that seventh egg. How did it get there? TOCK! TOCK! The little prisoner was pecking inside his shell.

"Did I count the eggs wrongly?" Mother Duck wondered. But before she had time to think about it, the last egg finally hatched. A strange looking duckling with gray feathers that should have been yellow gazed at a worried mother. The ducklings grew quickly, but Mother Duck had a secret worry.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


What do Ornithology, Catholicism, Mick Jagger, and the Picco Pizzeria have in common? A little far-fetched perhaps, but sometimes my mind does do funny stuff.
Alright, here goes ~ Bob H. and I were sitting at Picco's, when we saw what looked like a Cardinal (minus biretta) looming over us (see picture). Now, what I want to see is the Cardinal bird. Trouble is, we don't have them on the West Coast. So here's where the Rolling Stones come in with their song "You Can't Always Get What You Want".
I apologize for all this nonsense, but feel better having gotten it off my chest!

Northern Cardinal, adult male 

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Footsteps in the Sand

"Footsteps in the Sand", at Tennessee Valley Beach. Were these made by a human being? I don't think we normally leave footprints in a straight line like that. Even when running. Another mystery for us to ponder.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Mycena haematopus

Tuesday morning Margie and I discovered these little mushrooms growing out of a decaying log on the Bear Valley Trail in Point Reyes.
After burying myself in guidebooks without sleep for 48 hours, I emerged with some fascinating information. The little mushrooms were Mycena haematopus, or "blood-foot mushrooms" because, when you cut the stipe a red bloodlike latex oozes out. "haematopus means "blood-foot" in Greek.
Popular legend has it that Perseus, the mythic Greek king and hero, when on a picnic with Andromeda and some of the nobles, plucked and ate a mushroom because he was thirsty. It was a poisonous one, and he started hallucinating, seeing visions of a city all around him. The nobles, who were anxious to curry favor with the king took all of this seriously and founded Mycenae, the capitol city of Agamemnon, upon the spot where the picnic had been. (Mykes means mushroom in Greek.) Coincidentally, Mycenae became a thriving center for illicit drug trade.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


How likely is it that lightning would strike at noon, on a sunny day? Not very, yet here's what Ethan and I saw on our Saturday safari. Go figure! And I didn't fool around with Photoshop either. Perhaps a sign from on high.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Early Morning

Early Monday morning gathering of Sparrows (probably) at the Las Gallinas Sanitary Ponds. Perching on cattails, the birds are planning their day. Did you know that Red-winged Blackbirds build their nests among cattails? And that cattails are a food-source for Canada Geese?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


A few days ago I posted a picture of a swan. Not a very common occurrence in these parts. As luck would have it, I spotted another one by the houseboats on Mission Creek, off Fourth Street, in San Francisco's Mission Bay District, while on safari with Ethan last Saturday. These houseboats are a lovely reminder of bygone days, and in stark contrast to the posh condominiums springing up all around the area. I wonder how long they'll be able to keep the greedy builders at bay?

Monday, February 2, 2009

What the ...............?

What the heck is going on here?
As seen, while on safari, on Third Street in San Francisco a couple of days ago.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tennessee Valley

Not therefore is he a bhikkhu
Merely because he begs from others.
Not by adopting the outward form
Does one truly become a bhikkhu.
He who wholly subdues evil,
Both small and great,
Is called a monk (bhikkhu)
Because he has overcome all evil