Monday, June 29, 2009

Point Reyes

You can pick a name for this picture. The choices are ~
1) The End of the Picnic
2) Portrait of Ray Wilkes
3) Reflection
4) Checkered Tablecloth
Or just come up with your own.
I'm indebted to Ray, who posed very patiently!

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

On my visit, yesterday, to the Audubon Canyon Ranch, I spotted this tattooed young lady. Only the trunk and roots were visible and, being dirty old arborist, my curiosity, regarding the rest of the tree, was aroused. Overcoming my natural shyness, I addressed the young lady who, as you can see, was only too glad to unveil the crown of the tree. She also confided that the tattoo was only a week old and that, in the fall, she will have some colored fruit added to the tree. How lovely!
What does all this have to do with A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN?  The answer is "not a damned thing".

"Feed me!"

"Feed me!"
As chirped by a Cliff Swallow at the Audubon Canyon Ranch in Bolinas.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Runners are a strange bunch. Here's one that is trying to imitate a pretzel, just seconds before the start of his wave in today's grueling Double Dipsea Race. I don't think he realized that a true pretzel is supposed to be a 3-looped knot. For a moment I imagined all the runners assuming the position at once. What a sight that would have presented!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Spider Art

Here's the latest in Spider Art. These critters sure have a talent for creating wonderful compositions and designs, while never forgetting the functional purpose of their work. Let's hear it for the spiders.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Where's that Scoundrel?

Betcha dad was chillin' with the boys (other drakes), having a brewskie, while mom had her hands (hands?) full with the kids. All this was happening yesterday at the Corte Madera Ecological Preserve off the Redwood Highway. The water was covered with muck, and the ducklings looked like they could have used a bath in clean water!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's A Jungle Out There

I think this unidentified guy/gal got lost in the jungle. Life is a struggle, even if one is not directly affected by the current economic crisis.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron at the Ponds.

Monday, June 22, 2009

More Tomfoolery

More Tomfoolery. The eyes seem to follow me wherever I go. Today at the Ponds.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


I found this guy on the wall of the stairwell outside my apartment. I was unable to identify him, though he bore some resemblance to a Phantom Crane Fly. He measured about 1/2".
I believe that the reason I was unable to identify the creature is that it was not an insect at all, but rather a tiny electronic device, built by the CIA, and designed to infiltrate Al-Qaeda and Taliban cells, and send back vital information to Washington. How it got lost in my stairwell is a mystery.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


It is, indeed, a haystack. At the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District Ponds. With our favorite mountain and Frank Lloyd Wright's Marin County Civic Center in the background. Yesterday.

Friday, June 19, 2009

My Friend Mona

The mind is a strange place. This morning, on a walk around the L. G. Sanitary Ponds, Bob H and I sat down on a bench. Soon we were joined by Mona, a simple, though attractive, Yellow-Jacket. She obviously wanted to catch our attention, landing on the bench arm-rest, my walking-stick, and even my knee. Posing this way and that, it was obvious that she wanted her picture taken. Of course I complied. A bond was soon established. Now here's the weird part ~ I kept being reminded of the 1941 novel, 'My Friend Flicka' ('Little Girl' in Swedish), the story of a boy and his horse. (Please don't confuse 'Flicka' with 'Flicker'). The relationship between man and animal. Unfortunately, for technical reasons, our newly formed friendship had to come to an end, as Mona and I finally bid a fond farewell. Attached is the picture she wanted you to see.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Disappointment

I hate to be the crusher of innocent adoration, but I know that, sooner or later, truth will out. Thus it turns out, that Monday's Conchita, who some of you idealized, is a mere mortal and, worse yet, a smoker! Sorry about that.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


In addition to all my other fascinating hobbies and pursuits, I am also a collector of old books. CROWN JEWELS (or GEMS OF LITERATURE, ART AND MUSIC) was published in 1887 by the National Publishing Company. Here is one of the steelplate engravings, entitled THE INVITATION.
Having a curious mind, I researched what was happening in 1887. Here's some of what I found:
January 4th - Thomas Stevens is first man to bicycle around the world (SF - SF).
February 23 - Congress grants Seal Rocks to San Francisco.
March 13 - Chester Greenwood of Maine patents earmuffs.
May 2 - Hannibal W. Goodwin patents celluloid photographic film.
June 15 - Stanley's expedition reaches Yambuya Waterfalls Congo.
August 2 - Rowell Hodge patents barbed wire.
September 28 - Gele River (Huang Ho) in China floods, kills about 1.5 million.
November 29 - U.S. receives rights to Pearl Harbor, on Oahu, Hawaii.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Bluebird? Scrub-Jay? I dunno. What I do know is that I photographed it this morning, sitting on a sign, near the Point Reyes Visitor Center. And I thought it was beautiful.

Monday, June 15, 2009


 Conchita esta mañana


 Conchita esta mañana

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Joy of Youth!

While taking pictures at the Italian Street Painting Festival this afternoon, I encountered this lovely couple. In my usual bashful manner, and speaking up prior to thinking, I asked whether I could take their picture. I seem to remember adding something to the effect that their get-up needed be recorded. As you can see, they were only too glad to comply. My only regret is, that I didn't get their E-mail address, so that I could mail the picture to them.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Salvador Dali

Surprise appearance of none other than Salvador Dali in a restaurant in Vienna. The name of the restaurant is CENTIMETER.

Raindrops on Metal Railing

This picture is entitled "Raindrops on Metal Railing". If that's too short for you, add "in Darmstadt, Germany".

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I find it impossible to remain serious for very long before the clown in me pops up. And in that vein, here's a windswept face I photographed on Ring Mountain last Monday.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Great Blue Heron

I'm very fond of Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias). There's something majestic about their deliberate stride. While I usually see them in wetlands, I took this picture near the Point Reyes Information Center.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Wandering along the Earthquake Trail in Point Reyes this morning, I ran across these two fawns* traipsing through the tall grass. Mom was up ahead.
*Yes, you wise guys, the plural of 'fawn' is 'fawns', though the plural of 'deer' is 'deer'. How do I know? I looked it up, that's how!
Just enjoy the picture and quit trying to find fault!

Monday, June 8, 2009


The saying "opposites attract" was proven true again this morning on Ring Mountain in Tiburon.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


If anybody should ever ask you what butterflies and yours truly have in common, you can say that both love bananas.
Picture taken in the Vienna Butterfly-House at 1:25 PM on May 8th.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Classy Outfit

Vienna has always been one of the world's high fashion capitals. My picture shows an example of haute couture ~ Senorita Antonietta, a Paloma Countess from Barcelona, spending the summer in Vienna, wearing an outfit designed by Christian Dior. Black and white is definitely in this year. In the United States this kind of sophistication may only be found on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Grass on the Bear Valley Trail near the Point Reyes National Seashore Visitor Center. Trying to emulate Albrecht Dürer (fat chance)!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Vienna Street Scene

What makes this picture special? The answer is ~ nothing! It will not be found on any of the picture-postcards of Vienna, those showing St. Stephen's, or Parliament, or the Opera. Those are for the tourists. What this picture shows, however, is a typical Viennese street (Westbahnstraße, if you must know), with its old buildings (some over 100 years old - note the parapets), its streetcar-tracks, art-gallery, and little restaurants. Even the tower is typical of yesteryear architecture. All this is what Vienna is really made of, and I find it quite charming. The picture hasn't changed much in my lifetime. Building get remodeled and painted, but not usually torn down and rebuilt.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tiburon Mariposa Lily

"The early bird catches the worm". I got up at dawn this morning, in the hope of taking some pictures of the rare Tiburon Mariposa Lily on Ring Mountain. Early in the morning it is usually calm, later it gets very windy, making wildflower-photography extremely difficult. Finding the flower is no easy task, but I was lucky and found several of the strange-looking plants.
Forgive me for quoting Wikipedia ~ Calochortus tiburonensis (also known as the Tiburon Mariposa Lily) is a rare member of the genus Calochortus in the family Liliaceae. It was first brought to the attention of science in 1971, and written up in the botanical literature in 1973. Calochortus tiburonensis is endemic to a single serpentine outcrop in California's Marin County. It grows on serpentine-derived soil atop this outcrop in grasslands from 0-200 m. on Ring Mountain. It is considered threatened due to loss of surrounding habitat to recreational activities, to competition from invasive species, to its proximity to a dense population center, and to its confinement to a single population of plants. The population grows on land owned by the Marin County Open Space District.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


This morning we happened upon a California Giant Salamander, Dicamptodon ensatus, (also known as Pacific Giant Salamander) on the Bear Valley Trail in Point Reyes. It was about 10" in length, but some park rangers, who happened by, said that it would grow to almost twice that size. These salamanders can produce a rattling sound and large adults may deliver a painful bite. Females lay eggs, which hatch in about five months.
What surprised us, was that the salamander remained perfectly motionless as we approached and examined it. Could we have come upon a plastic replica that a prankster had placed on the trail? To our relief it finally tired of our picture-taking, turned tail, so to speak, and disappeared into the high grass.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Butterfly is mariposa in Spanish, and papillon in French. Both sound beautiful to my ears. Butterfly is acceptable. But the German, Schmetterling, sounds awful.
Be that as it may, I visited the Schmetterlinghaus in Vienna, and will probably post a butterfly picture, perhaps as early as tomorrow.
The wrong-reading banner "Römerquelle" (Roman-spring) is an advertisement for Austria's largest mineral-water distributor. Allegedly the spring goes back to the Romans, and was rediscovered in 1890. The company has been selling the water since 1965. If you are gullible, you will believe the advertisement which claims that the calcium and magnesium in the water will reduce stress, while improving concentration and comprehension. Drinking the water will also help endurance-athletes. This I believe, since ya jes' don' wanna get dehydrated while busting your butt!
Am I rambling? What does all this have to do with the price of tea in China? Sorry, I almost lost my thread. That's the Schmetterlinghaus in back of the amorous couple in my picture.