Friday, July 31, 2009


Once again I was unable to identify a visitor on the wall outside my apartment. She/he measured about 1/2". The closest that I could come was fruit tree moth. However, there are no fruit trees in the neighborhood! I took her/his picture yesterday; this morning she/he was gone.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


This is not the season to be looking for birds in Marin County, since most of them have flown north. Snowy Egrets are an exception. They like it here, year-round. I don't know whether they used to migrate. Whatever the case may be, this guy/gal was hunting for breakfast in the Corte Madera Creek this morning.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


As you know, there were hired goats on the hill facing my kitchen window. Plus a goat-herd, who called himself a cowboy, and wore an appropriate hat. The evening after the goats left, I looked out the window and saw the cowboy, leaning against a tree! He didn't move a muscle as I ran to get my camera. Am I getting paranoid?
For the grumps among you ~ the tomfoolery ends tomorrow and there'll be a few days of "normal" pictures.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hot Lips

Ever since the tender age of thirteen (coming of age in some religions) I've been an ardent admirer of Hot Lips. Just imagine my excitement when I came upon this image in the wet sand on the beach at Tomales Bay State Park this morning!

Monday, July 27, 2009


Hint ~ it's not about Mount Tam. The picture is all about the White Pelicans. The mountain merely serves as a backdrop. Yes, that is the Marin County Civic Center back there. You have a sharp eye!
Taken this morning on a walk around the Ponds, with Bob T. and Jerry W.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


"Balls" said the Queen. I don't want to quote the rest of the sentence, because this is family-oriented E-mail. However, you'll find a lot of fun stuff if you refer to my friend, Google.
What do the balls in my picture have in common? Don't say "they are all round". That's too obvious. What they have in common is that I found all of them over a period of 3-1/2 years. I don't pick up tennis balls, because I don't want to deprive dogs, starved for something to do, of their entertainment.
Actually I want you to ah! and oh! over the composition, the colors, the background, the artistry.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Every March, starting with my uncle Ernst in 1889, my grandparents hauled their offspring off to a photographer in Vienna, for a family portrait. The last one of these pictures was taken in 1912. The photographs are kept in a beautiful album, held by a metal clasp, one of my prize possessions. Ernst was born in 1888, my father Robert, in 1889, and Franz in 1898.
The attached picture, taken in 1909 (100 years ago), shows my father, my grandmother Hermine, Ernst, and Franz.
My grandmother, my father, and my uncle Franz, all emigrated to Shanghai 1938/39 (though not together), while Ernst moved to Wisconsin. My grandmother died in Shanghai, my father in Vienna, Franz in Marin County, California, and Ernst in Wisconsin.
And no, I did not take this picture!

Friday, July 24, 2009


You can't accuse me of not being flexible. I switch from artist to artist with the greatest of ease. First Jackson Pollock, then Henri Matisse, and now Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. My willing model was my friend Ray Cook, he of the great beard.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


This is one of three bucks among over 300 does. And it happens to be their mating season! My guy was very busy checking out his options. That's responsibility for ya. What a tough job.

Goats in Greenbrae?

I don't have to leave my apartment for picture opportunities. First it was deer, then squirrels, then birds, then acorns. Now it's 350 ravenous goats! They are cleaning up the brush, weeds and poison oak at an astonishing rate! I took over 100 pix and hope that THE SCOPE will use some of them. I sought out Norman, the goatherd, and he told me that he brought the goats down from Coalinga. They are Southern African goats that can handle hot weather. I had a hard time selecting a picture for the Daily E-mail, but decided on this one because it shows Mount Tamalpais in the background. Fortunately I had Norman's phone number because this morning I noticed that three goats were outside the (electrified) fence. I called him and he was right over and corralled the animals. I could go on with my story but don't know how many of you really care!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


This is the time of year that acorns drop from the oak tree behind my building. I (1928 - . . . .) picked some of them up and took this picture with all due respect to Henri Matisse (1869 - 1954).

La Cumbre

Taqueria La Cumbre on Valencia Street in San Francisco has been around for over forty years. I discovered it in the early seventies. Neither the food, nor the decor, has changed. To quote the menu "Go ahead and try the best and the first; the original, our 'Mother Ship,' the taste sensation for which we became famous: the Burrito!" It goes on to speak of the tortilla "a little slice of heaven you truly can hold in your hands. Que Sabor!" This is where Marti and I had lunch last Friday. And where I, discreetly, took this picture of the family at the other table. And where I bought a T-shirt. But that's a whole other story, which I may relate another day.
For those of you who still have trouble with your Spanish - "La Cumbre" means "The Summit", "Sabor" means "flavor".

Saturday, July 18, 2009

More Mission

Here's another mural from our Mission expedition. This one is a detail of the Women's Building. As you can see, the locals were friendly!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Mission

If you live in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area and have never seen the murals in the Mission (District), your passport should be revoked, and you should be prohibited from traveling abroad.
This morning, Marti A. and I visited Balmy Alley, Clarion Alley, and the Women's Building, all within a few blocks of each other. I have made several pilgrimages to this wonderful Latino area, and each time there are new murals to admire. And here's one I've never seen before.
At the end of the trip we rewarded ourselves with a great burrito lunch (ask for the refried beans) at the La Cumbre Taqueria on Valencia Street.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Street Art

I often wonder whether the folks that maintain and repair city streets are aware of the colorful artwork they create. I took this picture yesterday, in the 600 block of Irving Street in San Francisco.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Only in San Francisco

Only in San Francisco. At Grove and Octavia, to be exact.
Actually there are interesting, and often brightly painted, houses all over the world. Friedensreich Hundertwasser's creations in Vienna come to mind. But while the tour-busses stop in front of his houses, and the tourists crowd to buy souvenirs, nobody pays any attention to the San Francisco house.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bay Bridge

San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge as seen from the Larkspur Ferry yesterday morning.

Monday, July 13, 2009


First of all, a word about yesterday's Daily E-mail. A number of you thought that I had sent a picture of a Jackson Pollock painting. I'm sorry if I misled you, but that was actually an original Hans Roenau photograph. It depicted some wheat growing along the Earthquake Trail in Point Reyes. So there!
Today's picture shows a very friendly shoe-shine gentleman on San Francisco's Market Street, who allowed me to take his picture. Afterwards a handshake, and a "have a nice day"!
I wonder if the economy is affecting the shoe-shine business. I shoulda asked!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jackson Pollock

I have studied Jackson Pollock's paintings for years, trying to figure out their message. Photographer Hans Namuth wrote (I quote in part) ~
Pollock's finest paintings… reveal that his all-over line does not give rise to positive or negative areas: we are not made to feel that one part of the canvas demands to be read as figure, whether abstract or representational, against another part of the canvas read as ground. There is not inside or outside to Pollock's line or the space through which it moves…. Pollock has managed to free line not only from its function of representing objects in the world, but also from its task of describing or bounding shapes or figures, whether abstract or representational, on the surface of the canvas.
Pollock was married to artist Lee Krasner. The couple bought a house on Long Island and Peggy Guggenheim lent them the down-payment. I met Peggy Guggenheim at her home in Venice in 1951. Which has nothing to do with my picture. I just thought I'd mention it.
Pollock died in 1956 in a single-car, alcohol-caused, crash. Pollock was the driver.
Who knows what Pollock would have created if Photoshop had been around in his day.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tire Tracks in the Sand

Tire Tracks in the Sand. Bolinas on the 4th.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vegan Scone

Point Reyes Station Blackbird dad feeding his teenage daughter a crumb of delicious Bovine Bakery vegan scone. High time for the youngster to feed herself, I say.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Driving along the Nicasio Valley Road I overtook a bicyclist hot on the tail of a motorscooter, a sight I had never seen before. I drove ahead, then stopped the car, and got out to take a picture, the Tour de France having rekindled my interest in bicycle racing.
When I got home I rushed to my trusty Google and found the following, rather cute account of motorpacing ~
I have this one fantasy where I am fabulously wealthy, live in an architecturally elegant yet not too big house, and have a live-in housekeeper who motorpaces me on the weekends. She'd wear a French maid outfit even while driving the scooter and she'd have the French accent too. Well, Herriott Performance Sports doesn't have the more fantastical elements, but they do have the motorscooter tricked out with a Kreitler roller. The roller is a safety device in case the front wheel of your bike should get too close to the scooter. Why would you want to motorpace, as in ride in the draft of a motorized vehicle? Because a bike handles far differently at 30 mph than 20 mph, and to really be competitive at the upper levels of cyclesport, you need to be able to handle a bike properly at that speed. Plus the effort of turning a big gear at high speed can't quite be replicated at a slower speed. To become skilled and strong at speed, one needs to ride at that speed.
Unfortunately, a close look at my picture reveals no French maid, but you can clearly see a roller in the back of the scooter.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's All Margie's Fault!

It's all Margie's fault! You see, Margie and Dick recently went on a cruise to South America, aboard the Holland America Line's ms Amsterdam. Each day, they found a towel on their bed, creatively folded, and decorated with a pair of eyes. Margie, in her generosity, saved me a couple of these, certain that I would know what to do with them.
Yesterday, walking on the Bear Valley Trail in Point Reyes, the opportunity presented itself. A traffic cone, with a smiling mouth! I wrestled it to the ground, and the rest is history!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


On the 4th of July, tradition has the towns of Bolinas and Stinson Beach engage in a fiercely fought tug-of-war, with the rope stretched across the inlet of the Bolinas Lagoon. My picture shows the Bolinas men's team pulling to a victory, driven by the crowd's ear-splitting shout of "pull, pull, pull"! Earlier, the Bolinas women lost on an unfortunate technicality.
Don't tell anyone, but each year Bolinas sports the best Independence Day celebration of Northern California! You won't find Bolinas anyway, because the Bolinas Border Patrol religeously removes all signs pointing to the town as soon as they are put up!

Monday, July 6, 2009


This is meant to be an Artsy-Fartsy picture.
If that description doesn't satisfy you ~ this was the rope that was used in the 4th of July Stinson Beach vs Bolinas tug-of-war. One end of the rope was taken by boat from Bolinas, across the Bolinas Lagoon, to Stinson. My picture shows the rope resting before the big event.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bolinas - 4th of July

The Independence Day Celebration in Bolinas is my favorite. It all starts with a tug-of-war across the inlet between Stinson Beach and Bolinas. Here a bunch of Bolinas kids are watching intently.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Independence Day

The sculptor Beniamino Benvenuto Bufano was born in Italy in 1898. He spent most of his life in San Francisco. Tiny of stature, he created many large sculptures, favoring granite. Among his better-known works are a statue called 'Peace' at Lake Merced and another of Sun Yat-sen in Chinatown. Bennie, as he was affectionately called, was an anti-war activist who chopped off his trigger finger at the outset of World War I, and sent it to Woodrow Wilson. He died in 1970. Strangely, there is a Bufano sculpture garden at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. While I liked Bufano, whom I had seen a number of times, and enjoy his work, I don't believe that he was a great artist. None of the major museums own any of his work.
The 'Bear' in my picture stands in front of the Ross Town Hall. It was gifted to the town in 1971. The town fathers/mothers decorate it for most holidays, such as Christmas, Easter, and, as you see, the Fourth of July.

A Respite from Bird Pictures


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Canada Geese

The early bird catches the Photoshop.
This morning at the Corte Madera Creek.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Audubon Canyon Ranch

Last Saturday, Bob T. and I hiked up to the Henderson Overlook at the Audubon Canyon Ranch in Bolinas, to witness Egret chicks taking their first flight, from nests high up in the large redwood grove. We were told there were more than 100 chicks in the trees. Soon they will be gone. Look closely at my picture and you will see a couple of the large nests. It is hard for me to imagine taking such a "first flight". But then, I am "chicken", obviously the wrong kind of bird!