Friday, December 17, 2010

Evil Eye

Today, as I was walking across Lytton Square in Mill Valley, I suddenly discovered that a rock on the ground gave me the Evil Eye. Fortunately I always carry a little Hamsa charm in my wallet, and am thus safe from any Evil Eye attacks. Attached is a picture of the rock, and below a rendition of my lucky charm. Good thing I'm not superstitious!
The Hamsa, a charm made to ward off the evil eye.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Every so often you must suffer through portraits of my granddaughters. So here's Kelso, who will turn twenty-one on New Year's Eve. For a picture of eleven-year-old Danika you will have to wait until next spring.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bernese Mountain Dog

Some dogs seem to comprehend what is going on. Just look at the eyes of this one. A Bernese (as in Bern, Switzerland) Mountain Dog that I met a few days ago in Fairfax. His name is Regis.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Holidays Are Just Around The Corner

The Holidays are just around the corner and Santa (yes, there really is a Santa) is driving a horse and buggy up Bolinas Road in Fairfax. Which brings up the question of why is there no Fairfax Road in Bolinas? Is the town too small?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lighted Boat

Last Saturday I was taking pictures of the Sausalito Lighted Boats Parade from the deck of the Sausalito Yacht Club. Here's my favorite.

Sunday, December 12, 2010



Saturday, December 11, 2010


The sunset tonight was sensational and, once again, my kitchen window provided the perfect spot from which to take the picture. If that sentence sounds a little stilted, it is so for fear of arousing Winston Churchill's (may he rest in peace) ire. And I quote ~ Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.


I believe these are branches and leaves on a Gingko Tree. San Anselmo, this morning. I was reminded of Japanese paintings. 

Friday, December 10, 2010


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"Here's looking at you kid"

Quite often, when I try to come up with the title for one of my pictures, something pops into my mind from I don't know where. Sometimes the quote is appropriate, but frequently it is not. Today is borderline!
The words "Here's looking at you kid" were spoken by Rick (Humphrey Bogart) to Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) in the 1942 Academy Award winner CASABLANCA. It also happens to be one of only three quotes I remember in my useless brain!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Emperor's New Clothes

I just love INADVERTENT ART! Sometimes it is every bit as good as that created by some of our most admired artists. Or would it be more correct to say that some of our most admired artists create masterpieces that are every bit as good as inadvertent art? I'm not trying to knock artists, I'm just trying to make a point which many art connoisseurs would be loathe to admit.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lake Lagunitas Runoff

The runoff from Lake Lagunitas occurs only during the winter months. But always a beautiful sight.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Beard Lichen

This tree greets you as you start out on the Bear Valley Trail in Point Reyes National Seashore. Hanging from its branches is Beard Lichen, also known as Old Man's Beard, also known as Usnea. At least that's my best guess. What it is not is Spanish Moss. I've done my research but am not completely satisfied with what I concluded. Whatever it is, is quite impressive! And may not be healthy for the host tree.
My computer continues to crash, just running on a song and a prayer. Soon I will have to take some drastic action, I just hate the thought of being without the computer for any length of time. We have become so dependent.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Amazing Artwork!

Don't worry, I am not abandoning photography! But while rummaging through some of my old chachkas and pictures, I ran across this one, which I had given up for lost. I was really pleased to discover it. I think it's a piece of incredible artwork and I'm very fond of it. I think it may have been done by a Turkish artist. And perhaps the original was painted on ivory, since there is a bit of a pattern on the surface.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lake Lagunitas

The most rewarding short walk in our area is around Lake Lagunitas. Turtles, Lizards, Great Blue Herons, Cormorants, Woodpeckers, a variety of ducks, mushrooms and, of course, the beautiful trees and the lake itself. If I could, I would wax poetic!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I bet you didn't expect this!
The bearded man sitting in the cart is my paternal grandfather. I don't know who the others are. The picture, on a postcard, was taken in Bad Ischl, a popular Austrian spa, in July 1912. I have a sneaking hunch that it was all posed in a studio. Painted background, stuffed cow, the works!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Something about this scene yesterday at the Ponds caught my eye. Perhaps it was the way the hawk stood out against the background. I only discovered the flock of blackbirds when I enlarged the picture on the monitor. I wonder whether they had cause for alarm?
Please forgive me. The picture is not as sharp as it ought to be, but I saw the hawk too late, whipped the camera around, and clicked. Bad boy!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One more, no more ~

Here's the last of the RAINDROPS series.
I want you to know that I am having major problems with my computer. Thus, if you suddenly don't hear from me you'll know why.

Monday, November 29, 2010

When One is Not Enough!

Two is better than one! Or should it read "two are better than one"?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Tables Were Stacked

Yesterday the tables were stacked at the Book Depot in Mill Valley. And wet from the rain that was taking a break. Was that a Christmas star which appeared on the table? Do miracles happen? I offer no answers! Only pictures.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Raindrops on armrest of chair at Book Depot in Mill Valley this morning. But what and where doesn't really make any difference.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Nutcrackers are in the Air

Now that we have Halloween and Thanksgiving under our belts Nutcrackers are popping up everywhere.
Which transported me to the Stapleton Ballet School in San Rafael. There to take pictures of their Nutcracker dress-rehearsal. My picture shows Elliot Ordway as Cavalier, and Victoria Pereira as Sugar Plum Fairy, posing for your favorite photographer.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Whenever I hear the word Turkey, my trip to Turkey, many years ago, immediately comes to mind. A friend and I brought our bicycles and that's how we were going to travel. First day out, it was so hot that the pavement melted, and we had five flat tires between the two of us. Next day we stored the bikes and resorted to the excellent bus system. My picture shows three storks in a nest. "Menage a trois" I suppose.
I wish you all a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING, even as I am sick at the thought of the millions of birds that are slaughtered each year. It seems barbaric to me. One day people will look back at this practice with as much understanding as we now have of the former custom of binding women's feet in China.

8:15 this Morning

Au clair de la lune,
Mon ami, Pierrot,
Prete-moi ta plume
Pour ecrire un mot!
Ma chandelle est morte,
Je n'ai plus de feu;
Ouvre-moi ta porte,
Pour l'amour de Dieu.

Au clair de la lune,
Pierrot repondit:
"Je n'ai pas de plume,
Je suis dans mon lit;
Va chez la voisine,
Je crois qu'elle y est;
Car dans la cuisine,
On bat le briquet."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

One More Reflection

I just can't get away from them thar reflections. This one again from the ole standby Ponds.

Monday, November 22, 2010


The weather at the Ponds this morning was really interesting. I was fascinated by the reflection of the clouds in the water. There's so much to photograph, even when the birdies don't show up!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Saturday, November 20, 2010


Did  you know that the Banana Slug is the Mascot of the University of California at Santa Cruz? I didn't either.
Here's more wisdom ~ Slugs use two pairs of tentacles to sense their environment. The larger, upper pair, termed "eyestalks," are used to detect light or movement. The second, lower pair are used to detect chemicals. The tentacles can retract and extend themselves to avoid damage.
They are hermaphrodites, and I don't really kapish how reproduction takes place. Which is irrelevant, as long as the slugs know what to do. Banana slugs have the largest penis-to-body length ratio of any animal on Earth.
Banana Slugs have a respiratory opening (see my picture) leading to their one lung. They are coated with mucus. I have touched a slug and then had a hard time getting rid of the slimy substance.
And now, armed with all this knowledge, take another look at my picture. Isn't shehe beautiful?

Friday, November 19, 2010


After being a good boy for a few days, here's another one of the pictures some of you love to hate. I just can't help myself when a face pops up, as this one did yesterday, on the trail around Lake Lagunitas.
I also need to, reluctantly, admit my (only) second Oops of the year. Describing my Civic Center photo a couple of days ago, I spoke of the dome being 172 feet high. That was not the dome, but the golden spire! A dear friend (?) pointed out the goof to me with a dose of sarcasm.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


This morning at Lake Lagunitas. Aren't we lucky!

Marin County Civic Center

Yesterday I meandered around the Marin County Civic Center, a beautiful structure, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and completed in the 1960's. I took the attached picture of the dome through the glass ceiling over the fourth floor. The 80-foot diameter dome is 172 feet high. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lynn Woolsey

The other day I took pictures at Project Lunch, a program designed to bring locally sourced, organic and wholesome food to Marin County schools. My favorite Member of Congress, Lynn Woolsey, was one of the featured speakers. I had the opportunity to chat with her, and she allowed me to take her  picture. I kinda like the portrait and that's why I'm giving the Pelicans a well-deserved rest.
Lynn Woolsey, who has just turned seventy-three, has been the U. S. Representative for California's 6th Congressional district since 1993. She is the first welfare mother to serve in Congress.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Seeking Sherpa

Make no mistake about it (a favorite politician-on-the-campaign-trail expression) I love my Nikon D90 / Tamron 18 - 250mm camera/lens combination. That having been said (another really trite expression), I must confess, that lately I have been hankering for a bigger and better lens. With which to get closer-up pictures of birds.
The first concern in my quest is that of weight. If I am to be enthusiastic and creative in my photography, I cannot be weighed down with a huge lens and (heaven forbid) an equally huge tripod.
So this is where the Sherpa comes in. I understand these porters come in all sizes as long as what I want is small. Having shrunk considerably myself, over the past few years, that suits me just fine. I have visions of trekking around the Ponds with the Sherpa following me, carrying my gear.
I'll probably start looking by clicking on Amazon.
Today's picture of a hawk is what brought all of the above to mind. Obviously I need greater focal length. And now I rest my case.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

On aClear Day .................

On a clear day you can see .......... Mount Diablo (3,849 ft) from the Ponds. That makes it 1,278 feet higher than our own Mount Tamalpais (2,571 ft). Geographers claim that hikers can see more of the earth's surface from the top of Mt. Diablo than from any other peak in the world with only one exception: Africa's legendary 19,340-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro. The far-reaching panorama from Mt. Diablo is all the more impressive considering the mountain's relatively short height. Two reasons for the grand views: (1) the mountain rises solo very abruptly from its surroundings, and (2) the land surrounding the mountain—the San Francisco Bay and Central Valley—is nearly flat. Last Monday was the perfect day for my picture.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Why do Pelicans circle? And then move on? I love these birds!
At Rush Creek. Last Wednesday.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Self-portrait with Bob H (wearing hat). In fact, he's at least half a head taller than I.
However, my aim in shooting this picture was form, not content.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Floating Bush

I probably shouldn't give a way all my trade-secrets, but I feel generous today. My picture does indeed show a floating bush, but it is not floating in thin air. It is floating on water, specifically in one of the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District Ponds. The lower half of the bush is really a reflection of the upper half. All of which took place this morning.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Old Oak Tree

Every time I go out to Rush Creek I succumb to temptation and photograph the old Oak Tree. Thus, this morning, I added No. 387 to my collection. The clouds made me do it!
Turns out that yesterday's Dark-eyed Junko was, in fact, a Black Phoebe. Shows how much I know!

Dark-eyed Junko?

I think it's a Dark-eyed Junko, but I sit to be corrected. At the Ponds, yesterday.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wooly Bear

If you would have said "Pyrrharctia isabella" to me yesterday' I would have responded with a blank stare. Today I know, or think I know, that it is the Wooly Bear Caterpillar which, after cocooning, turns into the Tiger Moth. This is what I came up with after some extensive research.
I met the little fellow or (what's the female of fellow?) at the Ponds this morning. He/she was late for an appointment and could stop for only a moment. Just long enough to throw me a quick smile. Look at those pretty eyes!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Saturday Afternoon

Saturday Afternoon

Saturday, November 6, 2010

White and Brown

White and brown Pelicans never associate with each other. Except for the two at Wildcare in San Rafael, as evidenced by the picture I took yesterday. The white bird, a female, is named Winter, and has been at Wild Care with a wing injury since 2008. Perdito(a) ("Little Brown One" in Spanish), came to Wild Care as a juvenile with a broken wing more recently. The bird's gender has not yet been determined. It took a while for the two to accept each other in the relatively small enclosure.
By the way, I shot through the mesh wire fence, which took a lot of doing. My automatic focus insisted on focusing on the fence, not the birds. Interesting that, when I finally succeeded, the wire does not interfere. Which is one of the four things in the world which I don't comprehend.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Suska and the Mountain Lion

Recently there have been several reports of Mountain Lion sightings in Marin County. However the one in my picture is on display at Wildcare, an animal rescue organization. 13-months-old Suska was really intrigued. She probably thought it was a very large kiddie-cat! And had no idea that it was no longer among the living, but had departed for Mountain-Lion-Heaven some time ago.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect!

The Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Alaska is 1,100 miles long. I believe that the couple I have seen  at the Ponds twice, said they are training for the race. I wish them luck!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Spiderweb and Cattails

Monday morning, on our walk around the Ponds, Bob T and I saw hundreds of spider webs, lodged between cattails, all decorated with dewdrops. Once again I wondered about spiders. I only saw only one (Garden-)spider on our walk, and not a single insect caught in any of the webs. Where were the spiders and what do they feed on? I only see webs a couple of dozen times a year and wonder where the spiders hang out the rest of the time.
As far as the cattails in my picture are concerned - their flower heads have popped open and the fluffy seeds have emerged. These are carried by wind and water to new places. Many birds use the fluff to line their nests. Red-winged blackbirds are the animals most frequently associated with cattails on which they love to perch. Waterfowl nest among the cattails, while a variety of other animals use cattails for various purposes. Who'd a thunk!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

An Unusual Sight!

I couldn't believe my eyes! Kids looking at a book! So what if it was Star Wars ! It was a book! Chalk one up for Fairfax!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Is this what is meant by "Political Landscape"?
PS ~ And don't forget to vote tomorrow!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cool, or what!

Here's how Lynn, in Florida, responded to my Daily E-mail.
Ah, c'mon, Hans....Don't lose the Halloween spirit(s).