Sunday, February 28, 2010

Orchid Show

This morning Bob H and I journeyed to the 2010 Pacific Orchid Exposition at Fort Mason. We were really lucky to find parking just outside (instead of having to pay ten bucks in the parking lot). The show was mind-boggling. There were hundreds of species of orchids, from pure white, to almost black. From 1/4" midgets, to 5" giants. I wound up taking 186 pictures, mostly close-ups. I had a delicious pasta (marinara) dish, and wound up buying a beautiful orchid.
And by the way, as we left the show and looked into the water, we noticed a sea-lion looking back at us. There's something really human about her/his look, don'tcha think?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

American Wigeons

American Wigeon couple at the Ponds a few days ago. He is just trying to explain where he had spent the night, while she is listening with disbelief written all over her face. They haven't been together very long and she suspects him of being a philanderer (see also under John Edwards).

Friday, February 26, 2010

With A Little Help

The Great Blue Heron ascended with a little help from Photoshop.
At the Ponds a few days ago.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Can it get any better?

Yesterday, my friend Marti and I had lunch at the vegetarian Greens Restaurant in San Francisco's Fort Mason. We scored a table by the window and my picture shows our view. For those of you who are not familiar ~ that's the tourist Mecca of Sausalito, with Mount Tamalpais in the background. The birds in the foreground are Cormorants. Lunch was delicious. Can it get any better?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Here's yet another one from my Mare Island trip. It is a veritable shutterbug's paradise. This is one of the huge cranes that were used in working on the submarines. However, to me, it presented a beautiful abstract design.


Congratulations! You are absolutely right! It really is an abstract picture.
Taken at Mare Island exactly one week ago.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Great Blue

I just can't stop myself from taking pictures of Great Blues, such as this one at the Ponds this morning. Every time I see one it's like the first time. Fifteen minutes from home! We are so lucky. The white flowers in the background are Wild Radish, Raphanus raphanistrum, a flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae. It is sometimes claimed to be the ancestor of the edible radish, Raphanus sativus. It spreads rapidly, and is often found growing on roadsides or in other places where the ground has been disturbed.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Have you been watching the Olympics?
The Olympics date back to ancient Greek times, but the Olympic logo we know and recognize today has been around less than one hundred years. Frenchmen Pierre de Coubertin designed the logo in 1913 for the Paris Congress of the Olympic Movement. The logo was first found on a flag and had five interlocking rings–one for each continent represented in the Olympic Movement. No ring is "assigned" to any particular continent.
Attached is my small, modest, contribution to the event.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Introducing Kelso, my twenty-year-old granddaughter. Aren't photographer grandfathers lucky!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Art is where you find it

The Mare Island Naval Shipyard was closed in 1996. Many of the old buildings have remained. They are in bad shape and create a ghost-town effect. I noticed some windows that had been boarded up with plywood panels. They had weathered beautifully and I photographed a number of them. Here are four examples.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Today I'm switching from Art to News.
Bob T and I headed out on our usual Thursday morning walk around the Corte Madera Creek. We cut the walk short because I tripped while taking a picture of the little Buddha statue and banged up my nose (so much for Buddhism). When we got back to the College of Marin parking lot, we noticed a car (Lexus SUV) lying on its side, and some people gathered around it. Bob exclaimed "that's right next to my car", and then we saw that his car had been hit and was badly damaged. The rest is history ~ cops, insurance, tow-truck, more cops, and finally a rental car. I must give Bob credit for taking it all very well.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I apologize to the 2.83% of my enthusiastic fans who don't like spider-webs. However, sometimes I just cannot resists the temptation. Especially when there's dew on the web. That was Tuesday at the Ponds.
And again, I sit in awe of the spider's ability. How do they do it?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mare Island

Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo was an important shipbuilding and submarine port. The first ships were built in 1854 and the shipyard continued operations until it was decommissioned in 1996. Many of the old buildings remain, and are really extremely interesting. That is what drew Bob and me to the site. Please don't ask me what those pipes were used for. I don't have a clue!
But the pipes reminded me of a painting by a modern artist. Except again I strike out, since I can't recall the artist! Let me know if you can help me! And now it's time to give me a little credit for the composition!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Acacia Tree

Acacia Tree by the creek at the Ponds this foggy morning. My dad was so allergic to Acacia that a picture would trigger a sneezing fit! Well, almost!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Emailing: img025

This card is from my pictures and cards collection and is probably over 100 years old. On the back of the card it says "TO SECURE A PICTURE CARD LIKE THIS YOU HAVE ONLY TO BUY A PACKAGE OF LION COFFEE." The coffee was manufactured by the Woolson Spice Co. of Toledo, Ohio. If you want to learn more about this company click on ~

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Here's another one of my wildly popular STAIRS-SHADOW series. The picture shows the stairs leading to the Hamilton Cafe in Novato, where I had a delicious lunch today.
Meanwhile I received an Email from my friend, Ian, pointing out that, what I yesterday called a "Chain Link", was, in fact, a "Dragnet". Of course! And a real "duh" for me!
And Lynne, noting my weakness for Pelicans, sent me the following from Florida:
"A funny old bird is the pelican.  His beak holds more than his bellycan.  He can store in his beak enough food for a week, and I don't know how in the hellhecan."

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chain Links

I don't know what to call this picture. I took it because I liked what I saw. Period.
But for those curious, restless minds, I'll tell you where I spotted it; not what it is, because I don't know!
I saw it on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers floating hazard collection boat "Racoon", docked at the Bay Model in Sausalito.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Brown Pelican

We see more White than Brown Pelicans in Marin County, so I was pleased to see this guy/gal. He/she was circling overhead before, lucky for me, deciding to alight in the drink. I took my picture from the dock at the Bay Model in Sausalito.
Brown Pelicans are considerably smaller than their white cousins, weighing in at a little over 8 lbs. Their wingspan is almost 80". They hunt fish with spectacular plunge-dives from the air.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sorry, but you are wrong!

Though similar in style, the Austrian painter, Friedensreich Hundertwasser (12/15/1928 - 2/19/2000) did not paint Pietas.
My picture shows a distorted reflection of the Bank of America on a bulletin board on the side of the Wells Fargo Bank. Which is where I had just used the ATM. I shot through the windshield of my car.
Of course, none of the above has any relevance whatsoever. The picture is just a picture.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sleeping Lady

Mount Tamalpais, or Tam, continues to be one of my favorite subjects.
"She was a beautiful young Miwok maiden in love with an Indian prince. When he abandoned her, she walked to the top of the mountain nearby and died of heartbreak. As she sobbed, the mountain heard her intense sorrow and took pity. When finally she died, the mountain was so moved it changed its form, taking on the supine shape of her body and becoming the Sleeping Lady, our dear Mt. Tamalpais." Karen Nakamura.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Another one from yesterday's Bolinas excursion. Water, running toward the ocean, created some irresistible designs in the sand.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Surfer in Bolinas (or Bobo, as it is lovingly referred to by the locals) Beach at 11:00 this morning. Not completely safe, since, on rare occasions, surfers have been attacked by Great White Sharks.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Mirror-image Pugs taking a very close look at each other! Belonging to a lady by the name of Lee, the two dogs are really a couple of years apart. Neil M and I met them at the Corte Madera Marsh. Pugs are not one of my favorite breeds, though they have been described as multum in parvo ("much in little"), referring to their personality and small size. Known in Ancient China as "Lo-Sze", they may have been responsible for the modern Pekinese. I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to be one of many exact look-alikes?

Friday, February 5, 2010


"Look at the weird outfit that guy is wearing! Some birds are just so out of touch!"

Thursday, February 4, 2010


A melange of tower, Turkey Vulture, and Blackbirds, as seen this morning at the Ponds. Just before it began to sprinkle a little. To me it was an artistic composition.
And by the way, in Vienna's coffeehouses, Melange is the most popular coffee-drink. Served in a demitasse, it comes mixed with hot foamed milk (picture a miniature latte).

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Stranger than Fiction

Change of pace from my usual pictures.
As far as I know, my parents and I were the only Austrian or German Jewish immigrants, from among 20,000 in Shanghai, who became Chinese citizens in the 1940's. Here's the naturalization document, dated January 30th, in the 32nd year of the Chinese Republic (1945). This was during the Japanese occupation. The flag is that of the collaborator Wang Ching-wei government. It consisted of the Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomingtan flag, plus the yellow pennant of the puppet regime. Our Chinese citizenship saved us from being forced into the Jewish ghetto in Hongkew. All this is a very long story but I'll be happy to answer all telephone or E-mail questions.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rules is Rules!

Let me introduce you to the Pine Cone Diner, my favorite restaurant in Point Reyes Station. Here's Bob H posing for me. We had just finished our lunch and had switched seats for a better view. Therefore, just for the record, that's Bob's money on the table ~ he had treated. But what this is all about, is the sign under the lamp. You probably can't read it, so here's what it says ~
I just love it!

Monday, February 1, 2010

"Calling Charles Darwin"

By now you must all have discovered that I am not great at identifying birds. Here's what I think ~ the bird in the upper picture is a Whimbrel (or is it a Long-billed Curlew)? The bird in the lower picture is a Marbled Godwit (I'm pretty sure). Except for their bills they look very similar to me. And that's what I wanted to show you. I took both pictures at the Corte Madera Marsh. I guess Charles Darwin's would have had a very plausible story about the development of these two birds.