Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Once in a while I hit the jackpot. This was the case yesterday, when Bob T and I visited my friend Ronnie in Sebastopol. We were admiring Ronnie's beautiful house when she called us out on the deck, admonishing us to be quiet. There, on the woodpile, sat this adorable (I borrow this word from the fair sex) baby fox. I snapped away, and here's my favorite picture, though a second baby soon came on the scene. Thank you, Ronnie!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Art is in the Eye of the Beholder

Here's a real challenge for you. Is it African Folk Art? Or perhaps "Modern" Art, created about 1915? I'll give you a clue ~ it is not 21st Century Techno-Impressionism. Do feel free to use Google.


Let me assure you that paranoia is one thing I do not suffer from. Yet,  with all them thar new-fangled gadgets and devices on the market, I sometimes wonder whether virtual reality has invaded my space.
My kitchen-window is an excellent example of what I am talking about. Is it possible that some genius (not necessarily evil), in the dark of night, has exchanged the window for a giant computer-screen? The reason I'm just a little bit suspicious is that the dramatic changes of scenery seem to be more than one, apartment-house, kitchen window could dream up. Deer, squirrels, crows, sunsets, dense fog, etc.
And now a goat! For what it's worth, I present prima facie evidence. I rest my case and let you be the judge.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hands Across the Sand

Yesterday thousands of people around the globe gathered to protest offshore drilling, an action I fully support. I took pictures at one of these gatherings, called "Hands Across the Sand", at Rodeo Beach - Fort Cronkhite. About 200 people showed up for the event. One of the participants was dark-haired Maria Muldauer, shown in my picture wearing purple, and holding the hand of the little boy in blue. I chatted with her afterwards and found her to be a very sweet and gracious lady.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I never know whither the Beauty Fairy will spirit me next. Yesterday it turned out to be the Ethnic Dance Festival dress rehearsal at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre in San Francisco. After the rehearsal the dancers trooped into the lobby and this is where I cornered the young lady, a member of the Charya Burt Cambodian Dance Group. She graciously posed for me, as I created yet another masterpiece designed for the collection of Portraits of Beautiful Women by renowned Photographer Hans Roenau.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cows in Berkeley???

Yesterday Bob H and I explored the ponds at Ellis Creek in Petaluma. We saw a Moorhen, Mute Swans, some ubiquitous Canada Geese and lots of other birds. Suddenly there was a ripple in the water as a duck-billed Platypus (ornithorhynchus anatinus) swam to shore and disappeared in the reeds. Fortunately I was able to capture a picture of the rare creature.
The Platypus is one of only three types of egg laying mammals in the world. It has a duck-shaped bill, webbed feet, a beaver-like tail and is covered in a dark brown insulation fur.
(The encounter reminded me a little of cryptozoologists' accounts of Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, sightings).
The Platypus is regarded as locally common throughout its range along the east coast of Australia, from north-east Queensland through to south-west Victoria and Tasmania. It is also found on King Island and on Kangaroo Island, where it was introduced. It is unique to Australia.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Does Size Really Matter?

The average Blackbird weighs about 2-1/2 ozs, the average Turkey Vulture about 4 lbs, or about 25 times as much as its distant cousin. Yet Blackbirds never hesitate to chase Turkey Vultures when these get too close to their nests. And they both know their roles ~ the Blackbirds to pursue, the Turkey Vultures to turn tail! In defense of the TV's honor it must be mentioned here, that, while they are great gliders, they lack the smaller birds' ability to maneuver.
My only question is ~ do the TVs really pose a threat to the Blackbird eggs and chicks? I thought they were only interested in carrion (d'you know the story about the TV at the airport, who, when asked whether he wanted to check his baggage said no, all he had was carry-on).
I photographed the action this morning at Ellis Creek in Petaluma.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More Wild Cucumber

Upon receiving hundreds (well, at least two or three) of comments and inquiries regarding yesterday's Wild Cucumber Elegance picture, I thought that I should expand on the subject. Yesterday I showed tendrils, which the plant uses to climb shrubs and trees. Today's photograph is of the plant's ovary which, after fertilization, begins its transformation into the fruit of the wild cucumber. A fascinating plant for you botanists to study.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wild Cucumber Elegance

When you hurry a little less quickly you see things that otherwise escape your attention. For example wild cucumber growing on the Bear Valley Trail in Point Reyes. As recently as this morning.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Canada Geese

In my fifty years of living in Marin County I have seen the number of Canada Geese increase dramatically. Furthermore, they no longer find it necessary to migrate. Like the rest of us, they are happy here ~ why leave? I'm a little worried about their future. They are multiplying at an alarming rate and pooping everywhere ~ golf-courses, high-school tracks, the Civic Center Greens! I have heard of dogs being used to keep them away. I took the attached picture this morning at the Ponds. Yesterday's little goslings didn't waste any time turning into teenagers! Did you know that Canada Geese are monogamous for life?

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Gregarious, curious, or hungry? San Rafael Embassy Suites Hotel goldfish nibbling on friend's finger.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

One more Goat!

This morning I went to the Marin Art Festival at the Civic Center. After yesterday's goat-encounter it was pure coinkidinky that I saw yet another goat! Here posing with Josh Cote, its creator. Josh hails from BLachly, Oregon, a place which I have never heard of before. His beard,  incorrectly,  reminded me of a goatee, so named because of the resemblance to the beard of a billy goat.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Goats are Back, the Goats are Back!

Last year I was fascinated by the goats that had been brought in to "mow" the dry grass near my apartment building. I took a lot of pictures and sent some out in my Daily E-mails. Well, they're back, and once again I'm thrilled. My picture shows one of the goats attacking a bush. They are real fun to watch!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Elephant Seal Pup

I don't think there can ever be too many pictures of Elephant Seal pups. This one (at Chimney Rock) posed for one last portrait before turning tail (!) and heading for the open sea after having been nursed back to health at the Marine Mammal Center.
Note the beautiful rocks. I absconded with one that was almost a perfect sphere. While not very large, it's surprisingly heavy. Don't snitch on me, I don't want to be arrested in the middle of the night by six gun-toting National Park rangers.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

California Academy of Sciences

Does this look fishy? Well, I did let Photoshop jazz the colors up a bit. A case of favoring art over realism! The scene is the aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences. A mere two weeks ago.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Italian Street Painting

Here's one of my favorites at the Italian Street Painting event that took place in San Rafael on Saturday and Sunday.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Blackberry Blossom and Bee

Blackberry blossom and bee. This morning at Bel Marin Keyes.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

We live and learn

This afternoon saw me taking pictures at the Italian Street Painting event in San Rafael. That's when (and where) I saw this guy on a ladder taking close-ups of the cross atop the Saint Raphael  Church in San Rafael. Seems like a good idea! I'll have to try it as soon as I can find someone to hold the ladder for me.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Here's a picture I took last Sunday at the Stage Dor (yes, Dor) in Sausalito. Stage Dor is a dance school at Liberty Ship Way #340 and I was invited to the dress rehearsal for their new play VAMP. Normally the school looks like a gym, but for the performance they had set up 100 stadium seats. I enjoyed the performance, which was excellent by amateur standards.
I used my new Nikon SB-600 Speedlight for the first time and was really pleased.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Shadows are so seductive! This one jumped at me at the Marine Mammal Center on Tuesday. If you must know what you're looking at (it really doesn't matter) it's part of a seal-cage and its shadow. When I saw it, I was momentarily distracted from the real purpose of my presence at the Center, which was to take pix of the sea-lion and elephant-seal pup release preparations!
The old saying "When you're up to your armpits in alligators, it's hard to remember you came here to drain the swamp" comes to mind! And for those of you with good memories "armpits" is not really the word used.


Shadows are so seductive! This one jumped at me at the Marine Mammal Center on Tuesday. If you must know what you're looking at (it really doesn't matter) it's part of a seal-cage and its shadow. When I saw it, I was momentarily distracted from the real purpose of my presence at the Center, which was to take pix of the sea-lion and elephant-seal pup release preparations!
The old saying "When you're up to your armpits in alligators, it's hard to remember you came here to drain the swamp" comes to mind! And for those of you with good memories "armpits" is not really the word used.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Anise Swallowail

Walking around the Ponds this morning, my lovely companion, Fran, pointed out this, almost as lovely, Anise Swallowtail to me. It was very windy and the butterfly kept fluttering its wings and flying from blossom to blossom. It's a miracle that I managed to wind up with not just one, but three fairly sharp pictures of the little guy/gal. Obviously the Force was with me!
I clearly and desperately need a tutor to teach me where to place commas in my sentences.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Marine Mammal Release

Yesterday I took pictures for the SCOPE of a Marine Mammal Release. Three California sea lion pups and five elephant seal pups, that were rescued and had been nurtured back to health at the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands, were released back into the wild in honor of World Oceans Day.
I took pictures at the Center, and then at Chimney Rock in Point Reyes. My picture shows the five elephant seal pups catching their breath after the long journey. In the background are some adult elephant seals.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Greenbrae Boardwalk

Here's another recent one from the Greenbrae Boardwalk.
And a correction of yesterday's E-mail. One of the closest advisors on my team correctly identified the "beetle" as an engorged tick! For more on the subject go to

Perhaps from another World

It happens every time. Just when things begin to get boring, and I think that I'll return home with an empty pixels pouch, something exiting pops up. Returning to the bridge, by the Ponds parking lot this morning, one of the Dancing Girls (but that's another story) exclaimed "look at that bug". We all looked, and there, for all the world to see, was a coffee-bean with legs, eyes and antennae! I could not find anything even close to this beetle in my Funk and Wagnalls (rather Audubon). Perhaps it was the first of a zillion invaders from another planet!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I'm awed by modern technology. Here's my friend, Kilian, this morning from Germany, via Skype. The quality of the transmission blew my mind. When I recovered I grabbed my camera and photographed the screen (no flash). I think that Skype, which doesn't cost a penny, is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and I can't understand why anybody wouldn't have it. I just checked and there are 12,677,142 people on line right now! It's simple to open a Skype account. The only thing you have to remember is to be clothed and your hair brushed when you get on-line!
I met Kilian when he worked as an intern at a printing plant in the East Bay, at least seventeen years ago. Kilian, a real techie, helped me get started on my first computer! And he was the creator of my E-mail address. He is now a vice-president of Heidelberg, the largest and most prestigious printing-equipment firm, located in ~ you guessed it ~ Heidelberg!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Greenbrae Boardwalk

As a result of yesterday's moi E-mail the number of my fans took a disastrous dive South. Hey youse guys ~ it was just a picture which caught me in a pensive mood. And I happen to like it! Alright?
This morning I took a little walk on the Greenbrae Boardwalk. The folks that live in the houseboats along the boardwalk are pretty creative. Here's a painting on one of the boxes that grace the boardwalk. I believe these boxes house some of the electrical connections feeding to the houseboats. What is striking about this painting is that it is of the old railroad trestle which you can see in the background.

Friday, June 4, 2010


When I turned off my computer last night, I saw a familiar image in the, now dark, computer-screen. 'Twas none other than moi! Stealthily I took my camera in hand and, before the image could escape, took a quick picture (no flash).
Being a very modest guy, I will not speak about handsome-, or wise-looking. I will leave the accolades to you, my faithful fans.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pacific Gopher Snake

This morning Bob T and I encountered a Pacific Gopher Snake at the Ponds. It measured about 3 feet. Our presence did not bother it at all.
When threatened the Pacific Gopher Snake often mimics the behavior of a Rattlesnake. It will inflate its body, flatten its head, and vigorously shake it tail, which may produce a rattling sound if done in dry vegetation. Gopher Snakes are generally good natured. They are carnivores.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

California Academy of Sciences

Yesterday I visited the California Academy of Sciences. You could easily spend a week taking in all the exhibits. My picture shows a diver in Scuba gear swimming in the world's deepest coral reef exhibit. Outfitted with an underwater microphone, the diver answered reef-related questions while cleaning the tank windows and feeding the fish and anemones.
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, are able-bodied, but have not yet visited the Academy, you deserve to be spanked.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Primitive Art

This huge head (7 feet 2 inches) appeared on my doorstep this morning. Together with my daily Independent Journal. Not a trace of the artist (perpetrator). I decided to lug it in. It wasn't easy to get through the door but I finally succeeded. So here it stands, in my living-room, with its true-blues following my every move. I'll have to see how this is going to work for me.