Saturday, December 31, 2011


I end the year with another portrait of Danika, my twelve-year-old granddaughter, residing again in Lancaster, PA, after a few months in Marin. Isn't she beautiful?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Au clair de la Lune

Au clair de la Lune.
Hard to believe that man has actually been there.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Northern Shoveler

Northern Shoveler, yesterday, at the Ponds.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chance Meeting

I think that's a Willet in front, passing a Black-necked Stilt, neither paying the other any heed. Why am I reminded of my neighbors?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Foggy Morning

Yesterday saw a foggy morning at the Ponds as a skein of Canada Geese took flight. Ten minutes ago I would have called them a "gaggle", but something in my brain (haha!) made me consult Wikipedia. And sure enough, when geese are not in flight they are called "gaggle" (if there are at least five of them), but once they are in flight, they are called a "skein". We live and learn.
And, of course, you knew all this already.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Reflection of pole in LGVSD pond this morning. I thought it was "like wow"!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I don't have a Dog.

Yesterday morning I started out on a walk on the main trail at the Indian Valley College, when I was stopped short by a sign (see attached photograph). Apparently I was required to have a dog if I wanted to continue on the trail. Courageously I ignored the sign and went on, all the while alert to the possibility of being arrested on a charge of "doglessness".
It takes some audacity for Americans to laugh about Chinglish when, even on official signs, we are unable to use our own language correctly.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


This is a picture I took up in Yosemite many years ago. I have used it as a Holiday card and am still fond of it. So I wish everyone a Merry and a Happy!

Friday, December 23, 2011


It's a well-known fact that Swans rank high when it comes to grace and beauty. So here, for your viewing pleasure, is one of these magnificent creatures, posing for us a few days ago, at Ellis Creek.


It took over an hour for the cormorants to kapish what I meant by symmetry, but finally they got it. Here's the result.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Is the Grass Really Always Greener on the Other Side?

I've been coming to the ponds at McInnis Park in San Rafael almost every Monday for about three years. Twice, during that time, I spotted a buck with a large rack, on the island located in the middle of one of the ponds.
This morning, Dick C, and I saw a deer swimming toward the island. Excited, I took several pictures. Later, walking on the other side of the island, we again saw the deer, this time with two friends, foraging on dry land.
Once again I am puzzled by animal behavior. What makes the deer want to cross over the water? Did one of them decide to do it and the others followed?
I have heard of deer swimming from the Tiburon Peninsula, across Raccoon Strait, to Angel Island, but I never witnessed it. In fact, today was the first time I ever saw deer swimming.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tree at Ellis Creek

This tree catches my eye every time I go to Ellis Creek in Petaluma.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Old Barn

Driving on Platform Bridge Road, on the way to Point Reyes, we always pass by this old barn. For a long time I have wanted to photograph it. Finally, last Saturday, I did exactly that.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Then quite suddenly, without any warning, you discover that you've turned into an old man, and have a granddaughter, soon to turn twenty-two. How did it all happen?

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I never tire of photographing deer. And as the holiday-season approaches, these gals/guys are depicted everywhere. Though, as everyone knows, it's Reindeer, not Black-tailed Deer, that pull Santa's sled through the snow from the North Pole.
Whatever the case may be, I took the picture of the Black-tailed Deer this morning out at Point Reyes. As usual, I talked to the animal and she/he posed quite willingly.

Friday, December 16, 2011


I think it's a Sparrow, but maybe it's a Finch. I love to take pix of birds but I don't claim to be an expert. What drew me to take this picture was the composition. So there you have it!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Woodpeckers don't fool around. They really mean business. What really amazes me though, is a) that they don't suffer major brain damage from all that pecking, and b) that they remember where they hid all those acorns!
My picture shows a dead branch on the Woodpecker Trail.

View from the Woodpecker Trail

This is a view from the Woodpecker Trail in Point Reyes. Though really beautiful, it must be one of the least used trails in the Seashore. On my three trips there, I haven't seen a single human being.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Mergansers discussing the latest in head-feather grooming. This morning at the LGVSD Ponds. (My choice is the one on the right).

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pt. Reyes Revisited

Jennifer (Jennie) J. is a long-time (never say "old") friend of mine. Every once in a while she has her way with one of my Daily E-mails. Such was the case when she fiddled with last Saturday's "Point Reyes" picture. I think the result is amazing. Jennie uses I believe today's picture involved some infra-red manipulation. Interesting.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I never know what my fertile imagination will conjure up next. This image appeared yesterday on the Woodpecker Trail in Point Reyes. If I hadn't had my trusty camera along, I wouldn't believe it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pt Reyes

This morning on the Woodpecker Trail in Point Reyes. Not a soul around, just me and the deer. I stood in awe of the beauty and serenity. A big "thank you" to Mother Nature!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Purtie Colors


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Swans Again

Back to Shollenberg Park, back to Mute Swans. I could not have posed them any better, and, of course, I could not resist taking their picture. But I do wish that they would swim in cleaner water!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mount Tam Once Again

Just can't get enough of Mount Tam. The only spot you can get the view as shown on today's picture is from Highway 101, heading south, near the Northgate Shopping Center turnoff. Dick C was driving, and I waited for just the right moment to click the shutter.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Not Our National Emblem

This bird is not our National Emblem (the Bald Eagle).
Instead, my picture is of a Turkey Vulture, a bird with a 6ft wingspan, that has been around since prehistoric time. It very important as nature's recycler and scavenger. TVs (as the Sierra Clubbers like to call them) do not kill their food, they eat animals that are already dead. To find their meals, they use their keen sense of smell.
The attached picture shows a Turkey Vulture sunning itself. The sun provides Vitamin D and increases the body temperature before flight.
I shot my picture this morning, at Shollenberger Park in Petaluma.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Anise in the Fog


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Early Morning Magic

Early morning magic on the Bear Valley Trail in Point Reyes.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lots and Lots of Snow Geese

Well*, I don't expect to win any awards with this picture, it merely serves to give you an idea of what a lot of Snow Geese, all in one spot, look like.
* Now to well. 73.68% of all sentences uttered in the US begin with this word. If you've never noticed, just listen to people speak. And think how much time (TIME = MONEY) could be saved if the word was retired. I don't think there's an equivalent to well in any other language.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Back to the Snow Geese

Ten Snow Geese + one Coot.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Respite from Snow Geese

Waldo Tunnel is the unofficial name of the tunnel on 101 between the Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito. It is named after Waldo Point along Richardson Bay., which in turn is named after William Waldo, who ran unsuccessfully as a Whig candidate for governor of California in 1853.

The first bore of the tunnel was completed in 1937 and the second in 1954. The archways at the ends of the bores were painted in rainbows by a Caltrans employee, Robert Halligan, and for this reason the tunnel is usually referred to as the Rainbow Tunnel.

I took the picture a couple of days ago, returning from San Francisco. No, I was not at the wheel!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More from the Wildlife Refuge

It's really hard to decide which pictures to post. This picture shows the Snow Geese in flight. If you look very close, you will see that the entire background is filled with birds.
I did a little calculation. Supposedly there are 128,000 Snow Geese (plus 490,000 Ducks) at the Refuge. The geese weigh about 6 lbs each. So we have 768,000 lbs of geese in flight. The town of Fairfax (CA) has a population of 7,300. I figure the average weight (men, women and children) to be about 140 lbs. That's about 1,000,000 lbs. Thus the geese weigh roughly 3/4 as much as the population of Fairfax. But the Fairfaxians can't fly. Thought you'd like to know.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fly Me To The Moon

Snow Geese At the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
After you're done ah-ing and oh-ing click on Frank Sinatra.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Just returned from a memorable, magical, trip to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex. There I saw thousands of birds, mainly Snow Geese, in the beautiful wetlands. As the sun began to set, the geese took off, a spectacle hard to describe. I took almost 200 pictures and will bore you with some of them in the days to come.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I love to watch the blackbirds on the wires at the LGVSD Ponds. This morning I stood there for half an hour, observing their behavior. Their orderly spacing is what fascinates me most, and I have often wondered as to how they do it. Today I found the answer. When a new bird settles on the wire, the birds on either side do a sort of shuffle away from the new arrival, and this shuffle is repeated by the birds next to them. The further away from the new bird, the shorter the shuffle. It's an amazing and very peaceful procedure, with the result being a rather orderly distribution along the wire. Something today's "me, me, me" generation of humans would do well to imitate!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Van Bo

File under 'Portraits by Hans'.
This one is of Sausalito street artist Van Bo, whose picture I may have post before. You'll find him next to his van, parked next to Dunphy Park. Watch him paint, buy a picture from him, chat with him. His paintings are popular with the house-boat crowd. And with me, proud owner of one of the masterpieces (it took three weeks for the paint to dry)! Did he pick 'Van' as his name because he lives in a van? Or should his name be reminiscent of Van Gogh? You decide!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Kelso and Danika

Once in a while I ask for your indulgence and forgiveness. Such a moment has arrived, as I present a picture of my two granddaughters, Kelso (21) and Danika (12), taken shortly before Thanksgiving dinner. Obviously, I firmly believe that they are not only beautiful, but also highly intelligent and gifted. My modesty knoweth no bounds!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

No, it's not a Turkey!

Some of you may have noticed that I'm something of a birder. And an animal lover in general. Consequently I'm also a vegetarian (for the last fifty years).
All of which brings me directly to today's picture. I saw the pigeon at Sausalito's Dunphy Park a few days ago, and thought that it was especially beautiful. So there you are!
And by the way ~ doves were another of Picasso's favorite subjects.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shades of Picasso?

Here's another one from the Bolinas seawall. I am reminded of Picasso's bulls, one of his very favorite subjects.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I'm very fond of the seawall, with all its murals, in Bolinas (Bobo). My favorite section may well be the leaping rabbits. This is probably due to my penchant for repeating patterns.
Next visit planned for July 4, 2012!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

A visit, this morning, to the Point Reyes Bird Observatory (aka Palomarin Field Station), yielded some nice pictures. Here's a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. After being measured, weighed and banded, it was released, none the worse for the procedure.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


After a two-year hiatus, I have again hung a hummingbird feeder on my deck. After one week the first bird appeared. How they find the feeders is a mystery. And yesterday not just one, but two hummingbirds appeared. Long story short, here's a picture I took yesterday. I think it's an Anna's Hummingbird but I'm waiting for my team of ornithologists to confirm my finding. Regardless of what they determine, I think he/she is beautiful.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

San Francisco's Finest

Occupy San Francisco was happening at Justin Herman Plaza. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, tight-lipped San Francisco's Finest had gathered around the corner. Just in case a drama unfolded.

Friday, November 18, 2011

One More!

Jes' cain't git enuff of that wunnerful Occupy SF stuff. The City has produced its own Occupy flavor. No hesitation, it was as though the script was written in the Sixties, and encapsulated, to be opened in 2011!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More Occupy SF

Here is one of two artists who were painting the scene at Justin Herman Plaza yesterday. He was part of the movement.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Occupy SF

Rena (spel?) in her tent at the Justin Herman Plaza "Occupy San Francisco" encampment early this afternoon. I took a ton of pictures, including some of about fifty motorcycle cops sitting on a side-street, and unwilling to disclose their mission to me. There are many porta-pots at the camp, and I saw several people sweeping and picking up what little garbage there was. I wonder what all this will lead up to.
Should I move to Justin Herman Plaza?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Not a Happy Sight

My computer crashed a few days ago. I bought a new one, took a day to install it, and SHAZAM, here we are again!
I shot the attached picture at Point Reyes this morning. I noticed some Turkey Vultures fluttering around, about 50 feet from the Earthquake Trail. They were partly hidden in the tall grass, but I figured they must be working on a dead animal. I carefully approached, trying to not fall on my face! A few vultures flew off. Finally I spotted the dead deer and two vultures that insisted on holding their ground. As you can see, they allowed me to get quite close.
Not all pictures can be of happy scenes.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mount Tamalpais

If you look closely, you will see a tiny dot on top of the mountain. This is the Gardner Fire Lookout on East Peak. It was built in 1936. Many paintings of the mountain were created well before the advent of photography. Once it was invented it was years before color entered the picture. And today we are in the age of digital photography. All I can say is "wow"!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011



Monday, November 7, 2011

Helix Aspersa

The first Garden Snail I have seen at the Ponds. To some a food, to others a garden pest, to me a beautiful creature!