Friday, August 31, 2012

Austrian Soldiers

Austrian soldiers at Inspection in the Heldenplatz (Hero's Square) in Vienna. They look so young and innocent, as if they were fresh out of the box!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

National Politics

I'm sure that, by now, you are all aware of the Crow National Convention taking place right now, and right here, in sunny Marin County. I stopped by the convention center yesterday, just as the delegates were beginning to gather to hear what their leaders had to crow about. Since they are among the smartest creatures in the Universe, I expect some great decisions to surface..

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Yesterday, as I was leaving the house, a doe was waiting for me. How does she know that I'm a deer-lover? If we had snow, I might be able to work a deal at Christmas!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Slim Pickings

One Black-necked Stilt and three lady Mallards at the Ponds this morning.

Monday, August 27, 2012

More from Cuba

Another one from my last trip to Cuba. Cubans are truly colorblind and I love it!
Soon the birds will begin to return.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Trombone Player

Cuba is one of my favorite vacation destinations. I took this picture of the trombone player a few years ago. He found a good spot to practice, sitting on the Malecon Seawall, with Morro Castle in the background.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Yellow Star-thistle (maybe)?

Found at the Ponds and lotsa other places. I think it's a Yellow Star-thistle, but I also seem to remember that I've been corrected before. Whatever it is, I think it's a very pretty flower.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Check out Hans on Vimeo



What are granddaughters for if not to photograph?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


A "Kutsche" is a horse-drawn carriage in Vienna. Formerly these were used for transportation, today they serve to show tourists around the city.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Here's an Asian girl sitting on a bench in front of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. I especially liked the way her legs were hidden but her shoes sat in front of her!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Best of Shanghai

I was really fortunate. Ten years in Shanghai during World War II, and always blessed with a WC. Most households had to use chamber pots (see attached). In the morning hand-pushed carts came through the streets and this is where housewives or servants emptied the pots. They were then cleaned with bamboo brushes, the residue being poured into the gutter. The brushes created a very familiar sound.
The US Fourth Marines, stationed in Shanghai after the war, created a medal inscribed "Battle of the Honeycarts"!
On my last trip to Shanghai, a few years ago, I still saw a lot of the familiar pots.

Pallas Athena

Pallas Athena Statue in front of the Parliament, Vienna, Austria

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Kitchen Window

When things slow down at the Ponds (no birds), I can always rely on my kitchen window to provide a scene worth capturing on film (as we used to say).

Friday, August 17, 2012

My Grandfather

The ink had hardly dried on yesterday's Daily E-mail, when I received a correction from my artist friend Elli in Vienna, informing me that my Rembrandt was actually the "Bean King", by Jacob Jordaens. I apologize for having mislead you!
Today's picture shows the life-sized cemetery sculpture of my maternal grandfather. The Viennese Art Nouveau artist, Gustav Gurschner was commissioned by my aunt and uncle to create this work of art in the Twenties. I found the sculpture, no longer attached to the grave, at the Doeblinger Cemetery, on my last trip to Vienna.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Art Appreciation

I took this picture at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna several years ago. I believe that's a Rembrandt on the wall. I was struck by the young man's fascination with the painting!
Yesterday's dog ~ the stuffed animal is on display at the Musee l'Armee in Paris. The dog, thought to have been named Lauro, kept Napoleon company at his last exile on the island of Elba.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

un chien tres mysterieux

Try to identify this dog. I have already given you a valuable hint. The answer will appear in tomorrow's Daily E-mail.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fun at the Beach

Fun at the beach in Turkey.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Menage a trois.

After three days of bicycling and four flat tires in Turkey, I gave up and got on a bus. I think I saw the Storks in the town of Izmit, but I'm not sure.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Most of the birds at the Ponds have left, so I decided to look for material in old travel albums that I haven't visited for years. Lo and behold, there's a wealth of stuff! For instance, this picture of a stork in the Andalusyian town of Ayamonte, Spain. Storks build huge nests, typically on rooftops and towers.
Do storks really deliver babies?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fennel (I think)

What's a mother to do when there are hardly any birds at the Ponds? Obviously, take pictures of Fennel.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Another One from my Cuba Collection

What do you call the bicycle equivalent of a backseat driver?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Rapid Transit

Rapid Transit in Mexico City a few years ago.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Rented goats working next door to the Smith Ranch Care Center on Silveira Parkway in San Rafael. There's a total of 150 animals on the site. They come from San Jose.
Note ~ the females have horns too.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cuban Shakespeare

In June of 2003 I visited Havana, to, among other pursuits, study Spanish. Unfortunately my knowledge of that language has remained below par! But I did take a lot of pictures, and here's one of a budding writer practicing his skill in the great outdoors. No, I don't know what his buddy was up to.

Monday, August 6, 2012


This is an archival picture I took in Mexico a few years ago.
My brilliant friend, Carolee, identified yesterday's flower as Mimosa. Who'd a thunk! The Mimosa was first introduced to the US in 1785. It is now considered a fast-growing weed by many.
And, of course, Mimosa also refers to a popular drink, consisting of champagne and orange juice, dating back to the 1920's.
And finally, Mimose, in German, refers to a hyper-sensitive person.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I don't have a clue what these flowers are called. All I know is that they grow on a bush where I park my car to go to the LGVSD Ponds. And that they're pretty.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Here Comes the Sun

Yesterday saw typical Marin County weather at the Ponds. Then, as usual, the sun made an appearance. I took my picture, rushed home and, to the dismay of some, Photoshopped the heck out of it.
Now click on this and turn up the volume

Friday, August 3, 2012


Hummingbirds make me happy! And yes, I know, I need to clean the feeder!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

After the Bath

Bluebird shaking water off her wings after the bath.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Aliens Among Us

Was this an Extraterrestrial I saw in Golden Gate Park yesterday?