Thursday, February 28, 2013


My friend Janet B is a physician, birder, marathon runner, baby-sitter for two sets of grandchildren, world-traveler, member of a book-club, homemaker, and botany student at the College of Marin. Obviously, what she needed was a dog!
Enter Quincey, a Terrier-mix, with a wonderful personality. She wags her tail constantly, loves and licks everybody, and doesn't bark. Perhaps not an ideal watch-dog! Janet found Quincey, a rescue-dog, at the Humane Society and it was an immediate love-affair.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Today at 9:45 AM

Royal Review of the Fleet at the Ponds.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Young lady with dog on paddleboard in the Sausalito Houseboat community. I think the dog is a Boxer, and I think she/he is wearing a life jacket. What I do know is that it was a lovely and inspiring scene.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Cinnamon Teal

Male Cinnamon Teal at the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District Ponds this morning. The weather was summer-like.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Furry 3-Wheeler

Nothing is the same in Sausalito's houseboat community. A lotta free spirits live here.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Barbed Wire Reflection

Barbed wire reflection in Shollenberger Park, Petaluma.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Girl on Bench

I took this picture in Vienna, in front of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, a few years ago.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Three Does

This is what we saw when we arrived at Chimney Rock in Point Reyes last Friday.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

One more Elk Picture

Here's another Point Reyes Elk picture. I believe that this bull has shed most of its heavy winter fur, with some remaining on its neck. I've researched this a little but could not find anything definitive on the subject.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tule Elk

After seeing the Elephant Seals last Friday, we headed over toward Tomales Point, hoping to see some Tule Elk. The best way to spot them is by looking for people standing next to their parked cars along the highway, peering through their binoculars! Following this approach, we did indeed, see several bulls.
Elk were native to Point Reyes but, by 1860 had been hunted to extinction. In 1978 2 bulls and 8 cows were reintroduced to the area, resulting in over 400 animals by 2009.

Monday, February 18, 2013


We were driving from the Elephant Seals to the Elk, when a herd of cows decided to block our way. What their intent was is anybody's guess, but, after a brief negotiation, they agreed to let us pass. Perhaps they were just having fun being obstreperous!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Vultures in the Mix

While most of the Elephant Seals were snoozing, Turkey Vultures were having a feast. The docent at the Overlook told me that the birds were feeding on dead pups. Apparently quite a few pups don't make it to maturity ):

Saturday, February 16, 2013

More Elephant Seals

Yesterday there were over 300 Elephant Seals at Chimney Rock. According to PRO TRAILS, Elephant Seals returned there in the early 1970's after an absence of 150 years. (I wonder how they know this?) Now look closely at my picture and you will see a couple of people with backpacks. They were there to tag some of the pups, thus enabling them to track them for scientific research.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Point Reyes

Bob T kindly agreed to drive Dick C and me to Point Reyes today, there to see the Northern Elephant Seals and Tule Elk.
So here's a picture of two male Elephant Seals (about 5,000 lbs each) fighting over dominance to determine who would do the majority of mating in the harem. The ladies, meanwhile, were watching patiently and demurely, while the pups were not interested in what was going on. Eventually one of the combatants turned tail and fled to safety.
This all took place at Chimney Rock, not far from the Point Reyes Lighthouse.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


This beetle squatted on my knee last night as I was fiddling with my computer. She/he was about 2 millimeters long. I looked in my Audubon Insect Guide, but couldn't find it. Probably too small! Sure is pretty though.
Tomorrow I'm heading to Chimney Rock in Point Reyes with Bob and Dick to see the Elephant Seals. A little bigger than my beetle!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier in flight at the Ponds a couple of days ago.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I photographed this Harley in Sausalito the other day. Obviously it was the license plate that caught my eye. says that ARGH is an expression of frustration or anger.
It is an onomatopoeia word (a word that sounds like what it represents).
It was also an expression that Snoopy, of the Peanuts cartoon, frequently used.
And there are no strict rules about how it should be spelled.
Now aren't you glad you asked!

Monday, February 11, 2013


Parade of Buffleheads at the Ponds this morning. These are the smallest ducks visiting the Ponds. I believe the ones with a lot of white are breeding male adults, while the others are male juveniles.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Personhole Cover

I discovered this work of art on Lagunitas Road in Ross this morning. Don't dismiss it as not being art. After all, I don't scoff at paintings consisting of overall white paint, or overall black paint, on canvases in major museums' permanent collections. Though they sometimes do remind me of Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Emperor's New Clothes".

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Save $ 3,286.00!

Don't waste your money going to India to see the Taj Mahal. A miniature version (houseboat) can be seen right here in Sausalito. As proof, I took the attached picture this morning.
Warning! The houseboat serves as a private residence and is not open to the public.

Friday, February 8, 2013

I do get Around

Today I visited the Olivet Catholic Cemetery in San Rafael. A beautiful, deserted place, with some well-known Marin names - i.e. Escalle, Freitas and Don Timoteo Murphy. The cemetery is well worth a visit.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Girl with the Pearl Earring

Marti A and I went to see the "Girl with a Pearl Earring" exhibition at the de Young Museum today. Which proves that I am a Culture Vulture (bird). Next to the Vermeer and other Dutch painters, there were even a few beautiful Rembrandts.
And yes, I did see the 2003 movie, directed by Peter Webber.

Ref-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk yesterday at the Ponds.
HAHA! Here's one for my Birder friends.
When I mentioned "Superbowl" in an E-mail yesterday, Spell Check said "Misspelled Word" and suggested I replace it with "Superb owl".

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


I love birds and taking their pictures. Yet I don't think I qualify as a "birder". Which is great, since it gives me license to take pix of whatever I xxxx-well please.
Here, for instance, is a slug that I met at the Ponds this morning. A quick Starbucks visit, and then home and the Internet. This is what I found ~
Here are some nice slug words to know: On the slug, notice that where a snail's shell would be there's a long, leathery thickening almost as if the slug were wearing a cape. That's the mantle fold. Toward the back in the mantle fold you see a hole. Probably you can guess that that's the air hole. A more technical name for the air hole is pneumostome. The top pair of tentacles, the ones bearing the eye spots, are technically known as the cephalic tentacles. The lower power of tentacles are the oral tentacles.

Monday, February 4, 2013


This Red-tailed Hawk took off from its perch on a pole when it saw me coming. Foggy morning at the Ponds. Today.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sand Dollar

Here's a Fossilized Sand Dollar I found at Stinson Beach, allegedly one of the best shelling beaches on the West Coast. Sand Dollars have been around for millions of years. Mine is petrified, but I have no idea how old it might be. You can see live Sand Dollars at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Try to go as a member's guest. Admission is ridiculously expensive.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier waiting to pounce on an innocent victim. Gotta eat! Yesterday at the Ponds.

Friday, February 1, 2013


I love those gatherings of Starlings. Here one moment, neatly spaced, then suddenly they all take off for parts unknown. Note the spikes at the bottom of the picture, a really effective deterrent. I took the picture this morning at McInnis Park in San Rafael.