Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Randomly Seen On The Beach

The weather has been in the 80s, so a walk on the beach while my daughter paddled sounded good. This day we went down the road to Cardiff By The Sea. We parked on the road and took the stairs.

It's a challenge to take pictures of strangers. The goal is to be unintrusive, but to capture something relatively interesting. This fellow was working the sand with a metal detector and a sand scoop and pretty much had it down to a science. He probably finds a good number of rings and necklaces lost to the power of the sea.

A brother and sister, sharing a quiet afternoon on the sand.

The blazing sun made this pile of kelp bright.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Boy Scout At The Forbidden Palace

In 1942, a young Boy Scout named Willie posed with his cat in front of the Forbidden Palace restaurant in New Chinatown, Los Angeles.

Monday, September 28, 2009

How Morning Looks

The garden is at an in-between stage. Oddly enough, a few spring bulbs are showing themselves already. It's time to start cutting back the cannas and get ready for snapdragons and violas. October is the prime planting month here, as the ground is still warm enough for tender roots and the smaller plants benefit from the winter rains and establish themselves for a major burst of growing come spring.

We're loath to use any snail bait in the yard, so they're mostly hand picked and relocated to a nearby field. They gather on the cannas, so luckily, they're easily rounded up and moved en masse. This one seems to defy gravity as it makes its way along the edge of a canna leaf, almost upside down.

Yogurt and fruit - it tastes even better than it looks!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

20th Century Barbershops ~ #9 In A Series

These barbers in Danbury, Connecticut ran a well-appointed high-end establishment, circa 1900.

Photographer Arthur Rothstein captured a Hagerstown, Maryland barbershop and its wall of personal mustache cups or shaving mugs for FDR's WPA make-work project documenting life in the United States during the Great Depression. This one is from October, 1937. The one below was shot by Rothstein two years later. Dated January, 1939, it shows a barbershop for union workers in Herrin, Illinois.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Making Hay While The Sun Shines

Another set of early color photographs of daily life in Russia, made in 1909 by the remarkable Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii. Here, 100 years ago, a man and woman make haystacks and then pose proudly with their family.

Friday, September 25, 2009

In The Water And Out

It's not uncommon to see a picture of my daughter on this blog, either surfing, paddling, or gardening. What isn't shown is how hard she works at her business, which is mostly centered around Christmas. She's loved Christmas and it's traditions since she was a little girl, and it pleases me to see her making her living doing something she loves.

Below is her first effort at a how-to video, showing how to make a pine cone Santa Claus. Neighbor Kevin shot the video, and to my mind, they did a really great job.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Documenting The Russian Empire

Three more pictures from 1909, by the renowned Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii, who, at the behest Czar Nicholas, traveled the Russian Empire in a specially outfitted train car with the express purpose of documenting life in the Russian provinces. He invented a three color separation process that was revolutionary for the time. The top photograph's margin reads "Chapel on the site where the city of Belozersk was founded in ancient times".

These next two photographs show women in traditional Russian dress.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Butterfield Stagecoach Road

The picture doesn't look like much - just a narrow, winding path through rocky terrain. Actually, this is a picture of the first road from the East into California, hewed in 1847 by the Mormon Battalion, just wide enough for passage by a Butterfield stagecoach. It's in San Diego County, near the Laguna Mountains and Mason Valley.

The picture below was taken of the store and stagecoach stop in Campo in 1900, just east of San Diego, next to the Mexican border.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Day Of Autumn

We've had another spell of hot weather and the warm ocean temperature has been holding, so when my daughter stopped by and invited me along to the beach, it was a welcome break from work. The tide was extremely low in the late afternoon, with lots of sand and some exposed reefs. There wasn't much surf, but that didn't stop anyone from having a good time. The clouds were reflected on vast expanses of wet sand.

The reefs were covered with clusters of mussels, while the mussels were covered with clusters of even smaller creatures.

There'd been a landslide since my last walk. Our sandstone cliffs are vulnerable to the elements and some of the houses on the cliff top are getting precarious. This slide took away a good chunk of the cliff.

This group of youngsters was in good humor and high spirited, with energy to burn. After sitting in classrooms all day, they were bursting to get in the water.

My daughter caught a few last waves and we headed home.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Last Day Of Summer

As we turn the page on another summer, we're looking ahead to our favorite time of year - autumn! The season of offshore winds, both north and south swells, and uncrowded beaches.

Thanks to my neighbor Kevin for the picture of my daughter paddling into a new season.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

20th Century Barbershops ~ #8 In A Series

Both photographs are courtesy of the Detroit Publishing Company collection in the Library of Congress, and both were taken in 1910. The first, in New Orleans, Louisiana, is captioned "typical milk cart". The second shows some of the grandeur that once was Detroit, Michigan. That's the elaborate entrance to the barbershop in the Pardridge & Blackwell building.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sands Of Time

Standing at the top of the sandstone bluffs, we could see the incoming tide had left just enough sand for walking, so we made our way down the stairs and headed north.

My mom joins me once a week for an early morning two mile walk on the beach. She's skipped the past three weeks due to busyness. Her latest project was hosting and cooking for 48 chums and neighbors. She's 82. A sunny disposition and kind nature have served her well. She and my dad have been married 62 years. That's a picture of her, above.

With the tourists mostly away now, the bird population has increased. This flock of curlews hardly budged when we strolled by. They probably anticipate autumn as much as we do!

One more high tide and this makeshift hut will be just a memory.

It is written somewhere that there are more stars in the sky than there are grains of sand on all the beaches. That's a lot of stars.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Streets Of Old Havana

In Havana, Cuba in the first decade of the 1900s, milk was delivered door to door by "el lechero" on horseback, pictured above in a photomechanical print.

Meat was delivered by wagon. This picture was made by the Detroit Publishing Company in 1903.

This circa 1900 broom and rug peddler plied his trade on foot.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Other Side Of The Tracks

This is the last group of photos from a walk earlier this week with my daughter. The top picture shows the view west from the top of the hill behind our house. Down in the flats are the railroad tracks and the Coast Highway, which used to be the main route between San Diego and Los Angeles before the 8 lane freeway went in, east of here. Up the hill on the other side, at the bottom of a 65 foot cliff is the Pacific Ocean, invisible in the haze. Beyond that final line of greenery and houses, it's blue ocean as far as the eye can see.

The neighborhood still has a touch of rural, even though we're getting hemmed in by housing developments on three sides. These two gates appealed to me.

One of my best friends remodeled this house almost 30 years ago. It's held up really well. Most of the original houses around here are beach cottages.

This grand old Spanish Revival home on the crest of the hill was built in the 1920s and has a commanding whitewater ocean view. The grounds have been subdivided over the years, so the yard is a shadow of its former size, but still lovely.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Growing In The Neighborhood

Here are some of the random plants in our neighborhood, shown in the order that we saw them. Above, lichee! If you have never eaten this delectable fruit and have the opportunity, do give it a try. They're ready to eat when they're bright red - delicious!

Citrus fruits grow well here and are very common - grapefruit, tangerines, oranges, lemons and limes grow all year.

These melons grow wild, especially down by the railroad tracks.

These are pyracantha berries - loved by birds and excellent for Christmas wreaths and garlands.

These splendid purple flowers were draped and tumbling over a wooden fence.

Tomorrow, a look at some of the typical beach type houses. My daughter is posting pictures she took on this same walk, over on her blog, 32 Degrees North.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Random Animals In The Neighborhood

The wind picked up early yesterday morning, and the waves were blown out, so instead of going to the beach for a surf, my daughter joined me for a walk through the neighborhood. We both took cameras along in case we saw anything bloggable. She'll be cross posting her pictures over at her blog, 32degreesn, if you want to see what caught her eye. Here's what caught mine.

If you look closely at the top picture, toward the back that's two Shetland ponies in their little corral. They live at the crest of the hill behind our house.

This golden lab started thumping his tail as soon as he heard our voices. He looked like he was waiting for his master to come home and was eager for some company.

These geese must honk at whomever walks by. Their little pond is just beyond the curb, so they don't miss a thing.

Tomorrow, a look at what we saw growing, then on Wednesday, a peek at some of the neighborhood houses. Thanks for coming along!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Not Fade Away

From 45 years ago, two minutes of timeless rock and roll.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

20th Century Barbershops ~ #7 In A Series

These three photographs were all made by Marion Post Wolcott for FDR's Works Progress Administration, under the direction of the Farm Service Administration, in their efforts to document American life during the Great Depression.

The top photograph was made in November, 1939, on Main Street in Oxford, North Carolina and shows a dapper proprietor in front of his "Harlem Barber Shop". In August, two years later, Wolcott made the photograph below of a section of the downtown of Homestead, Montana. It shows a barbershop, store and the local post office.

The miners' union established the barber shop below for their members in Scotts Run, West Virginia. Marion Post Wolcott photographed it for posterity in September, 1938.