Monday, January 31, 2011

All Hands On Deck

We logged a couple hundred miles this weekend, tracking down merchandise. We always expect the unexpected and are rarely disappointed.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Before The Storm

With a storm in the forecast for the first of the week, we took advantage of the last of the warm weather with another trip to the beach. Half way down the stairs, it was nothing but water and sand as far as the eyes could see.

The waves were small, but perfectly formed and peeling, so a photographer was there to capture whatever he could.

The most talented surfers have an easy confidence.

A pair of sea anemones sharing the same tidepool.

Sunlight reflected on the sand can look like molten silver.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

American Old West Saloons - #23 In a Series

Wausaukee, Wisconsin wasn't exactly the Old West, but this picture of the Silver Slipper Saloon there, dated 1907, caught my eye. To me, the scene looks more like the Great Depression era than turn of the century.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Jack LaLanne RIP

We didn't watch a whole lot of daytime television growing up in the 1950s and 1960s because we were usually outside playing until dinner time. But Jack LaLanne has always been a great favorite of mine. We could use a lot more of his enthusiasm for life, gratitude for our country's freedoms and good old fashioned common sense. Thanks for always telling it like it is, Jack. You were ahead of your time.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Back On The Beach

The unseasonably warm weather held all through last week, and high temps combined with low tides make the beach irresistible. It warranted another walk on the sand while my daughter surfed. The least terns were doing a lot of standing around with gulls. A group of five...

And four more.

These three curlews were busy checking the sand for tasty morsels, while the two sandpipers, below, worked the piles of seaweed and ran hither and yon on their matchstick legs.

And a bird of a different feather emerged from the water to give me a lift home.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's Blooming In Winter

The camellia has set scores of buds and they're just beginning to open.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Running Errands

Monday mornings are usually all about errands. Yesterday was no exception. On the road home, a quick stop at the fish market.

Just inside the city limits, we're heading north along the coast as the double-decker train passes us going south.

And as a reward for all the running around, a take away quart at the local gelato store.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Arthur Lee On American Bandstand

Of all the albums from the 1960s that we just about wore the grooves off of, the ones by Arthur Lee and Love hold up the best. This is their cover of a Burt Bacharach song from 1966, performed on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. Arthur Lee - what a talent! If you want a treat, give a listen to their 1967 "Forever Changes" album and you'll hear why Arthur Lee was such a big influence on Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Taking A Break

A wee bug takes a break on a miniature chrysanthemum as another lovely winter day draws to a close.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

American Old West Saloons - #22 In a Series

In 1868, Laramie, Wyoming locals who wanted to wet their whistles rendezvoused at Keystone Hall.

The photo is courtesy of the Denver Public Library.

Friday, January 21, 2011

More Beach

Gulls and curlews were working the reefs for food. It looks like the curlew is standing on the gull's head - not so, just an optical illusion.

Kids were exploring the reefs and tidepools.

A lone Torrey pine stood at the top of the cliff, twisted and bent from years of onshore winds.

The birds seemed to stake out their own territory, almost oblivious to two wheeled distractions.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Heat Wave

We had extreme low tides and temperatures in the high 70s earlier this week. My daughter stopped by and took me along to walk while she paddled out for a surf.

Lots of youngsters were about, frolicking in the water and on the sand.

Sea grass swayed in the tidepools.

A beautiful January day!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter Flowers

Not everyone likes gardening with bulbs. Once they've bloomed, you have to wait for the foliage to brown, as the bulb stores up that energy for next year's bloom. But to my way of thinking, bulbs are rewarding from start to finish. They're fun to plant, fun to watch crack the ground and sprout and even more fun to gather for bouquets and enjoy indoors on winter days.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cake Rocks

Homemade carrot cake is good, but it's even better right before dawn with a cup of tea.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Slip Sliding Away

Another large chunk of the local sea cliff gave way this week and slid onto the beach. The sandstone is saturated from our December rains, something the seawalls at the base of the cliffs can't change.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Beauty In Unexpected Places

In the parking lot at the grocery store, surrounded by acres of asphalt and planted in rock hard clay soil, this hibiscus flower nonetheless turned its face to the sky and drank in some January sunshine.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

American Old West Saloons - #21 In a Series

Appearances can be deceiving. In Pine Knob, Missouri, in 1905, the Amelung Saloon was housed in this brick building. The family who ran it lived upstairs. From the outside, it looked quite different than the raucous scene inside, shown below.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hot Dog!

You know you still live in a relatively small town (and lead a relatively quiet life) when spotting Little Oscar's Weinermobile is a major deal.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yesterday On The Beach

It got into the high 60s yesterday, but you'd never know it walking north on the beach, into the wind.

The least terns, who migrate along our Pacific Flyway, were back in town, mingling as they are wont with the seagulls.

Looking south, with only a few other people down on the sand.

This seagull was ready to make a meal of the fish he'd found, while steps away, a worm castle was resting atop the fools' gold speckled sand.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Looking Up

The tallest thing in our yard is the ginkgo tree. Now that it's lost the last of its leaves, we can finally get a good look at the jumbo nest that was raided by five raucous raccoons last autumn.

To the right is a gnatcatcher, officially considered endangered, that in reality thrives along the coast and wherever horses are.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Boxed In

Thomas, our visiting feline friend, has always liked paper bags and boxes, and has taken to curling up inside a cardboard tray to nap.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Eucalyptus Legs

Turned upside down, this picture, taken along the shore of one of our lagoons, looks like a pair of legs, striding across the sky.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Last Of It

The last ornaments to be put away are also the oldest. These tiny ones are all in their original cotton lined boxes.

Little Santa faces, mandolins, stars and pinecones, hearts, nuts, snowflakes and bells.

Back in the closet until next year...