Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blue Sky And Burgers

A drive along the coast is always a pleasure and all the more so when hamburgers are in the offing.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What's Blooming In Spring

Two of the most easily grown flowers in the garden are calla lilies and sweet alyssum. The calla spreads by producing pups, while the sweet alyssum reseeds profusely, with the seeds being cast by the prevailing winds. Although they both come in other colors, white is a good choice and looks especially good in the moonlight.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Rest Of Our Walk

An interesting figural gate handle.

A tangle of sweet daisies.

Tangerines, ripe for the picking but growing just out of reach! And below, the light on the ocean seen from the hill behind our house.

Monday, March 28, 2011

More Neighborhood

Above, the incessantly honking goose who rushes the fence furiously each time we pass by.

A lone grapefruit ripens against an original adobe brick wall where the goose lives.

California poppies, our state flower, and sweet alyssum, blooming wildly along the edge of the road.

A pine cone nestles in needles and a terra cotta lion stares stoically.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Last Night

The sky last night, looking northwest through eucalyptus boughs and giant bamboo.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

American Scenes In Black And White

Miss San Diego, zaftig Marian Vogdes, date unknown, but probably circa 1900, judging by the clothing worn by the lady with the parasol, standing in the background.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Walking In Sunshine

With rain in the forecast, we set out late yesterday afternoon to take advantage of the sunshine on a walk through the neighborhood. Large bushes of Pride Of Madiera are sending their sturdy plumes skyward, much to the delight of scores of honey bees.

Pyracanthus berries are hanging in clusters.

Looking down the road that ends at the top of cliff, right above the ocean.

A patient daughter indulges a mother who has to stop every few feet for "just one more picture".

The ubiquitous pickle weed that thrives on neglect and even grows along the cliffs in the harshest salt air.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What's Blooming In Spring

Perennial daisies and ice plant require almost no care. The foliage of the daisies is a soft grayish green and contrasts nicely with the more common green of other plants' leaves. The ice plant attracts honey bees and although snails love it, it's a hardy plant that can suffer their abuse more easily than more delicate flowering plants.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Rainy Morning

Yesterday dawned rainy, a real treat in these parts. Thomas darted inside the second the patio door opened, ready to get out of the wet, have a bite to eat and nod off.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The First Day Of Spring

Spring is starting off overcast and hazy in this neck of the woods.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Waiting For The Moon

Last night the full moon was supposed to be brighter and closer than at any time during the past eighteen years. The picture is pre-moonrise.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

American Scenes In Black And White

The caption to this photograph dates it to 1950 but it looks like it could be from 100 years earlier. It's the Boston Fish Pier.

Photo is courtesy of the National Archives.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Waiting In The Car

Running errands this week, the Indian hawthorns in the bank parking lot were ablaze with morning sun.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What's Blooming In Winter

Even though extremely out of focus, something about the blurriness of these Spanish lavender blossoms appealed to me, with the strappy leaves of daffodils pushing up and through and the blossoms all tilted to the side. If you need a hardy, drought tolerant, compact shrub for your yard, you could do worse than Spanish lavender. It's a prolific, nearly year-round bloomer and attracts both hummingbirds and honey bees to your garden.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Where You Are

It never ceases to amaze me, where you readers are. According to Google Analytics, your top 10 locales are the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, India, New Zealand, France and Sweden. Thanks for stopping by!

The photograph is by Flowerman, via Bing images.

Monday, March 14, 2011

In My Daughter's Garden

My daughter showed me what she's been doing with all the beach rocks we gathered and hauled last month. Her landscaping project has been almost a year in the making and it's wrapping up, with rocks outlining flower beds, a sprinkler system in place, walls almost finished and the last of the patio stones set and sealed. Evergreen sod will be put down soon.

A butterfly meandered by, landing on a king palm frond while we spoke, indulging me and my camera with a show of beautiful wings before venturing on.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

American Scenes In Black And White

Two different worlds, side by side, in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1912.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Art Nouveau By Louis Rhead

Another art nouveau magazine cover, circa 1900, by the multi-talented Louis Rhead. As noted here before, Rhead was an Englishman, born into a family of fabulously talented potters, who made his way to New York's Catskill Mountains via France.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mission San Juan Capistrano In 1899

A photographer from the Detroit Publishing Company made this uncommon colored photomechanical print of Mission San Juan Capistrano, one of the jewels in the chain of missions in California.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Making A Comeback

Gnatcatcher birds have stopped more development and construction projects in California than probably any other bird. They're far from endangered around here - we see them at the beach, in the garden, and outside the living room window. This one was camera shy and flew onto the fence post as soon as he spotted me. A plump one, he didn't look like he'd missed many meals.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

100 Years Ago In Los Angeles

A street scene, circa 1905, in Los Angeles' Chinatown.

A color photomechanical print, courtesy of the Detroit Publishing Collection in the Library of Congress.

Monday, March 7, 2011


It's been six years now since Thomas first jumped through the living room window and straight into our lives. He stops by almost every day, much to our delight, sometimes just for a bite to eat, sometimes for a cap nap.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Orchids And Avocados

My daughter came by and took me along to our favorite fruit stand. They always have such beautiful orchids, lush and full, with branches drooping under the weight of the blossoms.

Their locally grown Haas avocados are hard to beat, whether eaten straight, on toast or made into guacamole.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

American Scenes In Black And White

Lewis Hine captured this photograph of a steelworker bolting a frame on the Empire State Building, New York City, 1930.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Brushing Up

The painting is "Motel Pool" by Bob Dylan. Thanks to the good folks at Maggie's Farm for bringing it to my attention.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Old Country

When my dad's side of the family talk about the "Old Country", they mean County Glarus, Switzerland.

The Detroit Publishing Company made these photomechanical prints of Glarus in 1900. Uncle Heinrich traveled overland to La Havre, France, sailed to New Orleans, then up the Mississippi River and overland West to California in 1847, where we've been here ever since.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What's Blooming In Winter

The daffodils bloomed early this year and most of them are just about spent. Not so the Mexican primroses, below, which bloom all year and spread like wildfire. They were looking their best yesterday in the late afternoon sun.