Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dogs Days Of Summer

Thomas, taking it easy on a summer afternoon.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What's Blooming In Summer

Lantana has been a much overlooked plant around here. But with the water shortages we experience periodically, it is well worth giving a go. It can be a real rambler, branching out in all directions and overtaking other plants in it's path. We're going to keep these trimmed as small shrubs and see how they perform along with bulbs, annuals and perennials. Not only are they drought tolerant, they're also a favorite of bees and birds.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Old Hawaii

A circa 1950s Hawaiian travel poster.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Impressionists On The Beach

The same beach as seen by two different artists, a generation apart. Above, Claude Monet's 1890 "Beach At Trouville", and below, Edward Boudin's "The Beach At Trouville", 1864.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Faces From The War Between The States

A young Confederate soldier posed in his tricorn hat and shell jacket, holding a Maynard carbine.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hope Springs Eternal

Waiting for birds on a summer afternoon can make a cat thirsty.

A quick sip, then back down into the ferns below the birdbath, to hide.

It's been a better summer for gophers than sparrows, but he's always willing to give it a go.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Old Advertising Posters

Detail of part of a circa 1940s Italian poster advertising Venice. The artist was Georges Dorival.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What's Blooming In Summer

This plant is a type of lobelia, native from British Columbia to Central America, called "Cardinal Flower". It's been a great addition to the garden. Long blooming and loved by hummingbirds, this perennial works best at the back of the border, as it grows up to 3 feet tall. Once it finishes flowering, cut it back hard and it'll be back next year, ready to bloom all over again.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where You Are

It's always interesting to check periodically to see where you visitors live. This month you've come from 60 different countries. The top ten, other than the United States, are the United Kingdom, India, Canada, Australia, Spain, New Zealand, Poland, France, Germany and Italy. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Old Hawaii

An art deco, circa 1930s, Hawaiian travel poster.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Impressionists On The Beach

Circa 1908, by British Dame Laura Knight.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Along Our Coast

A lingering layer of overcast gave way yesterday to sunny skies. Above, looking south down our coastline. Some schools are back in session as of last Monday, so the crowds are starting to thin out.

This young seagull was still getting his bearings, not quite in the groove with the rest of the flock yet. Below, looking north.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Old Advertising Posters

An Art Deco fiesta poster, circa 1932, Sevilla, Spain.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What's Blooming In Summer

Summer is winding down and the shell ginger plants are setting their last blossoms of the season.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Squirrel Action

We started an afternoon of errands with take away burgers eaten on the bluff above the ocean.

It didn't take but a few minutes for the local cliff dwelling squirrels to get a whiff of the french fries and make a beeline for the source.

The pecking order was soon apparent, with the fat fellow, above, the most dominant.

While the squirrel turf war drama unfolded on shore, dolphins were swimming north, riding waves and leaping out of the water.

Monday, August 15, 2011

More Kook

Pranksters have outdone themselves this time. The Cardiff Kook has gone prehistoric with a painted backdrop and dinosaur models forming a fabulous diorama. Well done!

To see earlier incarnations, click on the "coast highway" tag below.

Photograph by Pierce Kavanghvia.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

On The Patio

Cyclamen usually bloom here in winter and early spring, but this particular plant on the patio has been blooming continuously all year.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Classic Photo

A classic photograph, courtesy of the good folks at Maggie's Farm.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Old Advertising Posters

Detail from a 1940 poster advertising an FDNY demo at Madison Square Garden, artist unknown, but likely employed by the WPA through Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


My folks have been married 64 years today. They'll be over later to have dinner with us. That's one of my favorite pictures of them, above, with my sister, taken 40 years ago, just a few blocks from here. Happily, four generations of us all live within a couple miles of each other.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Simple Pleasures

One of life's simple pleasures, a bowl of lemons picked fresh off my mother's tree.

Monday, August 8, 2011

On The Menu

With a bumper crop of peaches at the fruit stand this year, a fresh peach crisp was at the top of the to do list. Below, bubbling from the oven.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


A construction friend lent me his 20 pound iron breaker bar to tackle a 30 inch tree stump that's been forcing me to garden around it. We had to take the peppermint willow down some years ago, as its roots were cracking the wall beside it. The tree served us well, with arching branches that provided cool shade, screened the unsightly yard next door and strength enough for a rope swing when my daughter was a child.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Faces From The War Between The States

A young Confederate soldier sat up straight in a slouch hat.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Beyond The Bend

Up the hill behind our house, this curving driveway, lined with palms and jacaranda trees always intrigues us enough when we walk by to stop, take a look, and wonder anew at what lies beyond the bend.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Old Advertising Posters

A 1920s advertising poster by the artist Grassel, for the Figaro Expo, featuring France's most legendary landmark, the Eiffel Tower.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What's Blooming In Summer

In my daughter's garden, a butterfly alighted on a cluster of plumeria blossoms.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Keeping Up With The Kook

In May, the Cardiff Kook, one of our local public art installations, was decked out in a formal gown and fright wig to commemorate Oprah Winfrey's last show, and more recently as the Surfing Madonna, a local art work installed without permission and removed by the city.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Last Evening In The Garden

The alluring light last evening pulled me outside to see the flowers close up. A cluster of blossoms on the bower vine, above, growing up the arbor, turned their faces to the sun.

One of the last of the snapdragons soaked in the light and hosted a wee white spider. The color of the flower changed when leaning in close cast my shadow over it.

The yarrow, below, have clusters of tiny flowers on long stems that float airily above the shorter flowers.

The grasshopper feasting on the yarrow startled me. We took a look at each other and went our separate ways.