Saturday, March 31, 2012

Random Pictures From The Road

The Mojave Desert.

A poolside cabana at the Cosmopolitan.

A wall of stylized cows.

A hand beaded African hat.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Impressionists On The Beach

"Shell Beach at Shinnecock" by American impresssionist William Merritt Chase, circa 1892.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

3 Old French Travel Posters

Three vintage travel posters of the south of France, circa 1920s and 1930s.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

On The Road

My favorite neighbors had business in the next state earlier this month and took me along on an overnight road trip. Above, a window display in a retail store.

The view of the busiest street in town from a balcony on the 53rd floor of the Cosmopolitan.

What looked like a cigarette machine actually sold art at $5.00 a copy.

A vintage raygun was on display.

Another way of crossing the Mojave Desert.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What's Blooming In Spring

If you like low maintenance, high impact flowers that are drought resistant, you may like growing sparaxis bulbs, from South Africa. They grow similarly to freesias, with many blossoms along a single branch and are excellent as cut flowers. Unlike most bulbs, you can take the foliage down after blooming rather than wait for it to die back and next year's blossoms won't suffer for it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Movers And Shapers

These ladies were my teachers from age 4-8, kindergarten to the third grade, back in the 1950s. They all seemed so old then, to my young eyes. Miss Branson, above, had all 35 of us either reading or on the verge (and loving books) by the time we left her class for the first grade.

That's Miss Gendron, above. We could all tell time to within "quarter of, quarter after after and half past" and read the first Dick and Jane books when she was finished with us.

Miss Lux had taught in the district when my dad was in elementary school. She had the whole class adding and subtracting in the hundreds by the end of the year. Every Monday she'd write 25 new words on the chalkboard for us to learn and be tested on for comprehension and spelling by the end of the week.

In Mrs. Halprin's third grade class, we made papier mache kachina dolls and mosaics out of crushed egg shells we'd brought from home and dyed in class, learned our multiplication tables by heart, and the lyrics to the songs of the United States military services, which we sang with gusto.

To a person they were strict but kind and managed to teach the basics and more to some three dozen children without a thought for the condition of our self esteem.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

100 Years Ago

Lewis Hine's caption reads:

"A 9 year old boy, Jo Cafarella, 39 Warren Street, Somerville, Mass. His sister Lena, 10 years, and Mary Lazzaro, 13 years old, his cousin lives at 17 South Street. This is typical of their work. Very few boys work on crochet, but he has for 2 years. Location: Somerville, Massachusetts."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Blue On Blue

This houseboat, docked at a harbor just north of here, caused my imagination to race.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Impressionists On The Beach

"Beached" by American impressionist Dennis Miller Bunker, circa 1881.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


My daughter stopped by and took me along while she ran errands in town.

Windows were decorated with Spring in mind.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Walking In The Neighborhood

In the aftermath of the storm, the wind has been howling for two days. The two towering Norfolk pines half way up the hill were swaying and groaning against the blue sky.

The wind had blown most of the leaves off the avocado tree.

Oranges were in abundance and the cantankerous goose was all the more so, charging the fence furiously.

The weeds in the field rippled in the wind.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Day Of Spring

We've been trimming the carrotwood tree in the field next door, not only to add to our firewood stack, but just in case we get a wind strong enough to bring one of its larger branches down on our house.

Monday, March 19, 2012

What's Blooming In Winter

Crystal Palace lobelia blooms almost all year around here, and although it's considered an annual, the way it reseeds, it may as well be a perennial. The foliage will be mostly green to begin with, but will turn a mellow maroon as the plant matures. It pairs up nicely with daffodils and irises, as when the bulb foliage starts to die back, the clumping lobelia will help fill in empty spots in your flower border.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Sky Last Night

The last storm of winter that blew in yesterday brought plenty of welcome rain, then cleared out just in time for a painted twilight sky, with the kentia palms, giant bamboo and eucalytus trees drawn in silhouette.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Force For Good In The World

Last year the US Navy ship Comfort deployed to Central and South America and the Caribbean to deliver medical and dental aid to 85,000 people in a dozen countries.

Our armed forces provide their excellent photos to the public at large, if you ever wonder what our military is up to without the filter of the predominant media. These photographs are courtesy of the United States Navy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Mutual Friend

Upon stopping by to see my daughter last week, who should be visiting her and helping plant begonias but our mutual friend, Thomas the cat.

She had a late crop of daffodils in bloom, even more beautiful against the deep blue wall.

"Enough gardening", he may have thought, as he followed me home and waited on the patio to see what might be forthcoming from the kitchen.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What's Blooming In Winter

The nasturtiums bloom continuously here, but this time of year they're especially prolific.

Monday, March 12, 2012

In The Chilly Hours And Minutes

It's not uncommon for me to be about before dawn, so when daylight savings time kicked in yesterday, it already seemed late before the sun was even up. Just before daylight, the stillness drew me into the garden, where the flowers' beauty seemed even more pronounced against the black sky.

At the very top are trumpet vine buds, wending their way along the trellis above the front porch. And freesia blossoms, seemingly all the more fragrant in the dark.

Formerly robust daisy blossoms were going to seed.

And gallardia seeds that seem gray and dull in the daylight shown silver in the flash.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

100 Years Ago

Lewis Hine's caption reads: "Eldridge Bernard, 11 yrs. old. Buster Smith, 6 yrs. Old. Route boys of Newark. Taken at 4 P.M. Location: Newark, New Jersey."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

On The Beach

This tide pool looked like its own little island world. And below, a common gull hunkered down on a nest of mussels.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Impressionists On The Beach

"Pointe de la Heve at Low Tide" by Claude Monet, 1865.