Monday, April 30, 2012

Art Nouveau & Arts And Crafts Designs

The lowly dandelion inspired Maurice Pillard Verneuil (1869-19542) to draw these beautiful floral patterns in 1897.

They're perfect for embroidery.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

More Beach

Setting out south in a brisk wind.

Native flora thriving in the sand.

On the top of the bluff.

Above, a native California wildflower that looks more like a salt water sea anemone. And below, a fork in the trail that wound through abundant purple statice and ubiquitous pickleweed, both abuzz with busy bees.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Yesterday On The Beach

With yesterday's wind the waves were blown out, so rather than paddle out for a surf, my daughter joined me for a walk on the beach. What little rain we had this season brought out some beautiful native California wildflowers, growing hardily in the sand.

We walked as far south as the incoming tide would allow us and then hiked to the top of the cliff for views up and down the coast.

And took turns taking pictures of each other.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Arbor Day

In his notebook, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) made these sketches depicting the branching pattern of trees, showing that the total thickness of branches along each of the arcs would equal the thickness of the trunk. Source- Rizwan Aratsu

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Impressionists On The Beach

"Rye Beach", painted by American William Glackens in 1916.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

108 Years Ago In California

Mission San Diego in color, circa 1904.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Any Excuse Will Do

We've had a run of overcast, gray days for a week now, which is a perfectly good reason to have cherry pie for breakfast.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Art Nouveau & Arts And Crafts Designs

These designs are circa 1897, made by Maurice Gaudin, his interpretation of periwinkle flowers. The designs lend themselves to so many uses - textiles, tiles, stencils. Even the color combinations are inspiring.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Some Many Years Ago In California

Brother Odoricus, in a rare color photograph, on the steps of Mission Santa Barbara in 1899. And below, the mission as it appeared in 1916, looking toward the mountains.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Another Walk On The Beach

Close to the stairs, a passel of surfers were in a world of their own.

Sea life, pretty in pink.

Two very sunburnt tourists were happily posing for an unseen photographer.

The tide was high and kept me up close to the cliff, choosing a path between moss covered rocks. Below, two fellows were giving a woman surfing instructions, oblivious to the futility of learning to surf without getting wet.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Impressionists On The Beach

A sketch by William Merritt Chase, called "Bath Beach", painted in the 1890s.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Now And Then

That's me in the front yard of my childhood home in the early 1950s. Our little cottage was across the street from the cliffs that rise above the ocean. My current home is a few blocks away, so it was easy to swing by and stand in almost the exact same spot to take a picture of what the neighborhood looks like now, below - wall to wall houses.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Some Many Years Ago In California

An uncommon color pictue of Mission San Juan Capistrano in 1899, and below, as it appeared 90 years ago in 1921.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Our Town

The main intersection in our town, with Coast Highway running north and south and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Watchman

We're lucky to have a small clock shop in town where you can just stop by and the watchman will happily stop whatever he's working on to put a new battery in your timepiece.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

100 Years Ago

Photograph by Lewis Hine. His captions reads:

"Home work on tags. Home of Martin Gibbons, 268 [?] Centre Street, Roxbury Mass. James 11, years old; Helen 9 years and Mary 6, work on tags. Helen said she could tie the most (5,000 a day at 30 cents). Mary does some but can do only 1000 a day. They work nights a good deal. The night before Helen and James worked until 11:00 P.M. See also Home Work report. Location: Roxbury, Massachusetts."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

More Beach

One more look at what the beach was like earlier this week. Above, a very worn shell, tumbled ashore countless times.

There were scores of honey bees stranded on the sand. Migrating perhaps, or drawn onto the sand by instinct?

Heading up the stairs for home, a final look south and west.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Looking Out The Window

Looking out the living room window, as storm clouds gather.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

On The Beach This Week

Earlier this week, my daughter took me along for a walk on the beach while she surfed. The waves had some size, so there was mist in the air from the foam. Looking up the cliff to the east, however, it was clear as a bell.

Schools seem to stagger their spring breaks now, so there were some tourists about.

There were rooms available at the Worm Motel.

The cliffs are always eroding and a new face had appeared since my last walk.

The cliff was showing off its stripes and moss.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What's Blooming In Spring

Lamb's Ear is grown more for it's velvety leaves than for its relatively nondescript flowers. The grayish green leaves glow silver in a certain light and are sure to delight any children who may visit your garden. It's a reliable perennial and easily grown.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

100 Years Ago

The caption to this Lewis Hine photograph reads:

"9 year old girl carrying garments down Blackstone Street, Boston, Mass., to a Hanover Street home. She finishes 8 pairs of trousers a day and gets 8 cents a piece. Location: Boston, Massachusetts."

Monday, April 9, 2012

Along The Coast Highway

Heading south, almost home from errands on a breezy blue Spring day.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


This squirrel froze in mid-scamper when a large bird's shadow crossed his path.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Impressionists On The Beach

"Sunnyday at the Beach" by Pennsylvania artist George Sotter, circa 1923.