March 31, 2017


On its side, it’s very pod-like.  I have an artist friend who creates large (5-6′ tall) pods from natural and manufactured materials both. They are powerful.

Big pods are very evocative.   They seem a bit menacing even when the colors are soft and natural.  Perhaps they are reminiscent of beds, coffins, caves, devouring mouths, and (of course?) sexual parts. But that’s the last thing I thought of!

This one is about texture that evolves (devolves?) from age and weather and stress.  With the shadows emphasizing it all, don’t you think?

March 27, 2017

New to Me

In our neighborhood pocket park.  I love these small green spaces, with benches and/or play equipment for the kids.  So, I don’t know what this lovely yellow flower is, but it’s a nice change from all the pink that seems so dominant.  There are probably more flowers here that are shades of pink and purple than all the other colors combined.

Does that say something about landscape designers or about bees or about hummingbirds — or perhaps all three?!

March 26, 2017

Mystery Solved

Here is the solution to the question of March 14 — another view of the image from that post.  It was a very foggy night, and we were fascinated at how the moisture in the air was made visible in the beam of a flashlight.  I don’t understand where the golden and brown tones come from, unless they are an artifact of the quality of the flashlight’s bulb.  But hey, it’s cool, eh?

March 25, 2017

More Happy Little Succulents

To echo Bob Ross (may he rest in peace)…and they are getting bigger every day, although I guess their happiness is anthropomorphizing a bit, but why not?  It is amazing what benign neglect can do.  One of these days I should go out and water these.  They sit on the front porch, a bit hidden by a support column, and I forget about them.  I guess the rain doesn’t forget them, although I don’t know that much rain can reach them under cover.  Under cover rain, hm….a good title for a mystery?  A climate-based mystery?  I’m actually reading one of those now, although I didn’t realize it when I chose it from the library.

If I get tired of photos, I guess I could do book reviews.  No.  I think I’ll stick with photos and rambling commentary!

March 24, 2017

More Backyard

Wonders?  Pretty soon, every plant in our rather teensy yard will have made an appearance here.  This one called to me for the linear qualities of the leaf veins as well as the acidic yellow-green.  I do like the brown petal-like markings on the bud.  This poor thing isn’t doing too well, though, which surprises me because of the rain.  Only a few blooms. They seem to turn brown and fall off before opening.  A kind of magnolia, I think.  The first year here they were glorious, now not so much.

March 23, 2017


Light in the back yard.  My mobility is limited right now (minor issue) —  so we (you) are getting a tour of the also limited greenery in our yard.  Hummingbirds used to hang out in this tree, but not any more. Don’t know why.  Drought?  It’s been drought-ish the whole 3 1/2 years we’ve lived here, so that can’t be it.  No hummingbirds.  They were wonderful.

March 21, 2017

Another Volunteer

Under the palm trees. And it’s supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow.  These newbies will all be so happy.  Here they just bask in the sunshine, as we all wish we could do.  Isn’t the varying light just wonderful?  It makes for many shades of green, almost veering into chartreuse, which is as much fun to spell as it is to say!

March 20, 2017

Another View

But not an alternate fact.  Ugh.  This is the trunk of a palm tree, a little too close up for my camera lens.  But I think the blur actually adds to the smoky sense of a forest floor after the devastation of a fire.  It certainly doesn’t look like it’s part of a living plant.  Guess it’s a bit like fingernails and hair?

March 19, 2017

Spring Basil

Brought home from the grocery store in a 2″ pot and replanted.  Much more there than it appeared when in its teensy pot!   (This pot is a good 10″ wide.)

Already enjoying some.  Now if only I can remember to water it!

March 18, 2017


At the La Jolla Historical Society today, thanks to friends who organized an outing.   Wisteria hysteria?  It was not only visually lovely, but also aromatically sweet.  And the exhibit there, a blend of environmental science and art, was thought-provoking.

March 17, 2017

Another Backyard Denizen

Gone a little overboard?  On steroids?  Or just lots of rain?

I’ve never seen these get so big.  Woo-hoo!  Might have to get them out of that pot and into the ground.  More rain next week.  Easing the drought.  That’s a good thing!  You can see all the nut-grass popping up there through the bark chips in the background, too.  I’ve been pulling it out, but really…haven’t had this during the three years we’ve been here — except now!

March 16, 2017


Or maybe just leftovers from some season past, responding to the rain/sun combo.  Nice, though, eh?  The color is so pure and vivid and yet soft; it would inspire a watercolor if that were my inclination.  But it’s not, these days.  Ah, was that comma necessary?  Lovely article in the Guardian about the lack of an Oxford comma in a contract, resulting in dairy drivers’ overtime pay.  The comments on the article were the funniest I’ve read in ages, evoking a healthy series of laughs from me.  Lovely coral-red color up there, lovely discussions of grammar.  Nice diversions.

March 15, 2017

Not Mysterious

But I like the spring blush. My friend gave me some succulents for the back yard planter, and with our January rain followed by a good amount of sun, these are doing well.  I probably have seen pink edges like this before — and just not taken note of them.  I think they lift up the ubiquitous jade plant from the realms of the mundane to the arena of the lovely.

March 13, 2017


Wish I could say I drew it, or designed it.  Nope.  It’s the pattern in a piece of clothing. and I find it wonderful, reminiscent of embroidery and stained glass too.  Thank you, anonymous designer!

March 12, 2017

A Photo of a Photo

With reflections and faint self-portrait thrown in for good measure.

I took this during a car ride back to Kansas from points north (Iowa or Wisconsin or Minnesota?) some years back.  I love its stark desolation and almost-black-and-white.  The dusting of snow just dots the tilled ground, and that lone tree…well, the Midwest in winter just feels like that, doesn’t it?  A little defiant, a little elegantly barren, a little full of promise, a little forbidding.

I think I shot it out the car window, which I probably opened, because the reflections are from today’s copy, not in the original.

Photos of photos have history built into their layering.  We all do.

March 11, 2017


Leftover fresh mozzarella from the night I made pizza, plus Trader Joe’s precooked no-mess beets, grape tomatoes, fresh snipped chives, and Costco’s own wild canned salmon with a bit of light mayo.  Homemade low-fat dressing — thank you, maple syrup — and the diet portion of naan, which I am so happy my grocery store carries!  It sure made a pretty plate.  And tasted good.  And I’m looking for more protein these days, so it ticked that box.  (If you are going to cut the carbs, you gotta get your energy from somewhere…)

March 10, 2017

More Spring Green

I don’t know what this one is, either!  It’s coming up in the back yard.  All that rain has worked wonders.  This almost looks edible, and the fronds are very graceful, spraying out from a few central points and then criss-crossing merrily.

March 9, 2017

One More

From the desalination plant.  I know that there are artists who made their careers photographing or even painting industrial subjects, but I never thought I’d find this sort of thing compelling.  I guess I have just enough nerd/scientist/engineering leanings to find something of beauty in pipes and tubes and containers and such.  Fun that these are bright and almost primary colors.  Perhaps that blue is “ocean blue” or “sea blue,” nodding to the source of the water.  Tidy labels, too.  And the evenly spaced support bars in contrast with the staggered placement of the valves (?) is nice.  Here we go a-gridding, and it’s the water grid rather than the power grid!

March 8, 2017

Morning Light and Shadows

Abstract enough?  I guess there are benefits to walking earlier!  This was taken looking down from the cliff, with the stairway shadows clear and distinct.  The sand and water form a strange horizon that seems etched into the top of the image.  That might even be an elongated self-portrait in the shadow to the right.  Confusing?  Yes, but I like that.  Clarity is usually valuable, but ambiguity can be rich.

March 7, 2017


Weird word, isn’t it.  And these arrays, where the second phase of the process occurs, remind me of photos of old huge cumbersome computers, way way back.  And they are beautiful.  All that blue tubing is rather humorous.  The colors were wonderful.  Everywhere that there was an expanse of unrelenting gray — well, it relented.   Who decided this tubing should be bright blue?  Genius!  (And the metal is painted to match?!)  Some cool pipes tomorrow.

March 6, 2017

Life Saver

At the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant.

We had a tour today, courtesy of the MIT Alumni Club of San Diego, arranged by none other than my DH, Richard.  It was fascinating.  This life preserver is stationed on the floor/roof of an enormous storage tank.  There were many enormous storage tanks, ginormous pipes,  tubes,  steel slabs, stairways, railings…industrial design on steroids?

They produce 50 million gallons of drinking water each day, about 10% of what’s needed for the county.  They’ve been doing it for about a year and will do it for at least 29 more.  You can check out their website.  I guess there needs to be a life preserver wherever there is water.  It felt ironic and wry.  Our guide explained that sometimes people have to open (and even enter?) the tank.  Hope I have that right!

March 5, 2017


And such a contrast of forms!  Long and thin and spiky contrasted with small and round; silvery green with bright yellow-green; arranged around a central point with randomly and densely scattered…and then there’s the brown bark with its every-which-way pieces of gray.  Plants on parade.

March 4, 2017

Which Way is Up?

Well, I guess you can tell because you can see the good earth under my feet, and the sky is not yet tumbling down.  Thank you, Carole King!

But the wind has had its way with these shrubs.  I marvel at the bleached trunks, the tangle of branches, the achingly sharp yellow-green of the new spring growth…  We could all use some new spring growth — of ethics; of thought-full, forward thinking; of world-embracing, generous behavior.  Four months of hoping.  Patience grows tangled, too — with tangled thoughts, tangled reading, tangled “facts,” tangled behavior, tangled options.   My thoughts “are gray and white and clou-ou-dy…”  And also, thank you, Paul Simon and Bruce Woodley.

March 3, 2017


A pile of crocheted…circles.  I was laying them out on a quilt.  Then I piled them up and thought they looked like some sort of cake or pastry.  Or hat.  Or pillow.  Or flower.  Or maybe just a pile of crocheted circles.

I don’t usually put my art experiments or results or explorations or process out here, but, well, I am wondering what these are and where they want to be and whether they will speak to me.  I have had them for a long time.  Something tells me I should make more.  Hundreds more.  But that’s weird.  Maybe that’s art?  Weird can be weird.  Or just fun.  Or a one-liner.  So “Circle Game” just started playing in my head.  I need to find that yarn.  And crochet some more circles.  Maybe.

March 2, 2017

More Spring

I’d like some spring in my step, too!  It really helps to be keeping our eyes open and noticing.   When I left the house today, there wasn’t much that was calling for my attention.  I was just going to the mailbox, after all.  So I turned around and said, nope, I’ve done the daisies, I’ve done the birds-of-paradise; have I done these ubiquitous pink shrubs?  And I can’t even remember what they are called.  I searched, entering ‘pale pink 5-petal blossom on glossy green southern California shrub.’  Lots of pretty plants, but not this one…help?  I have a feeling I *used* to know what it is!

March 1, 2017

Home Again, Naturally

It’s home when I see the water.

And those stones look like pixilated water, and the water beyond them looks like pixilated sand, and the ridge of sand in the foreground looks like bone.  And it all looks just right to me .