July 23, 2017


Or maybe 7 1/2?  Seven is a nice number; odd and prime and pretty to write.  And these beauties, with their bridge of a twig, seem like great night-lights.  It wasn’t quite night, but they sure jumped out.  Love the symmetry of the brown markings and the increased density towards the peak.  Anyone know what they are?

July 22, 2017

Come Closer

Some TV show when I was a kid had something called a “come closer problem.”  I don’t remember the show nor the nature of the problem, but the phrase stuck in my head.  So here are those striking seeds (?) looking luminous and vaguely like popcorn or teeth or corn kernels.

The second time I was there (while house-hunting), I touched them.  They were the texture of cooked rice and could squoosh or crumble in my fingers.  I wonder if they could be hung to air-dry for use in flower arrangements…oh well, we didn’t find the house as intriguing as these, so probably won’t be back there.

July 21, 2017

Big Sunset

Well, some of them seem bigger and brighter and bolder than others.  There are definitely things the sun needs to set on; and others that sunrise would benefit.  All in all, a great day.  May we see some great in all our days!

July 20, 2017

Comic Con

We were downtown in San Diego last night for preview night –hence no blog post yesterday.  This is sure what it feels like: a bit silly, joyful, and a-tilt.  People all over, walking down the middle of some  of the streets,  camping out on sidewalks, costumes, children, and noise!

July 18, 2017

Flora or Fauna?

We decided it was flora; from a distance it was less certain.  It’s bigger than the cattail-like plants we see around the neighborhood.

Wouldn’t it be a great sci-fi insect-like thingie?  With eyes on top of its head!

July 16, 2017


I may have posted a photo of these before.  That’s OK, I needed to focus on their freshness.  The crisp high contrast, the deep darkness of the leaves, the here-I-am boldness are all what feeds me now.

On our way back from our morning walk…they called, I stopped, here you are.

July 15, 2017

Time for a Sky

After a lovely afternoon in downtown San Diego, including lunch and good coffee, traipsing around with a friend, and an art opening plus supper, this is the Sky.  Hello Sky.  Goodnight, Sky!

July 14, 2017


Babies?  Why are there suddenly all these new parts of palm-type trees that I’m noticing?  Perhaps all due to the early spring rains?

These look stuck on, or poked in, like pins into a pin cushion.  Don’t they look like you could just pluck them out?  And perhaps use them to decorate a hat, a rather large hat?  And they are that delicious yellow-green that *almost* sets your teeth on edge, it’s so sharp.  the right kind of sharp.

And, to the right of the second row from the bottom, there are holes that make it look like the new appendages fell out.  Maybe they did.  And the two eyes/bulleyes/wounds are all that’s left.

July 13, 2017


Isn’t that a great word!  And this tree bears its scars with some quiet pride.  Love the bark texture, as if it’s been carved.

I know for sure that I’ve noticed so much more about the world around me by doing this blog.  Art education in general enriches the ability to see; photography has its own niche there.

July 12, 2017


Purple and orange.  Or is that purple more  of a blue?  I’m not sure, but I found this combination striking.  Summer in the beach town.  Doesn’t have the ring of “summer in the city,” but it’s still pretty darn nice.  And the patches of sunshine on the green leaves is a touch of warmth.  It’s been warm and muggy here, relatively speaking, so this isn’t surprising.

July 11, 2017


Well, there’s fruit and then there’s fruit.  It looks like jewelry.  Or a mop head.  Or popcorn.  Or anything but something that’s protruding out of the side of a palm-ish looking tree.  Never saw anything like it.  I was so excited to take its portrait that I forgot to touch it and smell it.  Well, I might have another chance.  Hope to be back in the area tomorrow!

July 10, 2017

The Lineup

8:30 am and there’s gonna be a group of people facing the sea, sitting in the sun, drinks in hand…

A different kind of convention.  Why would you want to sit in a row like that?  It looks like you get to converse only with the people next to you.  Who decides who sits where?  Seems almost like confronting the ocean.  Water, then sand, then the lineup, then the cliff, now casting an almost ominous shadow.  I found this both wryly amusing and a bit unsettling.

July 9, 2017

Another Convention

The beach is back!  The rocks have receded/been buried/been washed out to sea.  And this flock of seagulls seemed to be celebrating at the bottom of the cliff.

I wonder what they are discussing.  Not climate change, not health care,  not cyber threats, not nuclear sable-rattling, not police/gun violence, not gender injustice, not educational undermining, not even Amazon-takes-over-retail-for-the-entire-country.  And certainly not even G-20 (19?)

I think I’d be happier in their convention.  I don’t know the expected life-span of a sea gull.  I don’t know their survival behavior, nor their social norms.  But could they possibly be as fraught as ours?

July 8, 2017


It’s that blur on the left of the agapanthus bloom.  I had to predict where it was going to go next; it was zipping down a row of flowers in someone’s front yard when we were on the way home from our walk this morning.

I wanted to make sure I spelled the flower name correctly.  It is also called ‘Lily of the Nile.’  Who knew?

So this is a good example of the limitations of a cell phone camera.  I could have used a fast shutter speed on an SLR and gotten a stop-motion photo.  I think.  My skills are rusty!

July 7, 2017

Time for Sunset

The streaks.  The golden glow.  The dark trees, including the skeletal one.  The depth of the blue of the high sky.  Well, just the magic of the opportunity to watch the settling of the sun into another night, another day to come.  With hope.

July 6, 2017


Also at the wedding venue.  I have never had window boxes. They certainly are lovely.  I wonder if you have to water them from the outside?  Maybe can’t open those windows, either, without disturbing the plants.  I love the trailing lobelia.   Blue flowers are so striking!

July 5, 2017

Christmas in July

Again!  Unbelievable saturated red.  This plant was in the gardens at the site of a family wedding in New York, on Long Island.  The bride and the families and the festivities were as lovely as these flowers!

June 29, 2017

Spiky Orange

I think this was one of the first photos I took at the Meditation Garden a few weeks ago.  What a strange-looking plant!  Pumpkin-colored, with the little hairs or whatsits on each — what? frond? — swirling out like a whirligig gone native!

And then all the smaller tubes — babies?  Immature versions of this large one?  Again, the lack of back-lighting gives those shadowy areas a velvety depth, emphasizing the brilliance of the  saturated orange.  Almost edible again…

June 28, 2017

Exceedingly Green

Black backgrounds do amazing things for color.  This was a daytime shot, in the Meditation Garden.  The leaves seem almost waxy.  They are glowing with reflected light.  The shadow at the bottom seems to balance the upper dark corners.

I admit to cropping this photo; even when I worked in an actual darkroom, with real film (mid ’90s), cropping was one of my favorite activities.  I see the scene generally, and then realize in cropping what was really pulling me in.  There are some photographers who think cropping is a kind of cheating; I’ve never understood that.  After all, a painter doesn’t paint everything in his field of vision; she chooses her composition from what’s there.  And — I’m using a camera phone, very different from a multi-controlled SLR camera.

So — here’s the green that pulled me in.

June 27, 2017

Even Grayer

It takes my breath away.  It’s so soft.  It’s so blurry.  It’s so wispy.  The fog envelopes you, pats your skin gently, feels so good to breathe.  I think my lungs say thank you.  Like nature’s humidifier, without getting you soaked.

You could tilt and twist and lose your sense of up and down.  You could get very lost in it.  I imagine it’s very disconcerting to pilot a small plane in it.  Where’s the sky and where’s the sea and where’s the beach and where’s even over there?

Gray where.

June 26, 2017

Sculptural Erosion

Wind and water move in mysterious ways.   This is looking down from the top of the cliff and seems like a country of its own.  Look at those sharp-edged mountain ranges!

We see this from a campsite that has a very cool cactus, too.  We check it out periodically; it seems these ridges have become more distinct recently, perhaps due to that rain we had a while back.  The cactus, on the other hand, has mostly finished blooming.  It will be fun to see how these look if there is more rain this winter.

June 25, 2017

Imagine That!

How many different kinds of palms have I seen?  But not one in this stage!  I wonder if it’s the rain from a few months ago that is allowing things to flower/sprout in ways that are new to me.  It’s like a whole nother plant inside the plant.  Fractal.  Maybe this is how it generates new fronds?

And notice all those shades of green, from yellowish to silvery to deep, almost black.

June 24, 2017

Purple and White

In my friend’s garden.  One of my favorite color schemes!  Also nice with lemon yellow or even pink.  It’s cool and refreshing and somehow peaceful to me.  Would be lovely in a bedroom.  It feels a bit romantic, too, and is less usual than blue and white, although the darker purples here do tend toward blue.  When they are more magenta, they are even less expected.  The grey fence makes a nice background.

June 23, 2017

Yet Another

Gray morning.  They’re addictive.  That lovely almost-no-horizon blur.  How is it that water can look soft?  A soft sky, yes; but soft water?  Even the white wave edge seems more fluffy than foamy.  If I didn’t know it’s really quite cold water, I’d be very tempted to wade out and float.  But they don’t wear wet suits here for fun.   The water is COLD.

June 22, 2017

Little Round and Big Nasty

Thorns!  The dear small yellow blossoms (?) are nestled in there and protected by these very sharp, long thorns.  I tested them, gingerly.  They are definitely ouch-inducing.  So, one asks, why the thorns?  I thought we want to welcome birds and bees to spread the pollen?

Yet another mystery of the meditation garden.  I sure did take a lot of photos there.

June 21, 2017


One God.   One way.  One is one and all alone… One of a kind.  One, two.  One-liner.  One bad apple.  One-time offer.  “One is the loneliest number.”  One thing is certain.  One against the world.  One good turn…

One flower.  Just sitting there modestly against its sandy brown background.  Humble, yet forthright.  Perfect symmetry.  The touch of yellow is design genius.  One does it just fine.

June 20, 2017


They seem like eyes to me.  I may have photographed them before; even so, they are striking enough that I want to look at them again!

A bit disturbing?  Certainly compelling.  The cracks are a bit icky.  No cracks in eyes, please.  The shaggy bits are reminiscent of eyelashes. I am looking at the garden and it is looking at me.  Somewhat totemic, too.   And the appearance of frowning.  Maybe because there’s a whole lot to frown about?

June 19, 2017

Another Kind

Of pom-poms.  I thought the Midwest had flowers, but really.  These grow so densely, and are so cute, too, somehow.  They should be tied onto the single pointed peak of a child’s knitted hat.  Ah, well.  In another world…

June 18, 2017


I know it’s just begonias, but it’s such a thickness of begonias!  A generosity of begonias, a density of begonias!  It was warm today but pleasant near the water, and we enjoyed our walk.  A heat wave by the sea is a lesser heat wave.  There were crowds of people at the beach and it felt very joyful.  We are fortunate indeed.

Or, on second thought, are they impatience?  I get them confused.  Betcha they are related!

June 17, 2017

New to Me

I must have been to the Meditation Gardens at least twenty times, but never saw this before.  Pink (coral) and purple (lilac) together, a soft and pretty color scheme.  There was only one of these.  I do wish they would put labels out so I could learn the names of these beauties!

June 16, 2017


I keep thinking I’ve seen all the plants that grow around here, and then this.  These palest yellow puffballs just pop out of the trail by the beach, as exuberant as the kids who are now playing on the sand that is finally being exposed by lower morning tides, and the continuing mysterious changes in the rocks that have blanketed most of the beach until now.  Softer puffballs, softer beach.

The early morning fogs continue but are burning off sooner; June gloom will end and it will really be summer.  I did notice some color around my neck, so it’s time for sunhats, sun shirts, and sunscreen, even at 9am.  The joys of living in a beach town!

June 15, 2017


Isn’t that pretty?  I wonder if I could keep such a trio alive for more than a week or two.  Walking down the street, we saw this cheerful arrangement in the doorway of a townhouse.  I love the riotous colors — no “color scheme” — which works well in small doses like this.  Three sizes of simple white pots.  I’d undoubtedly over-water or under-water, sigh.  You see, they don’t know how to ask for what they need, so how would I possibly know?  I’ll stick to cooking…

June 14, 2017

White Coleus

Maybe even more striking than its purple cousin?  Things to love: the green veining and edging; the contrast with the background greenery; the pale pink-salmon splotches; the heart shape.  I’ve always thought a purple and white garden would be lovely: these, plus lily of the valley, white hydrangeas, white agapanthas, lilacs (different climate, I know), lavender, violets, irises and some of those many purple flowers that I’ve photographed before!

June 13, 2017

Rhubarb Vines

Well, they’re not.  But that’s what they reminded me of…so now I need to go buy some rhubarb, and make compote.  Rhubarb is strange stuff, but my Mom cooked it with sugar and cinnamon and nutmeg and it was yummy with vanilla ice cream.

As kids, we also ate it raw, dipping the end of the stalk into a Dixie cup with an inch of sugar poured in the bottom.  It was still quite tart and puckery, but the sweet-tart contrast was fun.  Summers when no one had fences, there were no gated communities, and we played kickball in the back yard until dark…

June 12, 2017


Nature wins once again.  It would be hard to do that shading with watercolors.  It’s too bad the drip irrigation is so noticeable.  I guess Photoshop or a similar program could “erase” that from the photo, but that’s not the point.  The point is: purple to red to orange to yellow to gold, all on a green to brown to black background.  And fractal layering of leaves and petals, too!

June 11, 2017


Also at the Meditation Garden.  I love the darks and lights in this; I wasn’t sure how it would work, because the experience of being in the garden is so variable and, I think, somewhat dependent on my mood.  The canopy of the large bright leaf, paralleled by the other large leaf at the bottom, seem to embrace the interior of this shot.  It felt simultaneously dynamic and posed; a hint of oppression but not quite menace.

Then there are the little bits of light that filter through the smaller branches: a little nearly circular area at the bottom, and the larger one at the center of the photo.   The pale barely-blue light of the sky in the upper third is balanced by the bright, nearly washed out green of that lower leaf, too.

Maybe there’s almost too much in this composition.  Printing it larger might enhance it, and help me determine whether there’s a focal point. Could it be two photos?   Sometimes too much complexity is confusing rather than enriching…dunno!

June 10, 2017


At the Self-Realization Meditation Garden. Isn’t the juxtaposition of the blue and orange nearby flowers just incredibly complementary?

The garden is a new experience each time, much like the beach.  I asked the guard-guide how many different plants he thoughts there were; he estimated “hundreds” and said “and he wants more!”  Not sure who “he” is, but every plant there seems well-tended, well-placed, and well-appreciated.  My favorite destination in North County; if guests have time for just one excursion, this is it.

June 9, 2017

Drama Queen

Facing the morning sun, they stretch and welcome the light.  As I was, near the beach, walking off the stresses of a restless night.  The world is too much with us again, yet, still; with the disappointments mounting in those we thought we could trust and the new developments that are anything but.  Devolvements, perhaps?  Maybe I made that word up, but that’s what it feels like.

So this pureness, this simplicity, this implicit is-ness — this is what I need, perhaps what we all need?

June 8, 2017

Mellow Yellow?

Could use a bit of mellow myself.  They just do their thing, not worrying about the next rain or the hedge clippers or the trampling of little feet.  Yes, I could use a bit of mellow!

I know I have photographed their red and orange cousins, and thought I should give these yellow ones their due.  The June gloom continues but seems to be burning off a bit earlier each day.  It is certainly doing good things for the plants around here.  Our morning walks are both cool and muggy, but that’s better than hot and muggy!

June 7, 2017


They’re trimming the fan palms in our neighborhoods.  They shouldn’t, some say.  Their skirts protect them.   I looked up how and when to trim and the information is complicated.   Of course, it’s getting warmer, so maybe they don’t need their protection as much.

This was part of a pile on the grass.  The textures and range of colors is rich; the curls and hairiness and cones and circles and edges — all of them are worthy.

June 6, 2017


Than real life.  Somehow this looks pointillist or sharpened or something.  These itty-bitty blossoms on succulents are widespread (literally) in several areas of the campground.  I love them.  I think I’ll show you some other shots:



And one more:



As if kissed by a touch of frost.  Wonder what they are.  Where’s a campground naturalist when I need one?!

June 5, 2017

Yellow In and Out

Of focus.  It makes it seem that they are pushing, growing, towards the camera, towards the viewer.  They are really teensy little flowers, by the way.  Charmers in their brightness.  We could all use some more charm?

June 4, 2017

Another Hazy Day

But not a lazy day.  Had a group show art reception today.  Got to talk about making art, and what it means to make things, to some engaging folks.  It’s about the making process, about transformation.  About the power — and the vulnerability — of change.  It’s about seeing and feeling and thinking and responding and waiting and trying and discovering and all those activities and attitudes that are related to learning, to being open, to shrug sometimes, to persevere other times.  How fortunate I am!

June 3, 2017

A Little Over-processed?

Well, it would be if it were human hair.  But over-processing is not done by Nature.  I guess these linear compositions in ornamental grass are appealing to me.

It is difficult to see differently.  Especially when I have probably taken — I dunno — 1000 photos around here.  I did take another one of that misty horizon, but I’m not sure I’ve found anything new to show or say about it!

June 2, 2017

Point of View

Or vantage point.  Nothing unusual about the flowers or the ornamental grasses.  Not much unusual, for that matter, about most of the things I photograph.   What I’m trying to teach myself, though, is to see differently.  I like the layered effect here, the grasses leaning over the blossoms almost protectively.  The light that made some of the blades appear almost white.   The under-layer of dark earth toward the center.   The jagged division of the composition into bottom/top, not quite in half.

I haven’t been ‘making’ much art lately, as in stitching/painting/constructing, but I still think about it all the time.

Especially out on the morning walk with modest little cell phone camera in hand…Not to denigrate cell phone cameras.  They’ve come a long way, and hey, it’s the camera I always have with me!

June 1, 2017


Since there was talk in the news today about black holes and such, this seemed like a nice antidote.  We could use a whole lot of antidotes right now.  I am grateful that we can escape into Nature.  A tragedy that it’s not valued by the so-called leaders that could be so effective in helping us preserve it.

So this is my tribute to Nature in my own front yard…

May 31, 2017

May Gray

Brings mushrooms.  May Gray and June Gloom are my second-favorite season around here.  May Gray starts with early morning coolness and dampness that sometimes fogs into afternoon and evening cool and damp as well.  Hence mushrooms.  And my favorite season here is late-autumn into winter, which is five to six months of cool, clear, sometimes crisp, sometimes sunny days, many many of them in succession, broken only occasionally by a few hours of sprinkle or sudden downpour.  My not-favorite season is summer, which for me is too warm (anything over 75 is excessive, don’t you think) and brings more tourists on the roads and in the restaurants,  and more people on the beach, and having to turn on the air conditioning, which is really silly in a climate like this!

So it’s likely there were photos of mushrooms about a year ago.  I will have to check.  Thank you for tuning in…

May 25, 2017

Campground Cliff Cactus

It’s at campsite 32 and I check on it every now and then.  Today it presented me with this lovely deep cranberry-red blossom, and it looks like there are more to come.  What a bizarre collection of shapes and textures!  The round orb-like things with their chocolate-chip centers, the prickly spines, and then the cucumber-shaped parts that are just green and bumpy.  I’m actually not sure it’s all one plant?

May 24, 2017

Armadillo Bark

We all seem to be attracted to things that look like something else, something they are not, yet something that is conjured up by the visual cortex and the associated processing areas.  There’s so much going on here: the ladder, the texture, the pebbly yet striated surface, the varieties of gray that tend toward mocha and even pink, the vertical grooves…some sort of palm tree bark.  Or maybe it wasn’t palm.  I looked at a lot of trunks on our short walk today.  Now I can’t remember.  But it doesn’t matter, does it?

May 23, 2017


Cheese and crackers; wild salmon salad; greens with avocado, tomatoes, feta, Persian cucumbers, chives, homemade light vinaigrette; fresh pineapple.  Simple. Healthy. Sometimes it’s a relief to eat something not-fancy, at home.  And then sometimes it’s a delight to eat something out, something complicated that one doesn’t have the ingredients or prep skills for.  So fortunate!

May 22, 2017

Stalking It

New growth at the top of a plant, in a pot, in the back yard.  These were cut way back because they were so spindly; now they are still spindly, but in a better way.  They look a bit like feather dusters.  I am tempted to cut them again and see if the bottoms will root, as they are still really gangly looking.  I’ve had them for ages; they’ve been indoors, they’ve been on a balcony, and now they are outdoors.  Never really been happy.  Maybe it’s my brownish thumb or maybe they just don’t belong in Southern California?

Plants puzzle me.  They can’t ask for food or more water or less water or more light or less light or richer soil or better-draining soil…how is one to know?  Yet I have friends who seem to have an instinct for it.  Ah well, I’m told I have an instinct for cooking, and I have NO idea where that comes from, so I guess I’ll just enjoy what I’ve got and hope the plants survive my benign negligence!

May 21, 2017

Must Be Flower Week

Would they be as lovely without the yellow buds and centers?  And the deep velvety green leaves?  Why should we ask, anyway?  These blossoms seem delightfully pretty and perky and sunny, like a California blonde, don’t you think?  Questions!

May 20, 2017

The Light

…was just right.  The colors, the shapes, the diagonal, the stripes, the sun on the brilliant chartreuse!  I was fortunate to be there at the right time.  This was in a neighbor’s beautiful garden.  There are probably more photos there waiting to be found….thank you, M & C!

May 19, 2017

It’s Berries!

But they don’t look edible, whatever “looking edible” means.  And they seem almost frosted, as if they belong more in December than the middle of May.  Our neighborhood plantings truly are stunning.

We have botanic gardens and the gardens of Balboa Park; we also have neighborhood and highway plantings as well as wild flowers.  No wonder I have these rapid-fire sneezing spells!  Well, it’s worth it.  The visual splendor just keeps on coming.

May 18, 2017

Doing its Thing

Orange is not my favorite color.  But somehow, when Nature does it, it’s grand!  I know I have done lilies before, probably at this time of year, but when the show stops you, you have to pay attention:  to the lovely edges, to the striations parallel to the long sides of the petals, and even the ring of darker pigment around the pistils [stamen?]  The double symmetry of the petals, three and three, is so delightfully balanced.  Nature does well teaching both color and composition!

May 17, 2017


I am attracted to these partially opened blooms.  This one was especially intriguing because it looks as though it will have both purple and white flowers.  The star jasmine is super-fragrant and everything else seems to be riotous with growth and color.  I keep forgetting that “spring” in California is a long and abundant season. It was pleasant to enjoy on an evening walk!

May 15, 2017

A Wonky Photo

I depart from the usual to tell a brief story about the “I should have known” phenomenon.  People like to ask artists (and writers and dancers and engineers…) how they happened to realize their passion.

Well, I should have known.  My first grade teacher kept an easel and tempera paints in the back of the class, and once a month it was your turn to paint during recess.  When my turn came — oh wow — I was so excited I knocked over the easel, all the paint splattered over the floor, and it was hard to say if I was more afraid (what had I done?  would I be punished?) or upset to lose my turn.  Neither.  She was a wonderful teacher, comforted me, and bought new paint for the next day.

It took me 37 more years to figure it out and go to art school, meanwhile pursuing the “edges” of art with sewing, interior design, and other similar activities.  Everything I did in between feeds my art, though!

I should have known.

May 14, 2017

Just Enough Rain

To bloom for Mothers’ Day!  In a huge planter in my little back yard, which I consistently neglect.  I swept the patio and failed to notice this until it was pointed out to me later.  Don’t need sci-fi plants; the earthly ones are bizarre enough, eh?

May 13, 2017

Out of Focus

Yep.  And I am too.  I am also running short on focus.  Un-focused.  Maybe even ill-focused.  Off-focus.  Off-kilter?  Kilter, now that’s a curious word.  Means ‘balanced.’  It hints at funkiness, wonkyness.   Ah, that’s not a word either.  Reminds me of the feeling I get from Suzanne Vega’s “Left of Center.”  Sort of.  Not surprising these days, eh?

May 10, 2017

Driveway Denizen

Well, briefly, anyway.  Her mate was across the street and kept calling to her.  Probably didn’t want to play hopscotch with her right now.  Does she seem a bit disappointed, resigned?  Ah well, another day, another driveway.  She was not timid at all, letting me get within six feet of her.

We also seem to have at least one pair of ducks who appear to live in the grocery store parking lot.  California has an amenable climate for many species!

May 8, 2017


The tree was ginormous, too.  This was only a small selection of these gnarly, biomorphic (well, of course, tree roots are!) forms. They seemed almost sculpted in clay, and nicely textured surfaces at that.   I think Georgia O’Keeffe would have liked to paint or draw them — a charcoal drawing, perhaps.  I’m reading a biography of her.

She saw the world with new eyes…

May 7, 2017

Like Straw

What color are they?  I find that color wistful, on the edge of dying.  These were out of reach, so I couldn’t touch them to determine whether they were soft and silky or dry and poke-y.  They look rather dry, and yet…that center of dots and the many many thin blades of flower petals seem very much alive.  Defiant?

May 4, 2017

Star Jasmine

In all its glory.  And its scent is just amazing, sweet and potent and slightly spicy and lingering.  Walking along the sidewalks here, it’s plentiful and enveloping.  Yum.  Well, not quite yum, I don’t like jasmine or any floral teas; but it’s delightfully heady during an evening walk.

May 3, 2017

Another Skyline

Outside a restaurant.  Palms may not be ecologically sound, but they sure are photogenic.  How about that leaning one?  It appears to want to whisper a secret to the tree, perhaps?  Rumors of rain this coming weekend; maybe that’s what they’re discussing!

May 1, 2017


You can see how dry it’s been.  The drought may be over, but this one is blooming because of stored water from the January rains.  We had a bit of mist the other day, but have had no rain of consequence for many weeks.

It is indeed a treat to see *green* rolling hills and canyons instead of brown ones.  I hope we are treated to more rain again next winter.  Doubtful there will be any over the summer, although we experienced a brief July thunderstorm the summer we were deciding to move here, almost seven years ago.  The locals apologized profusely, as if they had let us down.  Compared to a Kansas storm, it was nothing, and we laughed!

April 30, 2017

In the Sun

The roses in our front yard get lots of morning sun and do very well, as you can see.  I love the blush color, which I guess is all the rage in clothes and decorating.  I think it’s better left to mother nature, but that’s neither here nor there.  What a funny expression!  It is right here, isn’t it?!  I might even cut some and bring them in, so they’ll be even closer than right here.

April 29, 2017

Lean In?

The view from our balcony table at dinner.  Well, one of the views.  The other was of Highway 1, cars, motorcycles, a bit of beach, and the glorious water, with one lone intrepid surfer.  But I thought the angles and the plumage here were rather fun!

April 28, 2017


The sky is gray and white and cloudy,
Sometimes I think it’s hanging down on me”

Thank you, Simon and Garfunkel.  Actually not that cloudy for me emotionally right now because I have been so busy.  Busy is good; well, it can be.   Busy socially, getting around locally, thinking about lots of thinks.  Lots of thinks, that’s it.  Cloudy, some of them, but emerging.  Emergent, perhaps?

April 26, 2017

More Spring

At the campgrounds, with a peek of ocean.  It is still astounding to see these flowers on 6-foot stems, masses and masses of them.  Must have been common before the drought, but we weren’t here then.  Terrific to be enjoying them now!

April 24, 2017


From the train.  We took the Coaster down to San Diego and spent the day in the city.  Ate at a favorite Italian deli (salad, sandwich, eclair, affogato!)  The train ride was one of the prettiest ones we’ve had.  We also struck up a conversation with two other passengers and discovered that we all went to the same musical performance in Kansas City — presented by my college friend’s son’s band.  In about 2009, we thought.  “Thursday” at the Beaumont, with Geoff Rickly.   There are no strangers…

April 23, 2017

Lettuce Cups

At my fiber meeting this afternoon.  My fellow fiber artists are great cooks!  These were filled with lentils, finely diced tomato, and feta. Very yum.  And so pretty, tied with chives!

April 22, 2017

And More

OK, I’ll stop now.  This land is going to be developed over the next few years, into housing, hotel, and retail.  Sad?  I hope they keep some open space.  This is our fourth spring here and it’s not looked like this before.

April 20, 2017

All it Takes

… is a little bit of rain in late winter.

I’ve been a bit under the weather lately (no biggie) but got out today and the flowers moved me to tears.  The bird posed for me and that’s my/your/our ocean out there.  It doesn’t get much better.  Perhaps Billions and Billions and Billions of yellow and white daisies?!  And I will post another one tomorrow.   I wish I could show you just how many flowers there are and the huge expanses of glory!

April 12, 2017

Fresh Eyes

When you leave and come back, you see things differently.  We stopped at a rest area on the way home today, and I took several shots looking up at some large eucalyptus; this one was clearly the best.  The symmetry?  The balance of the negative spaces?  The combination/contrast of bare branches and puffs of foliage?  I don’t know.   But I guess I don’t have to.  That’s comforting.

April 3, 2017

Jadeplant Superrior

Now that’s one happy plant.  My neighbor’s, down the street.  I’ll have to go check on the progress of its blooms.  It looks like it should be edible, related to broccoli or something similar.  It reached out over the driveway and stopped me in my tracks.  Super-plant!!

April 2, 2017


Kind of being itself in an over-the-top way.  I think a pro would say it’s overexposed and the highlights should be toned down, but I think that’s all part of its power.  (Photographer sheepishly admits she can’t even remember exactly where this is, so no way to go back and redo the shot!) (Oh, wait, I do remember, but it’s far, far away…)

But isn’t it just luscious and perky?

April 1, 2017

Rain Makes Plenty

Flowers on the path to the beach.  Stems more than six feet tall. Everywhere you look!  It’s not been like this before at any time during the whole three-plus years we have lived here.  Woo-hoo, let’s celebrate the rain and the results of the rain!

Actually, it has been quite a while since the rain, so these plants must store water in their roots or reach deep  for moisture that was finally plentiful enough to filter down.  Nice job!

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.

Pondering the ocean as art