Sunday, May 31, 2009

A morning at the water's edge at low tide yielded artifacts of wampum and flotsam.

Read and see more about our adventure here.
This ficus was the last of three that've badly needed repotting. It was so rootbound the rootlets had grown out the three holes in the bottom of the old pot and created a solid wall-to-wall carpet of root between the bottom of the pot and the plate the pot was sitting in. Now happily stretching out it's roots in a larger pot, it has room to grow...what all living things need.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bird-proofing the cottage eaves

If you look carefully, you can see the starling perched on the roof tile; the veranda of his/her prospective new condominium. Before the sun came up this morning the starling family was busy moving in their bedroom furniture. I know this because Phoebe the cat began jumping on & off our furniture inside the cottage, watching them fly in & out above the dining room window. She lands with a THUD! on the floor when she's trying to make a point. She jumped on the bed and meowed in our face, and, getting no action, she jumped up on the dresser and nudged the framed mirror on the wall back and forth noisily, knowing that usually gets us up to chase her off. We could also hear the starlings chirping merrily as they flitted about, bringing twigs and bits of fluff to feather their nest.

You can see there are still a number of units available and the price is right!

Cool in the summer, warm in the winter, dry, good neighborhood,

This is a bird's eye view of the flat:

Only one small problem:

Sorry, starlings, this is a 'no-fly' zone

They buzzed and scolded me while I worked.

But they'll thank me later...

Phoebe thought I should let them go ahead and move in.

Maybe we can all sleep in tomorrow morning.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New morning, low tide, fresh lens

Getting used to a new camera, I thought I'd try it out at the water's edge:

The Gumboot chiton, fore & aft:

These were all over the place.

No idea what this is...maybe an anemone?

Here, some young abalone, doing what they do best:

A view into one of several caves....

and a starfish hanging on the side wall:

"As the stars in the sky, or the sand on the seashore". Lotsa starfish, too...

I'll get the hang of this camera soon. These pictures seem a little washed out, sorry.

Friday, May 22, 2009

last pictures as camera dies

These are the final shots I'd taken before the Canon SD-1000 camera froze in a terminal lock up.

Here, I was practicing my espionage skills taking pictures of this NOAA research vessel in the cove, first from zoomed out, then fully zoomed in, then zoomed in and through the lens of a good pair of binoculars. You can almost see the cannister of microfilm the divers pulled out of the sunken treasure chest in the Russian nuclear sub.

We hung a "sock" of black niger seed ("nye-jur") from an olive tree in the courtyard to attract the yellow finches, and it sure enough does:

Reclaiming other language and the associations it generates, the next time you hear the word "Columbine" think of this:

Off to the camera store, stayed tuned...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

see oughta society

Some friends wanted to get down to the water...I mean right they scrambled down the rocks with me and took a plunge in the icy Pacific. Wet suit? What's a wet suit? You mean a wet birthday suit!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Honey, I shrunk the kids

As a kid, I used to fantasize about such things, and then someone went and made of a movie around the idea. Must be kind of a universal thing flowing out of being smaller than grownups and closer to the earth, 'where the wild things are'.

Anyway, there I was in the middle of a prehistoric tropical jungle when I happened upon a 'giant' tortoise, Mr. Tortuga, an old friend.

He was feeling bashful and didn't want to come out of his shell. Okay...I guess I looked kinda big to him.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Vanity Rehab

No, not another celebrity substance abuse scandal; the vanity in the studio was overdue for "treatment". The sink was no longer well-secured to the underside of the marble top...

...the faucets needed a compleat overhaul, cleaning, service, valve job...

So, I cleared the deck and got to work...

The vintage faucets, cleaned up, will once again take on their aged patina in no time. These solid brass valves pre-date new-fangled washer type faucets as well as even newer washerless faucets. They control water flow by means of a brass plunger within the body of the valve that moves up and down with the cam action from the offset axis of the handle stem. So, a brass to brass seal of considerable age still functions perfectly with nary a drip when shut off. Makes me wonder about certain new and improved claims.

The bowl was cleaned with vinegar and elbow grease, caulked and rehung below the marble top...

Good to go for another 5000 miles...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I love you, Mom! Thanks for everything!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother goose

From a safe and respectful distance I keep an eye on her progress. I used the binoculars and the zoom to capture the moment. You can see the wings of an interloper gull just behind her and below the rock's edge.

Later in the evening I suddenly realize the nest is abandoned. I rush out to see if the egg(s) is still intact.

At least one is just barely visible beneath a layer of down. Gulls circle menacingly all around me as I look for mother to return. She's nowhere in sight. After a while the gulls recede, and I
decide I must too, for mother goose may not return if I am nearby.
Just before sundown I see that she is back at her station. I think about her sitting through the night in the cold wind and salt spray, but I guess it's okay if you've got a down comforter.

Sharing the menu

Chowing down on bok choy, slugs and snails enjoy a last meal. Earlier
today, some of this was harvested and now I know why they like it so much!