Thursday, July 29, 2010

home on the range

The ocean has been so quiet these last few days, even the egrets are thinking 'it's like tidal wetlands'. Perfect kayaking water...

Around 6:30 I spotted an elder otter bedding down and getting comfortable on a bed of kelp just below the house.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Trumpet vine flowers and cat's eyes

This trumpet flower vine that adorns the greenhouse is glorious in bloom, while Bumpkins has her eye on something rustling in the grasses nearby.

Woody & Morgan

Woodrow spent a week in rehab and made friends with this cutie, but he forgot to get her number. They make quite a 'special' couple though.

Clean Green

Cleaning the greenhouse roof takes the good part, but not all, of a day.
Same for it getting dirty again.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tasman Flax Lily

We wondered for a long time what this plant's name was. Now we know. Tip of the hat to Gretchen at Gladsome Lights blog for providing renewed motivation to figure this out.

Proof the sun was out today, the sky is blue (and the greenhouse is getting oiled)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Oiling the greenhouse

Scotty showed up to begin re-oiling the greenhouse.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Space rocks

...don't you think?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Four out of nine plus the moon and stars

edgy things

I heard a clankity-ding-clang coming from the road side of the fence and I looked over and saw this (see below)rolling to a stop in front of the mailbox. "An IED", I thought grimly. Any metal cannister with flammable contents under pressure is one, potentially. Edgy. This one fell off a passing camper RV, I guess. I didn't particularly want to inspect it closely until I was sure it was safe. So I walked up to the fire station and the chief said he'd send the truck down to pick it up. "It'll give the guys something to do," he said. I was almost feeling guilty about inconveniencing the crew until he said that. Then I realized they were all getting payed by taxpayers to sit around waiting for something to do.

I walked back home and picked up the cannister, which was empty, whether by leaking out or having arrived that way, I don't know.

The fireman told me that if I'd invite him for dinner he wouldn't report me for littering. Some readers will know of whom I speak. Edgy.

Looking out over the sea, J. spotted this beautiful sailboat. Sailing is one of those primal things people do, like mountain climbing, or contemplative prayer, that is simple and natural, but on the edge of danger and risk, a close encounter with massive forces that can as easily crush you as overwhelm you with beauty, mystery and majesty.

I had some plumbing repairs to do in the house, and so I went to the ground box outside where the water shutoff valve is located. Inside the box was this little salamander, no more than an inch and a half long. Now he's off on a new adventure, to find a new rock or log to nest under.

It was about 9:00 pm. I noticed the crescent moon setting over the Pacific, while the sunset's glow was still lingering. There are at least 4 planets that I know of in the frame of the third of these three photos. Two of these heavenly bodies are visible in the first 2 of these photos, three in the last one. The bright one above and to the left of the moon is Venus. Above them both and far to the left is Mars. The third heavenly body is the large watery one in the foreground, Earth. The fourth planet is Mercury and is not visible in the wash of sunset, but is off to the right and below the level of the moon. Had I studied my star chart earlier I might have known Saturn was in the neighborhood and I might have been able to capture that one too. The stars visible: the one below Venus is the star Regulus in the constellation Leo, which extends arcing to the right of Venus. Visible in the enlarged version of this photo in the newer blog post above is the binary star system Algieba, also in Leo, to the right and above Venus. I think you can actually see both stars in this binary system, and it has it's own planetary system.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bumpkins & I...great minds...

The bird nest turned up precipitately empty. Then I spotted some 'evidence' of rat in the vicinity, so I set the 'hav-a-hart' trap. I used that instead of the typical Victor snap trap because it was out in the open and I didn't want a cat or bird or other unintended prey to get injured.

The next morning I had a huge mother rat. After dispatching her as humanely as possible, I reset the trap. A few minutes later, Bumpkins, my shadow, turned up to investigate the goin's on and see if there was anything she could do to help.

After determining that the bait was of no interest to her and that the rats were laying low, she noticed me inside snapping her picture and struck a noble pose.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A new copper gutter and downspout will spare us the cascade of runoff down our necks as we bolt in and out of doors in the rain next winter:

A new spotlight is in place illuminating the courtyard barbecue:

...and an existing light gets rewired and a new strap:

The floor in the greenhouse roundroom that had footprints left by a massage-oiled-up guest has been restored:

Every day or two I can gather at least a pint of fresh plump and ever-sweeter strawberries:

The local firehouse hosted a 4th of July barbecue. Very nicely done. Our tax dollars at work!

My favorite fire truck: a 1946 Willys Jeep:

A community get-together:

Second half of 2010

Some of the hatchlings have emerged....

A trip to Monterey included this glimpse of a sailboat on the bay.

We spread the mulch from the chipper around a quiet spot near the house where there is a bistro table and some log round stools fashioned from a tree that fell several years ago.

We set aside some emergency water storage in BPA-free containers.

We imported some 'mealybug destroyers' from Arizona to eat our mealybugs.

Not sure if they read the whole label...