Monthly Archives: June 2014

Beautiful Spring Flowers Galore!

Many many beautiful flowers are blooming in my yard and in the local canyons here in San Diego.  I’ve been taking photos, lots and lots of photos.  Enjoy!

Canyon Plants

Flowering California Buckwheat

California Buckwheat

Purple Straw Flower

Purple Straw Flower or Purple Statice

Thistle, I think.


White Sage

White Sage



Coastal Goldenbush

Coastal Goldenbush



California Aster

California Aster

California Wild Rose Hip

California Wild Rose Hip (not a flower, but a former flower…)

California Fuchsia

California Fuchsia



Backyard Plants



Another Hibiscus close up

Another Hibiscus close up

Flame and Yellow Milkweed

Flame and Yellow Milkweed





Butterfly bush

Butterfly bush

Red Geranium

Red Geranium

Succulent purple flower

Rock Purslane

Squashed up Pumkin flower

Squashed up Pumkin flower

Pumpkin flower

Pumpkin flower that looks like a starfish



Cactus orchis

Cactus Orchid

Close up of Cactus Orchid

Close up of Cactus Orchid



Blue Flowers

Blue Flowers – Can’t remember what these are!





1 Comment

Filed under Arts/Crafts/Photography, Gardens/Plants/Nature

Monarch Butterfly A – B – C

1. Monarch header

We live on a canyon in Southern California, which is incredibly awesome, except for the few weeks of the year when the dry Santa Ana winds blow and everyone worries (not unreasonably) about wildfire.  I love the up close view I get of nature.  Hawks, quail, crows, owls, and many other types of birds, rattlesnakes (!), lizards, racoons, opossums, coyotes, bobcats (we found entrails deposited by our front door just after moving in), rats (my cat killed one and tried to bring it in the house) and all kinds of insects.  Little did I know what I was missing though, until I got a milkweed plant a few years ago.

Monarch caterpillars are like koalas and pandas, in that they eat only one thing.  And for monarchs that one thing is milkweed.  There used to be fields and fields of milkweed, but because of herbicide use and habitat loss, the number of plants across the nation has dwindled.  If you love monarchs and want a show that lasts for months (at least in Southern CA), put some milkweed plants in your yard or in a big pot on your patio!

I was amazed at how many butterflies visited.  They came in and out over hours as I worked in my yard.  Hundreds of small, white eggs were laid, and hatched into loads of caterpillars.  At one point I had so many caterpillars that they ate my plant down to sticks and stems (not one leaf was left), and I had to load caterpillars up in a box and drive around Tierrasanta looking for other milkweed plants to transfer them onto so they could have food to eat.

Needless to say, all this action was a photographer’s bonanza.  I have nearly 700 photos I have taken over the past 2 years.  I know that this is excessive, possibly crossing the line into obsessive.  There, I admitted my problem, which is one of those 12 steps.  Because of all those photos, I have been putting off writing this because how was I supposed to winnow them down to fit in a blog post?  Ah Ha!! (I thought to myself), the ALPHABET.  Only 26 letters!!  That’s how!

Well, sort of.  I put in two or three photos for some letters, because I couldn’t control myself.  So my alphabet has 52 entries instead of 26.  I know it is a lot (actually 2 times what I planned), but I guarantee that each and every one of them is super cool.  Check them out, be amazed at the beauty of nature, the cycle of life, and one woman’s inability to stop taking photos, no matter how many pics of these little fellas she already had.  And be grateful that she did.

(Click on the images for a better view)


A - Adult


B - Babies


B - Blur


C - Chrysalis


C - Count

Curled Up

C- Curled up


D- Dracula


E - Eat


E - Eggs


E - Elevated


F - Feet

Finger Dancer

F - Finger dancer

Going In

G - Going in

Goin’ My Way?

G - Going my way?

Green Leaf

G - Green


G- Generations

Hanging Out

H - Hanging out

Holey Leaf Batman!

H - Holey leaf Batman!


H -Hatching


I - Incandescent

Just J

J - Just J


K - Kaleidoscope


K - Karaoke


L - Ladder

Laying An Egg

L - Laying eggs

Most Interesting Caterpillar in the World

M - Most interesting caterpillar in the world

Num Num Num…

N - Num num num

Operation Relocation

O- Operation Relocation

Pair o’ Pillars

P - Pair

Planting Milkweed Seeds

P - Planting


P - Platform


P- Prayer

Que Pasa?

Q - Que pasa?

Ring Finger

R - Ring finger


S - Seed

Sharp Little Pointy Feet

S - Sharp and pointy


S - Stripey

Swinging on a Leaf

S- Sawing off the wrong end

Transferring to a New Location

T - Transfer

Teeny Tiny

T- Teeny tiny

Triple Play

T- Triple play

Ugly Duckling

U - Ugly duckling

Upside Down

U - Upside down


U -Under

Very Long

V - Very long


W - Wings

Whole Mess a Monarchs

W- Whole mess a monarchs

X-Wing Fighter

X -X wing fighter

Yellow is Yummy

Y- Yellow is yummy

Zoom In

Z - Zoom in


Filed under Arts/Crafts/Photography, Gardens/Plants/Nature, Science

Improving the View from Bing’s Hotel Room

My friend Bing, who I met many years ago when I used to be a scientist, is in Washington D.C. reviewing grants.  He posted this to Facebook about an hour ago.

Bing's hotel room view

He did say that the hotel is in Washington Circle and is close to the White House and other sites in D.C., but still, I couldn’t help feeling sorry for him.  So using the magic of Photoshop filters, I’ve created 12 different versions of the view of Bing’s hotel room.  Maybe he can get a hold of a printer and cover the real one with a mosaic of my altered views.  Hey, mosaic, that’s one of the filters I used!  Wow, this post is like a snake eating its own tail…

12 New Views

Colored Pencil

Colored Pencil

Cut out - Black and White

Cut out – Black and White



Frosted Glass - Blocks

Frosted Glass – Blocks

Glowing Edges

Glowing Edges

Ink Outlines - Black and White

Ink Outlines – Black and White

Mosaic Tiles

Mosaic Tiles

Neon Glow

Neon Glow



Plastic Wrap

Plastic Wrap






Filed under Arts/Crafts/Photography