City People Visiting Country Cats

Cats header

In my previous post I took you on a tour of Meadow K View farm, where we stayed in the guest house for two lovely days last August (Cats and Cows and Cats and Cows). And I think I might have mentioned that I took one, or two, or maybe more like a million photos of the multitudinous felines that roamed the farm.  There were cats and kittens of all colors and sizes.  Though none of them were pudgy, these are working cats.  They were lean, mean, mousing machines.  Emma and Sam and I had a great time naming them all.  The cats were one of our favorite parts of going to the farm.  If you like cats too, you will love this post!

Click on photos to enlarge

Let's start with my favorite color for a cat.  This is Sky.

Let’s start with my favorite color for a cat. This is Sky.

Midnight napping.

Midnight napping.  Look at those adorable big kitten paws!

Soulful Ash.

Soulful Ash.

Momma cat, who I could never get a picture of by herself, as her kittens were always nearby.

Momma cat, who I could never get a picture of by herself, as her kittens were always nearby.

See!

See!

This is Mama's Boy.  He was ALWAYS nursing or trying to nurse.  But what a beauty.  Probably the most photogenic cat on the farm.

This is Mama’s Boy. He was ALWAYS nursing or trying to nurse. But what a beauty. Probably the most photogenic cat on the farm.

Shy Cat.  He was pretty wary, which is a more typical farm cat personality, from what I've seen.  The Meadow K cats were a really friendly bunch in general.

Shy Cat. He was pretty wary, which is a more typical farm cat personality, from what I’ve seen. The Meadow K cats were a really friendly bunch in general.

Thing 1 and Thing 2.  Don't ask me which one is which.

Thing 1 and Thing 2. Don’t ask me which one is which.

Lily had the most amazing markings.  She also had a very strong personality.  As in, "Don't mess with me unless you have some treats to bribe me with."

Lily had the most amazing markings. She also had a very strong personality. As in, “Don’t mess with me unless you have some treats to bribe me with.”

Chicken Stalker.  This kitty like to mess with the chickens.

Chicken Stalker. This kitty liked to mess with the chickens.

Dusty.  Guess how he got his name.

Dusty. Guess how he got his name.

El Mustacio was one cool cat.

El Mustacio was one cool cat.

The Ghost.  This cat was super stealthy, and only came out in the milking barn when it was very quiet.  I got this photo when I went up there by myself after dinner.

The Ghost. This cat was super stealthy, and only came out in the milking barn when it was very quiet. I got this photo when I went up there by myself after dinner.

Twilight.  Look at those green eyes!  This kitty needs a witch to hang out with.

Twilight. Look at those green eyes! This kitty needs a witch to hang out with.

New York Cat.  This guy lived in New York for awhile, and was having a hard time adjusting to being a farm cat again.  He kept trying to get in the house.

New York Cat. This guy lived in New York for awhile, and was having a hard time adjusting to being a farm cat again. He kept trying to get in the house.

Stormy was Emma's favorite.  A super pretty kitty.

Stormy was Emma’s favorite. A super pretty kitty.

Snow Field was Sam's favorite.  He is partial to white cats.

Snow Field was Sam’s favorite. He is partial to white cats.

This cat was Hobbes, because he looks like Hobbes.  But he was much better behaved.

This cat was Hobbes, because he looks like Hobbes. But he was much better behaved.

This is Blaze, for the blaze of white on his forehead.

This is Blaze, for the blaze of white on his forehead.

Cats washing and playing.

Cats washing and playing.

Cats racing!

Cats racing!

Big cats, little cows.

Big cats, little cows.

Table and chairs = cat beds

Table + chairs = cat beds.

Cat relaxing.

Cat relaxing.

I could put even more cute cat photos on this post, but if I did I think the internet might explode.  Hope you enjoyed seeing all this feline goodness.  Now go pet a cat!

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Cats and Cows and Cats and Cows

Header.farmWe go to the East Coast a couple of times of year to visit my husband’s family, who live near Philadelphia.  We haven’t been in the summer before, and we thought we would take advantage of the warm weather to visit south-central Pennsylvania for a few days.  Andrew worked his usual magic, and found us accommodations in the guest house of a working dairy farm.  I am from Wisconsin, so it wasn’t hard to sell me on the concept.  I remember visiting the dairy farms of my relatives when I was a kid.  Emma and Sam were very excited about the idea of a farm; not just milking cows but collecting the eggs from the chickens also.  What we didn’t realize it that the farm would be chock full of cute cats and kittens.  There are some cat pictures in this post, but I am saving the majority for the following post, which will be all cats, and nothing but cats.  Cats, cats, and more cats.  Yeah!

But back to the farm.  Sharon and Barry are farmers who rent out their guest house on Meadow K View farm.  We spent lots of time on their front porch petting cats, which also gave us a chance to chat with them.  They were lovely hosts, taking us on a tour around the farm, and allowing the kids to “help” with the milking.  Check out the photos below to get a virtual tour of their farm, complete with big animals, small animals, new barns, old barns, solar panels, and corn.  A heady mixture indeed!

Click on photos to enlarge

This is Sharon and Barry, the owners of Meadow K View farm.  Both cats and people love to hang out on their front porch.

This is Sharon and Barry, the owners of Meadow K View farm. Both cats and people love to hang out on their front porch.

When we arrived there were cat greeters.  After we settled in, Sharon took us on a tour of the farm.

When we arrived there was a greeter cat. After we settled in, Sharon took us on a tour of the farm.

This is the new barn.  I would like to point out to my sister Melissa the cow in the upper right corner.

This is the new barn, all nice and shiny. I would like to point out to my sister Melissa the cow in the upper right corner.

The farm has a large solar array, which reflected the cloudy afternoon sky.  It made for nice photos.

The farm has a large solar array, which reflected the cloudy afternoon sky. It made for nice photos.

Our next stop was the milking barn, where we all got to try milking the cows by hand.  The kids helped to hook up the milking machines also.

Our next stop was the milking barn, where we all got to try milking the cows by hand. The kids also took a stab at hooking up the milking machines.

Milk maid Emma.

Milk maid Emma.

Milk master Sam.

Milk master Sam.

The cows were cool, but I kept getting distracted by all the cats!

The cows were cool, but I kept getting distracted by all the cats!

More cats!  This was the gang that hung out at the milking barn.

More cats!  This is the gang that hung out at the milking barn.

One of my favorite photos from our stay.  Cats drinking milk from a giant bucket.  This is what cat heaven must be like.

One of my favorite photos from our stay. Cats drinking milk from a giant bucket. This is what cat heaven must be like.

We headed out to the chicken coop, to gather up some eggs.  Several of the barn cats headed over with us, checking out the cows and chickens on the way.

Next we headed out to the chicken coop, to gather up some eggs. Several of the barn cats headed over with us, checking out the cows and chickens on the way.

Gathering eggs, which we then cooked up in the kitchen.

Gathering eggs, which we then cooked up in the kitchen.

The kids also got to bottle feed baby cows, and visit the older babies outside in their pens.

The kids also got to bottle feed baby cows, and visit the older babies outside in their pens.

There were many barns and outbuildings on the farm, each with their own personality.

There were many barns and outbuildings on the farm, each with their own personality.

Now we now the answer to "Where does all the poo go?"

Now we know the answer to “Where does all the poo go?”

All around the house colorful flowers were blooming.

All around the house colorful flowers were blooming.

The kids kept creeping away to find cats to pet.

The kids kept creeping away to find cats to pet.

At twilight we went out to hunt fireflies.  We never get to see them in San Diego, so that was a real treat.

At twilight we went out to hunt fireflies. We never get to see them in San Diego, so that was a real treat.

Relaxing.  Finding fun things to do.  Admiring the twilight.

Relaxing. Finding fun things to do. Enjoying twilight.

This is the house cat gang.  They hung out on the porch, in the yard, and around the big tree.

This is the house cat gang. They hung out on the porch, in the yard, and around the big tree.

More house cats.

More house cats.

I hope I gave you a good sense of how enjoyable our time on the farm was.  We are headed out there again this summer for a few days of down time.  It will be fun to see how the cats have grown and changed.  I have A LOT more cat pictures (which won’t surprise anyone who knows me), so my next post will be devoted to the cats of Meadow K Farm, in all their adorable glory!

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Wind, wind, wind, wind, some pictographs, wind, wind, and wind

Wind.header

Apparently I have been living under the mistaken impression that when camping in the Anza Borrego Desert in the fall and winter, the weather is pretty cooperative.  We have had a few showers here and there, but in general, we have not been assaulted by the forces of nature on trips with Sam’s Boy Scout troop.  This era has now come to an end for me.  A few weeks ago we headed out on our annual troop trip to Dos Cabezas, a primitive camping site near the town of Ocotillo.  The lack of facilities doesn’t bother me.  I can always find a bush or friendly rock to hide behind.  What does bother me, it turns out, is hours and hours of gusting winds.

Not that the trip was no fun.  The kids had a tremendous time clambering over the boulder strewn hills surrounding our campsite.  We had a great hike to the Mortero palm tree grove, we explored the ruins of the old San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railroad Company train station, and we saw the “Horse and Rider” pictograph in Piedras Grandes (believed to be one of the first of early Spanish Explorers in the area) and another set of really striking pictographs at Indian Hills.  There were flowers in bloom in the desert (see my previous post Desert Flowers in Anza Borrego), and the clouds cleared up at night in time to enjoy a beautiful sky full of stars.

That being said…the wind really was blowing hard.  One tent came loose and was blown 30 feet in the air, and a few others lost poles and suffered tears.  Many people slept in cars.  I slept in a car with 3 children.  We had trouble keeping the stoves lit, and while we were cooking dinner someone had to stand by holding various things down, since anything left unattended became airborne.  And just the feeling of having strong winds knocking you around for 24 hours is kind of exhausting.

But we are a resilient group, and despite the challenging conditions we spent lots of time chatting and laughing, and then cleaning the grit out of our teeth.  We had four boys complete their First Class cooking requirements, and the scouts did a great job of cooking and cleaning together as a team.  And we were graced with the presence of not just one, but two Scoutmasters Emeriti.  I am glad we went, but I am hoping for balmier conditions next time we venture east!

Click on photos to enlarge

When we arrived at the site around 9:30, there was enough wind that we decided not to set up tents yet.  The boys clambered on the boulder strew hillsides and explored for a few hours.

When we arrived at the site around 9:30, there was enough wind that we decided not to set up tents yet. The boys clambered on the boulder strew hillsides and explored for a few hours.

JD and I had fun with the panorama setting on my camera.  He ran behind me while I panned so he could be in the picture twice.

JD and I had fun with the panorama setting on my camera. He ran behind me while I panned so he could be in the picture twice.

After lunch we set off of the Motero Palm oasis.  The hike up the palms is  very pretty, though I forget how steep some parts are.

After lunch we set off to the Motero palm oasis. The hike up to the palms is very pretty, though I forget how steep some parts are.

The palms are a great place to hang out.  The trees all have skirts of dried fronds, and a large fallen palm makes a terrific bridge.  Amy found a nice comfy rock chair to while away a few hours in.

The palms are a great place to hang out. The trees all have skirts of dried fronds, and a large fallen palm makes a terrific bridge. Amy found a nice comfy rock chair to while away a few hours in.

More palm oasis fun.

More palm oasis fun.

The canyon continues to rise up at the back of the palm oasis.  There is a beautiful view down to the desert floor.

The canyon continues to rise up at the back of the palm oasis. There is a beautiful view down to the desert floor.

The desert was pretty green (for a desert), and I loved the way the plants dotted the walls.  It reminded me a hanging gardens.

The desert was pretty green (for a desert), and I loved the way the plants dotted the walls. It reminded me hanging gardens.

On the hike down Emma found some moteros (grinding holes created by Native Americans), and an old cattle watering trough.  She is pretending to wash up with some rock soap.

On the hike down Emma found some morteros (grinding holes created by Native Americans), and an old cattle watering trough. She is pretending to wash up with some rock soap.

Two of our recent Eagle scouts.  We will miss them when they head off to college next year!

Two of our recent Eagle scouts. We will miss them when they head off to college next year!

Some desert plants.  The bushes on the top were like a fairy tale spooky forest, though on a much smaller scale.

Desert plants. The bushes on the top were like a fairy tale spooky forest, though on a much smaller scale.  Bonsai shrub and wildflowers.

From the palms we headed to the abandoned railroad station.  This water tower is always a great sight, though I was sad that the sky was not blue this year.  The rusty brown against a sunny sky is very striking.

We left the palms and headed to the abandoned railroad station. This water tower is always a great sight, though I was sad that the sky was not blue this year. The rusty brown against a sunny sky is very striking.

Mikey either rescuing Irvan or attempting to tie him to the railroad tracks.  Andrew is neutral, like Switzerland.

Mikey is either rescuing Irvan or attempting to tie him to the railroad tracks. Andrew is neutral, like Switzerland.

Sam and JD having a race along the tracks.  I was tempted to push them over, but opted for taking their picture.

Sam and JD having a race along the tracks. I was tempted to push them over, but opted for taking their picture instead.

Mr. S. in the "Instant Scoutmaster Machine."  Unfortunately, no one had a quarter to activate him.

Mr. S. in the “Instant Scoutmaster Machine.” Unfortunately, no one had a quarter to activate him.

Sam, Matthew, and desert graffiti.

Sam, Matthew, and desert graffiti.

Next up, a walk to see a set of petroglyphs believed to be the first depiction by native people of a man on horse back.  Here we are heading out.  Though it looks pretty level, it is actually a pretty consistent uphill slog.  In deep soft sand.  With a brisk headwind.  Did I mention the wind?

Next up, a hike to see a set of petroglyphs believed to be the first depiction by native people of a man on horseback. Though it looks pretty level, it is actually a pretty consistent uphill slog. In deep soft sand. With a brisk headwind. Did I mention there was wind?

The petroglyphs are pretty faded, though there is a sign showing what you are supposed to be seeing.  Stevie is complaining that I keep taking his picture.  Don't sit on a rock like the cutest little Buddha in the world, and then I won't Stevie!  It's as simple as that.

The petroglyphs are pretty faded, though there is a sign showing what you are supposed to be seeing. Stevie is complaining that I keep taking his picture. Don’t sit on a rock like the cutest little Buddha in the world, and then I won’t Stevie! It’s as simple as that.

The conditions were challenging, but the scenery was lovely.

The conditions were challenging, but the scenery was easy on the eyes.

At the trail head, waiting to head back to camp.  The boys are playing a game to see how long they could balance on the poles before wind gusts knocked them off.

At the trail head, waiting to head back to camp. The boys are playing a game to see how long they can balance on the poles before a wind gust knocks them off.

Morning at camp.  After I crawled out of the car, I saw lots of dark clouds.  We busted our butts to get the tents down and get breakfast started.  It never rained, but the clouds did liven up the sky!

Morning at camp. After I crawled out of the car, I saw lots of dark clouds. We busted our butts to get the tents down and get breakfast started. It never rained, but the clouds did liven up the sky!

The "Old Guard" of our troop.  These guys have been mainstays for years, and we hope they continue to come out with us.  We need Mr. H. to tell us where to turn!

The “Old Guard” of our troop. These guys have been mainstays for years, and we hope they continue to come out with us. We need Mr. H. to tell us where to turn!

The last stop on our desert trip was to see another set of petroglyphs.  These were spectacular.  They were painted on a cave in a large grouping of boulders that rose up from the desert floor.  Native tribes obviously spent a lot of time in the area, it must have been a comfy winter home.

The last stop on our desert trip was to see another set of petroglyphs. These were spectacular. They were painted on a cave in a large grouping of rocks and boulders that rose up from the desert floor. Native tribes obviously spent a lot of time in the area, it must have been a comfy winter home.

A long view out from the rock pile.  A short view of multicolored boulders.

A long view out from the rock pile. A short view of multicolored boulders.

On our way in and out we crossed the rail road tracks again.

On our way in and out we crossed the rail road tracks again.

Our scouts at the end of another great trip.

Our scouts at the end of another great trip.

Me and my Sam.

Mother, daughter (if you squint you can see her behind me in the pink), and son.

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Desert Flowers in Anza Borrego

Flowers.header

I was in the Anza Borrego Desert this past weekend with Sam and his Boy Scout troop.  A detailed post on the fun that was had by all is soon to follow.  This post is a collection of flower photos I took.  Lots of plants were blooming, from large lupine to tiny little I don’t know whats tucked under rocks or dug into the sand.  We have had a few nice storms, though not enough to break the drought, so there was some green out there, more than we have seen in the past.  As always, the persistence of life under such adverse conditions is amazing.

Cactus flower

Cactus just starting to bloom.

Cactus almost blooming

In about a week this will look like a very prickly bouquet.

Clustered yellow flowers

A small cluster of yellow flowers poking up out of the sand.

Delicate yellow

This looked like wild parsley. Tony liked the delicate composite flowers.

Lupine.2

Lovely lupine was all over in the desert washes.

Lupine

Close up of lupine.

Ocitillo

The ocotillo was just starting to bloom. In the winter these look like bunches of dead sticks. In spring they get small green leaves along the length of the branches, and then bright red flowers bloom from the tips.

Pink flower

Really pretty pink trumpety flowers blooming in amongst the boulders.

Purple flower

Tiny purple flower hiding under a big rock.

Tall yellow flowers

These flowers are all blooming from a big round plant. They look like a field of daisies.

Yellow flower.desert floor

I am christening this the desert dandelion. If I was more motivated, I would try to identify these plants. For now, I am just enjoying them…

                 

 

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Taxidermy With Dr. Seuss

Seuss header

San Diego is a hotbed of Dr. Seuss-iness, which is not surprising as he lived here from 1947 until his death in 1991.  Mandeville Special Collections in UCSD’s Geisel Library is filled with his notes and original artwork, and there is a bronze statue of him sitting at a drawing desk outside the library named after him.  UCSD also celebrates Dr. Seuss’ (Theodor Geisel’s) birthday in the beginning of March each year, and gives away thousands of pieces of free cake.  See my post You Had Me At Free Cake for a description of this whimsical event.

There is another, temporary Seuss-fest in San Diego, at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park.  They currently are showing an exhibit of his artwork including sculptures, paintings, and drawings, which runs until December 2015 (Ingenious! The World of Dr. Seuss).

Sam and Trevor had a half day a few Wednesdays ago, so we headed to Balboa Park, our Explorer Passes in hand.  Explorer Passes give you admission to all of the museums in the park (but not the Zoo), so we had a lively debate (as usual) trying to figure out where to go.  Trevor reminded me of the Seuss exhibit, which ended the discussion.  Off we went!

From the lobby there is a view of a vibrant yellow wall, which is hung with fanciful taxidermy specimens.  Taxidermy as only Dr. Seuss could conceive of it!

Taxidermy with Seuss.2

Here is an old photo of Dr. Seuss under one of the taxidermy heads that hung in his home, holding a little dog.  Is it just me, or is this juxtaposition a tad creepy?

Dr. Seuss with dog

Speaking of Dr. Seuss’ home, one of the first things you see in the gallery is a huge photo of him sitting at his work table.  His home sits on top of Mt. Soledad in La Jolla, and offers views up and down the coastline.  As a creative person, I can only imagine how cool it would be to do your work with that view outside your giant windows.  Sublime.

Dr. Seuss at desk

The gallery was filled with paintings by Dr. Seuss.  Below are a series of cats.  From the left, “Cat From the Wrong Side of the Tracks”, “Wisdom of the Oriental Cat”, “Joseph Cat and His Coat of Many Colors, and “Green Cat with Lights”.

Different Seuss Cats

The colors were so vibrant.  On the left below are “Free Bird” and “Fire Bird”.  I didn’t get the title of the one on the right.   So I’m going to make one up.  How about “Little Red House in a Big Big Universe.”

Colorful Seuss paintings

Self portraits by Dr. Seuss.  He forgot to put on his happy face.

Self portraits

Sometimes the exhibit strayed into more adult themes, like the “Facts of Life” on the right.  The one to the left is Dr. Seuss’ version of “Abduction of the Sabine Women”, which depicts Roman men abducting neighboring Sabine women to help populate their new city.  Hard to imagine a children’s book based on that theme.  It would be enough to give Cindy Lou Hoo nightmares!

Facts of Life.Sabine

This one is “After Dark in the Park”.  Who knew the little animals were so happy?  I wonder what’s in their water…

Park after Dark

There were also amazing sculptures, including, of course, the Lorax.  It inspired Sam to get all “Hand of God”.

The Lorax

Bitter Teen Trevor found his soul mate, Mr. Grinch.  And Horton is hearing a Who.

Grinch+Horton

Had to get a photo of Sam I Am with some green eggs and ham.

Sam I Am

WHEW!!!  What a great exhibit.  Though they started out chipper as chipmunks, the boys found it a bit exhausting.  Fortunately there were giant poof pillows, upon which they sank gracefully down.

Before and after

If you live in San Diego or come to visit, this exhibit is up in next December.  If you would like more info on Dr. Seuss, there is a nice article from 2004 in UCSD Magazine, where the author visits Dr. Seuss’ house and interviews his widow Audrey (Oh the Places He Did Go).

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Sunday Morning in My Yard

Sunday yard header

All is peaceful, as it should be on an early Sunday morning.  Sam, the son, is off on a 10 mile hike with his Boy Scout troop.  Emma, the 14 year old tempest, is still up in her room and will not emerge until the morning has faded.

I wandered out to the yard and was loving the light, as it peeked over the canyon rim and through the eucalyptus leaves into my yard.  I went back in for my camera, and with my trusty cats at my side, I took photos of anything that caught my eye.  Enjoy a sunny, but chilly (for us!) January morning in San Diego.

The view into the canyon from my yard.  We have had recent rains, which accounts for all the green!

The view into the canyon from my yard. We have had recent rains, which accounts for all the green!  The hint of red on the right are leaves on a laurel sumac.

My companions this morning.  Bella is 18 and very creaky, so she likes to find a sunny spot to sit in so she can warm up her old bones.  Julius, is a male in the prime of his life.  He is lord of all he surveys, from on top of his tree stump with a funny face nailed to it.  I guess we should maybe rethink his throne decoration.

My companions this morning. Bella is 18 and very creaky, so she likes to find a sunny spot to sit in so she can warm up her old bones. Julius is a male in the prime of his life. He is lord of all he surveys, from on top of his tree stump with a funny face nailed to it. I guess we should maybe rethink his throne decoration.

A riot of reds.  A Chinese lantern, geranium, and two amaryllis.

A riot of reds. A Chinese lantern, geranium, and two amaryllis.

In the winter my succulents come into bloom.  On the left, aloe, on the right, jade.

In the winter my succulents come into bloom. On the left, aloe, on the right, jade.

A fairy, a superhero, and a glorious trophy lady all soak up the morning sun.

A fairy, a superhero, and a glorious trophy lady all soak up the morning sun.

Birds getting breakfast.  Birds are very practical creatures.  If your feeders are empty, they do not grace your backyard with their presence.  I like to give them imaginary dialogue.  "WTF lady, where's the friggin' food."

Birds getting breakfast. Birds are very practical creatures. If your feeders are empty, they do not grace your backyard with their presence. I like to give them imaginary dialogue when they show up and I have let them down. “WTF lady, where’s the friggin’ food?”

Sunlight through leaves.  Just think of all the frenetic biochemistry going on in there, as chloroplasts work the miracle of turning sunlight into sugars.  Without those little green guys, we could not exist.  And green leaves make such pretty pictures!~

Sunlight on leaves. Just think of all the frenetic biochemistry going on in there, as chloroplasts work the miracle of turning sunlight into sugars. Without those little green guys, we could not exist. And green leaves make such pretty pictures!

Burro tails and century plant leaves with water drops.  And my preacher pig, who is unfortunately getting covered in bird poop due to his proximity to the feeder.  I guess it is just his cross to bear...

Burro tails and century plant leaves covered with water drops. And my preacher pig, who is unfortunately getting covered in bird poop due to his proximity to the feeder. I guess it is just his cross to bear…

Some random photos.  A pot of plants that are coming up, but I can't remember what I planted.  Some kind of flower, or maybe catnip?  One of our little houses from the outdoor village, that is now sporting a jade plant.  The houses weren't supposed to be outdoors, and they are decaying in a very attractive fashion.   Finally, the baby's toes blooming.  Kind of a gruesome name for a plant, IMHO.  There is a seaweed called Dead Man's Fingers also.  Accurate, descriptive, but yucky.

Some random photos. A pot of plants that are coming up, but I can’t remember what I planted. Some kind of flower, or maybe catnip? One of our little houses from the outdoor village, that is now sporting a jade plant. The houses weren’t supposed to be outdoors, and they are decaying in a very attractive fashion. Finally, blooming baby’s toes. Kind of a gruesome name for a plant, IMHO. There is a seaweed called Dead Man’s Fingers also. Accurate, descriptive, but yucky.

Let's finish up with some more floral gorgeousness.  Cyclamen (one of my favorites) and yet another picture of the ridiculously photogenic amaryllis that my friend Lori gave me.  Thank you Lori!

Let’s finish up with some more floral gorgeousness. Cyclamen (one of my favorites) and yet another picture of the ridiculously photogenic amaryllis that my friend Lori gave me. Thank you Lori!

Hope you enjoyed your Sunday in San Diego.  Winter break is almost over, time to get back to work and school.  Relish these last few hours of relaxation.

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Beach Tableau: Kite and Kelp, Stones and Sea Foam

Beach header

December 26th, 2014.  San Diego, California.  A spectacular winter day in southern California.  Recent rains have scrubbed the sky and land clean, and the afternoon sunshine glazes everything with a bright, clear, yellow light.  Seeking fresh ocean breezes, we pack up the kids and head to a local beach.  Some moments from a few hours at at Torrey Pines.

The beaches in North County don't have as much sand over the winter, and instead are covered with beautiful smooth stones of all colors and sizes.  The waves make a wonderful shhhshing sound as they pull back and roll the rocks with them.

The beaches in North County don’t have as much sand over the winter, and instead are covered with beautiful smooth stones of all colors and sizes. The waves make a wonderful shhhshing sound as they pull back and roll the rocks with them.

Emma always brings a bag to the beach to collect stones and shells.  We are never disappointed with the discoveries we make.

Emma always brings a bag to the beach to collect stones and shells. We are never disappointed with the discoveries we make.

Sam found a clear stone the size of a small egg, Emma found a piece of green sea glass.

Sam found a clear stone the size of a small egg, Emma found a piece of green sea glass.

Sea foam left by the ocean waves collects on rocks, where it slowly dissolves, or is washed away by the next wave.

Sea foam left by the ocean waves collects on rocks, where it slowly dissolves, or is washed away by the next wave.

Sam takes a break from hunting to fly his kite.

Sam takes a break from hunting to fly his kite.

Kite is waggling in the sky, in front of the coast highway bridge.

Kite is waggling in the sky, in front of the coast highway bridge.

Not too much kelp on the beach, but a few of the small leaf floats were artfully arranged on the sand and rocks.  Below is a large piece of kelp, the squiggly structure in the front is the hold fast, which the kelp uses to anchor itself to the ocean floor.

Not too much kelp on the beach, but a few of the small leaf floats were artfully arranged on the sand and rocks. Bottom right is a large piece of kelp; the squiggly structure in the front is the hold fast, which the kelp uses to anchor itself to the ocean floor.

Emma's foot prints in the sand.  The sand on the northern beaches has a fair bit of black mixed in, which makes for beautiful swirling patterns.

Emma’s foot prints in the sand. The sand on the northern beaches has a fair bit of black mixed in, which makes for beautiful swirling patterns.

Heading home.  A quality afternoon's endeavor.

Heading home after a quality afternoon endeavor.

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