Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's really darned hot today or, 'WTH happened to the fog?!'...and then there's those bad-assed birds

It's 101 degrees right now, so I guess the veil of winter is officially lifted. We kinda skipped spring this year...

Anyhoo, I am seeking refuge indoors right now due to near heat stroke from extreme gardening the past couple hours without benefit of sunscreen, hat, nor sunglasses.

For no other reason than that I have nothing better to do, I thought I would post a few accidental/surrendipitous shots of birds from my Smugmug galleries. These are some guys with swagger and 'TUDE':

9/2/04 Yellow-Chevroned Parakeet.
"Sacre bleu!!..."
Huntington Library & Gardens, San Marino, LA County, CA

12/19/08 Belted Kingfisher.
Take a shat on me...oh crap!
On oak tree above our pond.
Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

1/17/05 Ring-billed Gull.
Urrpp...Man, that starfish was ripe!
Morro Strand State Beach, San Luis Obispo County, CA

10/9/06 American Kestrels.
The Ninja Twins
Price Line Negotiator....haiyaaaa!!
On oak tree above our pond.
Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

4/19/09 Great Blue Heron.
Is this a test? Am I on "I'm a celebrity, GET ME OUTTA HERE!"?
Fence just above our pond. Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

1/17/05 Brewer's Blackbird.
I'm sooo shaking mad that this picture is actually blurry...
Morro Strand State Beach, San Luis Obispo County, CA

1/14/06 Double-crested Cormorant.
I'm Vlad the Impaler, bwahaahaaaaaa!!!
Pismo State Beach, San Luis Obispo County, CA

1/14/05 Osprey.
Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo County, CA

9/4/06 White-tailed Kite.
I'm too sexy for my shirt, too sexy for my shirt, too sexy it hurts...

Oak tree above our pond (quite the pit stop for every winged critter in our neighborhood)

Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA

Friday, June 12, 2009

El Nino and Dudleyas

It's 6:27pm and I see the fog rolling in over the hills again. Same time, same place, every day for the past 4 weeks. Wake up at 5:30am every weekday to fog and temps in the low 50s, arrive at work under the same gray monochromatic skies, and come home to more of the samo samo. Blues peek out, but grays predominate. Hana, I'm sure, is luxuriating in this weather. In the first place, she really belongs in Northern Japan or Alaska rather than So Cal this time of year. But as I mentioned in my last post, her winter coat is actually growing back with gusto and here we are, in mid June. Our sorta local (i.e., LA, so not exactly RivCo) comedian-cum-meteorologist, Fritz Coleman on Channel 4 News mentioned something last night about a possible EL NINO in the works. Well, that would certainly be a welcome distraction from the dog days of perennial drought we've been subjected to these last few years...if it were true. But I won't believe it until it actually happens, since I trust a weatherman about as much as I trust our Washington politburo.

On to matters more botanical in nature. I have (or rather had) 10 varieties of Dudleyas growing on a slope off of my back patio. Now I have 9. One, a UC selection, 'Son of Frank Renault', that I had

6/11/09 Bluff Lettuce
(Dudleya farinosa)

purchased from Annie's Annuals in Richmond, CA, met its sudden demise last year due to Bunny predation. After Son of Frank was so mercilessly mowed down, I came to realize that Dudleyas are apparently the 'piece de resistance' in the neverending salad bar of Peter the Rabbit. Soooooo, I had to resort to caging all the other specimens with chicken wire. Not too attractive, but at least they are alive.

6/11/09 Ladies' Fingers (Dudleya edulis)

6/11/09 Slope of 'Caged Dudleyas

Since I usually cut back on the watering regimen for Dudleyas after May, they are not looking as hot as they were back in March-April, but a couple have sent forth their flower stalks.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hey! My first blog posting & the end of global warming...

6/8/09 Gil and Hana in "Sweetie Mode"

Hey, wow - this is pretty cool. My first ever blog posting...

Well, the first thing that pops into my head as I stare out the window is that the ugly spectre of global warming has suddenly (or maybe not so suddenly) gone incognito. From May grays to June gloom, it's been one, unending, unrelenting series of drab, coldish, London Fog days here in generally sunny Murrieta. Not complaining, but I think it's time for me and Hana to write a SERIOUS letter to our esteemed Nobel Laureate-Former VP-Wanna be P-Incovenient Truth touting, Le Grande Dame Monsieur Gore, demanding an explanation. And, of course Hana may actually want to thank him for the error of his ways because her dense, bunny soft winter fur coat, which had been shed and rolling around like tumbleweed in the house just a couple months ago, has now grown back with a vengeance!

On the gardening front, my natives are thriving floriferously in this unseasonably cool weather. The Baby Blue Eyes, CA poppies and Meadowfoam are past their prime, but the Clarkias, Western columbine, Seep Monkeyflowers (Mimulus guttatus) and Bush Monkeyflowers (Diplacus aurantiacus) are in full throttle. Here are some pix from my garden:

6/8/09 Clarkias & other natives in bloom

6/8/09 Phacelia viscida Sticky Phacelia

5/3/09 Lewisia cotyledon var. heckneri - 'Heckner's Strain' Lewisia
6/8/09 Clarkia rubicunda blasdalei - Ruby Chalice Clarkia

6/8/09 Clarkia rubicunda - 'Shamini' Clarkia