Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tahoma Thanksgiving

Over the river and through the woods . . . . . . . .
Tom and I drove north and had a wonderful Thanksgiving long weekend with Sam and Jenn at their new place.The new place is almost at the end of the road and borders Sugar Pine State Park - a beautiful area for walks in the woods - with or without snow! We even took a moonlight hike up to Eagle Rock and took this picture:

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's Hard to Hate Something This Cute But . . .

After weeks of waking up to a vandalized fish pond, I finally met the culprit face-to-face in the wee hours of the night last night.As you can see, he was quite wet and had already been in the pond several times. Whenever the ScareCrow would shoot him/her with water, the raccoon would run away. A couple of seconds later, it headed back into the pond. Tom threw little rocks at it but it seems quite at home under the house and in our yard!It's too bad I've always been fascinated by raccoons and their cute faces and intelligent ways. Now that the koi are safe in their deep pond, I've gotten used to losing goldfish once or twice a year. If they didn't do so much damage to the plants and fountains, I could live with these masked varmints.
Before we leave this topic, take a look at this little video I shot in early September. You can see what this "small nocturnal carnivore" destroyed:

Friday, November 02, 2007

Oh No, Here We Go Again

The three weeks before, during, and after our Chicago vacation (never got around to blogging about our fun trip to a fabulous city, so take a look at our photos that never got edited: Oct. 22-23, Oct. 24, and Oct. 25) brought the return of two very familiar and unwelcome phenomena in these parts - wildfires and fish-eating raccoons! Of course the heartbreak, loss, and danger of the former is on such a higher scale of importance - the latter doesn't compare. The media covered the horrible fires up and down SoCal extensively; I won't mention any more for now. Judging by the darkness of the sky the afternoon the Malibu fire began and the smoke in the air even the night we returned, the fires were horrible. But on a smaller scale, we seem to have lost all but one goldfish to a raccoon who seems to be ignoring our high-pressure water-shooting ScareCrow. It came back again last night - for at least the sixth time in three weeks - I thought it had eaten all the bigger fish, but I saw one survivor this morning!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ventura Halloween

I took this picture in early October and meant to post it yesterday. Ah well, typical of my time management! I got a kick out of seeing the pumpkins before they were moved to the stores and the Pumpkin Patch - with my favorite Ventura icon, Two Trees, in the background. (Notice the other Ventura/SoCal icons - palm trees and a cell tower disguised as a palm tree!)I don't usually enjoy wearing costumes, but since we were having a Halloween celebration at the library, I got into the spirit and dressed as a Tolkien eleven warrior.We had a magician and treats for the kids but my treat was seeing so many great costumes on our library patrons of all ages!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Other Bird

The other bird I've been wanting to photograph is any of the great blue herons living in the area. There is one at the Ormond Wetlands that always flies away before my camera and I are ready. This one is a regular in the strawberry/bean fields on Olivas Park Road but I've never had time to stop. This time I did and here are some of the photos I took the same morning I caught the Rivermouth swan on camera.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Moon, A Star, and Two Planets This Morning

I got up early to try catching up on two weeks' of unread email but was blessed to see the pre-dawn sky instead. The email could wait another day! Not only were Venus and the waning moon rising, but the wind blew the sky clear enough to see Saturn and Regulus! (If you click on the first two of my photos, you should be able to see Regulus and Saturn a little better.)Be sure to check out the links to the University of Texas StarDate Online - I saved a copy of their diagram and the accompanying text in case it disappears from the UT web site next week:Stargazing Tip for October 7
The crescent Moon, two stars, and a planet form a beautiful lineup at first light tomorrow. Venus, the “morning star,” stands well above the Moon. The planet Saturn and the star Regulus are between Venus and the Moon, with Saturn the brighter of the two.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Was That Really a . . .

For the past couple of months, I have caught glimpses of what looked like a big white swan as I rushed to work over the Santa Clara Rivermouth bridge on Harbor Boulevard. When I did see it, it was always before 8 am. When I took the time to park and walk on the bridge, it was always later in the day and I never saw the bird. This morning, I got up at 6 on my day off(!) and finally managed to get there around 9. It IS a swan!In spite of the cold wind that is blowing today, the swan was just swimming out from under the bridge as I arrived, giving me an up-close, as well as from a distance, view. Looks like it swims around looking for food around the clumps of grass in the middle of the river and then it must settle in behind them later in the morning.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

When Bob Met Diesel . . .

We can't honestly say that Bob is normally a calm cat, but most of time, he is pretty laid-back.Just don't ever let him see a DOG(!) in the vicinity, especially not inside his house! Even though Diesel is used to living with cats and has no reason to fear or hate them, Bob was not having it.This was Bob's reaction to having a dog in the house last month. As you can see, Diesel was too busy kissing Brian to even notice the hissing and moaning sounds coming from behind the curtain!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What's Going On With the Whales?

Three of the world's largest creatures have been killed in our local waters and scientists don't know the cause. All three blue whales were hit and killed by large ships, but why didn't they avoid the collisions this month? I don't know how long the link to the LA Times article will be active, but click on this posting's title and you can read more about the deaths and whales. This You Tube video really shows the massive size of the this whale found closest to our house.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Autumn Arrived

First the wind and rain . . .
Then more rain . . .
. . . and then the seasons (and the flowers) changed!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Turning from Black to Gold

After a major population explosion of black fish in the goldfish pond this summer . . . . . . in addition to the original year-old black fish that started turning orange a couple of months ago, some of the baby fish are changing colors!