Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Bird Flies Over the Rainbow in East Pasadena

This phenomenon was captured last month.  

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Bobcats at Eaton Canyon

While hiking in Eaton Canyon early this morning, I crossed paths with two bobcats.  Initially, I saw one cat peak its head out of the bushes, then walk across the trail.  That all happened too fast for me to get a picture. Then, I was surprised when a second bobcat appeared in the bush.  That cat looked our way and was still for a minute or two.  Then, like the earlier cat, the cat pictured above calmly walked across the trail.  

 As I have posted here, we have seen bobcats before strolling through our yard and jumping over the fence into the neighbor's yard.  These sightings have been at dusk and each time we have seen one lone bobcat.  The sighting today was early in the morning on the main Eaton Canyon trail.  According to Wikipedia,  bobcats are  mostly nocturnal and typically solitary.  So, I got lucky with the early morning sighting.  But, it seems unusual that I saw two bobcats travelling together. 

Though I have seen several bobcats by now, I have yet to get a decent picture.  When we have seen the cats at our home, it has been dusk.  Combine the lack of light with the bobcat's propensity to skirt the edges of fences and trees and you have a tough photo.   

Today, I was walking with our 6 month old puppy who,, even without wild cats on the trail ahead, was a frenzied nut wanting to smell every tree and rock in the canyon.  So, I had to use one hand to hold the dog leash which was whipping back and forth.  That left me only with one hand to hold my camera phone and take the photo.  Definitely not optimal camera conditions.  Still, the cats are beautiful to see and, even in subpar pictures, the distinctive bobcat markings are easy to see.    

Monday, October 4, 2021

My Favorite Photographer Graduates From PHS - June, 2021

When she was five years old 

my daughter played in our garden

and took pictures.  

She took pictures of her shadow.

She took pictures of an apple tree's first flowers. 

And she took pictures of her cat.   

I posted the pictures on this fledgling blog under the heading Garden Shots on a Sunny Day.  I gave photo credit to "my favorite photographer."    

That was April, 2008.  

Thirteen years have passed.  Matty, the cat, has died.  

The apple tree has grown.     
And, my favorite photographer ......... 

Somehow 13 years of a young girl's life got crammed into a mere blink of her father's eye.  The five year old became 18.  The kindergartner; a graduate. 

So, I took a stroll through this blog's early days when sometimes my favorite photographer appeared in these pages.  Here are a few stops I made on my trip down memory lane: 

In November, 2008,  excitement rang through the family as our chickens at long last had produced an actual egg.  I posted Egg! with this picture of her little hands carefully cradling that very first egg.  

My favorite photographer helped me "discover" Earthside Nature Center, which was the subject of several blog posts.  At Earthside we picked wild grapes, crushed them and made juice, uh wine.  The juice was good, but it turned out I was not a great wine maker.

My favorite photographer and I like the parades.  They were kind of our thing.  On July 4th she put out the flag and, while her mom and brother stayed home, she and I went to the Sierra Madre Parade.  Come to think of it, she and I went to pretty much all the parades.  When she was very young, I put her on my shoulders so she could see.   I don't do that any more.         

As parents we raise up our children. Then we let them go -- not completely of course, but incremental moment by incremental moment.  In the photo above, my wife caught  such a moment at dusk as I watched my favorite photographer scooter down the street, backpack in hand, to her first sleep over.

Fast forward to June 4, 2021.

It is a warm morning in Pasadena and my favorite photographer is on the field at the Rose Bowl. She is there as part of the 2021 graduating class of Pasadena High School.  She is 18; now a high school graduate.  

Graduations are interminable and my mind wanders.  I think back to a morning thirteen years ago when she and I entered this stadium and we stood together on the field.  Back then, she was a beginning soccer player and I was her coach.   Back then, we stood with the a team of green uniformed young girls who named themselves the Lightening Lizards. 

This day, graduation day, June 4, 2021, and my favorite photographer sits on the field with hundreds of  other red gowned graduates.  It is not the start of soccer season.  It is the start of something infinitely more important -- the next phase of their lives.   

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Cat and Deer

Cats have a way.  

I was out walking the dog and caught this scene taking place on the neighbor's front yard.  There were about five deer standing on a small patch of grass when the cat decided to slink on through. Reportedly the cat believed he was invisible at the time.   

Monday, June 28, 2021

Juliet Tomatoes and Garden Update

 Juliet tomatoes, thyme and garlic ready to be roasted with a little olive oil and blended with a basil for a wonderful tomato paste.  All fresh.  All from our garden. The only exception is the garlic, which we are growing but is not quit ready for prime time. 

We are on our third straight season with this same juliet tomato plant.  It just keeps going.  The fruit is a little bigger than a normal cherry tomato.  But the plant is just as prolific as a cherry tomato.  

There is just nothing like the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables and it is fun to mark the seasons with what we get to grow, harvest and eat around here.  

As I posted earlier, the citrus lasted well into the new year.  Now, the lemon, grapefruit and orange trees are though with flowering and have little green fruits.  The Fuerte avocado had a good year, but was done about a month ago.  Our stone fruit produced like crazy last year, but is less this year. The nectarine is done as is the early Eva's Pride peach -- we savored the last with dinner last and I saved a perfectly ripe one for this morning. We have a later bearing peach (Brittain's Peach) that is loaded and a few weeks away from picking as are the figs.  I am starting to pick the Reed avocado, which produces large night softball size fruit and everyone seems to enjoy. But, they are so big, we have to space out picking them.  We have some summer vegetables coming, but are having to fight the deer which, for some reason, have decided to frequent our neighborhood this year.       

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Wednesday, April 28, 2021


Last weekend we picked a lot of grapefruit. I will leave it to you to figure out which of the grapefruit in the picture is Ruby Red and which is Oroblanco.  Both are a great mix of sweet and a bit tart.  Grapefruits are said to have originated in Jamaica around the 1700's as a natural hybrid of orange and pomelo trees that had been brought to the island.  Fresh grapefruit juice is a joy to have.

But, why do they call it grapefruit?  It doesn't taste anything like a grape and is ten times bigger.  The name "grapefruit" refers to the clusters of fruit on the tree that are said to resemble a cluster of green grapes.   That is a cluster of young ruby red on our tree right now.  An early name for the fruit was "forbidden fruit."  I wouldn't say either name makes a lot of sense or helps in the marketing.