Third Eye Blind


No, not the American rock band founded in San Francisco in 1993. My Lumix point-and-shoot.

Our parrot pal, Dodger, harbors a deep resentment of phones, those black plastic creatures we cuddle and talk to for ages sometimes. This looks enough like a phone to be head-butted off the kitchen counter.

I was cooking and taking pictures, naturally, so the lens housing was extended. It still opens, shuts and shoots, but the lens is vulnerable when it’s not in its case.

Maybe this will encourage me to carry my DSLR more places.

Poppy Power


Stalking the wily California poppy in the western Antelope Valley. We knew the bloom was at its peak earlier in the week, so we took off after I finished with work around 4 o’clock on Thursday.

We found this dirt track off of Lancaster Road. That’s just how brilliant the poppies are!


The track turned at a fence. Pretty sure that’s the California Aqueduct between us and the hills because we encountered some water gates.


Yes, I lay down in the weeds to get this shot. And earned a pants-load of little stickery things in my jeggings. (I need some hiking pants!)


I love the silky look of the petals. You can see it on the upper petal of the far right flower.


Fences. I took lots of shots of this one.


Another view of the flowers with the aqueduct between us and the hills. You can see how the trees burned in a wild fire a few years ago.


Wonderful time to be in the desert. This will all be a lovely sepia before too long.


Looking north, I think, toward Tehachapi. You can just make out a congregation of modern wind mills at the base of the mountains, to the right.



Wind power has been a thing out here for quite some time.  We also saw new banks of solar panels along our way.




Last poppy stop, a little ridge Hydra noted on the way out.

For the geologically inclined amongst you, the blue ridge to the right is, I  think, Ritter Ridge. separates the beautiful Leona Valley from the Antelope Valley, and it’s also known as the San Andreas fault ridge. The Leona Valley is basically ground zero for the the plate boundry between the North American and Pacific plates. It’s gorgeous, with lots of grazing land, fruit orchards, vineyards and lakes (aka sag ponds, where the fault meets an aquifer and viola! water!)

Who’d have thougt I’d end up living on a different tectonic plate than I grew up on? Not me!





Bloomin’ Shamrock!


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Shamrocks also bloom! Brought these home from Trader Joe’s.

I’ll try to find a shady place to plant them. Our California cousins, Pat & Mike, grow them in their yard in Orange County, but the ones they gave us years ago sadly died out. Not sure how happy they’ll be about this drought. We’re only allowed to water twice a week.

O Happy Day = Art Party!



What a great day!  My friend Jean and her sister (my new pal) Ann, came over for a day of art!

Jean and I have been threatening to do this for a long time. It came up again in a Facebook chat and we decided if we liked it we should put a ring on it—er, set a date.  We weren’t sure what we were going to do, but they both showed up with art supplies and I got out the stuff I’ve been working on. We talked and cut up fruit and set up munchies we could return to through the afternoon.

Somehow we decided to work from a prompt, and my writing prompt tin was there, so we each chose one and didn’t tell each other what we were working on.

My drawing is above. I worked from the prompt “What she wanted versus what she needed.”


The briliant Ann Pickard created this from the prompt “He said the word ‘church.'” The text in in the bubble reads “I’m sitting in my bean bag when I should be at CHURCH with my mom and my grandma LLEWhooo.”

Why is she not the Sandra Boyton of the mid-2010’s, I ask you!? Somebody needs to find this woman a book contract.

p.s. That prompt was given to me for my birthday by the fabulous Treacy Colbert from my writing group and was picked at random. When worlds collide!



Jean Pickard–who is also a terrific singer–created this astonishingly gorgeous piece in response to the prompt, “Something/someone stolen.” This photo doesn’t really do it justice and you have to ignore the background, which is a black plastic bag we put over the table, not knowing where the afternoon might lead us.  She made this with torn tissue paper and stuff like Mod Podge. Wow.

Sometimes we take prompts literally, like I did. Sometimes a prompt makes me think, no. I don’t want to write about that, I want to write about x. Either way, I’ve tricked my brain into jumping past the block of the blank page.

This is the first time I’ve ever used a writing prompt to make art from. It was a little scary. But it ended up being fun.

We started around noon and were all amazed when we discovered it was 5: 15 and we’d spent the day talking and making art. Such smart, funny, talented women. Dang!


Noodler’s Ink


Pretty excited to receive my new bottle of fountain pen ink. I decided to go for the primo stuff partly because it’s water safe and I am a mess with my coffee and water when I’m writing in my notebook some mornings. This is called bulletproof.  Yeah, I keep my ink bottles in little dishes even if they aren’t heavy duty like this. Because, yes, by this time I know myself.

I’ve looked at the bottles of amazing colors at Vroman’s Bookstore, but really I like black the best. I love the way fountain pen ink just glides onto the page.


They put cool drawings on the box as well as on the bottles. Yeah, that’s a cowboy riding a catfish!


Noodler’s Ink: Made in USA. It’s nice to support home grown products!


Happy (Avian) Hour


I just love how bold goldfinches are. They don’t mind me watching them indulge in a little Niger seed on a sunny afternoon.

DSC_8156Quite a few friends showed up.


The white crowned sparrow almost looks big next to this goldfinch female.


It’s time for the ravens to get together and do that stuff they do in early spring.  I wanted to title this one The Millers and Charettes head for the Asian buffet. (That’s some friends and us.)


I. love. corvids.