You Gotta Lovett


As I uploaded this photo these lyrics played in my head. I love Lyle Lovett. I Iove quail.

If I had a boat
I’d go out on the ocean
And if I had a pony
I’d ride him on my boat
And we could all together
Go out on the ocean
Me upon my pony on my boat

“If I Had A Pony” – Lyle Lovett

The Shape of Things to Come


Deadheads. Old sprinkler heads dug up on the grounds of our Kaiser Permanente branch. (We went for flu shots.)


They are removing all the sod and capping off the sprinkler lines due to the drought.


Trying to get a few shots as it was today that I can reshoot when the new landscaping is in. I’ll bet it will be attractive.


Out with the old!

Our next stop was the Theodore Payne Foundation in the San Fernando Valley, to get some ideas for our own drought tolerant landscape. Cool place!

Well, hot place, but great volunteers, plants, wildflower seeds. We were a little overwhelmed on our first visit, but we’ll be back. We’re members now!

Blood Moon Story


I know it’s very late, but I keep thinking about the recent lunar eclipse.  I love this photo that my friend Gary Lynch took.  To me it looks like an egg coming to life.

Inspired by all my friends who were out and about on the night of the eclipse, I stepped outside several times to see what I could see.  When the eclipse started, the moon was obscured by clouds, but by the time it was full the clouds had parted.  Thanks to our relatively dark skies, I could still make it out as a faintly reddish black circle over the hill behind the house.

I carried a chair to where I could sit and watch the show as the shadow of the earth slipped away from the surface of the moon. At first it was just an intellectual idea. I knew what was happening.

But as the shadow receded to about a quarter coverage, it really hit me.

“That’s our shadow!  That’s my shadow up there.”

The sun was right behind me, on the other side of this big beautiful soft-centered rock. I was on the face of my planet, gazing across thousands of miles.

It struck me that this is an event many of us showed up to with great anticipation. Imagine if it took you by surprise.

It’s harvest time and you are counting on a few nights of moonlight to extend your work day. You’re in the field. Your family is around you.

You’re digging up potatoes when the light starts to fade. Maybe someone you know has seen this before, maybe not. You stand in the soil with a half-full sling of potatoes hanging on your hip, looking up.

The moon slowly disappears. You are not confident that it will come back. Your child comes to hold onto your leg, her own small sling on her own small hip.

Everyone gathers at the center of the field to watch and pray that the light hasn’t gone forever. When it begins to come back, it feels like a miracle. Everyone sings a moonrise song. It starts out slow but ascends to a joyful chant as the recovery becomes complete.

You bend to your work again, praising the shadow you cast upon the ground. You wonder if the moon needs to make a point from time to time, that we sould pay attention. That we should practice gratitude.

The Way It Was on Sunday


Went to the shore just south of San Buenaventura State Beach on Sunday to spend some time with myself.

Watching this guy paddle by reminded me of the days when Hydra and I did a little ocean kayaking.  Makes me wistful for gliding over water.


Looking south from where I sat on my little blanket, with carryout coffee, orange juice and a bagel.


Looking to the sea, past the breakwater.


Looking north from atop the breakwater.  See the drifts of rounded stones along the strand?


Trying for a different perspective.  Looking back to shore from the water. It takes a tiny bit of courage to stand with your back to the rolling ocean.

This is when the cuffs of my shorts got wet. Seems no matter what length of pants I have on when I go to the beach, I tempt the fates and get them wet.


Looking down, where the waves slowly work to turn a rock like this into sand like that.

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.

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.

Bloom Boom



I love the happy sun-faces of these gazanias.  There were more of these in our yard when we first moved here than almost anything else.


Peach bud. The warm weather has inspired everything to bloom. It’s awfully early, and there will probably be a freeze between now and fruiting time.


Apricot blossoms. I did not enhance the colors in this, I promise you.


Surprised at how big these African daisies are.  I thought this plant had about worn itself out.


Vinca. Not a lot of blossoms yet, but they make a nice groundcover on one of our slopes.


Looking down at the tops of lavender blossoms. Only one of the three lavenders I planted our first year survives.


Psych!  Fake flowers and fake rooster.

Our rosemary shrubs are just covered in blossoms and the bees are audibly happy about it. I would love to taste rosemary honey!