Category Archives: California

Psst There’s A Squirrel In The Pyracantha

Our Pyracantha tree and Heavenly Bamboo are filling up with berries. I can tell the berries are ripe when the birds and squirrels start eating them. It’s a bountiful crop this year. I spotted a squirrel munching on the Pyracantha berries and caught a photo before he/she scampered off. (Click on photos to enlarge). I can tell when the squirrels are in the tree, even before I see them, because the branches start shaking. They have been known to perform acrobatic stunts, like hanging by their feet upside down while eating. They are able to clean all the berries off the tree in a couple of weeks or less with the help of the birds. Psst, I think I see a branch shaking.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The worst for today is an attention getting sound and/or “psst.” Featured imaged ‘Gray Squirrel’ via wikimedia.

A Swarm Of Butterflies

Recently saw an ad for an inn in Santa Cruz that mentioned the Monarch butterflies which migrate to winter in California at this time of year. One of the sites mentioned was the Natural Bridges Preserve.  I know they migrate closer to me in Southern California as well. In October a 70 mile-wide swarm of butterflies showed up on weather radar in Denver, Colorado. You might automatically think of Monarchs but these were Painted Ladies which look a bit like Monarchs but are smaller.

The first video is by Bear SF showing two places to see Monarchs in California on You Tube:

 

 

View through binoculars at Pacific Grove, Ca. Butterfly Sanctuary

A swarm of butterflies, a swarm of dragonflies, or a swarm of honeybees; better than a swarm of locusts or a swarm of fleas.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt word for today is “arm.” It may be used alone or as part of a word. Featured image of Monarch butterflies via wikipedia.

Something You Otter Know

Q: What do you call a group of resting otters?

A: A raft. To keep from drifting away from each other, sea otters will wrap themselves up in seaweed, forming something that resembles a raft.

Group or Raft of Sea Otters via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

This is Sea Otter Awareness Week according to US Department of the Interior.  Click on the links and see more images and read 12 interesting things about our sea otters.

 


Featured image of Sea Otters in waters around Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska by Becky King of the National Park Service. Giff of Sea Otter from Monterey Bay Aquarium via Giphy.com

One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill.

weds

Hot and Cold in Sunny LA

Hot it is not, cold it is neither, but 72 degrees is cool for Southern California at the end of Summer. Happy that on the first day of Fall it feels and looks a little like Fall here, with cooler weather, a few clouds, and some recent predictions of possible showers. My pyracantha has green berries which will turn red-orange as it gets closer to winter and some of the Heavenly Bamboo’s leaves are turning red and its berries are going from green to some tinges of red. Squirrels and birds like the pyracantha berries when they are ripe. The Brazilian Pepper trees leaves are barely starting to change colors. There are clusters of peppercorns on these trees and birds will eat them later in the year. It usually takes until winter for all of our trees to change colors and lose their leaves. The purple sage plant is doing really well. The hummingbirds really approve of it. We have had a couple of visiting rabbits who have nibbled a bit around the edges of the ground cover but the woolly thyme seems to be holding up in the front end of the garden. The African Fern Pines will not change color or drop all their leaves even when it’s cold.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt words for today are hot/cold and extra points for starting with one and ending with the other.  🙂  Rabbit photo via Pixabay.com Featured image of succulent in my front yard that is changing colors.

 

The Flat

“In life, a person will come and go from many homes. We may leave a house, a town, a room, but that does not mean those places leave us. Once entered, we never entirely depart the homes we make for ourselves in the world. They follow us, like shadows, until we come upon them again, waiting for us in the mist.”
Ari Berk

The last flat¹ we lived in in San Francisco had a little room off the kitchen where there was a sink with a window over it, and there were counters and shelves on each side of the sink. I thought of it as a pantry but it was probably more like a scullery, “since the scullery was the room with running water, it had a sink…”². Scullery³ sounds like a place to store sculls, catacombs. There were no skulls in our pantry.

800px-DJJ_1_Catacombes_de_Paris by djtox on Wikipedia.

Catacombs of Paris by Djtox

The kitchen had a built in breakfast nook with a vinyl covered U-shaped banquette, like a booth in a diner. My mother loved the nook. Flats are like large apartments. Ours had a kitchen, den, two bedrooms, living room, 1¼ bath. I say ¼ bath because there was a small room in the hall with a second toilet. The rooms of the flat were bigger than a typical modern apartment in the US. Our flat was on the top floor. You had to walk up a flight of stairs to get to the front door and another flight once you got inside. My mother did not lock the front door. You were not afraid living in The City in those days. Flats seem more like homes than apartments.

10754345204_a0846b68e7_zThe Mission District by Ken Lund on Flickr

Mission District by Ken Lund

This (above) looks something like the flat we lived in, only nicer. Below image is not too far from my old neighborhood.

800px-CastroAnd20thStreetInSanFranciscosCastroDistrict via wikimedia

2oth and Castro Street


footnotes:

1.flat: A set of rooms forming an individual residence, typically on one floor and within a larger building containing a number of such residences.-Oxford Living Dictionaries

2.Pantry-Wikipedia.

3. Etymololgy of scullery: Middle English squilerie, sculerie department of household in charge of dishes, from Anglo-French esquilerie, from escuele, eskel bowl, from Latin scutella drinking bowl-Merriam-Webster Dictionary online.

One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image The Scullery Maid  painting by Giuseppe Maria Crespi via Wikimedia

 

Panther P55

Panther, Puma, Cougar, Mountain Lion, P55 is what they named you, beautiful cat. You were fitted with a tracking device and crossed the freeway at night. They want to build you a bridge not too far from where I live so you and other Mountain Lions can cross the freeway safely and so your species can survive here in Southern California.

“Los Angeles is one of only two megacities in the world (the other is Mumbai) that have big cats living within the city limits. In a place more often associated with freeways and traffic, the fact that the city can support such large-ranging animals is a testament to the quality of open space and the habitat connectivity that still remains.”-National Park Service

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Prompt for today is “pant.” Photo of P55 ( captured to outfit him with a tracking device) by the National Park Service Santa Monica Mountains.  California Mountain Lions info. Slideshow photos from National Park Service.