Category Archives: California

Mash Up

First thought that popped into my head with the prompt word was ‘bangers and mash.’ I have never eaten that but remember it from an old movie. Don’t even know if the British still eat it. I like mashed potatoes but not sure about beef sausage, which one recipe called for. I have eaten chicken and pork sausage here. I’m getting hungry now. My brother-in-law brought us a bunch of ripe avocados. We will probably mash them up and make guacamole.

I am still on the look out for our neighborhood roadrunner. I have had several sightings. One day he/she appeared on 2 different streets while I was walking. I thought either we have more than one, or it can move pretty fast. Thinking about how it got from one place to another I noticed it could have cut through the golf course that some houses back up to. Then I spotted it close by and tried to get a photo. I did not have time to focus on my cell phone. But I did watch it jump/fly up about five feet to the top of a gate and wall. So roadrunners can run, jump, and fly. I guess that’s how they show up in so many different parts of the neighborhood. I hope I will get some good photos of one in the future. The photos I took this week were a mash up.

I blew up one of my attempted photos of the roadrunner and I did capture him but it’s a bit blurry. Will keep working on getting a good photo.

Roadrunner at lower right edge of gate

Cactus Mash Up below:

Ocotillo
 Bilberry Cactus, Whortleberry Cactus, Blue Candle, Blue Flame ?
Candelabrum Cactus, Cane Cholla, Walking Stick Cholla, Tree Cholla, Chainlink Cactus ?
Elephant cactus

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt word for today is ‘mash.’

Some of the cacti names found on plantsam.com and cacti.com

Weekend Coffee Share #14-Outside

Coffee’s up. Grab a cup and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you I think I found the name of the those trees with the yellow flowers I told you about last week. They are not Golden Rain but are Sweet Acacia.

Sweet Acacia

They have feathery yellow puffs with thorns on their branches. There are two of these trees behind our back wall. I found some of the puffs on the ground.

Sweet Acacia puff (pollen)

The neighbors were having them pruned and we picked up one of the tree branches and found the thorns. The Sweet Acacia trees are losing their yellow puffs so hopefully less pollen. There are lots of things blooming around here now. So it could be something else. I took a short walk around and spotted a pretty yellow oleander and some beautiful Palo Brea trees.

Yellow oleander
Palo Brea blossom up close

I’m still using my cell phone camera for now. I have to hold the view finder away from me a bit to shoot photos. So my focus is probably hit and miss. I am seriously thinking about buying a new digital camera. The amount of sunlight does make a difference with glare. I tried the wide-brimmed hat but not as helpful as I had hoped. It is often breezy and I had to pull the hat on tight. Then the brim blocked my view down the road. I discovered some cloud cover is helpful in reducing glare.

I had another roadrunner sighting. First he/she was taking shelter under a low bush and later making a daring dodge in front of a FedEx truck. I read online that roadrunners can make a clicking sound like a raptor, (Jurassic Park variety), when hunting together. I heard some clicking sounds on one of my walks. I felt a bit edgy imagining a roadrunner dogging my trail.

Did you hear we are opening fully in California on June 15? We are cautiously optimistic about this. Maybe because we have these variants running around. The latest is called the Double Mutant out of India discovered recently by scientists at Stanford University. This is in addition to the New York mutant, the UK mutant, the South African mutant, and our own California mutant. Many Californians are getting vaccinated so hopefully we will win the race for immunity.

The thing is we now have to get comfortable re-entering society. I read an interesting article about how to gradually expose yourself to social situations to cope with the anxiety. It’s called ‘Dreading post-pandemic crowds and social situations? Exposure therapy can help’, by Ileyse Debrow DiMarco in the Washington Post. Even the thought of crowds makes me apprehensive and I know I won’t be exposing myself to them any time soon. Have an appointment for my first professional haircut in over a year next week. That is a start.


Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie of Natalie the Explorer.

Roadrunner Watch

I spotted our neighborhood roadrunner the other day. At least I think it is the same bird. It was running furtively at the front of the houses on a nearby street. It must have a nest around here. I wondered what was drawing it to our residential neighborhood. I looked up what roadrunners eat. They eat insects, reptiles, small mammals, and even other birds. We do have a golf course with ponds and I am pretty sure there would be birds, insects, and lizards there. Here are some recordings of the different sounds and calls from All About Birds (Cornell Lab of Ornithology). They have quite a repertoire. This website said they do make a ‘meep, meep’ sound when running away from danger.

Our neighborhood friend has been quiet so far.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt word for today is ‘run.’ Featured image of Roadrunner by National Park Service Death Valley. I haven’t been able to get my own photo of our roadrunner. I would have to be ‘Quick Draw McGraw’ with my cell phone to catch it.

California Blow

California! Where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain. Whoops, wrong state. But we do get a lot of wind in the Coachella Valley. It has to do with low pressure drawing in the air from areas of higher pressure through the San Gorgonio Pass. That’s why we see a lot of wind turbines dotting the landscape coming into the valley too.

‘Windgarten’ by Ian D Keating on Wikimedia.org

It get’s going in the afternoon right into the night and can really howl, an eerie effect at night. It doesn’t happen every night, but when it does I want to cozy up with a good mystery book.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is ‘starts with cal.’

Start of post inspired by lyrics to ‘Oklahoma’ by Oscar Hammerstein II.

Easing Up Slowly

We have been on ‘stay at home’ status for how long? Time feels lost in another dimension. I don’t feel like I have been stuck in a cave, because I can go out in my yard or around the neighborhood without fear. And I don’t think our Governor or health officials should cave in on their rules for re-opening our state.

California starts to open up. Now we have to decide when we feel comfortable going back into society. We can now go out for curbside pick up at more businesses, and lower risk workplaces can re-open.  Los Angeles County does have the highest number of cases in the state. Closer to home we received an email from one of our local stores telling us one of their employees tested positive for coronavirus. Just in case we get lulled into a sense of false security, it is still out there. Dr. Barbara Ferrer ,the LA County Public Health Director, says ‘expect to see more cases as we open up.’ it is still out there.

To the protestors who do not want to follow any precautions in places that still have outbreaks I say, ” Do you live in a cave? Are you not watching the news about all the people dying, ( and not all are elderly with pre-existing conditions). Have you not seen the Nurses and Doctors and other healthcare workers on the news talking about the hell it is in their communities and hospitals? ”

I can tell you from personal experience that Nursing Homes are still being impacted right now. My brother resides in one and has contracted the virus. He has been holding his own. Communication with him has been difficult. We can talk by the facility portable phone for short periods and he has Skype on his computer but the wi-fi has been spotty. The Nursing Home has started to get a good system going for scheduling communication with family now.

We are advised not to get together with our families for Mother’s Day. We will all celebrate together when this is over.

 

 

For a little help relaxing from Santa Barbara Botanic Garden on You Tube:


Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt word for today is ‘cave,’ use it as a noun or verb.

Featured image ‘Joshua Tree National Park’ photo by Christopher Michel on Wikimedia.org

 

 

Z is for Zephyr

Zephyr-‘a gentle breeze from the west.’ There can be gentle breezes here in the late afternoon when the sun get lower in the sky and the air is cooler. It is lovely to sit outside then and feel the sun on my skin.

There is another Zephyr than runs between Chicago and San Francisco, the California Zephyr. The video below by Trains 232 on You Tube is about 15 minutes and has some great shots of the train, tunnels, and a beautiful bridge near the end.

 


Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2020

Featured image of painting: ‘Late Afternoon, California’ by Maude Kerns via photo by Jason Taellious on Flickr.com

Y is for Yeast

One of my favorite foods is San Francisco Sourdough bread. Boudin bakery lays claim to the original sourdough bread and still has the mother dough cultivated from a goldminer’s sourdough starter. 

More history on San Francisco sourdough bread.

I have read that the flavor of this sourdough bread has to do with the bacteria that develops as part of the fermentation process and wild yeast in the air that helps create the sourdough starter.  All I know is San Francisco does have some of the best bread and I have not found bread here is Southern California that is as good. I have looked at the ingredients on some bread sold in stores and some just have flavoring and not the sourdough culture.


Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2020

Los Angeles Unified School District Feeding The Community

When the Los Angeles Unified School District had to close due to the coronavirus pandemic many worried about what would happen to all the students who depended on the schools not just for their education but for their food. LAUSD provided free meals for students who qualified from low income families in the district. Where would the children get food now? So the Governor of California and Mayor of Los Angeles announced that the schools would continue to provide meals for the students. The school meal preparation would continue and the families could pick up the food.

This expanded to giving food to anyone in need that shows up. In partnership with the Red Cross and the regional food bank the LAUSD has provided 10 million ‘grab and go’ meals since March 18 from 63 campuses across the district. (reported in the LA Times).

Featured image of LAUSD seal via Wikimedia.org, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank image from Walmart on Flickr.com


We Are The World Blogfest, #WATWB, “seeks to promote positive news. There are many an oasis of love and light out there, stories that show compassion and the resilience of the human spirit. Sharing these stories increases our awareness of hope in our increasingly dark world.”

The cohosts are:  Eric LahtiSusan ScottDan AntionDamyanti BiswasInderpreet Kaur Uppal.

Trees

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.” – John Steinbeck

I have written about the California coastal redwood forests in prior posts. I keep coming back because I love these trees, I love nature, and I love California. I have visited the redwood forest a couple of times and it is truly awe inspiring. We can visit now with virtual tours, videos, and beautiful images. I hope to go and visit them again after we are released from our ‘ stay at home’ orders. For now I have the trees around my house that provide shade and shelter for the birds and squirrels. Here in my part of Southern California there are a lot of Oak trees.  They are protected here and dot the landscape throughout this area and other parts of California.

Drive through Oaks, Hope Ranch, Santa Barbara, California via New York Public Library

Redwood National and State Parks in located in the northernmost coast of California and approximately 50 miles long from Crescent City to south of Oreck, California.

 

Maybe this ‘Stay at home’ time will inspire me to get out in the world much more than I have been in recent years. We’ve got to embrace life because, as this terrible crisis makes us so acutely aware, we can’t take life for granted.


What Day Is It Anyway? #WDIIA, is hosted by Linda G Hill

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2020

Featured image ‘Ancient Coast Redwoods tower above hikers at Simpson Reed Grove Trail’ courtesy of US National Park Service