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Big Country: Lovely, Lively Borrego Springs, California

March 19, 2013
This is the stunning view that awaits climbers on the popular Palm Canyon hike in the park:  flowing water (after the rains of the night before), and endangered California Fan Palms.  Bits of grass and other small herbaceous plants completed the refreshing reward.

This is the stunning view that awaits climbers on the popular, and sometimes challenging, Borrego Palm Canyon trail: flowing water (after the rains of the night before), and a small palm grove containing endangered California Fan Palms. Patches of grass and other small herbaceous plants complete the refreshing reward.

Say you’re feeling trapped?  Stifled, stuck in routine?  Worse,  you don’t have the bucks to get anywhere, do something different, off the beaten track?

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A Self-Contained Life: The Death Of A Cat

October 3, 2011

Recently, the sweetest cat I’d ever had the pleasure to care for died.  True, he’d been ill for some time, and we had cared for him–lovingly and skillfully–at home.  But for several weeks he’d been in a kind of remission, playful, eating well, putting on some of the weight he’d lost, looking so good and acting so naturally that we almost forgot he wasn’t well…


Then all that changed–abruptly and without warning.

Of course, we miss him, but it’s more:  losing a beloved pet, unexpectedly, without a chance to say goodbye, is awful.  Just awful.  Just as losing a friend or a loved one suddenly packs an extra wallop, this kitty’s passing both shocked and devastated us.

I found these marvelous lines from the poem, The Death Of A Cat, written by the mid 20th century poet, Louis MacNeice (1907-1963), that express much better than I can some of my thoughts and feelings.  I know all cat lovers can relate to the pain, dismay, and bewildered sense of loss that  runs through these lines.

For he was our puck, our miniature lar...

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Tai Chi At The Marina, Martinelli’s, Schiller and Goethe

June 13, 2011

Maybe you blog for fame and fortune (right), but I blog to share, primarily, with friends and family.  Hence this addendum to my three-part SF series…

How could I forget…

Tai chi 'master' at Emeryville marina.

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The Streets of San Francisco

June 13, 2011

My third, and last, post in my California series.  As I said in my first post (Dances With Street Pole,, it is odd that I did not take more shots of the many iconic San Francisco/East Bay/ California images that presented themselves during our trip.  All I can say is that I’ve visited this lovely area many times, never tire of it, and this motley platter of pix is what I got.

Next?  Who knows!

We always allow time in San Francisco to walk many of its blocks. There is no better way to see this city, and no way more rich in impressions and more fun, not to mention better for building muscle! Typically, we start-doesn't everyone?-in Union Square and, after stopping in glittering Gumps, proceed up Grant into Chinatown. Chinatown this year was especially fun as two of my traveling companions insisted on entering each of the most mysterious-looking doorways we passed, and there are many.

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California Flora and Fauna

June 11, 2011

California has greater biotic diversity than any other state and is one of the 25 bio-diversity hotspots that contain 44% of the world’s plant species–Visitor Guide, University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley

Plant lovers, all these shots were taken in either the University of California at Berkeley Botanical Garden or in Tilden Regional Park’s Botanical Garden in the East Bay.  I’ve tried to identify, to some specificity, the plants correctly. Please correct me if you find an error.  There was a lot to look at!

This first series is from the Botanical Garden located in Tilden Regional Park, a 2,079 acre preserve east of Berkeley, California.  The ten acre botanic garden showcases native plants of California, and dates to 1940.  It’s easy to find (Tilden Park is huge), a lovely, quiet, green retreat, well worth visiting.

One of the many Lupines native to CA. Love the rich purple and beautiful form!

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Dances With Street Pole (And Other SF Delights)

June 10, 2011


Recently returned from a trip to San Francisco,  the East Bay, and Sonoma.  Did I photograph the glorious blue bay, its wondrous bridges and celestial sunsets? City streets so steep you wouldn’t roller blade down them to save your life?  The crab fishers on Torpedo Wharf, the mighty spans of the Golden Gate Bridge, the twisted route of Lombard Street?  The unique, shall we say, violinist busking in Golden Gate Park?  The rooftop greenery of the recently reopened Academy of Sciences?  The rolling vineyards and wooded fields of Sonoma?  The foggy hillsides of the mist-shrouded Russian River valley?  The crashing waves of the mighty Pacific at Land’s End?

Well, no.  Instead, I photographed…

Take a look below, you can see for yourself.  Looks like I’ve been to SF too many times–got all those super pix before, on previous visits.

This is SF and its environs as I saw it this year.

At the top of the city, and soon to go higher. N on our way to Coit Tower. Energy supreme!

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Spring As I Saw It

June 8, 2011

Well, it’s over.

It’s 6:45p on June 8 and 93 degrees.  I’d say that allows me to assert that spring is over.

Stiflingly, bafflingly, sadly over.

I’ll miss it.  Because although the Great Lakes region had a ridiculously cold, dark, and soppy wet spring that ruined many an outing, picnic, wedding, and graduation, gorgeous blossoms, color, and greenery dazzled us, and made up for much of the hassle of living in what often felt like a fish bowl.

Here’s a few favorite shots:

Under Kousa Dogwood--candy red Tulips, Wild Geranium, giant purple Alliums in bud, and much more. Monster ferns taking over all.

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