Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vanishing Act

Smoke And Mirrors


Yesterday daytime

Yesterday Evening

Well, smoke anyway. The mountains surrounding Redding, have been vanishing in the haze of smoke from the wildfires, then reappearing when the smoke lifts, a fire is temporarily contained, or the wind changes direction.

Happy Bees

That one bee is really tiny

The catnip, or I should say, “bee-nip”, effect of this rose’s pollen is once again attracting bees, this year. I happened to notice this bee, yesterday, that just couldn’t keep from rolling around and rubbing its face in the interior of the roses on this bush. I took a few pictures;

Amazing Pictures Of Isaac

If you haven’t seen these satellite images yet, be amazed. If you have seen them already, be amazed again. What wonderful technical marvels we have today.

Kits In The Night

I was out taking pictures of the moon last night, when I saw what looked like a couple of graceful cats coming up the driveway. When they got closer, I realized that these were the fox babies that were born under the tool shed last spring.

I didn’t have the TZ3 with its automatic intelligent setting feature, but I pointed the FZ5 in their general direction and hoped for the best. I watched them for awhile, then as I went to go get the other camera, they went on their way.

I will have to remember to take both Lumix cameras when I go out at night. Just in case I encounter some more of nature’s magical beings in the moonlight.

Another Cactus Flower

Dorothy advised me on Monday, that her cactus was about to bloom. She pointed out that I would have to get up in the morning to take pictures before it went away. I did get up and take pictures, and it did dry up and go away in the afternoon.

What a great time to be alive.

Today’s Flowery Video;

Abundance Abounds

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Still Putting Out Fires

A Little Less Smoke

Today’s smoke was coming from the north and west of Redding, as well as the east, out near Big Bend. I was able to open the windows in the early morning without too much smoke in the air. The temperature was mild enough, at 8am, that I didn’t need to run the A/C for a couple of hours.

Tonight was the Jefferson State Blues Society Jam. It was fun. I really enjoy being part of the first band to play. I get to play at a reasonable volume and the other players are happy to have me lead the band.

There were some really nice flowers to photograph this weekend, so I participated happily in accomplishing the flora depictions as needed.

Capturing the color density of some brilliantly toned roses, this afternoon, seemed to be encouraging. The yellows were thick with color, and I caught one of the deep frequencies that I sometimes see in this red driveway rose, today...

Here are some more;

I also got lucky with some closeups of a tiny butterfly, pumping nectar up the tubes that are part of the inner flower design. I tried making a little movie/slideshow in Picasa3, and uploaded it to Flickr, just to see how that works.

That sort of works. I will have to try a few more little movies and see what the parameters are for sparkling, flawless, eye catching, entertaining videos on Flickr.

This vulture performed acrobatics above me for about 10 minutes while I was standing in the middle of the Treehouse parking lot. At least that’s how I interpreted its behavior. There wasn’t any prey or other food items around, so I think it saw me following its every move with my camera lens, and thought it would be fun to play along.

The tomatoes keep on plumping up in the gardens here.

And, to complete the weekend moon series, I went out and took this pic of tonights moon while the Flickr flower slideshow was processing, (Efficiency would be my middle name, except I already have the name, Alan, in that spot).

Tonight’s Fascinating Video;

What’s In The Box?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Smoke Gets In Your

Eyes, Lungs, Hair, and Clothes

I didn't realize that after an extended period of days, the breathing of smoke filled air, would have me feeling like I'm running out of oxygen, (or steam, pep, gumption, go power).

Of course, it could be something completely unrelated to the smoke-filled skies over Redding. Maybe I need to eat more spinach.

I stopped by John's shop and asked him about a bay area violin seller that Marian had sent me a newspaper clipping about. She thought it might be of interest to John.

John told me the story of leaving one of his violins with that violin shop on consignment, a few years ago. They sold it, but it took several months before they admitted it and paid John without telling him how much it sold for, or who they sold it to. After that experience, he told me he felt that it was a shady operation and he would have nothing to do with them again.

Small world, isn’t it?

Here, (above), is a little yellow rose that I took a picture of on Thursday.

This next picture is the same rose photographed today.

Last night, just before I played at Lulu’s for the Shasta blues Society, someone came up and handed me a picture from the Jefferson State Blues Society, Sunday jam, that showed me wearing exactly the same clothes I had on. I guess I will have to write down what I wear and where I wore it, each time I play.

Phil and John at the Old School Restaurant. (photo credit - Rocky)

The flowers around the Treehouse continue to come and go on different shifts. I know they certainly provide me with hours of enjoyment and entertainment.

Some of the evacuated residents from Manton and other mountain areas, are being allowed to return to their homes as the Ponderosa fire is nearly 70% contained. (Story Here)

People are advised to limit their activities in the smoky conditions. I believe I will begin right now by limiting my activity to eating a piece of apple pie and ice cream.

Today’s Video;

Little Grass Shack

Wednesday, August 22, 2012



I was reading an article in Wired magazine about gadgets, and they showed some contraptions that are just for making s'mores. I found out who invented s'mores...

Loretta Scott Crew was a Girl Scout who in 1927 invented the S'more. Crew's recipe was first published in the 1927 Girl Scout Handbook after she created the snack to feed a group of hungry Girl Scouts at a camp. Crew reportedly earned an award for her creative cooking.

The Ponderosa fire continues to burn east of Redding. At last report, it had consumed 21,500 acres and 50 homes. There have been dozens of smaller fires throughout the north state, most of which were the result of last weeks lightning storms. The smoke is affecting our air quality and people have been advised to close the doors and windows. We are encouraged to spend our time indoors as much as possible to avoid respiratory problems.

I stopped by John’s shop today so he could listen to the recordings of the music we played Thursday and Sunday with different musicians at the blues jams. It helps to analyze the effect on our songs that different combinations of players can cause, (both good and not so good). It was also a chance for John to hear how his new amplifier sounded live.

Late in the afternoon, if one looked up at the middle of the sky over Redding, there was a blue color cast behind the haze. Out on the periphery, the smoke was still thick, gray and brown, but overhead conditions were improving. I took that opportunity to snap a few pictures around the Treehouse.

It really wasn’t much of an imposition to spend time inside with air conditioning. Even though the temperature was barely 100 outside, the filtered, cool air indoors felt very pleasant.

There is a new hypothesis that adds a twist to the big bang theory. James Quach and his colleagues at the University of Melbourne, say the Big Bang should be modeled as a phase change: the moment when an amorphous, formless universe analogous to liquid water cooled and suddenly crystallized to form four-dimensional space-time. (Story Here)

Today’s Video;

Big Universe

Monday, August 20, 2012

Red Sunset

Smokey Skies

The afternoon sun was interesting light for the flowers. The air smelled like campfire ashes, and it sort of felt like the air was filled with ashes, too.

On the other hand, the muted red light brought out a wide range of color in the flowers.

The reddish light of the sun brought out pink and orange hues in the white flowers.

The Monday Music Floorshow

The dancing flower and hula girl tirelessly perform during the music that Peggy and I play on Mondays. The reddish light of the low afternoon sun didn’t affect them since they were being powered from an east facing window.

The whipped cream experiments continue to be successful. I tried saving some extra whip cream from a couple nights ago in a airtight container as Marian suggested, and it worked.

You know things are pretty good here in America. We have the largest economy of any country in the world. Nine out of 10 of the workforce are working, and we have a mission on Mars that is successful. It wasn't for FOX News and their 24-7 complaining, most people would find themselves happy with their lives, our president, and our recovering economy.

Today’s Nice Video;

Portraitfilm - Töpferei Kohler Schüpbach (Emmental) from Peter Schurte on">Vimeo

From Dirt To The Dining Table

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dry Conditions

High Temperatures

Smoke billows into the sky like thunderclouds. At last report, the Ponderosa fire was 12,000 acres. Read News Report

There are some fires to the north, in Siskiyou county, that have burned 5,000 acres so far. It is extremely hot and dry this year, and the slightest spark or flame can set the woods and grassland ablaze very quickly.

Tonight, when I was at the Sunday Blues Jam, I spoke with Donee Papenheim about how she and her family were doing in Oak Run, (She is the assistant fire chief of the the volunteer fire department there). She said she had been working at the various fires for the past couple of days, but that Oak Run was okay so far.

I had a good time playing music at the jam tonight. John Harrisson and a couple of other musicians I know played with me and it was nice. We weren’t too loud, we started and ended the songs well, the dancers danced, and people applauded enthusiastically. A good time was had by all.

Upside Down Breakfast

I started putting the fruit in my cereal bowl before I realized there wasn't any cereal in it. I looked at the couple of strawberry pieces and figured I would just put all the fruit in, then add the flakes. The flakes stayed crisper throughout breakfast than when they are on the bottom. I may try that again.

The flowers around the Treehouse are not as numerous these days, but their colors and designs are delightful to see.

I followed the life of the surprise Sterling rose that popped up last week. It was a bud one day and a bloom the next. Using iMovie, I made a little slide show of its brief appearance. After adding some Sterling rose music, recorded on GarageBand, I uploaded the result to YouTube and put it here for the video of the day.

Today’s Video;

Life Is Amazing

Friday, August 17, 2012

Around The House

The Round House

Like other Redding residents, I drive past this whimsical place almost daily. I have taken pictures in which it is part of the background but yesterday, I saw the spot to stop and take the right picture or two, of the house itself.

This raised my level of curiosity to where I sought some information about this unique island habitation. I found a nice article about Bob Spaid and his round cottage in Enjoy magazine, (You can read it here).

Round Spider House

To take the pictures of the round house, I sometimes had to focus through these round spider houses. They too, are very interesting.

The Tree House

This is a 360° view of the treehouse. I stood in one spot and twirled around while the camera took pictures with a 360° app. On the iPod it is interesting because you can turn around while looking at the picture, and it gives you a view as if you are there, turning around. To get a better idea, look at it here.

My favorite Treehouse flower pic from around the grounds, today.

Around Breakfast Time

I enjoyed this bowl of breakfast so much, I made a little Gif animation;

I hope you are having a great day in, and around, your sphere of being, too.

Today’s Video;

Amman - City in Motion from Joerg Niggli on">Vimeo

Around The World