Saturday, September 28, 2013

Love Of Nature

Respect For Life

Mount Shasta

Yesterday, (Friday), there was a scheduled test of the Treehouse Senior Apartments alarm system at 9am. The alarms are designed to be loud enough to alert those residents who may be hearing impaired.

They are uncomfortably loud for me, so I escaped to Shasta Lake, where nature, and the sounds of a few distant recreational vehicles, became the soothing soundtrack to my morning.

Mount Shasta

I took many pictures of Mount Shasta, the lake, and the forest scenery while I absorbed the refreshing atmosphere. There are some people who would over exploit these resources to make money, while leaving this natural beauty in toxic, ruinous condition as a result of their avariciousness.

Fortunately we have regulations to deter those who don’t understand the relationship between life and the natural world that supports and nourishes everything that lives here on earth. To keep those wrong headed, greedy fools from killing us all, we have laws, standards, and agencies, such as the EPA, to keep industries from polluting the air, water, and land.

Rose in the Sunshine

The love of money has captured an entire political party that is currently attempting a corporate takeover of our government. Each day, I sign petitions to include my voice with millions of others who are feeling threatened by the reckless greed that fuels the GOP as they attempt to dismantle Social Security and Medicare, so private enterprise can use the 2.6 trillion of dollar trust fund on risky Wall Street gambling.

Another happy, healthy breakfast

U. S. Trade Representative Michael Froman wants European countries to lower their environmental protections, so global oil companies can pollute our water, air and land and sell American tar sands oil to Europe. I signed a petition/letter, along with thousands of other people who haven’t lost their minds, telling him that is a very bad idea.

Some people think I am wasting my time trying to stop irresponsible behavior by signing petitions, demonstrating, writing letters, submitting editorial comments, or speaking out against lies and misinformation. I let them know, “I am doing what I can”.

Another spectacular Redding sunset

Today is beautiful
this is where I am
In the real world
Where it is always today

We can learn from the past
and help our tomorrows
be as beautiful
as this today

Today’s Nature Video;

Love Is Priceless

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Windy Evening

Calmer Tonight

Crows enjoying the wind

I am creating a backlog of blog worthy photos, again. One solution would be to post a few of the images with a simple topic, or two. I am pretty sure that’s basically what I do here as a rule, or format. I guess I forgot.

Each new rose is a lovely addition

An average person forgets four key facts or events every day.

I read that interesting tidbit in today’s email of news stories collected by Quartz. The sentence linked to The Indian Express where the story referred to a Daily Express report about research funded by Post-it sticky pads.

After finding, and adding links to this story, I forget what it is I wanted to write about it.

Curly proboscis between drinks

You may have to look closely, but this was a rare photo opportunity for me. The curl looked just like the proboscis on the plastic bug in the game of Cootie that kids played, when I was a kid.

Now that I have looked at images of the game on eBay, I can see that my imagination, or perhaps memory, is a bit more detailed, (like the butterfly proboscis in the picture), than the plastic bug part.

Mr. Coffee repairman outfit

4 phillips screws and 2 proprietary, ‘not hex’, nuts have to be loosened to remove the base of the coffee maker in order to do repairs to the plumbing. This is meant to discourage people from repairing this household appliance themselves.

Tiny lizard in the sun

Clearly, most people will just buy a new Mr. Coffee for $12, rather than send a broken one back to the factory for repairs. But, just in case someone knows how to fix these kinds of things, they add a couple of unusual screws that might mean a trip to the hardware store.

Bridges over the Sacramento river

This makes a person debate the cost of gas, and the search for the proper ‘driver’, (another expense), to remove 2 screws in order to take off the base so they might easily spot a loose hose and fix it. In most cases, that would be reason enough to just spend the $12 for a new one.

Once again, functional Mr Coffee

I am determined to not be wasteful, so I opened one end of the base enough to see inside and get a couple of my fingers in to feel around for a loose tube, or clamp.

I made sure that hose connections were snug and I re-tightened the base. Success! It works, once more.

Today’s Video;

Always Room For Cello

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Surmising

And Lofty Assumptions

Home 1951-1955 as it looks today

My brother Jerry sent me a picture of our old house in Pennsylvania, as it looks now. Well, as it looked last week when he took the picture.

Our dad had the house built, thinking we would stay there always. It looks like the house isn’t going anywhere, but the family did, just 4 years after we settled in.

Harvest Moon

The full moon, last week, was available for us to see in all it’s reflective illumination.

My neighbor, Jo Anna, told me it was spectacular to see just before sunrise when the the mountains shone in the moonglow. Sunrise often occurs about an hour or two after I go to sleep, so I missed that Kodak moment.

Harvest Moon

I did see the moon rise, two sunsets in a row, and I recorded some nice video of the event. The video is still in post production and final editing.

Photographer, and philosophically conversant neighbor, Margaret, brought her camera and tripod to the end of the driveway on the evening of the 20th, where we compared our moon pic techniques while photographing the Harvest Moon rising.

Lake Redding diversion dam

Sometimes, if I take the extra 5 minutes out of my busy schedule, (humor?), Caldwell park is always good for a refreshing pause. Flowing water clears the cobwebs and trash bins of my mind. (Not exactly a love song title)

I always feel refocused and filled with a sense of purpose after I visit the rivers, lakes, and mountain streams that surround this place.

Treehouse rose Friday

The Treehouse bushes are still producing flowers, and yesterdays rain has likely encouraged more growing activity.

Cheery colors Friday

I guess I had best go out and see what today’s afternoon sunshine reveals.

Happy equinox to all.

Today’s Video;

Happy Trails

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Waiting For A Topic

To Jump Out And Wave

Beautiful day in the neighborhood

I have some great pictures to share with you.

Touchable rose

Usually there is some pressing topic to write about.

A large metal building reflecting the sun

Walking toward a good spot to look for the rising moon, I noticed a bright light across the valley. I took a picture. When I looked at the zoomed image on the computer, it looked like a giant rectangular solar panel reflecting the low angle sunlight. I guess it is a barn, or something, with no other structures for miles around.

Almost full Harvest Moon

I took a series of pictures and a short video of the moon.

Poked in the eye by a cloud

It was a treat for my imagination and sense of wonder as I watched the almost full Harvest moon rise through the colorful clouds.

Above the clouds and on it’s way across the night sky

A cool, 79 degree breeze made for a pleasant evening.

Flash assisted rose

There was another opportunity to experiment with distance, zoom, and flash photos of flowers in the light of dusk.

Okay. The pictures were the topic.

Today’s Video;

Comfort And Joy

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Periodic Adjustments

In Time For The Coming Harvest Moon

Sunday Moon

Today’s Treehouse Jamboree was interesting, pleasant, and enlightening. Peggy got back from the hospital yesterday, so it was no surprise that her energy was not up to performing level. Today’s musician was, “P”, instead of P&P.

Driveway rose at dusk

Sometimes I am given the opportunity, responsibility, and pleasure of letting myself be an open conduit for musical energy. On these special occasions I can feel the joy flow through me in copious amounts to fill the hearts and spirits of any or all who wish to feel music’s power.

Monday’s moon rise

The Monday Jamboree, where I played as a one man show, opened my senses to a level where I confidently and comfortably, sang my way through the landscape of timeless melodies, stories, and emotions that reside in songs from a variety of writers.

Enchanted Purple Rose

I prefer to play with other musicians when I perform. It makes the music more interesting to me. However, when circumstances change. I have learned to change. It is now possible for me to hear, and feel the power of playing in a more energizing manner, even when playing solo. This is sort of difficult to explain, (isn’t it?).

Night flash flower photo

Let me put it another way; I had a great time singing and playing Sunday, and Monday, while being a conduit for the driving force of music.

Reds that are redder

Flash photography, from a distance, while zoomed in on flowers at twilight, is proving to be an enjoyable adventure in color density and definition. It is nice that there always seems to be another realm of discovery for this photographer/musician/artist/writer/philosopher/etc.

Drunk On Nectar

After nearly a month, I saw, and photographed a bee. They have been scarce while the temperatures are above a hundred and there is very little humidity. Bees can easily overheat and die when foraging under extreme conditions.

This particular bee, kept coming back to the same rose where it would roll around and rub pollen all over itself, again and again. A closer look reveals this bee is on its side, with its head turned to where it can get more nectar.

Today’s Video;

Lyrebird Soloist

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday Afternoon

And All Is Well

Yogurt, fresh fruit and granola

The last time I was at Raley’s, I picked up a 32 oz container of Strauss, European Style, organic, whole milk, plain yogurt. It cost less than 2 of those tiny organic yogurts with the “fruit” on the bottom.

Friday afternoon cloud over Lassen Park

I wasn’t sure what I would do with the yogurt, but I figured if it was in the fridge, something would come up where it would be the perfect ingredient.

That something occurred this morning at the crack of noon that helped me understood why I should have gone to Trader Joe’s the night before; No milk!

The next seeming unrelated happenstance becomes a significant piece of the present problem;

Lately, skipping the flakes in a bowl of fresh fruit and milk has been a healthy breakfast alternative to the customary organic whole grain cereal with fruit, so it wasn’t a monumental mental leap to envision a bowl of yogurt with fruit.

Flowering yucca type plant outside John’s violin shop

I liked this morning meal and intend to break tonight’s fast with yogurt and fruit, tomorrow morning.

A healthy combination of nutritious ingredients like I ate, is far, far better for human consumption than some corn sweetened, ‘dairy product’, held together with sawdust and guar gum. Particularly when it has artificially sweetened, artificially flavored, ‘berry’ jam at the bottom and calls it fruit.

Waterfall at Cypress and Pine, November 2012

Since I didn’t need to go get milk for breakfast, I could conserve some fossil fuel and reduce my global warming carbon emission contribution for today, by not driving.

Sometimes I can forget to ‘hang out’ and enjoy this cave I have decorated and furnished with devices, tools, and objects d’art that please me. What good are the things I have, if I don’t take time to use, admire, or appreciate them?

So, I began by cleaning up, and organizing the MacBook applications and photos. Everything on all the computers is backed up with Time Machine, (Apple’s physical data backup system), and iCloud, (backup at Apple’s data storage center).

In the process, I saw pictures I had taken with the Lumix FZ8 of the waterfall at Cypress and Pine last year. It seemed like one wanted to appear in today’s blog, so I acquiesced to it’s insistence. Nice picture, if I do say so myself.


The last time I was at Trader Joe’s, I got some frozen, wild caught, Alaskan cod and a lime.
Lemons, for some reason, cost significantly more than limes. The lime worked wonders, and with a little fresh ground pepper I cooked a piece of fish in the oven and served it with Jasmine rice. It was delicious.

Dinner on Friday

I just remembered, fish on Friday was a part of my Catholic upbringing. I don’t think it is a requirement anymore, but it has been a lot of years since I have followed that particular set of rules for the heavenly bound.

Just like panatomic X

Among Friday’s cloud pictures was this one, (above). The trouble was the details were washed out by hazy wildfire smoke in the northstate air, but I remembered a trick from the days when I did black and white photography; A red filter can help give definition to clouds.

I tried it, and got a result that looks a lot like those black and white pictures that took hours in the darkroom to produce. Changing a color image to black and white, plus adding a red filter, takes less than a minute with modern technology. I am so glad.

Today’s Video;

Party Line?