Sunday, April 28, 2013

Solving Puzzles

With Good Information

The American Public Works Association ULCC Color Codes for Marking Excavations

I came upon this street graffiti deciphering chart in a Smithsonian article, this morning. The chart is used by alert homeowners, contractors, and public utilities who are planning to dig in the streets. There are spray painted lines, arrows, and other information in distinctive colors so that the workers don’t accidentally blow up the neighborhood, or cut through a water main, or other buried utilities when they dig.

So now you know what those colored lines and arrows on the streets mean. Too bad the guys who were digging trenches in our cul de sac last year didn’t read the paint on the pavement before cutting through the water main.

Out In The Yard

Wild onions

Tame Orchids

California Poppies

Not sure,...pretty though

Puzzles are a good way to collect new information. Whether it is how to assemble pieces, find the words, or identify a flower, I generally remember the result of a solved puzzle. I suppose that’s true for most all of us, but I have never puzzled over it before. (odd phrase)

Fruit awaiting assembly on cereal

The band played well tonight at the Jefferson State Blues Society Sunday Jam. That is a good thing. I have more fun singing when the band plays well. I don’t find that puzzling.

Mount Lassen from the Treehouse

Today was clearer than yesterday. Warmer, too. Late afternoon temperatures were in the 90’s. The outside thermometer for the Buick read 94 degrees as Billy, (the bass player in the band), and I drove out of the Old School restaurant parking lot after we finished playing, (around 6:30pm).

Fun with roses and aperture

Rose and honey bee

Today was a good day, and that’s a good thing. I hope some of you remembered to view Saturn while it is as close to Earth as it will get this year. If you didn’t have a telescope, there was the live webcast of Saturn through a telescope on the Canary Islands.

Here is the link to the SLOOH SpaceCamera website so you can see what future celestial event will be playing live on a computer near you.

Today’s Sunny Video;

Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day

Jumping Jupiter

Saturn “Live” This Sunday

The ringed wonder appearing Sunday evening on a computer near you, Information


Red Treehouse rose

The light was just right today around noon for the picture of this rose, (above). I had been trying to get this shot for the past couple of days, but the colors weren’t right, the detail was emphasizing the wrong shapes, and the wall in the background was lit in such a way as to flatten the color and dimensions of the rose.

Today, conditions were perfect for the shot that I had pictured in my mind. Other flowers responded to the lighting of the day as well.

Josephs Coat roses

The color red was particularly vibrant and photogenic.

Deep red velvet roses

Green Eggless

Photo Credit - Margaret Miller

The City Hall Farmers Market was number one on today’s agenda.

My neighbor, Margaret, and I went around 11:00 and discovered there was also the Whole Earth and Watershed Festival happening at City Hall and the Sculpture Garden.

Part of the reason we were there was to take pictures of the roses, and the festivities offered even more photo subjects. Like taking pictures through the dancing water of the City Hall fountain.

Looking for green eggs?

The lady who sells the green eggs was sold out. She said she sold all of her eggs by 9:00. I said I would try again next week, and if I couldn’t get up early, I would enlist a representative to be down there to get a dozen early next Saturday.

Another striking red Treehouse rose

There was quite a crowd at the festivities, so we took our pictures and returned to the Treehouse before noon. This was quite fortunate, as it was then that I had the opportunity to photograph the red rose outside the dining room under ideal light conditions.

A ‘not-red’ rose along the driveway

I hope your Saturday was suitably synchronistic, too.

Today’s Entertaining Video;


It’s A Small World

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Big Beautiful Moon

On A Warm Redding Night

The moon was still rising through the trees at 10:20pm when I took this picture. The temperature was around 78 degrees with only the slightest bit of breeze, it was very pleasant on the Treehouse patio.

Earlier in the evening, I got some richly colored images in the low angled sunlight. It is really nice here in Redding when the temperatures are still in the 80’s and, except for the haze from our human activities, the skies are clear and blue.

The Phil Seymour Band played some of our newest songs on Thursday night at Lulu’s. It is fun to hear the songs take shape, and see that people are enjoying them. What a treasure it is to write, play, and sing songs that bring pleasure to the band, and the people who come to listen and dance to the music.

I watched a program on PBS the other night about Jungle Eagles. It was part of the series, Nature. I had no idea, just how big the harpy eagles are. When the film showed the male eagle bringing food for the baby, my sense of scale was skewed. I thought the animal hanging from the bird’s talon was a rat or something. It was a full grown monkey.

I have been taking some pictures these last few days that seem to be perfect for ‘note cards’.  Some of the images seem to invite further developments. I like it when that happens.

Today’s Video Attraction;

Happy Bird

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Wind

Blowing Through My Mind

The Treehouse flowers are ablaze with rich fiery colors. I am amazed that so many of them are hanging onto their petals in the gusty winds that have been blowing them every which way these past few days.

Some of them have become scattered bits of color on the ground, but most have held onto their attractive finery. The winds have kept the skies fairly clear, by preventing scheduled ‘controlled burning’ from covering the north state with unhealthy smoky haze.

The moon will be a full ‘Pink Moon’ on the 25th. It won’t actually be the color pink. The Farmers Almanac enlightens us with this information;

Full Pink Moon – April This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

Another nice thing about these April winds are the cooler temperatures. The winds are keeping the temperatures down in the 80’s where it is nice and comfortable. If it weren’t for the blowing air, the heat would quickly turn these beautiful flowers to dust.

This year we have some of the biggest, reddest, roses I have ever seen. Their perfume permeates the atmosphere of our little community. Life is sweet for those who stop and smell the roses.

Peggy Richardson and Phil Seymour        Photo - Margaret Miller

The Monday Jamboree was particularly melodic yesterday. I only forgot a couple of words to the songs, and Peggy played the recently tuned piano with inspiration. Kathern Sherwood stopped in to sing a few tunes, and a good time was had by all. Hear A Song

Jackie and Darlene served up peach cobbler with whipped cream after the music. It was very tasty.

Today’s Selected Video;


A Good Place To Chill Out

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Eagles Nest

And Other Lofty Places

Classic Happy Breakfast

The strawberries, bananas, raisins, and cereal are organic, but the blueberries come from one of my favorite places; FamilyTreeFarms in Reedley, California.

Family Tree Farms is a favorite of mine, because a few years ago, when I saw their name on a carton of blueberries, I wrote to them and asked if I might visit and see their blueberry trees.

The lady who wrote back, had a good sense of humor and a warm way of stringing words together in sentences that made me a fan of anything she was part of. I mentioned them in This Blog Post a couple of years ago.

Anyway, I am reminded that I promised to write an understandable guide to ‘Organic’ labeling, because the U.S.D.A. regulations allow misleading uses of the term organic.

This is the result of the big time players in the agriculture business having filled the seats on the various boards, and it’s no longer about quality food, but about bigger profits for Monsanto, Philip Morris, Kraft, etc.

I have found that there are some more trustworthy alternative certification labels to look for, HERE is further information about three of them. HERE is a whole list of what may, or may not be reliable, (I think that Earthwatch is one of those Corporate groups posing as something healthy, particularly because they listed the USDA as reliable).

Another source discovered that the USDA does not bother to actually test any of the USDA Certified Organic foods to make sure they are in compliance, so I would say that that label is not reliable at all.

Some label stuff is simply word baloney; Like, “Farmer Friendly”, and “Hormone free”. Those are meaningless terms meant to make you think you are getting something healthy for you, for the animals, and for the earth. They are misleading at best.

These labels, (shown below), represent three of the organizations that maintain high standards for growing food;

Best Red Rose Pic I Took Today

Certified beautiful by Happy Phil

My food shopping method is to find something I trust, (like a particular vendor at the farmers market, or a brand at the store), then learn everything I can about the provenance of what I have chosen to eat. That seems to work for me.

One sure way I can tell if the food I eat is nutritious, is by how much of it I have to eat to feel satisfied. I can eat a foot long Subway sandwich and be just as hungry as I was before I ate it. Or, I can eat a small 11oz Michael Angelo’s frozen vegetable lasagna entree and feel comfortably content.

Compared to Nature’s Path cereal; Kellogg's, Post, General Mills,and their fake ‘natural’ brands, (like Cascade Farms, Kasha, and Barbara’s), have flakes that taste like cardboard while Nature’s Path flakes taste like grain.

I will look up some of my older research on foods and include links and particulars in a future post, but I think I have served up enough stuff today for you to chew on. Bon Appetit.

Tonight’s Moon

Today’s Relative Video;

Nature Gives Us Life On Earth