Tuesday, October 1, 2013


In an extremely sad and sickening turn of events, our government has finally lost its collective mind. Their moral compass is completely broken and their conscience is non-existent. Because there are so many agendas among parties (and none of them serving the American people), the government was shut down and our national parks and BLM lands closed. These closures include the iconic jewel of the park system, Yosemite.

Government Closes Yosemite as Google Celebrates the Park

I have lost any faith or hope in our government. Every branch of it is occupied by self-serving and selfish politicians who do a great injustice to the constituents they serve. I like to keep the tone of my blog positive, but this event is one that is not easy to ignore.

They have closed all the trails in the Santa Monica Mountains, the most-used trail system in Los Angeles County. Thankfully they have not given national park status to the Angeles National Forest, although any U.S. Government-related departments and any maintenance provided by them will close, along with any trails associated with them.

This is a sad day indeed. Although not without precedence (they've shut down the government before), it comes at a time when we should all be working together to pull ourselves out of the debt crises and not be putting government workers on furlough. Many in Congress seem hell-bent on destroying the American way of life, especially for the middle class and poor. A very sad day ineed.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Before dawn the clouds were merely gray puffs moving across the sky. The entire sky in every direction was full of clouds.

 But as the sun began to rise, the riot of color began, especially in the east. (Notice the wave clouds to the right, in the distance, above the three tree fingers.)

The waning gibbous moon made an appearance from behind clouds with the first blush of dawn on their cheeks.
The clouds toward the southwest catch the rosy-orange tone. It's amazing to watch the evolution of color in the morning sky.

In the west, the horizon is still pale violet and the clouds are still gray until the sun rises higher.

And I discovered a 'trick' camera setting  - solarizing effect!

I never tire of looking at the sky. There is always something new, something interesting, something beautiful to see. So the next time you're out walking, instead of looking at the sidewalk, look up! Enjoy the show that nature puts on just for you!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Beginning behind the San Gabriel Mountains that I can see in the distance to the east, the sky is a bright, pale yellow. The next layer is a somewhat pale rosy-orange, that blends into a pale blue, and finally into a darker blue in the upper sky. The mountains themselves are a silhouette of grayed violet.

On mornings with clouds, there is often a riot of beauty, and depending on the position of the sun on the horizon and the type of clouds, it can be brilliantly colored in reds and oranges.

I usually shoot a lot of photos on such mornings and as a result, I have quite a 'library' of cloud images, and weather and atmospheric phenomenon. And for about 6 years I’ve been keeping small Moleskine journals (3.5" x 5.5"); for each day I start with the date, then add the type of weather, the temp, and humidity. I’ll also add any interesting astronomical events that I’ve seen, such as fireball meteors or conjunctions of planets with the moon, and interesting birds and plant life that I encounter on my walks. It is a wonderful way to start the morning and it provides me with an archive of information that I can refer back to, and relive these special moments.


Monday, September 23, 2013


"When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead."
--Ernest Hemingway
--Take time every day for something fun. Life is too short and opportunities too fleeting to squander on things that are not all that important. When you really stop and consider it, most of what we do every day is not life or death stuff--it's just stuff. Carve out some time for yourself, to enjoy something YOU want to do. Make it count. You only go around once on this beautiful, mortal coil.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
-W.B. Yeats

Lose yourself…
In the play of sunlight on leaves;
In the pungent-sweet scent
Of sun-warmed pine needles;
In the music of water
Gurgling over smooth stones;
In the flutter of bird wings
Just out of sight;
In the mysterious cobalt blue
That enfolds the word at dusk;
In the bright mantel of stars
That God spreads over our heads.
Lose yourself.

(poem by Linda Navroth)

Friday, September 20, 2013


I love walking in my neighborhood early in the morning. I see a lot of interesting things, some funny things, and some things that just catch my eye and make me wonder.

Case in point: I've walked down this particular streets many times and seen this house before. However, this morning it was overcast and gloomy and it made things look different and more mysterious. I had stopped to let Digby read some peemail on a tree, looked across the street, and saw this:

It was actually even darker than this--I had to lighten it up to see it well. From across the street the house is not visible at all--just the driveway, the immense amount of foliage and trees, and that dark 'hole' that seems to go back to a secret place. Looked like a 'hobbit hole' to me!
My imagination and artist's eye seem to come alive on these morning walks. The exercise clears the mind of clutter and makes it more aware of all the infinite beauty that surrounds me, even in an urban setting. It is such a great way to start the day--better than reading a depressing newspaper!