Monthly Archives: November 2012

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I know we have tarantulas here in San Diego although I’ve never seen one…. unless the San Diego Zoo counts. Since we do have them, it’s only natural that we have tarantula hawks, like this pretty one I saw recently at the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge:

Tarantula hawk at the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tarantula hawk at the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tarantula hawks are distributed worldwide. The female searches for tarantulas on which to lay a single egg, and a newly hatched tarantula hawk will devour the tarantula. Other than that, both males and females feed on the flowers of milkweed, soapberry trees, and mesquite trees.

The sting from a tarantula hawk is considered to be one of the most painful insect stings in the world, and it has an extraordinarily large stinger, up to one-third of an inch long, to make sure that when it’s used on you, you’ll notice. Its pain is rated as second only to the bullet ant.

Very few animals prey on the tarantula hawk because of its sting, so there are many wasps, bees, moths, flies, and beetles that mimic it. Its major predator is the roadrunner.

The tarantula hawk is the state insect of New Mexico. Really? They needed a state insect and chose the tarantula hawk? My oh my.

P.S. Sorry about the slightly misleading title………..lol

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge map

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Skydive San Diego

Crazy people jumping out of perfectly good airplanes

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I was out exploring recently, I discovered Skydive San Diego.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m one of those people who would never jump out of a perfectly good airplane but it’s sure fun to watch crazy people do it.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Not very enthusiastic

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Another follow-up on our lonely dog with the flying ears and sore paw.

The three ladies and their dog were at the utility box again today, this time taking pictures of the utility box. Perhaps that means they are finished?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

They had their doggy with them again but he wasn’t looking very enthusiastic:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Here is one of the other utility boxes that they had painted:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

A commenter on one of the other posts about this dog asked if it was common to paint utility boxes. It is. I believe the practice started in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco during the Summer of Love in 1967.

My first recollection of actually seeing a painted utility box was in Houston in 1978 where the utility box in my neighborhood was painted. Here in San Diego, painted utility boxes are very common, especially in older neighborhoods that have utility poles and above-ground utility wires.

P.S. Have you noticed all the changes the WordPress people made? Some of them I like, but it seems that the whole system is agonizingly slow. The simple act of centering a paragraph takes six seconds!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Public work of art

I am wondering………………

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Remember my post from a few days ago with the lonely dog, ears flying in the wind, sore paw? Here is the dog:

Eat like you mean it

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The dog was not by itself. It had three ladies with it. The ladies were painting an electric utility box on the street corner. Today the dog and ladies were back, apparently finished with their work of art:

Public work of art

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Art is supposed to make the viewer ponder, wonder…… Alright, then, I am wondering………lol

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Not too long ago I found a national wildlife refuge that previously I did not know about. It’s the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge:

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge map

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It is not in any of my San Diego books about hiking, biking, walking, running, or national thises and thats. Time to turn to………………….

Russel Ray, Private Investigator.

The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1996. Ah-ha! That explains my lack of knowledge about it. I arrived in San Diego in April 1993 and, in March 1994, decided to stay here. At that time I bought a bunch of books about San Diego County, all published well before 1996. Hmmm. Maybe it’s time to get some more recent books.

According to some articles I found on the Internet, “The San Diego Refuge will protect, enhance, and restore habitats for threatened and endangered species, migratory birds, and rare plants and animals found in a variety of habitats. It will help conserve the biological diversity of San Diego County and provide important habitat for a significant number of endangered birds. It has been designated a Globally Important Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy.”

Although it was originally established with 8,471 acres, it now comprises over 9,200 acres.

There ya go! My work is done.

Oh, wait!

I guess you want some pictures, huh? You folks are demanding.

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

According to a plaque I found, many of the trails throughout the area where I walked were created by Samuel Marks as his Eagle Scout service project in August 2006. The plaque you see by the fence in the rear center of the picture above indicates that the area behind the fence is filled with San Diego Ambrosia (Ambrosia pumila), a small, endangered plant only a few inches tall that grows in dry, sunny spots in southeast San Diego County.

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I walked around the trails for three hours but obviously did not even come close to traipsing all 9,200 acres. Somewhere in all that acreage are 30 acres of vernal pools with San Diego fairy shrimp, San Diego button celery, Otay Mesa mint, and California orcutt grass. Vernal pools are puddles of water that exist for a few hours to a few days after rains. In my home state of Texas, we actually called them “puddles of water” and stomped around in them to get all muddy and wet, to the chagrin of our parents. Who knew that tiny organisms were born, lived, and died in those puddles of water in just a few hours or days? Not to mention that I feel so bad now knowing that I might have been stomping the life out of some tiny creatures belonging to Mother and Father Nature.

This last picture is of a nasty, invasive plant called dodder. To see additional pictures and a discussion of dodder, see my blog post here.

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Music on Mondays — Happy Birthday, Anna Mae Bullock!

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Today is Anna Mae Bullock’s birthday number 73.

You might know her better as the one and only Tina Turner.

Following are three of my favorite songs of hers, “We Don’t Need Another Hero” from the movie “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” a cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together” from the movie “All This and World War II,” and “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” from the movie of the same name.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peace lily

If I haven’t liked you recently…..

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If I haven’t left a LIKE or a comment on your blog recently, there’s probably a reason.

1 — There’s a possibility that when I first started following you, I had read a post of yours that I liked. However, in all your billions and billions and billions of posts, turns out that the one I liked is the only one that I liked. If all of your posts except that one are pornography, or contain vile language throughout each post, or is nothing but religious mumblings, well, I won’t be liking those posts. If I visit your blog two consecutive times and can’t find anything to LIKE or comment on, you go on my “once a quarter” list, which means that I will only stop by once a quarter to see if you have anything interesting to me. If not, I’ll check again next quarter.

2 — You have not published a new blog post in what seems like forever. If the last post that you published was in mid-September, see you next quarter.

3 — You have deleted your blog. :(

4 — You have made your blog private and not provided me with the password. :(

5 — You don’t have a blog. Some email subscribers don’t, and that’s okay. If you are one of them, I’ll keep up with you so that if you do start blogging, I’ll find out.

It takes me 14 days to make the rounds to all the blogs that I follow, currently 1,404 of them. However, 245 of those are on my “once a quarter” list, meaning that I visit 82 blogs per day.

Yes, I do keep track. Everything is in my handy dandy Excel spreadsheet.

I started working through my “once a quarter” list during the four-day Thanksgiving weekend and thought it might be appropriate to let everyone know about my camping protocols. Just in case you were wondering.

Peace lily

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos