Category Archives: Flora

Friday Flower Fiesta (2-27-15)—LLAP

Friday Flower Fiesta

A little something different for today’s Friday Flower Fiesta.

Up until September 2004, my name was Russel Ray Kirk, and I was a fanatic about all things “Star Trek.” In fact, put “Star” in the title—e.g., “Star Wars,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” etc.—and you were assured of having at least one die-hard fan.

Throughout my youth and up until I changed my name to Russel Ray, I was also known by a nickname that was first bestowed on me in late 1966, “Captain Kirk.” I was only 11 but I couldn’t quit talking about Captain Kirk. He fascinated me, as did “Star Trek.” I anticipated each week for the next couple of years, and summers were a real bummer for me.

As I got older, my logic earned me another nickname, “Spock.”

The death of Leonard Nimoy today at age 83 takes me back to Friday, June 4, 1982, when I stood in line to be one of the first to see “Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.” A few hours later, my thinking about “me” and “us” had changed, all because of something “Spock” said in the movie: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Those words spoke to me about why I pay taxes for schools (I have never had a child in school!), roads, police, fire fighters, libraries, and so much more. Today, “us” extends to the Affordable Care Act—The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Life is about more than just me and my needs or wants.

Today, as Jim was in the hospital recovering from minor surgery, the nurse asked us if we had heard about Leonard Nimoy. We had not, but he didn’t have to say anything else.

I never got to watch “Star Trek” on Thursday nights at 8:30 in September 1966. Way too late for an 11 year old with homework. Fortunately, it was shown in our little farming & ranching community on Friday afternoons at 3:30. School got out at 3:00. You know where I was from 3:30 to 4:30.

Leonard Nimoy’s death is one of the three saddest days in my life (I’m lucky, I know), the other two being the murder of John Lennon and the death of my best friend, Ken Lewis, when he was just 32.

Rest in peace, Leonard Nimoy, but may you live on through Spock for millions of future generations. May they live long and prosper.

In memory of Leonard Nimoy

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Friday Flower Fiesta (2-20-15)—Orchids are blooming everywhere!

Friday Flower Fiesta

Sunday is National Margarita Day…………

Wait.

This is a Friday Flower Fiesta post……….

Nevermind.

Wait.

Don’t “nevermind.”

Instead, keep in mind that Sunday is National Margarita Day! Margaritas for everyone!

Now on to our Friday Flower Fiesta featuring orchids this week.

Why orchids?

Because if you go to the Botanical Building in Balboa Park right now, it is full of blooming orchids. It’s an orchid orgasm. Wait. Did I just say that?

Botanical Building in San Diego's Balboa Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orchids at the Botanic Building in Balboa Park, San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orchids at the Botanic Building in Balboa Park, San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orchids at the Botanic Building in Balboa Park, San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orchids at the Botanic Building in Balboa Park, San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orchids at the Botanic Building in Balboa Park, San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orchids at the Botanic Building in Balboa Park, San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orchid

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orchids at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orchids at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orchid from the 2014 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orchids at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orchids

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orchids at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Friday Flower Fiesta (2-13-15)—Happy Friday the 13th!

Friday Flower Fiesta

These are more Photographic Art, significantly photoshopped using Photoshop and various Topaz plug-ins.

Eucalyptus flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Eucalyptus flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cactus flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cactus flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cactus flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

African tulip tree

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Epiphyllum flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Alstroemeria flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Roses

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Iceland poppy

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_9164 daisy stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Yucca

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The last two are my favorites this week.

For comparison, here are the original pictures of the last two:

Daisies

Yucca

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Friday Flower Fiesta (2-6-15)—Bromeliads

Friday Flower Fiesta

Spring sprung here in San Diego around January 2.

A sprung spring means that it’s bromeliad season.

The best places to see lots of unusual bromeliads are the San Diego Zoo, which is an internationally recognized arboretum and botanical garden as well as a zoo, and the Botanical Building in Balboa Park.

Here are a selection of bromeliads from both places, although these are pictures from the past that I cataloged today after finding them in my “these-are-really-bad-pictures-but-maybe-some-day-you-can-make-something-out-of-them-in-photoshop” folder.

Bromeliad

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bromeliad

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bromeliad

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bromeliad

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bromeliad

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bomeliad

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bomeliad

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bomeliad

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bomeliad

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bomeliad

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The last picture uses the “out of bounds” effect. If you’re interested in learning how to create that effect, see my tutorial from October 22, 2013: Creating the out of bounds effect in Photoshop.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Friday Flower Fiesta (1-30-15)—Epiphyllums, the orchids of the cactus world

Friday Flower Fiesta

My favorite flowers are those which are quite complex: orchids and epiphyllums. Epiphyllums often are called the orchids of the cactus world. They actually are succulents, which are basically cactus without thorns; while all succulents are cactus, not all cactus are succulents.

Today’s Friday Flower Fiesta features epiphyllums, but these are not just any epiphyllum pictures. These were in my throwaway folder, my “see-if-you-can-make-something-out-of-these-when-you’re-bored” folder. These were pictures that most of my photographer friends would have thrown away, deleted. Me? I keep them and eventually play around with them using various digital editing software and filters: Photoshop, Photo-Paint, PaintShop Pro, Fractalius, Topaz, Perfect Effects, Photomatix…. Some others, too, but those are the main ones I use.

So here you go, crappy photos made into Photographic Art stamps. The 12¢ is my favorite.

Epiphyllum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Epiphyllum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Epiphyllum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Epiphyllum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Epiphyllum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Epiphyllum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Epiphyllum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Epiphyllum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Epiphyllum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Epiphyllum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Epiphyllum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Epiphyllum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Out & About—Manzanita Trail in San Diego’s Pacific Ranch Highlands

Out & About

Saying that something is located in San Diego can be misleading since San Diego stretches from the Mexico border to the Safari Park, a distance of about 70 miles north to south and a total area of about 372 square miles.

The other day I was teaching chess at Solana Ranch Elementary, about 25 miles north of downtown San Diego yet still in the city of San Diego. I got there later than usual so I had to park a few billion miles away from the school and walk.

That walk, however, allowed me to find the Manzanita Trail. After class, still with 90 minutes of daylight left, I went to explore. Here is some of what I found on my short one-mile hike:

Manzanita Trail in Pacific Highlands Ranch in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Manzanita Trail in Pacific Highlands Ranch in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Manzanita Trail in Pacific Highlands Ranch in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I had a specific goal because I kept seeing a cool building from a distance. That cool building was not a building at all. Instead, it was an underpass, possibly ranking as the coolest hiking path under a road that I’ve ever seen. You take the high road and I’ll take the low road….

Manzanita Trail in Pacific Highlands Ranch in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Manzanita Trail in Pacific Highlands Ranch in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Manzanita Trail in Pacific Highlands Ranch in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray PhotosManzanita Trail was created by the subdivision’s HOA. I found it on Google Maps, and it seems to go on forever. I suspect that in some areas it has a name change, the complete trail being a consortium of smaller trails like Manzanita.

Manzanita Trail

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Out & About—Pottery Canyon Natural Park in La Jolla, California

Out & About

My wise old grandmother introduced me to the joys of gardening, so anytime I see a plant nursery or anything related to plants, including pottery, I tend to stop and take a look.

When I found Pottery Canyon Natural Park in La Jolla, a little sign was zooming by me at about 50 miles per hour…………Wait. Maybe I was zooming by it………!

Therein is the problem. The poorly marked entrance to Pottery Canyon Natural Park is on a curve on one of La Jolla’s busiest roadways. If you don’t plan your method of attack appropriately…. an accident in the making. Not only that, but Pottery Canyon Natural Park is not on any map anywhere. Here’s where it is, though:

Location of Pottery Canyon Natural Park in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The little stub of a street on the right side of Torrey Pines Road is Pottery Park Driveway. Although there is a traffic signal there, I have never been through there on Torrey Pines Road where the signal was anything other than green with cars going up the hill at 50 mph or more. That presents a problem if you’re coming out of Pottery Park Driveway because the light is always red for the Driveway and traffic on the other side going south backs up from all the traffic signals at the messy Torrey Pines Road/La Jolla Parkway intersection. As you’re leaving the Park, I recommend turning right and going north to La Jolla Village Drive to get back to Interstate 5. Otherwise, plan on a long wait at the traffic signal in order to go south.

Pottery Park Driveway leads to a small parking lot big enough for four motorcycles or two Mini Coopers or one 2002 Toyota Camry V6, black.

With that said, what did I find at Pottery Canyon Natural Park? Well, it’s a eucalyptus grove with a hiking trail that is wide, mulched, and short, maybe a half mile, round trip. Easily hiked. Heck, even my husband, Jim, went hiking with me and he’s not the outdoorsy type like me.

That’s it.

Pottery Canyon Natural Park in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There is history behind this little park, though. According to research, there is a sign about the history. I couldn’t find the sign, which is kind of odd since the park is so small. Nonetheless, according to the La Jolla Historical Society, here’s what the sign apparently says:

Cornelio Rodriguez, an accomplished potter, came to La Jolla in 1928 from Tomatlan in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. He was looking for a suitable site where he and his brothers, Abraham and Ubaldo, could start a pottery works. Here, at the bend of what was then called La Jolla Canyon Road and which was the main route to Los Angeles, he found potter’s gold, the perfect clay deposit, otherwise known as “barro.”

Mission San Diego de AlcalaHe purchased the property, and he and his brothers established the La Jolla Canyon Clay Products Company and built it and their houses here. Their families and their company flourished. They produced handmade roof tiles, unglazed floor tiles, and adobe brick for more than 20 years. Tiles used in the restoration of Mission San Diego de Alcala [picture ►], the construction of the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club and La Jolla’s Mary Star of the Sea church came from here, as did the roof tiles of numerous houses of the Mission Revival architectural period.

In the 1950s, the brothers were no longer able to use the large oil-fired kiln of earlier days. Many in the large family moved, but Abraham and Cornelio lived out their days here. Cornelio and his wife, Matiana, continued making pots and other clay products on a more limited scale. Using hand-dug clay shaped on a potter’s wheel and fired in a circular wood-burning kiln of ancient Roman design, they supplied the community with unique pottery and delighted generations of school children with deomnstrations of their skill.

All that remains of the original tile works is the old wood-burning kiln, which continued in use until the 1980s.

Sadly, I did not find the old wood-burning kiln either. The missing sign and kiln makes me wonder how long ago that was written by the La Jolla Historical Society.

Pottery Canyon Natural Park in La Jolla, California

Pottery Canyon Natural Park in La Jolla, California

Pottery Canyon Natural Park in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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