Category Archives: Flora

Friday Flower Fiesta (9-8-2017)—San Diego summer flowers

Out & About San Diego

San Diego summer flowers for all you people who soon will be heading into fall and winter.

Lantana in the center and bougainvillea at the left.
Two of my favorites because they bloom throughout the year,
and it seems the more you neglect them, the more they bloom.Lantana and bougainvillea

Kangaroo paw
Also comes in yellow, but red is my favorite.
Kangaroo paw

Yucca, called Spanish Dagger in some areas.
In 1966 my uncle planted two of these at the sides
of the driveway entrance. When they bloomed, I was sold.
Yucca, or Spanish Dagger

Unknown wildflower
Unknown wildflower

Orchid treeOrchid tree

Water lily
Green water always bothers me.
Next Photoshop goal: Color replacement
Water lily

Hummingbirds visiting Grevillea flowers
The kind of picture I can get with my new
Tamron 150-600 mm lens, hand-held, no tripod.
No need to chase these flyers on foot anymore.
Hummingbird visiting a grevillea
Hummingbird visiting a grevillea

Jimsonweed, this one Datura metaloides
Datura are quite poisonous but they smell oh so good, especially at night.
It grows profusely in the wild here in San Diego. About every 5 years,
a group of high school students will pick the flowers and make a soup out of them. Drinking the soup provides a natural high. Unfortunately, one can also lose one’s voice, damage one’s vocal chords, burn one’s throat and upper intestines, and even die, usually from kidney failure. I am quite allergic to this plant myself so I have to admire it from afar.
Thank you, Tamron, for my 150-600 mm lens!
Datura metaloides

Silk oak
I spent years trying to find out what this tree was.
Then I went out hiking with some bird photographers
one of whom knew all the plants along our hike.
A good reason to hang out with other people.
Silk oak

Castor bean
The beans are very beautiful but toxic due to the presence of ricin,
and since they look like beans, people will eat them.
Four to eight beans will kill an adult.
Often ranked #1 on the list of most poisonous plants in the world.
This plant grows everywhere and is considered
an invasive species here in San Diego.
Castor bean

Wild rose
This flower is only about an inch in diameter.
Wild rose

Thistle
This plant bugs me when it’s by itself,
but a thistle patch can be quite beautiful.
Thistle

Unknown flower with dew drops
Unknown flower dew drops

Unknown flower
Unknown flower

Unknown flower
Unknown flower

Coming up next: The San Diego Jetty Cats.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

 

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Opinion—Religion, the bane of humanity, and women specifically

Opinion

Unknown purple flowers, Ramona GrasslandsBack in 1966 I got into a discussion with my wise old grandmother about why she didn’t work. That was the wrong discussion to have with her. She worked. A lot.

She cleaned the house, including the bathtubs, sinks, and toilets; made the beds; vacuumed the carpets; mopped the kitchen and bathroom floors; dusted and Lemon-Pledge-d the furniture; removed, cleaned, and re-hung the curtains; cleaned the windows, both inside and outside; washed the clothes; hung the clothes out to dry; watered the lawn and the gardens; mowed the lawn; fertilized the lawn and flowers; removed crabgrass and weeds from the lawn and flowerbeds; pruned the trees and bushes; shopped for groceries; took me shopping for clothes and school supplies; replaced burned out light bulbs; washed, dried, and waxed the car; did oil changes for the car; cleaned the garage.

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray PhotosProbably more stuff that I’m forgetting.

Of course, once I arrived on the scene, I got to do a lot of that stuff. There’s a reason why I’m into xeriscape, succulent, and cactus landscaping. I never enjoyed mowing the lawn, pruning the trees, or removing crabgrass and weeds.

I also have discovered that there are people who enjoy doing the stuff that I don’t, so I don’t do oil changes, don’t rotate tires, don’t wash/dry/wax the car. That stuff gets done, just not by me.

Succulent flowersMy discussion with my wise old grandmother that day got me interested in gender-specific roles in our households and how one gender was seen as the breadwinner and the other gender seemed to be taken for granted.

My wise old grandmother never complained. She had only a first-grade education because, when her dad died, she had to drop out of school and help in the fields and around the house. She brought the crop in from the fields; fed the cattle, pigs, and chickens; gathered the eggs; milked the cows. That was the era she lived in, but she realized that what she did around the house had value to the family even if she was not directly paid for her work.

Tiny flowers at San Diego Zoo, San Diego, CaliforniaThings have changed some in the past hundred years, and even though women have joined the work force and can be doctors, managers, politicians, and so much more, there still is a gender pay gap in society. That doesn’t mean that every woman is paid less than every man, but that the average woman is paid less than the average man doing the same job.

I submit that there is an inherent, unrecognized psychological reason for that. Moms’ gender seems to be a subset of the men. To wit:

Man – Woman

Male – Female

Tiny flowers at San Diego Zoo, San Diego, CaliforniaWhen the two genders get married, the man gets to keep his last name while the woman gives up her last name and takes the last name of the man. What’s with that?

I even know two gay couples—one male couple and one female couple—who, when they got married, one gave up the last name and took the last name of the other. Jim & I got married on October 30, 2008. Neither of us considered taking the other’s last name. We were simply two guys who got married. Giving up your last name just because you signed a contract to take care of each other till death do you part makes no sense to me, especially with the prevalence of divorce in today’s world.

Tiny flowers at Ramona Grasslands, Ramona, CaliforniaWhen it comes to the collective, there isn’t any pretense.

Humanity, not huwomanity.

Mankind, not huwomankind.

Son and daughter seems to be the only place where the two genders are recognized as being separate, but if the gender is not known, then it becomes person, not perdaughter.

Tiny flowers at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Escondido, CaliforniaI think that the gender pay gap will always exist as long as society sees women as less then men, and society will see that as long as the words we use indicate that women are, indeed, less then men, and as long as religion teaches that women are less then men.

So maybe women as a collective should come up with a new word to describe themselves. Perhaps feperwo? Sounds too weird, too strange, too different, but maybe that’s exactly what’s needed to make a clean break.

Unknown flowerI also anticipate that there will be about half the feperwos who want to be seen as a subset of their man, as a possession of their man, probably due to religion, again, since it teaches that a woman should be submissive to her man, that women should not teach or speak or have authority over men
(1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. Note that both books are in the New Testament which supposedly superseded the Old Testament!), etc., nothing will change.

Succulent orange flowerIn doing research for this blog post, I found a very disturbing site online titled “10 Bible reasons why a wife must submit to her husband regardless of culture.” An introduction to the list states, “Culture has never been a factor as to whether a woman must submit to her husband in the Bible. Modern times of woman’s liberation are irrelevant. God gives us His reasons why women must submit to her husband.”

  1. Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray PhotosCreation order: Man was created first, woman second. “For it was Adam who was first created and then Eve.”
    1 Timothy 2:13
  2. Creation origin: Man and all creation was created by God directly out of dust, whereas woman was created through the man’s rib. “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7
    “Woman is the only creature not made from dust. Woman derives her origin from Man.”The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.” Genesis 2:22
    “For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man.”
    1 Corinthians 11:8
  3. Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray PhotosCreation purpose: Woman created for man: “For indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.” 1 Corinthians 11:9
  4. Man named woman: Adam named the animals and was to rule over them. “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.” Genesis 2:19
    Rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth. Genesis 1:28
    When Eve was brought to Adam, he named her, showing he was to rule over woman as well. “The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.’ ” Genesis 2:23
  5. sunflower faa stampDelegation principle: God commanded directly to Adam alone. The prohibition to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, was made directly by God to Adam. Adam, in turn relayed what God said to Eve. Eve had not yet been created when God told Adam about the forbidden tree. Eve never actually heard God say this direct, but had to trust Adam’s word on the matter. “The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:16-18
  6. Unknown flowerWoman sinned first: The devil tempted Eve and she, not the man, was first deceived. Because of this, man put Eve under the headship of Adam. “And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” 1 Timothy 2:14
    “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [not only does the serpent talk, but it is personified with the pronoun “he”] said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?’ ” Genesis 3:1
  7. AloeGod rebuked Adam first after they ate the forbidden fruit: Although Eve was the logical person for God to rebuke first, God went to Adam, showing that God considered Adam the “head of the family” for both. “Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:9
  8. Man is the glory of God, woman is the glory of man: “For a man is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.” 1 Corinthians 11:7
  9. Paul pointed Christians to the Mosaic Law that was 1500 [years] earlier and a different culture: 1 Corinthians 14:34
  10. Peter pointed Christians to Sarah, 2000 years earlier and a very different culture: 1 Peter 3:5-6.

Friday Flower Fiesta 12-19-14 Russel Ray PhotosI grew up Catholic and Mormon, but I have no religion in my life now. I have found that religion is not necessary for me to be a productive member of society; a kind and generous individual; a caring individual; a reasonable, logical, and thinking individual.

I don’t know what #9 and #10 mean, and I’m not willing to find out. I have had enough religion in this one post to last me for the rest of my life because I find it silly to worship an imaginary being in the sky who causes or doesn’t stop hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, cancer…… on and on. If there is a God, s/he is going to have to beg me for forgiveness, or I’ll be happy to go straight to hell.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Out & About—Ramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA

Out & About

Escrow has closed and the move has started. We shall be completely in our new home on August 1, 2017. Meanwhile….

I’m still cataloging pictures on my fine fine fine new super computer, and probably will be for many more months, perhaps even years. That’s how many pictures I have. In an effort to get caught up on cataloging my newer pictures, here is a collection of pictures from the Ramona Grasslands.

Baby and, presumably, mama ground squirrel
Mama and baby squirrel, Ramona Grasslands

Hippity-hopping Peter Cottontail
Hippity-hopping Peter Cottontail, Ramona Grasslands

Mourning Dove
I know many people consider mourning doves
to be up there with pigeons as pest birds but I like both.
Mourning dove, Ramona Grasslands

Unknown flower buds
Unknown flower buds, Ramona Grasslands

Magnificent home overlooking the grasslands
Magnificent home overlooking the Ramona Grasslands

Patch of unknown purple flowers
Patch of unknown purple flowers, Ramona Grasslands

Unknown bird
Unknown bird, Ramona Grasslands

Unknown flower
Unknown flower, Ramona Grasslands

Immature (probably Anna’s) hummingbird
Immature hummingbird, Ramona Grasslands

Public art
Public art, Ramona Grasslands

More unknown, but beautiful, flowers
Unknown purple flowers, Ramona Grasslands

Airplane taking off from nearby Ramona airport
Airplane taking off from Ramona airport near Ramona Grasslands

Relaxing tree and pond
Relaxing pond and tree, Ramona Grasslands

Patch of thistle
Such a beautiful flower, but like roses,
oh can those thorns cause pain!
Patch of thistle, Ramona Grasslands

Ramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA
Rramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA

Ground squirrel sentry
Ground squire sentry, Ramona Grasslands

Brahma
One of the best ways to maintain the health of an ecosystem
is to let Mother & Father Nature use it as they see fit.
The Brahma was the mascot of my high school,
Henrietta M. King High in Kingsville, Texas,
so I was pleasantly surprised to find a herd of Brahma
grazing and resting on the Ramona Grasslands Preserve.
Brahma, Ramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA

Abandoned cattle chute
Abandoned cattle chute, Ramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA

Unknown raptor
Unknown raptor, Ramona Grasslands

A different unknown raptor
Unknown raptor, Ramona Grasslands

Bird unable to read
No parking, Ramona Grasslands

Ramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA
Rramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA

Ramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA
Rramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA

The Ramona Grasslands Preserve consists of 3,521 acres in the Santa Maria Valley and includes a significant portion of the remaining undeveloped are of the Santa Maria Creek watershed. The watershed supports a mosaic of habitat types, including native and non-native grasslands, coastal sage scrub, chaparral, oak woodlands, Santa Maria Creek, its adjacent riparian area, and a diversity of unique vernal pools, vernal swales, and alkali playas.

Many rare animals make their homes in the grasslands, including Stephens’ kangaroo rat (oh how I want to get a picture of one of them!), fairy shrimp, purple stipa, blue-eyed grass, and woolly blue curls. There is a huge concentration of raptors in the area, no doubt because of all the small critters available for a raptor family reunion picnic.

There is a four-mile loop trail which is where all my pictures were taken, and I can highly recommend taking a leisurely stroll on the loop. Invariably, you’ll meet other walkers, bikers, and joggers.

Part of the mission for the Preserve is to provide passive recreation opportunities within the Preserve that further the development of the Coast to Crest Trail.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Friday Flower Fiesta (3-24-17)—Flowers, and more!

Friday Flower Fiesta

When I was in 7th grade (1966), my wise old grandmother bought me a microscope set. I had so much fun picking things out of the yard and then looking at the under the microscope. I think that was what enticed me into wanting to go into forestry research. I did get a degree in forestry but the research part never happened. I know microscopes are still for sale but I haven’t seen one for sale in a store in a couple of decades.

I find microscopic pictures to be quite interesting, such as this picture of my left eye:

Russel's left eye

If I had a microscope, microscopic pictures of flowers could easily be my favorite pictures. Since I don’t have a microscope, you’ll have to do with these “Flowers, and more!” pictures for today’s Friday Flower Fiesta. See if you can identify the “and more!” in the pictures.

Yellow wildflowers in San Diego

Flowers, and more!

Flowers, and more!

Flowers, and more!

Flowers, and more!

Flowers, and more!

Flowers, and more!

Flowers, and more!

Flowers, and more!

Flowers, and more!

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!

This post approved by
This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Friday Flower Fiesta (3-10-17)—Spring is springing and the bees are going crazy

Friday Flower Fiesta

Spring usually begins around January 1 here in San Diego. It got delayed a couple of months this year due to the extraordinarily wet winter we have had.

My back balcony got 12″ of rain just in February; San Diego gets around 10.3″ each year, so it’s been pretty wet.

All the rain means the spring flower season, while late, should be spectacular, from ice plant along the coast and freeways to the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park to the desert wildflowers 100 miles inland in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

I have not been to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to see the wildflower bloom but all indications are that this year is turning out to be a “Super Bloom.” I’ll have to take off a day and go out there, even if I have to go all by my lonesome self.

Meanwhile, what’s going on locally:

Ice PlantIce plant path picture by Russel Ray Photos

Orange, yellow, and purple ice plant

Ice plant

Cherry Blossoms at Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa ParkCherry tree at Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park

Cherry blossoms

Garland chrysanthemum known locally as “crown daisy.”
This stuff will make you sneeze like you’ve never sneezed before.
Yellow wildflowers in San Diego

Yellow wildflowers in San Diego

Speaking of yellow, Oxalis is covering the hillsides
and the bees are going crazyFriday Flower Fiesta #9

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Friday Flower Fiesta (3-3-17)—The Flower Fields are now open

Friday Flower Fiesta

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch opened on March 1 and will remain open through May 14.

Carlsbad Flower Fields

Carlsbad Flower Fields

The Flower Fields comprises 50 acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus, a stunning flower that comes in many colors and can get up to 12 inches in diameter.

Ranunculus at the Carlsbad Flower Fields Ranunculus at the Carlsbad Flower Fields Ranunculus at the Carlsbad Flower Fields

Along with the main flower fields, there are smaller displays that vary each year. In the past I have seen cymbidium orchids, poinsettias (blooming!), a sweet pea maze that the children always enjoy, and a 300-feet by 170-feet American flag created out of red, white, and blue petunias.

Sweet pea maze at Carlsbad Flower Fields

Poinsettia

IMG_5466 orchid triplets faa stamp

The Flower Fields are open to the public seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Prices for adults, $14; seniors 60+, $13; children 3-10 yrs, $7; children 2 yrs & under, free. Season passes are available from $16 to $30. Along with the Sweet Pea Maze (which is almost always there) are other things to do once you get tired of of walking around. Of course, wagon rides through the 50 acres are available at $5 for adults and $3 for children 3-10 yrs. I think this is the only place I ever have been whee adults are defined as anyone age 11 and over.

Smoking and alcoholic beverages are not permitted onsite. Bicycles, hoverboards, and drones also are not permitted.

Map to the Carlsbad Flower Fields

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!

This post approved by
This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Friday Flower Fiesta (2-17-17)—Meet the Schitt Family

Friday Flower Fiesta

The aloe season is peaking right now, and with all the rain we have had this year, it’s turning into quite a stunning display.

The best places to see these magnificent plants is at the San Diego Zoo and in the median all along Camino del Sur in the Black Mountain Ranch and 4S Ranch areas.

Here are some pictures from this year’s display:

Aloes in San Diego

Aloes in San Diego

Aloes in San Diego

Aloes in San Diego

Aloes in San Diego

Aloes in San Diego

Aloes in San Diego

Aloes in San Diego

Aloes in San Diego

Aloes in San Diego

One of those above looked like a family, so I made a family reunion picture out of it.

Folks, meet the Schitt family:

The Schitt Family

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat