Category Archives: Mother & Father Nature

I’m not playing today!

Picture of the Moment

No. I’m not playing today. Not gonna play, and you can’t make me.

Sea Lion at La Jolla, California

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Who does yoga better?

Out & About

For the first time since I self-isolated on March 14 due to a lot of
pre-existing conditions and a lot of unknowns about Covid-19,
I got my big camera (and a couple of masks), jumped in the car,
and went to La Jolla, California, to take pictures.

My goal was the young sea lions from 2020’s pupping season. Many pups were frolicking in the water, but most of them were on the rocks soaking up the late afternoon sun.

This momma seemed to be teaching yoga to the young pup at her side:

Sea Lion at La Jolla, California

The young pup seemed to be learning well…. a good student….

But I ask you, who does yoga better, Ms. C. Lyon (above) or Little Queen Olivia (below)? You can even vote for the student if you’d like!

Little Queen Olivia

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Nature’s Geometry: Succulents—SALE!

Nature's Geometry: Succulents, by Russel Ray

I had 400 copies of my book printed in October 2019.

Based on my sales at cactus & succulent club meetings and shows, I should be out of them by now.

However, the pandemic canceled meetings and shows throughout the nation.

Meetings where I was scheduled to do a 45-minute Powerpoint presentation and sale books were canceled at

    1. South Coast Cactus & Succulent Society (Los Angeles, California)
    2. Gates Cactus & Succulent Society (Riverside, California)
    3. San Francisco Cactus & Succulent Society
    4. Sacramento Cactus & Succulent Society
    5. Long Beach Cactus & Succulent Society (California)
    6. Los Angeles Cactus & Succulent Society
    7. San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society
    8. Tucson Cactus & Succulent Society (Arizona)
    9. Atlanta Cactus & Succulent Society (Georgia)

I have been selling them for $35 at my Etsy shop, $30 at plant shows, and $25 at meetings.

Effective today, I am now selling them for $25 at my Etsy shop.

Nature’s Geometry: Succulents

I’d rather have my book in YOUR hands than sitting in boxes in my garage. I don’t know how long I will sell them at this price, so get yours today!
Etsy also takes credit cards. Free USPS Media Mail shipping to U.S. locations.

Facebook review of "Nature's Geometry: Succulents"

San Gabriel Valley C&SS review of "Nature's Geometry: Succulents" presentation

Facebook review of "Nature's Geometry: Succulents"

Nature's Geometry: Succulents back cover

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Not where you’d expect it

Picture of the Moment

I think snails are fascinating creatures.

Some of my fascination might have something to do with that Fibonacci spiral that they carry on their backs.

This one seems to be quite comfortable on the spines of Echinocactus grusonii, the golden barrel cactus. Not where you’d expect this little one to be.

Snail on the spines of Echinocactus grusonii, the golden barrel cactus

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One of my favorite garden visitors

Did you know?

I love it when a mantis visits my garden.

Mantis

Mantises are an order of insects containing over 2,400 species in about 430 genera in 15 families, distributed worldwide in temperate and tropical habitats. They have triangular heads with bulging eyes supported on flexible necks, elongated bodies, may or may not have wings, but all have greatly enlarged forelegs that are adapted for catching and gripping prey. Their upright posture with forearms folded has led to the common name “praying mantis.”

The closest relatives of mantises are the termites and cockroaches. Mantises are sometimes confused with stick insects, other elongated insects such as grasshoppers, or other unrelated insects with raptorial forelegs such as mantisflies.

Mantises are mostly ambush predators, but a few ground-dwelling species actively pursue their prey. They live for about a year. Females sometimes practice sexual cannibalism, eating their mates after copulation, meaning that they might not live as long as females.

Mantises were considered to have supernatural powers by early civilizations, including Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, and Assyria. A cultural trope popular in cartoons imagines the female mantis as a femme fatale.

Mantises are among the insects most commonly kept as pets.

If you haven’t seen a mantis devouring a murder hornet, check out this video:

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Get those cooties off me!

Picture of the Moment

One of my roommates in 1974 at Texas A&M University was from Waller, Texas, which is about half way between Houston and College Station.

I lost track of him when I moved to San Diego in April 1993. I moved with the intent of distancing myself from old family and friends. No more need to keep up with the Joneses.

In 2011, I was exploring the border area in South San Diego when I came upon San Diego Beach Rides. I rented a horse ride for the beach. Pretty cool.

When I got back, I told the owner that he looked like my college roommate from 1974. He said, “Oh, I’m from Texas.” That, of course, started a conversation. Turns out that he wasn’t my roommate, but he was my roommate’s younger brother.

I was able to get connected again to my old roommate who was living in Littleton CO. Small world. Unfortunately, as with all but two of my old friends and family in Texas, our politics didn’t mesh, so I disconnected again.

This horse picture is from October 4, 2011, at San Diego Beach Rides. It’s the horse that I rode. I guess it wanted to get those Russel cooties off. After I pet Little Queen Olivia, she proceeds to do the same thing.

San Diego Beach Rides

Little Queen Olivia

Friday Flower Fiesta (7/24/20)

Friday Flower Fiesta

In these seemingly dystopian times we’re living in, maybe some flowers will help.

Here’s a selection of flowers from my gardens in March after I put myself into self-isolation on March 14.

Aloe striata
Aloe striata flowers

Eriosyce senilis
Eriosyce senilis flowers

Ferocactus
Ferocactus flowers

Euphorbia milii
Euphorbia milii flowers

Sedum
Sedum flowers

Aloe ‘Grassy Lassie’
Aloe 'Grassy Lassie' flowers

Aloe striata
Aloe striata flowers

Disocactus flagelliformis
Disocactus flagelliformis

Mammillaria
Mammillaria flowers

Mammillaria
Mammillaria flowers