Category Archives: Mother & Father Nature

Out & About—Residents of the Jetty Cats feral colony at the San Diego Jetty

Out & About San Diego

As promised, many pictures of some of the residents of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colony.

San Diego jetty

Resident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colony

Show me some fangs and tongue, baby!
Resident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colony

Zoey the Cool Cat said that I should include pictures of the non-cat residents because, even though they aren’t cats, they are residents.
Resident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colonyResident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colony

This was one of my favorite cats from this visit.
S/he wouldn’t come to eat anything. Didn’t even move.
Just sat there with its back to me. I felt so ignored.
Resident of the San Diego Jetty Cats feral colony

Coming up next: Music on Mondays

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

 

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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

 

Out & About—The San Diego Jetty

Out & About San Diego

Once a month I go out to the San Diego Jetty to see how the feral cat colony there is doing. We old timers call them the Jetty Cats.

San Diego jetty

San Diego jetty

Feral cats on the San Diego jetty

The Jetty is a great place to see beautiful sunsets because there always is something to put in the picture to add interest to the sunset. It’s also a great place to go for a walk, as so many people do.

Following are some pictures from my trip to the Jetty in August, featuring everything except the Jetty Cats, although a few can be seen in these pictures. The Jetty Cats will be featured in Saturday’s post since tomorrow is Friday Flower Fiesta day.

Sentinel SeagullSentinel Seagull

Dogs at Dog Beach in Ocean Beach,
across the San Diego River from the
San Diego Jetty and the Jetty Cats.Dogs on Dog Beach in Ocean Beach across from the San Diego Jetty

Throw it already!A woman and her dog

The San Diego Jetty is an active fishing area.
Sadly, that means the some fisherpeople leave
fishing line behind which the birds often get
entangled in, quite often losing a leg. This juvenile
already has to go through the rest of its life with just one leg.One-legged bird at the San Diego Jetty

It’s probably too late for this bird’s leg.
You can see the scar where the fishing line
was wrapped around the bird’s leg.
Bird with an injured leg at San Diego Jetty

There are quite a few cormorants and pelicans.
The cormorants are relative new visitors to the Jetty.
Cormorant at the San Diego Jetty

Pelican and sunset at the San Diego Jetty

The Jetty might be the only place where the birds are bigger than the cats,
and the cats have no interest in trying to catch those birds.Cats and a seagull at the San Diego Jetty

Bird mug shots.
I love it when wildlife cooperates with me.
Seagull mug shot at the San Diego Jetty

Seagull mug shot at the San Diego Jetty

ImpostorCats and skunk at the San Diego Jetty

Yes, there is a family of skunks that lives right alongside the Jetty Cats.
Neither the cats nor the skunks seem to care but it does make it
interesting when people like me show up to leave a little water and food.Skunk at the San Diego Jetty
Skunk at the San Diego Jetty
Skunk at the San Diego Jetty

Bushy tails.Skunks at the San Diego Jetty
Skunk at the San Diego Jetty

Tour boat coming back in at sunset.Tour boat at the San Diego Jetty

Wrong side of the fenceWrong side of the fence

Into the sunsetOff into the sunset

Coming up tomorrow: Friday Flower Fiesta. The Jetty Cats will have their own feature on Saturday!

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

Picture of the Moment—Run! He wants to put us on Facebook! Run!

Picture of the Moment

I like to get action pictures of wildlife. That was difficult until recently. I bought a Tamron 150-600 mm lens and replaced my 9-year-old Tamron 28-300 mm lens with a Tamron 18-300 mm. The 18-300 is my daily walkaround lens although the 150-600 is always in the trunk of the car. The 18-300 is best for outdoor spontaneous action because it is lighter and focuses faster. The 150-600 is best for getting through wire fences such as those which surround many enclosures at the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, SeaWorld, Lions Tigers & Bears, Discovery Nature Center, and others.

Following is one of my best action pictures ever, taken at the San Diego Jetty while I was visiting the Jetty Cats feral colony.

Run! He wants to put us on Facebook! Run!Seagulls running

Many decades ago I was reading an interview with a photographer from National Geographic magazine. One of the questions concerned how he got such great shots of wildlife. His answer was that he always focused on the eyes. If he did that, everything else would fall into place.

I focused on the eyes of that first seagull, but by the time I pushed the shutter button, the birds had moved so that it looks like I focused on the eye of the second seagull because it’s just ever so slightly more in focus. I was about 50 feet from these birds and the picture metadata shows a shutter speed of 1/250, which is why I got such good motion in the wings and legs. It was taken with the 150-600 lens but the focal length was 150 and the f/stop was 5.0.

I will have more pictures in the next few days of wildlife from the San Diego Jetty, including, of course, the Jetty Cats.

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

The Squirrels are beating the Rabbits, 4-2

I live in my own little world

On June 26, 1999, Jim and I closed on our first home. We were celebrating 5 years together. Although it was much too big for two people—11141 Valley Lights Drive, El Cajon CA

3,984 square feet on 1.83 acres of land with a 45,000-gallon swimming pool and a 15,000-gallon spa

—we probably would still be living there if Enron of Houston had been not so greedy….

In June 2000 our gas & electric bill was $4,700, a thousand dollars higher than our monthly mortgage. We never thought prices would come down so we decided to sell. We closed escrow on the sale on June 26, 2001, exactly two years to the day after we bought it. It wasn’t until December 2001 that the world found out that Enron had been manipulating the energy markets west of the Mississippi River. After Enron’s bankruptcy, energy prices here in San Diego did come back down.

That was the largest house and the largest yard we have had. We rented a house from 2001 to 2002 while looking for a house to buy. We settled on one that was 1,588 square feet on ¼ acre. We stayed there for five years when we decided to downsize, which basically meant going someplace without a yard. My poor body just wasn’t into yard maintenance anymore.

We lived in condominiums from 2007 to 2017, one of them 50 feet up in the air, before deciding that we’d rather be back on solid ground. Our new home, which we moved into on July 21, 2017, is 1,440 square feet and has a yard which has not been landscaped. So I have a little work to do there, but the yard is not too large so I think it is manageable, especially since I’m going to switch to container gardening.

We are in the boondocks, so we have a lot of wildlife out here, and I think container gardening will be less disruptive to their way of life. The living room looks out on a corner which is conducive to watching the wildlife. That corner is where I feed and water the wildlife. This morning I got a picture of four squirrels and two rabbits sharing among themselves.

It's 4-2, squirrels over rabbits

Since baseball season is nearing an end, we’ll say the score is 4-2, Squirrels over Rabbits. But it’s just the top of the second inning.

Even got a picture of a rabbit taking a bath. Who knew?

Rabbit bath

I also had two unknown birds stop by this morning for bird baths, so I guess I need a bird feeder, too.

Unknown bird and squirrel

I don’t know what kind of bird that is, but it’s quite beautiful with its long, curved beak.

Unknown bird

I have named the corner “Wildlife Corner.”

With our new window tinting, I can now get right up against the window because the wildlife outside cannot see into the house. It will make for great picture taking, and once I get the living room floor cleaned, I’ll set up my camera on a tripod so I can take videos. These squirrels and rabbits are just way too much fun to watch.

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

Out & About—The Great Stone Church, the Wrightwood Earthquake & dubious construction methods

Out & About

During my early years as a teenager 55 years ago, I wanted to be an anesthesiologist, but only because I could spell that word.

When I was in my mid-teens, I wanted to be a history teacher, but then I found out how much money teachers in Texas made. Not enough….

History, though, very much has been a part of me all my life, so when my husband told me a few months ago that he wanted to go to Mission San Juan Capistrano, well, I’m all there….

So yesterday we drove up to the Oceanside Transit Center (51 miles) and took Metrolink to San Juan Capistrano, about a 40-minute train ride. We spent six hours wandering around the city and the mission, both of which are extraordinarily fascinating.

I’ll have more about both the city and the mission in future blog posts, but today I wanted to share some pictures of the ruins of the Great Stone Church:

Ruins of the Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

Ruins of the Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

Ruins of the Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

Ruins of the Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

Ruins of the Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

In the second picture, that long walkway was what one might call the Great Hall inside the church. A model of the church, built in the shape of a cross, provides a better perspective; the Great Hall is the base of the cross:

Great Stone Church model at Mission San Juan Capistrano

The Great Stone Church took nine years to build, 1797-1806. It was used as a house of worship for six years, 1806-1812. Mother & Father Nature destroyed it in mere minutes with one of their earthquakes on December 8, 1812. Forty people died, all Native Americans attending mass and in the process of being converted to Christianity. I wonder why the almighty god would want to kill forty of his converts………….

Earthquakes also have fascinated me throughout my life so I went to find out more about this one. Records are poor (which is just one of the many reasons why I don’t take anything literally that is in the Bible; records from 200 years ago are poor but somehow records from 2,000 years ago are complete?). The earthquake involved here is called the Wrightwood Earthquake or, sometimes, the San Juan Capistrano Earthquake in recognition of the death toll.

While the exact location and size of the earthquake are unknown, evidence from sediments along the San Andreas Fault, as well as analysis of tree rings of pines growing near the fault, has led to the earthquake being identified as one along the Mojave segment of the San Andreas Fault, possibly resulting in as much as 106 miles of surface rupture, and a theorized epicenter near Wrightwood. The magnitude has been estimated at Mw 7.5.

The Great Stone Church was built completely of stone; ergo, its name. The earthquake caused the mortar to fail and the church collapsed. No surprise to me. Look at the stone—no rhyme or reason as to size and placement:

Ruins of the Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

Here a stone, there a stone, make it big, make it small…. Each stone will conduct stresses differently, so while one stone might be great at absorbing stresses, another stone might be great at concentrating those stresses. And of the stone and mortar, the mortar will be the weakest part of the construction. Of course, I have the advantage of an extra 225 years of construction knowledge and experience….

The Southern California Earthquake Data Center states:

That even a magnitude 7.5 on the San Andreas fault could have such dire consequences on a structure as far away [about 80 miles] from the fault as the mission church seems unusual, but it was reported that the construction of the church was of dubious quality.

So now I’m wondering why this almighty god would let his people build a church using construction methods of dubious quality…………….

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