Tag Archives: fish out of water

SNIPPETS (10-21-18)



It’s political season. I’m a permanent California mail voter. I voted yesterday. All done.

2018 Winter Gardens ballot

For the first time in my life, I voted a straight Democratic ticket, including the Democrat recommendations for propositions, utility districts, judicial courts, etc. 100% no-questions-asked Blue ballot, albeit we don’t get to vote on a lot of stuff out here in the East San Diego County Boondocks. I did get to vote FOR Ammar Campa-Najjar, so that was exciting. I don’t expect him to win simply because of the territory (I live in a very red area in this very blue state), his name, and his opponent’s advertising attacking his name.

Sadly, the Democrats did not make a recommendation or endorsement on everything on the ballot. When that happened, I checked the Republican recommendations and endorsements because they do seem to have an opinion about everything; then I voted the opposite

Delivery to the Registrar’s office will occur on 10/22.


Men have been effin up the nations and world for thousands of years. I’m wanting to see a complete takeover by women. They can’t possibly do worse.


Sad and depressed, I am. I no longer living in the Earthquake State….

Oklahoma is the new earthquake state


I have always been a sucker for injured plants (and animals), so I bought this last-one-on-the-table injured golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii). Notice what’s happening all around the injury, though. Lots of little pups! I will enjoy watching this one grow.

Echinocactus grusonii (golden barrel cactus)


I love PB&J sandwiches. I love bacon. On these four items, though, I’m thinking No, No, No & No. Seen at BevMo.



Zoey the Cool Cat has comfy beds to sleep on, nice carpeted floors with sun spots, chairs, a love seat…………. and yet this is her choice.

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat


They don’t look happy to see me. Maybe it’s my red car. Dash cam video.

Border Patrol


Finally found that fish out of water.

Fish out of water


Poor bird. Lost on a desert island with no music to listen to.

Bird on a desert island


A couple of weeks ago I stopped by Green Thumb Nursery Super Garden Center in San Marcos CA. I had never been there. Doesn’t look big from the street, but it is huge.

As far as a complete nursery, it tops the list. You name it, they have it. Lots of plants, lots of pots, tools, soil, fertilizer. Lots of interesting garden sculptures that I had never seen at a nursery before.

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures


Zoey the Cool Cat, what do you think of President Pinocchio?

Zoey the Cool Cat


If this is the type of car that student drivers get to learn in, I’m thinking about becoming a student driver again. I bet I could pass parallel parking this time!

Student driver Mustang


My best sunrise/sunset picture from the past week. East San Diego County Boondocks. October 16, 2018 sunrise.

Sunrise in the East San Diego County boondocks


I saw two new (to me) cactus species last week! So excited.

Cactus camera equipment


When I was in Fresno back in July, I saw a wild Fresno State Bulldog on the street. I kind of feel sorry for any little child walking past this thing.

Fresno State Bulldog


“Look! Over there! It’s the sun!”

There's the sun!


One of my favorite plants is Stapelia gigantea. It has huge, star-shaped, hairy flowers that can get up to 14 inches in diameter. They also are smelly flowers, smelling somewhat like rotting flesh. Hence their common name: Carrion plant. Their smell draws billions of flies, which then pollinate the flower. Nature is wonderful….

I have learned the signs of when they are going to pop open, so when my largest plant had 21 buds on it, I decided to practice time lapse photography. Following is my best time lapse video of one of these flowers popping open, created with 1,471 pictures taken every 5 seconds over the course of 4 hours and 11 minutes.


I was an abused child after my father committed suicide. My mom remarried, and she and my stepfather, both alcoholics and drunk every day, regularly hit my oldest stepsister and me. My mom even picked me up one time and threw me threw the sliding glass door. Still have the scars on my legs from that one.

I found the following poem on Facebook. Author unknown.


On Monday, Billy didn’t have his homework
And when the teacher asked him why
He said, “Because a monster ripped it up,
After I told him a lie.”

“You know monsters don’t exist,
And if you don’t turn in your homework
No recess you will get.”

On Tuesday, Billy had a stomachache
And when the teacher asked him why
He said, “A monster took away my dinner,
even my cherry pie.”

“Billy, I’ve told you once before,
Monsters are not real.
You’ll have to wait till lunchtime
Before you get a meal.”

On Wednesday, Billy had a bandage,
Which covered his right eye.
When the teacher asked him how it happened,
This was his reply:

“A monster was running after me
When I ran into the door.”
“Billy please,” the teacher said,
“I don’t want to hear any more.”

On Thursday, Billy refused to sit down,
And when the teacher asked him why,
Billy said, “A monster whipped my bottom,
Because I started to cry.”

“Billy,” said the teacher,
“this is getting out of hand,
And if you continue with these stories,
In the corner you will stand.”

On Friday, Billy didn’t come to school,
And when the teacher found out why,
She said a little prayer to God
In hopes Billy would survive.

For a monster had beaten Billy
and threatened him with a knife.
Now Billy lay in a hospital bed,
Fighting for his life.

So teachers please remember,
That monsters are for real.
Listen closely to kids’ stories,
A wounded heart, you may heal.


It’s a good thing I had lots of practice in my youth in coloring, drawing pictures, and building things because I sure as eff don’t know Chinese.

Instructions in Chinese


They say it’s expensive to live in San Diego. Some apparently call it the “San Diego Package”………

San Diego Package

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

SNIPPETS (8-14-14)—It’s so confusing


Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts


Julian convinced me NOT to publish two posts a day here at my Southern California blog. Instead, daily specials on Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America will be announced, more appropriately, at RusselRayPhotos.com. I know, it can get confusing, having a Russel Ray Photos blog at RusselRayPhotos2.com and a separate RusselRayPhotos.com web site. Notwithstanding the web site names, look at the title of the web sites and you’ll see

Russel Ray Photos (here)
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos (there)

For the best access to Daily Specials, though, follow us over at Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos, too.


When I went to the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden a year ago, I got so many pictures that it’s taken Julian and me this long to catalog everything. There is an outdoor dining area called Peacock Plaza. No one was dining there but I did get a (poor) picture of a peacock at Peacock Plaza.

Peacock Plaza

There is so much wrong with that picture. You know me, though. I never throw anything away. Comes from my wise old grandmother constantly saying, “What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.”

Note that the tile mosaic above the peacock has two peacocks in it. That mosaic is what I really wanted a picture of. I had another picture of the mosaic, and I tasked Julian with taking the two pictures and making a great piece of Photographic Art out of them. Here’s what he came up with:

Twin Peacocks

Julian keeps doing things that encourage me to keep him around….


During the winter it will actually snow in the mountains of East San Diego County. Sadly, it only snowed there once this past winter. Global warming or something like that….

Here is another Photographic Art created by Julian of Lake Cuyamaca in the mountains covered with ice and snow:

Lake Cuyamaca

If you come to San Diego, try to make time in your schedule to go to the mountain community of Julian via Interstate 8 and State Highway 79. You will go right by Lake Cuyamaca, and it’s a great stopping point to relax and watch the wildlife—raptors, mountain lions, deer….

Remember to have an apple pie by the Julian Pie Company while you’re there. Best apple pie I have ever had. My favorite—ah who am I kidding? I like them all, but I do like the apple/peach crumb, apple/strawberry crumb, apple/raspberry crumb the best. That reminds me that I was going to make some peach cobbler last weekend…. Task for later today.

Google maps says Julian is about 71 miles from downtown San Diego, but the winding roads mean it will take you two hours to get there.


I always feel so sad when I see fish out of water.

Fish Out Of Water


My favorite tree in the world (not that I’ve seen every tree in the world, or even seen the world!) is the Century Oak at Texas A&M University. It’s now about 130 years old. I lost all of my pictures in the Great Hard Drive Crash of August 2005, but this tree at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park reminds me very much of it:

Beneath The Tree


When you to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, take lots of money with you. They have some really interesting rides but they are expensive. They are worth it, but expensive nonetheless, such as the Balloon Ride:

San Diego zoo Safari Park Balloon Ride

The Balloon Ride takes you up about 400 feet into the wild blue yonder, and from there you can see everything for miles around. The best view, though, is directly below you where you can see lions, tigers, elephants, and giraffes, all looking like little ants from 400 feet up.


Speaking of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the new Tiger Trail exhibit opened recently. Financed mostly by Conrad Prebys, one of two of San Diego County’s most generous benefactors (Irwin Jacobs is the other). Tiger Trail is fine, fine, fine, allowing you to get within inches of Malayan Tigers, only a big glass window separating you from them.

Malayan Tiger at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

If you come to San Diego, be sure to contact me. I often have free or discounted tickets to the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, and SeaWorld, and with enough notice, I can usually play docent for a day.


A couple of different pictures from the Tiger Trail exhibit:

The Way Down Blooming Palm

Remember that the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park both are acclaimed botanical gardens, too, so stop to admire the vegetation while walking from exhibit to exhibit.


This is the San Diego County Administration Center:

San Diego County Administration Center

It has the best view of the waterfront. It’s also where Jim and I got married on October 30, 2008.


My wise old grandmother was a master at re-purposing things, although some of her re-purposing, such as her toilet and bathtub planters, never really appealed to my tastes……..LOL

At the San Diego County Fair back in June, I was pretty sure that my wise old grandmother had come back to life and was happily re-purposing tires for the garden exhibits:


As my wise old grandmother often said: “Don’t throw anything away! There is no away!”


Remember to follow us at Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos for daily specials on our work at Fine Art America.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift?photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.


Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray