Tag Archives: ground squirrel pictures

SNIPPETS (5/17/2019)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

I finished my second video of the two Union Pacific steam locomotives, this one titled “They’ll be coming round the mountain when they come. They’ll be high up on the mountain when they come.” The scenery is just as beautiful as the train!

SNIPPET 2

The lead locomotive, Big Boy #4014, recently restored after sitting in static display at Rail Giants Museum in Pomona, California, from 1959 to 2014, derailed yesterday. The public didn’t know the extent of any damage for about thirty minutes. Fortunately, the train was entering the yard in Rawlins, Wyoming, so it was going rather slow. It took them a little over three hours to get Big Boy up on the rails again. We rail fans were tense for a time there.

SNIPPET 3

All the cacti that had bloomed in my gardens two days ago bloomed again yesterday. However, someone was late to the party but finally made it, but it was worth the wait. It’s a Trichocereus grandiflorus Thai hybrid.

SNIPPET 4

My neighbors have a huge loquat tree (Eriobotrya japonica) in their back yard which I can see from my kitchen window. It is in full fruit right now, and the ground squirrels are all over it, seeming to forget that they are ground squirrels, not tree squirrels. Here’s one who has found an all-you-can-eat buffet about thirty feet up in the tree:

Ground squirrel eating loquats in the tree

SNIPPET 5

It rained all day yesterday, so I drank some macho juice and went outside to take macro pictures of raindrops on flowers. The first picture below is raindrops on the flowers of Asclepias physocarpa, a type of milkweed called the “Balloon Plant” because it’s seed pods look like balloons, albeit hairy balloons. The second picture is of the seed pods, of which this plant had three last year when it was just a wee plant; it’s now about ten feet tall.

Asclepias physocarpa

Asclepias physocarpa seed pod

SNIPPET 6

My road trip to Promontory Summit and Ogden, Utah, comprised five days and covered 2,282.9 miles (yes, I’m a little detailed). My two favorite scenic parts of the drive were the Virgin River Gorge in Arizona and Interstate 80 from Echo, Utah, to Evanston, Wyoming.

I bought a dash cam last July on that eight-day road trip, so eventually I’ll be able to share these two drives on YouTube. They were that great.

SNIPPET 6

Based on state license plates over the 2,282.9-mile drive, here is my considered opinion of drivers, best to worst:

  1. Wyoming drivers were the best but perhaps only because there were so few of them, right in line with Wyoming being the least populous state with a mere 544,270 people spread out over 97,000 square miles.
  2. Arizona—Interstate 15 went through the northwest corner of Arizona for only about 35 miles so I might not have a large enough sample to truly say anything definitive about Arizona drivers.
  3. Nevada—The speed limit was 70 or 75 mph, and Interstate 15 goes right smack dab through the heart of Las Vegas. I do believe most Nevada drivers also were gambling while driving.
  4. Utah—The speed limit on Interstate 15 in Utah is 70 to 80 miles per hour, mostly 80, only dropping to 70 in construction zones. Sadly, speed limit laws apply equally to the smart and the stupid, but I think the number of stupid people is far greater than smart people. The fact that so many stupid people are driving 80 miles per hour, and often up to 90 miles per hour, in heavy traffic, was a constant source of worry.
  5. California drivers were the worst. I think each person believes all roadways within 10 miles belong to him or her; female drivers were far worse than male drivers.

SNIPPET 7

Speaking of speed limits, it was interesting how each state handles them. California was 65 mph in or near cities and 70 mph in boondocks areas. Arizona was 70 mph and 75 mph, as was Nevada. Utah was 70 mph in construction zones, 75 mph through cities, and 80 mph in the boondocks, which was basically all of southern Utah. Wyoming was 80 mph. My thinking would be that California needs to get with the program!

SNIPPET 8

Gas prices were another issue of mine. When I left the confines of California, gas was $4.799 a gallon for the cheapest grade, usually something like ARCO 87 octane. In Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, gas was $3.049 to $3.159. Interestingly, almost all the brands were the exact same price, so instead of doing ARCO, I went with Shell, Union 76, and ExxonMobil.

As I determined back in the late ’70s when I got my first car, the major brands brought better gas mileage. What was weird, though, was that the major brand cheap gas was 85 octane. Theoretically, 85 octane should give you lower gas mileage than 87 octane.

Gas mileage using California ARCO 87 octane gas ranged from 30.9 mpg to 33.8 mpg. Using Shell, Union 76, and ExxonMobil 85 octane gas provided 35.2 to 40.7 mpg.

A new item this morning indicates that certain entities might be manipulating California gas prices, which I would believe since California gas prices usually aren’t $1.80 higher than surrounding states.

I filled up with Shell gas at a truck stop just south of Las Vegas where I paid $3.089. A few miles later I passed the first truck stop in California where the gas was $4.999. I saved $1.91 a gallon, calculating to $22.92 for my
12-gallon tank. That would buy a lot of margaritas!

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

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The South Bay Freeway and Mary Augustine Bridge

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

A few days ago I was exploring South County, along our only toll road, State Highway 125:

South Bay Freeway map

View Larger Map

Known as the South Bay Freeway, there are not too many exits and entrances, it’s illegal to stop on the freeway shoulder, and the police do, well, police the freeway…. Makes it difficult to go exploring. However, I did find one spot where I parked the car and went exploring on foot, eventually finding the Mary Augustine Bridge:

Mary Augustine Bridge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Mary Augustine Bridge, South Bay Freeway, San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Mary helped found the Bonita chapter of Equestian Trails, Inc., in 1969, and in 1975 helped found the Bonita Valley Horsemen. Mary worked tirelessly on various trails projects throughout San Diego County, but mostly in the Bonita Valley.

Chula Vista Golf CourseBonita’s first large trails project was the current trail around the Chula Vista Golf Course and was a major project that Mary helped move along. Today it is used heavily by walkers, joggers, runners, bikers, and horse riders.

In the late 1970s, Mary headed the Sweetwater Trail project from the east side of Sweetwater Summit Park east towards Jamul. It was dedicated on July 17, 1980. Other major trails that Mary helped create include those through Bonita Downs, Bonita Woods Park, Bonita Ridge, and Ranchito Robinwood.

The Mary Augustine Bridge was dedicated in 2007. Here is a view of the South Bay Freeway from the bridge.

South Bay Freeway from Mary Augustine Bridge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I found a few places to sit….

South Bay Freeway in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

South Bay Freeway in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

…and watch the wildlife:

Black Phoebe, South Bay Freeway, San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Ground squirrel, South Bay Freeway, San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Rabbit, South Bay Freeway, San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Surprisingly, I saw no horses and only one person, a jogger:

Jogger at Mary Augustine Bridge, South Bay Freeway, San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I tried to find a map with the exact location of the Mary Augustine Bridge but was unsuccessful. You’ll just have to go explore the South Bay Freeway like I did!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Squirrel at Chollas Lake Park in San Diego

Today’s walk at Chollas Lake Park

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Today I took some bread and the other half and went for a walk at Chollas Lake Park, an extremely nice park that I discovered last November 11. Some pictures of the park wildlife for your enjoyment.

Canada goose lost in San Diego:

Canada goose in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This goose had wings that look like they were broken, facing outward:

Goose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Some of the friendlier geese were nibbling at my hand even though I had given all my bread to the squirrels.

Goose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Goose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Goose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Goose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This little Muscovy Duck was chasing all the little children. I’m not sure who was having more fun, the duck or the children.

Muscovey duck

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There was a guy and gal throwing bread in the air and watching the gulls swoop in to catch it. I got a great video which I’ll post tomorrow with my South Bay Power Plant implosion video.

Flying gulls

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I saw more American Coots per square inch of water than I’d ever seen before. Reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. There are two mallards in the picture, too, a male and a female. Can you find them?

American coots

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Remember those squirrels I mentioned? Friendliest and cutest little fellas in all the world.

Squirrel at Chollas Lake Park in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Squirrel at Chollas Lake Park in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Squirrel at Chollas Lake Park in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Squirrel at Chollas Lake Park in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I found one goose that had clawed feet, something I’ve never seen before. After finding this bird, suddenly I was looking at the feet of all the geese and ducks. (Hmmm. Foot fetish?) This was the only bird with clawed, webbed feet.

Goose feet with claws

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Queen of the House was not impressed.

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos