Tag Archives: Henrietta M. King High School

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

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


I’m a cat napper…. So there! (cat napping pictures included)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos



Zoey the Cool Cat having a cat napThroughout my life I’ve never been able to sleep well. Or so I thought.

I’d be in bed at night, but after falling asleep for a couple of hours, I’d wake up. Not being able to immediately go back to sleep, I’d read a book….. under the bed covers…. using a flashlight. Man oh man was my wise old grandmother upset the first time she caught me. But just getting caught and punished didn’t stop me from reading. Besides, why punish a child for reading? It’s not like I was getting up at night and sneaking out the bedroom window to carouse the town. That didn’t start until a few years later. I wonder if there’s a correlation between being punished for reading and sneaking out instead. Hmmm.

Zoey the Cool Cat having a cat napAt Henrietta M. King High School in Kingsville, Texas, I learned to schedule the late lunch (12:30; early lunch was 11:30), P.E., and Study Hall in the afternoon so that I wouldn’t fall asleep in an important class.

At Texas A&M University, I scheduled all my classes for 8:00 a.m. to noon, 1:00 at the latest. Then I could go home and sleep for a couple of hours. The nice thing about early morning classes is that all my final exams were on Monday and Tuesday. I was out of school two or three days early each semester over those people who always scheduled afternoon classes.

Zoey the Cool Cat having a cat napIn the work world after college, I would never go out to eat lunch with co-workers, choosing instead to take an unknown-to-them nap in my car. Eventually the world found out about people like me and started calling our naps “power naps.” Whatever. They always made fun of us, though, for “always being tired.”

Zoey the Cool Cat having a cat napNow comes David Westcott writing an article, “Do Not Disturb,” in the April 23 2012 edition of Bloomberg Businessweek. Westcott quotes Ronit Rogoszinski who describes herself as “an expert ‘practitioner of the power nap.’ ” Rogoszinski says, “By noon, my brain starts to fry.” What does she do? She heads to one of her favorite hideouts, her car, “to recharge” (code for taking a nap).

Zoey the Cool Cat having a cat napWestcott found that on Wall Street Oasis, an investment banker Internet forum, people were obsessed with daytime napping. He found tips on “sleep hacking” (developing “polyphasic sleep schedules“), lists of places to nap, and tips on how to act if you’re caught napping.

One commenter discussed napping on the toilet, saying that it’s best if you have your pants up and the seat down. The toilet stall is one place that I never tried. Maybe later today.

Zoey the Cool Cat having a cat napThere is a difference, though, between using naps to make up for lost sleep, such as when you have a newborn child, or a close family member is in the hospital. There are some people — like me! — who have no specific reason for losing sleep and needing to make it up during the day. We are called lazy when we’re caught napping during the day, or, at best, “short sleepers” or “sleep pros” if we still get more accomplished than our non-short sleeping colleagues.

Zoey the Cool Cat having a cat napWestcott quotes Dr. David Dinges, a sleep researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, who encourages workday napping, or “multitask relaxing” (can’t we just call it what it is? Cat napping!). According to Dr. Dinges’s research, one’s “cognitive ability depends on how much sleep one accumulates over a 24-hour period, not just overnight.”

Zoey the Cool Cat having a cat napDr. Dinges encourages people to work for short periods followed by a nap — “sleep reinforcement” he calls it. “Rather than fighting to stay awake at your desk with diminishing cognitive returns, work on it in your sleep.” And I wasn’t even part of his research!

Whenever I have a particular problem to solve, I have found that a quick nap, a cat nap, helps me solve it, often to the point that I will dream about it and various ways to solve it, including benefits and problems relating to different scenarios. These are not REM dreams because I never reach REM sleep, according to the sleep research Zoey the Cool Cat having a cat napthat I have been involved in (Boston Medical Center, Houston Medical Center, UCLA Medical Center, Texas A&M University).

We cat nappers are gaining acceptability, but since we’re only one to three percent of the population, we need to “come out” to our family, friends, and
co-workers as what we are:
cat nappers. I’m a cat napper….
So there!


SNIPPETS are short posts about anything and everything.
Each SNIPPETS will have at leasst one picture.
After all, this is Russel Ray Photos.


This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos