Tag Archives: mallard

SNIPPETS (4-15-18)



Yahoooooooooo! First place in the Cactus Novice category at the April 14 General Meeting of the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society. Novice simply means I don’t have a lot of experience showing plants. Judges rarely comment on presentation but this one did. He was gushing over the black metal pot and black/gray top dressing sandwiched between the white cactus (Mammilaria plumosa) and the white tile. My “Reverse Oreo” look.

1st place, Cactus Novice, Russel Ray, San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society

I also got a third place in the Succulent Novice category. A Crassula corymbulosa (Red pagoda).

3rd place, Succulent Novice, Russel Ray, San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society

Both plants are in Designer Pots by A+R POTTERY (that’s me!).


Thursday night, April 13, was Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat’s last night with J&R Rescue Service. She went back home to her daddy on Friday. Following is the last picture I took of Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat. She and Zoey the Cool Cat were tolerating each other but were none too happy, Ninja at being in a strange home, and Zoey at having a strange cat in her home of 10 years.

Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat & Zoey the Cool Cat


One of my favorite candies in my youth was candy corn. I haven’t eaten any in several decades, so imagine my surprise when candy corn showed up in my garden this past week.

Candy corn succulent


One of the neighborhood kids (we’ll call him Joe Bob) came by this past Friday. Turns out that he missed his school bus so, uh, he didn’t go to school. Gosh, when I missed my school bus when I was his age, my wise old grandmother drove me to school, which made her none too happy.

Joe Bob wanted to rescue bees from my Wildlife Corner pond where the thirsty bees drink after their long journey collecting pollen. We’ve done this twice before.

Normally we use sticks and leaves to rescue the little ones that are drowning and too weak to get out of the water. In this case, Joe Bob cupped his hands, dipped them in the water, and came out with a rescued honeybee which rested on his hand for a minute until its wings were dry enough to fly away. Here’s Joe Bob with his BFF honeybee on his hand.

Rescuing drowning honey bees

Although you can’t see all of Joe Bob’s face, his look was priceless, which you can kind of tell by the smile on his face.

I must admit that I was smiling, too, at seeing a young child taking pleasure in Mother & Father Nature’s creations and helping them out.

I’m always leery of taking pictures of other people’s children so later that evening,  I put the picture on a flash drive and walked it over to Joe Bob’s house, explained what had happened and why I had a picture of their son, and gave the picture to them. They seemed quite happy with me.


I have survived so many end-of-world predictions that I have lost count. The latest prediction is that the end of the world will come by the end of April 2018. I shall wash & dry every day through the end of the month to make sure that I have clean underwear.


This morning I drove by a church out in the boondocks. This message was on their marquee:

“There is nothing too hard for God.”

“Hmmm,” I thought. “The Crusades, Salem Witch Trials, slavery, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, cancer, just to name a few.” I continued: “If there is nothing too hard for God and s/he’s not doing anything, I don’t want to be associated with that God because s/he’s cruel, mean, and heartless.”


Who knew that the Easter Cactus grows little beards after the dead blossoms fall off?

Easter cactus


My new Echevieria ‘Dondo’ planted in a Designer Pot by A+R POTTERY.

Echevieria 'Dondo'

The San Diego platform base actually is attached to the pot using 100% silicone.


Many plants respond to sunlight by turning various shades of red. Here’s an Aeonium which spend a lot of time in the sun and has morning mist drops on it.

Aeonium with raindrops


Baby ducky season is upon us but who knew that daddies could dance? And on water?

Male Mallard dancing on water


And here are a few baby duckies, two of them trying to clamber up the concrete wall of the pond to reach momma and the other little baby duckies.

Baby duckies


Huge, monster, gigantic, big, really really really really big soap bubbles seem to be the latest rage here in San Diego. Tide pods?

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

Outstanding in a field

Are you outstanding in YOUR field?

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Well, are you?

If not, get busy!

Outstanding in a field

Mallard at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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

Mommy mallard with her ducklings

I’m pushing the SURPRISE button!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos



PerfectionWhat if life were perfect?

….perfect world….

….perfect people….

….perfect possessions….

….perfect things….

….perfect all the time….

You had everything you wanted…. what you wanted…. exactly as you wanted…. at the moment you wanted….

SurpriseWould perfection be predictable? Dull? Boring?

What if there were two buttons each day that you could push, one marked PERFECTION and one marked SURPRISE?

Which one would you push?


Mommy mallard with her ducklings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Ring-billed gull at Lake Murray in La Mesa, California

The birds of Lake Murray in La Mesa, California

Chris FisherThis post is dedicated to Chris Fisher, a virtual assistant and owner of her own company, Virtual Assistant For You.net of Concord, California. I have known Chris for about three years through a real estate professional networking site. I highly recommend her for anyone needing a virtual assistant anywhere in the world, not just the San Francisco Bay Area. Be sure to visit her web site to see the many members of her zoo family.

Dedications are my way of trying to provide a little extra Google juice for people I have come to know and respect over the years.

Picture of the moment

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Less than a mile from where I live is Lake Murray, part of the gigantic Mission Trails Regional Park system.

Lake Murray

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It’s a large reservoir that offers boating, fishing, and, most importantly to me, bird watching. I’ll often walk, bike, or drive over there to feed the birds — American coots, Canada geese, swan geese, mallards, rock pigeons, California gulls, and cormorants. It’s a major stopping point for migrating birds; 149 different bird species have been sighted at the lake, including the endangered
tri-colored blackbird.

With all the rain we’ve had these last three days, I decided to stop by this afternoon to check on the lake. It was full, overfull, in fact. That meant that lots of birds were enjoying themselves, especially the American coots:

American coots at Lake Murray in La Mesa, California

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Some of the birds that I’m making an effort to identify when I’m out are the gulls and terns, more commonly simply known as seagulls. Today I found the following bird and recognized it as one that I didn’t know:

Ring-billed gull at Lake Murray in La Mesa, California

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My National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America (p. 198) seems to indicate that it is the second winter coloring of a ring-billed gull. Up until recently a “seagull” was a seagull, but I’m making a sincere effort to learn my local wildlife.