Before I forget the important details, herewith is an account of our recent trip to the mountains. Our strategy was to take advantage of the drought crisis and get in an early backpacking trip with the mid-summer-like conditions in the Sierra. If we waited until our usual time, late summer, it’s doubtful there would be […]Read more "Mountain Weather"
We get a lot of good birds through here, but I’ve had my eye out for one in particular: the Lazuli Bunting. They migrate through in the spring, and for a few weeks in April and May you have a shot at seeing this gorgeous little bird in the grasslands and shrubs of our local […]Read more "The Elusive Mr. Bunting"
The SF Chronicle reports that a deal is in the works to open roads and trails in the SF Water District’s vast watershed lands on the peninsula to everyday people like you and me. Long have we gazed at those hills, and wondered about the animals and plants that find shelter there – it’s like a […]Read more "Keep it secret, keep it safe"
I’ve been waiting for our hobo Black-headed Grosbeak to ride the Spring Migration rails through town, and he finally showed up. We saw him northbound last April, and heading south in September. He’s only around for a day or two, and I might have missed him but we had (people) visitors in town, and I’d […]Read more "Old Home Week"
About 40 years ago California was as drought-stricken as today, and the good people of the 1970’s switched out their thirsty landscaping with the Sunset-magazine-sanctioned plants of that era. Juniper. Lemon Bottle-brush. Oleander. Whoever lived in our house in those years was doing the right thing, because we still have a lot of these plants. […]Read more "The Fallen Monarch"
Another local controversy is a-brewin’, and this one involves people and their dogs, which escalates the tension level immediately to DEFCON 1. The NPS offered a Dog Management Plan to close some parts of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area to off-leash dogs. Dogs have lobbyists on par with the NRA it seems – our feisty […]Read more "Off Leash"
It’s still dark enough at 6am to see a few stars. My weekday early morning run wraps up around that time, and this morning I took my post-run cool-down out on the back deck and found Polaris. This is a screen capture from an app on my phone. My actual view of the star was a […]Read more "My North Star"
I don’t watch TV, and my social media inputs are from a fairly narrow and predictable band of sources. I do read a newspaper, The San Francisco Chronicle, but that probably further insulates me from the news of the day. If you strike up a conversation with me and mention something topical, there’s a fair […]Read more "Where have you gone, Andrew Sullivan?"
We now turn our attention to automobiles. But before doing so, here’s a frame from the eBird occurrence map for the Lazuli Bunting. You’ll see what this has to do with cars in just a minute, if you hang in there with me. You can view the animated version of this and many other maps […]Read more "I, Sensor"
I’ll get around to explaining in just a minute what this picture has to do with birds. This is a slightly fuzzy photo of a bentwood Singer Sewing Machine case, probably from the 1930’s or ’40’s. The Resident Expert gave me a copy of The Grail Bird for a winter solstice gift. The book describes […]Read more "Unintended consequences"