Since I can’t draw any better than an average two-year-old, this is the closest I’ll ever get to creating art. It reminds me of The Joy of Painting’s Bob Ross and his “happy little trees”, only these appear rather gloomy and vague; evocative of nature’s dark night of the soul.
I don’t know how my phone managed to capture this image. I attempted to get a pic of the full moon between the branches of my eucalyptus tree and ended up with what appears to be a glimpse into the portal leading toward a shadowy otherworld.
This full moon is in Leo and since Leo is ruled by the sun, our INNER LIGHT will shine brightly.
I think I’ll print and frame, I love it that much!
I was standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes and looked out at an amazing sight. There were literally dozens of chirpy birds invading my garden, SO MANY I couldn’t even count them all.
They’re easy to identify as House Finches.
According to AllAboutBirds.org, If House Finches discover your feeders, they might bring flocks of fifty or more birds with them. They did!
I no longer have feeders because of my arch nemeses, RATS, so what they’re feasting on here is actually an invasive species, a Brazilian Pepper tree that somehow sprouted into the neighbor’s yard and they didn’t get rid of it like we did.
The House Finch is a recent introduction from western into eastern North America (and Hawaii). Males boast cheerful red breasts and their distinctive long, twittering song.
The House Finch was originally a bird of the western United States and Mexico. In 1940 a small number of finches were turned loose on Long Island, New York, after failed attempts to sell them as cage birds (“Hollywood finches”). They quickly started breeding and spread across almost all of the eastern United States and southern Canada within the next fifty years.
There’s no way I could capture as many as there are, but I’d say definitely more than fifty of these lovely red breasted birds are visiting Casa de Enchanted Seashells.
The red of a male House Finch comes from pigments contained in its food during molt (birds can’t make bright red or yellow colors directly). So the more pigment in the food, the redder the male.
This makes sense because they’re eating red berries from the pepper tree.
They stayed for about an hour, saturating my world with their most delightful song and chirpy calls to friends and family. Every tree in the garden is full of these guys as well the rosemary and lavender bushes.
I’ve never seen anything like this. For me, It’s as exciting as spotting a pod of whales or dolphin. I’m grateful they chose my garden to visit. Pure joy!
On an early morning walk before the rain started (yes, we’re getting more sky water!), I spied this colorfully striking succulent.
Sticks on Fire, sometimes called Firesticks (Euphorbia tirucalli), is a shrubby succulent with bright red, pink, orange, or yellow stems.
The more sun it gets, the more ‘fiery’ it appears. The sap of this plant is sticky/milky and may cause irritation to skin as there are mild toxins.
Many succulents in the euphorbia genus, such as the pencil cactus and crown of thorns, are also poisonous to both cats and dogs. Symptoms of poisoning from ingesting this succulent range from gastrointestinal upset to skin and eye irritation.
I made it home just in time! That’s not a speck on your screen, it’s an airplane heading to our local airport.
Kids really do listen to everything we say, that’s absolutely true.
One time I looked up as a crow flew by and said, “Hello, cousin!”
Angel Girl asked me why I said that, and I told her that crows are very smart and that I feel they’re like family to me.
The next time we saw crows fly by, she pointed and said, “There goes one of your cousins, Grandma!”
Mom asked her why she said that, and Angel Girl told her all the crows in the whole world are Grandma’s cousins, which is a great thing to her because she loves her own cousins.
The best part of the story is that it makes perfect sense to her that animals are family. I like that a lot.
Besides a murder of crows, there are other collective nouns for crows: a horde, a hover, a mob, a parcel, a parliament, and a storytelling.
As for a storytelling of crows? This is a bit of an unknown but crows do tend to gather in large flocks and are known for their loud ‘caw’. Perhaps someone observed this and decided that they weren’t so much plotting a murder but were telling stories to each other, https://www.birdspot.co.uk/
This photo from late yesterday afternoon must tell quite the story; I’ve never seen so many crows on the school field.
Seeing crows at sundown is a common occurrence around here, but not on this grand scale. Everyone driving by slowed down to gawk and neighbors came out to record it like I did.
On the roof, on the fence, on the fields — all my cousins!
Update: I sent the photo to my original Angel Boy and received a video text from his almost seven-year-old clone, AB 2.0 — “Hey Grandma, that’s a lot of cousins!”
I’ve lived in Southern California since high school and never heard about this mythical surf spot at Cortes Bank, about one hundred miles west of San Diego.
We’ve all heard of the giant waves at Mavericks in Northern California which sadly claimed the life of Mark Foo in 1994, but this location was brand new to me — not that I’ll ever see it or surf there, considering I don’t surf at all, but I love all things ocean-related.
Apparently, about ten thousand years ago, an island used to exist in that spot called Kinkipar by native Americans, the ancestors of the Tongva or Chumash Tribes.
Presently, it’s entirely submerged, the top rising to within three to six feet of the surface with nearby shoals catching the largest swells on the planet from the North Pacific.
Monster swells that generate waves moving at incredibly high speeds as they move from the deep ocean, over a mile deep at the base of the bank, into a series of shallow reefs made of sandstone and volcanic basalt.
These photos of Nic von Rupp (amazing professional big wave surfer) were taken last week at Cortes Bank.
Because of its location, estimates are that the waves move fifty percent faster than comparable waves along Oahu’s north shore.
If you’re under the outdated and superstitious belief that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day, I’ve learned something new.
Before patriarchal times, Friday the 13th was considered the Day of the Goddess. It was considered a day to honor the divine feminine that lives in us all and to honor the cycles of creation and death and rebirth.
Friday the 13th was considered a very powerful day to manifest, honor creativity, and to celebrate beauty, wisdom, and nourishment of the soul.
Friday is VenusDay, named for Frigga, the goddess of love and tansformation. She rules the spiritual aspects of people as they manifest on the physical.
Venus is the epitome of feminine energy. Her energy joins us at the end of the week to honor the days gone by and to remind us that it is important to rest, relax, and play.
Not unlucky at all, this is a day to celebrate the power and energy of being female.
Last week’s King Tides created the unusual sight of flooded marsh and wetlands.
Here at Agua Hedionda, freshwater creeks drain into a low-lying area meeting the sea. The ocean pushes tides and sands against the land as the creek drains its fresh water and sediment into the sea. This mix of fresh and salt water forms a brackish environment. The salinity varies with the seasonal influence of rain and storms.
Sometimes the tide is so low, we can walk all the way around to the south side where there’s a sweet little beach, but not that day!
With all of this recent rain we’ve had (and more on the way), freshwater basins appear and fill the normally dry land surrounding the lagoon.
After all these years, this is still one of my favorite views. We see the lagoon, freeway, train tracks, and Pacific ocean.