Hummingbird Hen

Magic is all around us if we take the time to notice.

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Hummingbirds are all over Carmel Valley. I see them and hear their clicking song often when I am out walking Rainbow or wandering around the neighborhood by myself. For years I have been looking for a nesting hummingbird who would be willing to pose for a few well-timed photographs.

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Our little patio features a ficus tree that has gotten big and thick over the years. I noticed a spirited little bird going back and forth with little bits of fluff a few weeks ago, and it didn’t take too long to figure out what was going on.

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OK, I know this isn’t a hummingbird. A few days ago in Ocean Beach I finally got one of the resident parrots to pose for a portrait!

Blood Moon Eclipse

Blood Moon Eclipse

As seen from Carmel Valley, California, here is the Blood Moon Eclipse. What is a blood moon? Here is the answer. According to the Experts Who Know, all lunar eclipses are red, so this is nothing special. According to some successful religious book authors, this is part of a lunar tetrad and symbolic of End Times. Astrologers observe that imbalances explode when there’s a blood moon in Libra.

October 7-8 will offer the next chance to see a blood moon, unless End Times come before then. Either way, you ought to live each day as if it’s your last…and one day you’ll be right!

1976 Hollywood High Flashback

Here is a picture of the Hollywood High School Still Photography Club. This shot was taken on February 20, 1976.

Hollywood High Photography Club 1976

Here I am, front and center, the consequence of a discrete transaction with the photographer. Although I can identify most of the other people in this picture,  I’ll leave it to everybody to tag themselves if they care to. Isn’t it strange to see an old picture of yourself come from out of nowhere after 37 years? Surprise!

These days I know at least a couple of us have maintained a close relationship with still images over the decades. I wonder if any of the other people in this picture have photographed as many reptiles as I have …

Views from Venice Pier

Venice Beach

Here’s a shot from the end of the Venice Pier. I spent the better part of 20 years living in this neighborhood. It’s been nine years since I moved away from Venice Beach.

My quick impression is that little has changed since I left, except for the addition of some medical marijuana dispensaries. Who says nothing ever changes for the better?

Old Home

Zooming in from a good perch on the pier, I was able to snap a shot of my former front door, indicated by the little yellow arrow.

I still remember my first night there. It had taken me until well after midnight to finish moving in, and I had some corporate obligations that required I get up at a quarter to six. When I woke up, instantly I noticed the roar of the pounding surf a hundred yards away. That sound, and the immediately refreshing ocean air, are the two things I miss most about Venice Beach.

These days my place at Ocean Beach is quite reminiscent of my old haunts at Venice. I’m not quite so close to the water but still close enough to hear it and to enjoy the taste of the air.

Venice Beach Sunset

It isn’t possible to witness too many sunsets at the beach. Here is the latest addition to our collection!

 

Serpent of Patrick’s Point

Nice snake!Patrick’s Point State Park is one of the most glorious places in Humboldt County, even though most of the trees are not giant redwoods. It is widely known for its stunning ocean views and spectacular essence. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more at home anywhere else; I wrote about it once before, in August, 2007, and included more conventional pictures.

This afternoon, Alexis and I hiked the rim trail of Patrick’s Point, which was cut by the Yurok Tribe hundreds of years ago. According to their tradition, the Dolphin Spirit took up residence here when humanity took over the surface of Earth. Personally, I suspect they’re on to something. Go there someday and see for yourself.

It was fairly late afternoon, and stretches of the path were brightly lit up by sunshine. Here is one of two snakes we saw during the hike. This one was about 18 inches long. Maybe somehow he knew the law protects him from human aggression, because he didn’t seem intimidated by a couple of people. No doubt plenty of other creatures are eager to have him for their next meal.

It’s hard not to notice that this is the second fairly recent serpent-related entry. Is there a symbolic meaning in this? Given my many lizard sightings over the years, (see this, and this, also this, maybe this, and this, and especially this), it’s hard not to see these snake visitations as some sort of escalation of the primal forces. Somehow it feels like a positive and somehow appropriate development.

Shinrin-yoku is the Japanese practice of forest bathing. Count me among the “early adopeters” of this therapy! Like many lawyers, I have a keen sense of what constitutes good medical practice — and I am 100% sure that hanging out in a forest has tangible medical benefits. If you’re into experimenting a little with shinrin-yoku, I recommend going to Avenue of the Giants.

Avenue of the Redwoods

A Birthday Celebration

Lana and ScottHere is a fine picture of Lana May and me right after we wrapped up an hour on a jet ski. Look how happy she is! We are celebrating her 15th birthday. It was the first time she ever really got to drive a powerful vehicle. Lana got skillful quickly and loves going fast. The good news is that she didn’t go too fast for me. I’ve always enjoyed speed. Carlsbad Lagoon is a great place to have fun on the water. We also enjoyed perfect weather.

Remember the first time you got to drive something that would go a lot faster than a bicycle? I was less than two months past my 11th birthday when I started hanging out with my uncle’s motorcycle racing crew. Now I have reached the age where I’d just as soon have somebody else do the driving. It’s good to know that Lana is capable. It’s also nice that she enjoys going fast, although it means I am going to recommend that she drive a 1977 AMC Gremlin with a slightly damaged engine when she turns 16 in a year.

Surfing MadonnaAlexis took us out for coffee afterwards. We got to sip beneath the protective presence of the Surfing Madonna!

The Apes Took Over

Scott and Eileen guarding Paula

It is about time America confronted its own sordid history. The textbooks we use in schools today leave out most of the really interesting and important stuff. I guess our masters don’t think we’re capable of handling the truth, or maybe they figure it is easier for them to manage a confused and ignorant herd.

For example, the era popular culture thinks of as “the 60s” actually dates from late 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated, through August of 1974, when President Nixon resigned. Establishment history explains that a lone nut named Oswald murdered the President in Dallas. It goes on to explain that Richard Nixon resigned from office in disgrace as a result of the Watergate scandal.

Counterculture history tells us that Kennedy was murdered by the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about, and it acknowledges that there was a lot more to Watergate than is evident at the surface. You know, Malcolm X explained that the U.S. media had a habit of getting the American People to debate among themselves about which of two big lies actually is true. The man had a very important point, but even Malcolm failed to grasp the gravity of the situation our society found itself in 50 years ago.

The grim truth is that world society has been subverted from within by a massive Ape conspiracy! Where do they come from? That’s a good question, but educated opinion suggests they come from the future, from a time when apes have mastered humanity and seized time-travel technology for their own sinister purposes. Apparently the Apes began intervening in human events shortly after the end of the First World War. Benito Mussolini was one of the first major world leaders to fall under their control. The Apes supported both sides during the Second World War, knowing that they would have an easier time taking over if humanity stayed busy wiping itself out for a few years.

After World War Two, the Apes were responsible for the Cold War as they further consolidated their conrol over Earth. Americans were shocked by President Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial complex, but even Ike was afraid to level with the American People and tell them the honest truth about the nature of the threat faced by our society.

Today there is a lot of talk about zombies in our popular culture. Once again we are collectively afraid to face the truth: zombies are not un-dead, they are humans who have suffered grave and ultimately fatal genetic damage as a result of Ape intervention. It’s just part of the same old “divide and conquer” strategy that has served them so well for decades.

Many people have suspected these truths for years, but things are getting so bad these days that maybe our society is ready to wake up and confront reality. I’ve hinted about it before. For example, several years ago I reported about the zombie uprising in Hollywood back in 1972. Today I am going to explain more of this important hidden history.

It’s true that I, along with a number of other athletic young adolescents, were sent to fight the zombies that were feasting on the small brains found in the Hollywood Hills. What I didn’t explain was that the zombies were sent to attack Hollywood in the fall of 1972 because a key Ape political figure had been taken hostage just a couple of months earlier. That’s what the picture that goes along with this story is all about.

I led a secret team that included Eileen Becker, also pictured. We captured this Ape, named Paula Crist, at the 1972 World Science Fiction Convention in Anaheim, California. This picture shows us taking the Ape into custody.

Obviously the Apes did not take this development lying down. They figured that a small group of kids and dissident adults from Hollywood should not be allowed to interfere with their larger plans for our society. What they did not know at the time was that elements high in the Nixon administration were adamantly opposed to the continuing Ape influence, despite the massive covert support given to the Nixon campaign by the Ape underground.

Paula was released from the cave she was held captive in the day President Nixon was re-elected, as a sign of good faith. Nixon intended to finish President Kennedy’s efforts to secure peace and disarmament during his second term, but the Apes had other plans. Since Nixon had served them so well, they disgraced him rather than ordering him assassinated.

A lot of things make more sense now, don’t they? You wonder why America has abandoned any trace of egalitarian values, why she seems to be embracing fascism more every day?

Blame it on the chimps!

 

Giant Snake in the Yard

Rainbow told me something was up. Dogs will tell you a lot if you are willing to pause long enough to listen.

She came to the sliding screen door that separates my home office from the downstairs patio with a nervous expression. At first I ignored her but she was insistent, raising her ears up halfway and wrinkling her forehead, occasionally shaking her head towards her right and pointing.Snake!

Imagine my surprise when I slid the door open, poked my head out and turned left – to see a huge snake, several feet long, trapped by a roll of garden netting! I jumped so quickly that all of my clothes were left in a pile behind me. Once I put them back on I went and grabbed my camera and Lana.

“Hey, Ms. May! You need to come look at this – it’s something you haven’t seen before in our yard, and I don’t think you’re going to forget this anytime soon!” She paused her preparations for the Del Mar Junior Lifeguard program to join me, grabbing her iPhone to snap the photo below a few seconds after I took the first one in this post.

OK, there’s a big snake in my yard, trapped by garden netting. Now what? Looking at 14 year-old Lana reminded me that I’m the grownup and ought to Take Charge, seeing as how I Know What to Do.

Right.

Carefully, gently, I grabbed the roll and slowly rolled up the netting as I raised the whole thing. The snake pulled back with remarkable strength, trying to get out of the net. As I started to raise a big part of the serpent’s body off the ground I noticed just how strong and heavy it really was. Suddenly the snake’s head popped free from the plastic netting and the snake was free and wholly back on the concrete. It slithered off as fast as it could!

Out of sight, out of mind. Great job! Well done!

Snake!

Research discloses that this snake likely is a model representative of Arizona Elegans Occidentalis, otherwise known as the California Glossy Snake. For additional reptile coverage in these pages, see here, herehereherehere, and especially here.

Four Eyes

Renaissance Faire guy with Four Eyes

Here is another winning photograph from my dad’s vast archive of shots from the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. This one comes to us from the spring of 1980. I imagine this is not something you see every day. Definitely an eye-catching picture!

33 Years Ago Today

Volcano Explodes

May 25, 1980 was a memorable day. This was the day I graduated from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, the Garden Spot of the Pacific Northwest.

What everybody remembers about May 1980 was the explosion of Mount St. Helens on the 18th.  Here’s a picture I took that day from behind the Adult Student Housing complex at 2701 North Main Street.

Gigantic clouds of volcanic ash were falling across Forest Grove the afternoon of May 25, 1980. It was harsh enough that my parents got out of town without staying long enough for dinner.

A Tale of Two Mustangs

Many of us have fond feelings about cars we had when we were kids. Here’s a 1980 picture taken in Forest Grove, Oregon, featuring me and my 1968 Mustang. I drove this car for many years, from college through law school and into the early years of my professional life. Although everybody agreed it was a cool car, it was far from fancy. It had “three on the floor” and a little 200 cubic inch “straight six” engine. It did not have air conditioning, but it did have a black plastic interior well-designed to retain heat.

For me this blurred image has a vaguely dreamlike quality. Could this picture really be 33 years old? The field in the background has been richly developed during those years. Was that shirt one I’d bought in ’73 to wear at my graduation from junior high? Inside the car I can see that my disassembled racing bike is in the back seat. Wasn’t that fancy bike stolen right out from under my nose at Venice Beach seven or eight years later?

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Here is a 2013 Mustang Fastback, which I rented for my latest excursion to Redwood Country. The modern car is quite similar to the one that was built 45 years ago, but it is more comfortable and has more modern conveniences. It was fun to drive around northwest California in this car…but it did serve to prove that nostalgia is a longing for something you couldn’t stand anymore. I’m much happier with my Sebring than I ever was with a car with a hard-top.

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