Tuesday, April 25, 2017


COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER OR CCD is the name given to a phenomenon which is potentially one of the most serious threats to the welfare of all humans on earth.  The name refers to the devastating disappearance of honey bees in North America.  I read a Harvard University Library report on the importance of honey bees to crop production.  Studies show that the annual failure rate of honeybee colonies averages now about 30% in North America.  Honeybee losses are potentially devastating economically since bee pollination is vital to at least one-third of crops worldwide.  A walk with my camera in a garden at Paradise Village reminded me of the importance of protecting honey bees and how fragile their existence on earth has become because of the use of pesticides and human encroachment on land. 


As I do sometimes in BLOG writing, I ramble because I don’t know what else to do to help bring a change that needs to be brought to a situation. I learned about the Varroa mite which is a serious threat to honeybees worldwide.  The Varroa mete is a destroyer of bees by weakening the bees’ immune systems and affecting their health in general… so while we worry about climate change and proliferation of weapons that can kill large populations of humans, I urge all people to do everything possible to care for bees.  Our lives may depend on the survival of bees.


Monday, April 24, 2017


Apologies to Huw Heywood for my iPhone snaps of some of his paintings... both for using them without his permission and for the distortions and reflections and inadequately presented colors.  His paintings deserve better, but this blog, among other things,  is about beauty that has impressed me, and Huw's work is beautiful and impressive.  He and Betty gave us the painting, one of three or four he did in Venice last year, and we found the right place for it, front and center, at the entrance to our home. Included in this BLOG are some other inadequately presented examples of Huw's beautiful work.







Sunday, April 23, 2017


Margaret and I had the good duty this afternoon.  We took Cali, Cookie and Tommy for a walk in Morley Field, Balboa Park, and then we went for the rest of the day to our place in National City.  These are the best natured creatures in the world.

The occasion was an exhibition of Huw Heywood's paintings at The Davids' house in North Park.  Huw and his wife Betty live in Portsmouth, England.  Huw is an architect/painter/teacher... a remarkable artist.  Huw's paintings for this exhibition are all abstract and small.  Perhaps I'll take some pictures and include them in a BLOG post later.

In the meantime, we have Cali, Cookie, Tommy and Margaret.




Saturday, April 22, 2017


EARTH DAY…  Every day is Earth Day for all of us who want to see our planet and the people who live on it move toward good health. When I go out with my camera to look for pictures for my BLOG, I am awed by the beauty of the earth.  When I look closely at a tree or at a whole forest of trees on a mountainside, I am looking for signs of health for the planet.  Every tree and every other living thing represents in one way or another an effect each of us has on the living Earth. I have posted pictures on the BLOG of a particularly beautiful Rainbow Eucalyptus growing behind the Museum of Photographic Arts, and every time I pass by this tree and other trees living with us in San Diego, I am saddened to see the scars on bark of many trees where thoughtless persons have carved initials. I always wonder why. 

Today in Washington, D.C., and in many other cities around the world we are celebrating life, and we are affirming the importance of the science that addresses the health of the Earth. President Trump’s administration is actively taking apart programs that were established to limit the damage we are doing to the earth.  

The earth’s population in the year that I was born was around 2 billion.  Now the population is more than 7 billion.  The Earth population will probably reach 8 billion by 2025. President Trump has assured coal miners that they will have no limits placed on their mining activities.  He has removed the limits on installing pipe lines to transport petroleum across American land. He denies that climate change is happening because of business activities, and he is unwilling to put limitations on companies if those limitations cut back on production. 

A dictionary definition of science: Science is the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experimenting. World population has grown from 2 billion to 7.4 billion in the eight decades of my life. I am not a scientist, but my experience of being alive and alert on the Earth for those eight decades would make me seem silly if I thought that the changes I have seen in the natural world in my lifetime have not changed my environment. I have lived in San Diego for 30 years, and I can see all around me signs of change in the time that I have lived here.


Denying climate change is silly.  Doing nothing to address the problems that are inevitable is also silly. We must look to science for answers to the problems brought on by climate change, and when scientists give us proof that change is necessary, we must not ignore what we are being told.  We must change whatever we can change in order to make sure the world we are making for ourselves and for future generations will be a healthy place.








Friday, April 21, 2017


This is Elliot, the Great Granddaughter of our good neighbor Doris.  I was coming back from a walk and an hour of meditation and movement in slow motion at the neighborhood gym, and this beauty was lying on Doris' blanket while her Mother helped her Grandmother finish working a puzzle. I won't bother trying to find another beautiful flower today.  I found it already.


Thursday, April 20, 2017


Today is Thursday, my volunteer day at the Museum of Photographic Arts... when I came out of the museum in mid-afternoon things were quiet.  I was tempted to go over to see what the guy with the sign with the word "FUNNY" was selling, but decided that I didn't really want to know if he was willing to tell a funny story, or if he had humorous pictures... he had no customers while I watched. Now I wish I had gone over to ask what he was offering.

I rode my bike back across the Laurel Street Bridge and stopped to wonder again who the people are who come to the park to do lawn bowling.  Near the lawn bowling area several flowering trees are in full bloom.  I don't know the names of the trees.

The Park is catching some of the overflow of homeless people from downtown.  The homeless situation in San Diego is becoming a crisis.  In the Southeast corner of the city near the new library there are dozens of tents and other make-shift dwellings that are home to hundreds of people. The population of unsheltered people in San Diego is officially up 25.8 percent since last year according to a count that was done in January.  Counters found 833 unsheltered people in the downtown area. San Diego County has just over half of 8,742 homeless people in shelters. San Diego.  San Diego's homeless population climbs to fourth highest in the U.S.






Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Two more paintings in Paradise Village: There is a signature on the one above, but I can't make out what it is.  The painting below and the one above are probably both depictions of places in Europe, but I haven't a clue about the place.  Perhaps I'll make it a project to find out where in the world the scenes in these paintings are.  I like them both which is reason enough to have them in this BLOG.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017


In the place where I live, Paradise Village, there are many walls, and many of those walls are hanging places for paintings.  It's like a museum.  Most of the paintings are oil, and some are clearly prints of famous paintings... some paintings have signatures, and I can't tell if the signatures are the signings of the paintings by original painters or are they copies signed by the copier?  It is possible that some of the paintings were left to the retirement organization by persons who lived here but who had no relatives to take them when the resident died? It's a mystery, one that I shall try to solve by asking questions of the people who should know. Whatever the facts are about these paintings, I must say I like them. The two paintings today are wonderful, whether or not they are copies of original works.  The one above is not signed.  The one below is by an artist whose name is Durant. I found several painters with that name by checking the Internet, and I do know the work of Asher B. Durand, the Hudson River School painter.  This still life is clearly not his, but it is worth looking at closely...

I'll take beauty where I can find it... and hope I'm not breaking copyright laws.


Monday, April 17, 2017


Just so you won't get an idea that National City, especially our part of National City, is a backwater in the San Diego Area entertainment scene, I include in the BLOG this picture taken this afternoon at a Paradise Village social event called The Prince of Melody, Lawrence Gaskin.  In the middle of his "set" he came to our table and sang "B├ęsame mucho" to Margaret.


Also to keep the record straight and to show that we do something besides party...party at Paradise Village, I went out this morning to get a few groceries and a new swimsuit. To prove we have something besides beautiful flowers and wild entertainment in National City,  I include this street scene... Oh, I just noticed that the street is actually in Chula Vista, on the other side of a Freeway from National City...




Sunday, April 16, 2017


Sometimes a lake is just a lake, and sometimes it is a place away from everything else.  It is a place of mystery.  A lake is something different to everybody who sees and experiences it.  I have always liked Yeats The Lake Isle of Innisfree, and I don't know exactly why the poem has special meaning to met.  I wonder if I like the lakes I see in a way that is special to me only or to me in a way that is special just to me and wouldn't be understood by old W.B. I came upon the lake in the photographs while walking along a path lined with yellow daisies and the daisies weren't the reason for the special meaning of the lake for me.  Clearly Yeats brings his history, his troubles, his joys to the lake at Innisfree. Perhaps the line that touches me most is, "And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow." Perhaps it touches me because of something I read this morning about the fragility of the world that would cease to have any life in it if honey bees disappeared from the earth. Did Yeats know this?  Is that why he would have a "bee-loud glade"? And why would he live alone there?  And was he right about "Peace comes dropping slow?"

I wonder if President Trump knows The Lake Isle of Inisfree.  I wonder if Chairman Kim Jong-un of North Korea knows the poem.
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping
     slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket
     sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.





Saturday, April 15, 2017


Not far from the Rainbow Eucalyptus behind the Museum of Photographic Art a Palm Tree stands proudly.  It has everything a guy with a camera should want from an image.  The irregular edges and the colors and the patterns... everything... yet people walk past it scarcely giving it a glance, certainly not a careful look.  O.K. I get it.  The world is so full of stuff to see that we humans get accustomed to walking past remarkable scenes all the time without giving them a good look.  I am determined to look at everything and to actually see it.






Friday, April 14, 2017


Is there any place on Earth where the yellow daisy plant doesn't grow in springtime? If there is such a place I don't want to go there... especially in springtime.  In San Diego County these flowers are ubiquitous... along every roadway, even the freeways. There are other flowers growing here, but none catches the light in the way these beauties do.  It has occurred to me that these flowers are not the daisies that I have always called by that name; so if there is another name, and if they are not native to this area, don't tell me.






Thursday, April 13, 2017


What makes National City, where Margaret and I live, an all American place.  We've got a McDonald's, a Popeyes, a Starbucks, and a Dunk'n Donuts all in one place near the Plaza off-ramp from the 805 Freeway.  The freeway, one of two cutting through National City, helps establish our city as all American.

I intended this post to be something of a joke, but I saw the Manila Seafood sign in the Popeyes photograph and was reminded that National City is a serious international town.  The population is as diverse as any I know in America.  The Plaza off-ramp on the 805 Freeway is only ten miles from the Mexican Border...and the town's waterfront hugs the South Bay which runs along the Pacific Ocean from San Diego down to the southernmost part of the United States.  Every business establishment that I know in National City greets citizens with at least two languages, sometimes more. Just about everybody here speaks Spanish as well as English... and nobody I know is apologetic when using another language to express a thought.  I am proud to be a citizen of such as place as this.




Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Clyde Yoshida is a teacher, an artist, a soap maker, and a farmer.  He is better than good at all of these things he does.  After coffee this morning I dropped him off at his house (I was going to say farm but changed my mind) where he gave me permission to take pictures of his crop of pineapples and his newly planted strawberries. Now don't get me wrong when I say Clyde is a pot gardener.  The stuff of his garden you don't smoke.  His Pineapples and Blue Berries and his newly planted Straw Berries are grown in pots.  His pineapples are at least two generations down the line from pineapples he and Dave ate sometime long ago.  Clyde was born in hawaii which may account for his gardening skills and farming instincts. Somebody at the nursery sold him on the strawberries by telling him that the ripe berries (called Bubble Berries) taste like bubble gum. I picked and ate one of his blue berries this morning.  I'll come back for a Bubble Berry when the time is right.