Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thursday Tulips...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tulips began opening on Sunday...  This is the way they look on Wednesday

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tulips... Bigger and more Beautiful every Day

Tulips... Bigger and even more beautiful.

Monday, March 28, 2016

It's not that I don't have anything else to photograph and, of course, you've seen them already... but they are so beautiful and developing day by day from green stems into real tulips, that I've decided to have a series of BLOG posts dedicated to them... and to spring... and to being alive on the earth with such beautiful things.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

An Easter Gift from Ed Jirjis... A dozen red tulips, the red blossoms not showing when Ed brought them by our house on Tuesday or Wednesday; then we've had the pleasure of seeing them open this week.  Today, Easter Sunday, they were peeking above the tops of the green.  Glorious spring!

This afternoon we got together for lunch at the David's house.  Their backyard is wonderful for any kind of occasion, but it seems to be especially designed for Easter. Michael and I sat and with everyone else we enjoyed the dogs, watching them and holding them. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

                     "If it weren't for you, I would have conquered the world by now"

It's Saturday... Easter Weekend... and I was reading through the New Yorker that came yesterday, and I came across the cartoon which made me think of Clyde and Yellow Cat, and so I decided that I would take a picture of the cartoon and send it to Clyde and then I decided to let it be my picture for the day even though it is so unlike anything else I've ever used as a picture for the day... It's probably illegal for me to use a cartoon from The New Yorker as something that I post on the Internet, but there you have it.  I've done it, and I'm sticking with it.  

Friday, March 25, 2016

How can I ignore the beauty of these two photographs sent to me this morning by my friend, Anton Gulentsov, who lives in Smolensk, Russia.  He and his father and his son went out fishing early before 5 am.  Anton sent the photographs… I’m using them because they remind me of the beauty of the Smolensk region, and because they remind me of how fresh and good the coldness can be… and because they remind me of the freshness and goodness of a wonderful friendship. It may be spring in some parts of the world, but clearly not in Smolensk yet. 

I turned to stuff in our house in San Diego for a photograph that was Russian and American. I found a little stack of Russian dolls and a couple of paintings on lacquer boxes, the Russian dolls and one of the lacquer boxes from a trip in 2008, and the last of the boxes I bought when my family was first in Russia in 1971.  Beauty and dignity and fun go a long way back in Russia. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thursday again...  On the way to and from my MOPA volunteer stint, I photographed eucalyptus trees.  It doesn't seem to matter to me if the eucalyptus trees are interesting to other people. Each one is special. Somehow they remind me of the variety of living things on this earth with me.  Every one of them is a work of art.  Today I parked over on Park Blvd and walked to the museum.  Amazing what's to see out there when I take the time to look.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Following yesterday’s terrorist bombing in Brussels, I have reread the first thirty pages of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.  The statistics for North America north of Mexico tell a story that is familiar in a global world now…

“The Indian population of 10 million that lived north of Mexico when Columbus came would ultimately be reduced to less than a million.  Huge numbers of Indians would die from diseases introduced by the whites.  A Dutch traveler in New Netherland wrote in 1656 that ‘the Indians. . . affirm, that before the arrival of the Christians, and before the smallpox broke out amongst them, they were ten times as numerous as they now are, and that their population had been melted down by this disease,whereof nine-tenths of them have died.’  When the English first settled Martha’s Vineyard in 1642, the Wampanoags there numbered perhaps three thousand.  There were no wars on that island, but by 1764, only 313 Indians were left there.  Similarly, Block Island Indians numbered perhaps 12,00 to 1,500 in 1662, and by 1774 were reduced to fifty-one.

“What did people in Spain get out of all that death and brutality visited on the Indians of the Americas?  For a brief period in history, there was the glory of a Spanish Empire in the Western Hemisphere.  As Hans Koning sums it up in his book Columbus: His Enterprise:

"For all the gold and silver stolen and shipped to Spain did not make the Spanish people richer.  It gave their kings an edge in the balance of power for a time, a chance to hire more mercenary soldiers for their wars.  They ended up losing those wars anyway, and all that was left was a deadly inflation, a starving population, the rich richer, the poor  poorer, and a ruined peasant class."

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I am amazed, keep being amazed, at the great variety of many
of the living things, including people, on our planet.  
In San Diego we are surrounded by orchids...
Different  kinds...

Whooooooh!  ISIS!  What’s the world coming to???  The news today has been about the bombings in Brussels.  Of course, it’s a sad day.  Of course, ISIS and other terrorist organizations anywhere in the world must be stopped from their drive into madness.  The way to begin is not to build verbal or actual walls to keep people from coming across oceans or rivers.  A fellow who wants to be the president of the United States thinks an answer to the terrorist problem in the world is more torture… waterboarding and even other methods of torture. The approach is old fashioned.  All the way back to the beginning of organized government in North America, a theme has been to take advantage of some group of people.  Howard Zinn’s book, A People’s History of the United States, makes clear that efforts to keep undesirables out of the land where a new nation was forming started with attempts by the earliest European explorers and conquerers to drive out the people who were already living on the continent. My great grandmother, a Cherokee lady, was one of those driven off farm land in the Eastern region of the early nation to settle in “Indian Territory” that later became the state of Oklahoma.  Subsequent generations from those early Americans have generally been willing to accept citizenship in the United States… if they do it quietly and with a generous nod especially to their forebears who were European if they have those on their family tree.  Most of us who have a thin stream of Native American blood flowing in us don’t know anything else to do except accept quietly what was done to our ancestors... but we can stand against bigots.

What some of us don’t like is the rhetoric of Americans who claim they are defending the nation by standing against Muslims or any other ethnic or religious groups.  What is clear is that there are no easy answers.  Election of a bigot or a religious extremist of any religion with hope of leading the country out of the confusion would be a futile, foolish exercise… no solution to the problem of terrorism in the world.

Monday, March 21, 2016

SPRING IS HERE… Started yesterday…

The pictures today are a tribute to this great time of year.  Bottle Brush trees and shrubs are blooming.  Palm trees seem bolder than usual.  The red flowers are passionate, like their name.  Every ficus seems even to manage carvings and scars well. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The San Diego Symphony played the Igor Stravinsky Firebird Suite this afternoon.  Wow!  This morning Carole Porter showed me a heart in a tree that I had somehow missed seeing for years.  This was a good day?

Saturday, March 19, 2016


In the past couple of days I have become aware that the trees in Balboa Park provide much more than pleasant atmosphere… much more than shade and shadows.  I read and posted on this BLOG a couple of days ago the message on a small sign inside the Morton Bay Fig Tree enclosure. "Every plant gives a yearly gift of monetary value to the visitors to the park, and to the entire area."

I’ve always liked trees, but I am now even more grateful to them… and I feel more protective of them.  Many of the trees in the park have been defaced by people.  So-and-so loves So-and-so... and I want to believe the people carving their initials in a tree to declare their love don’t understand the damage they are doing… 

This afternoon I attended a burial service for my Neighbor Dave Leadingham.  The memorial service was set in a green, very arboreal place…  Exactly right for this blog writing.