Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Birds

The spring-like temperature was good while it lasted. It rained Wednesday night and when I awoke the next morning the ground was wet. There was a gray pall over my town that day. The sun peeked for a while during the morning hours and most of the afternoon it was behind the clouds. The rains came intermittently most of the day. It was good for the plants. Weeds? No! Well, maybe in the hills beyond.

The temperature dipped to the low 60's. I stayed indoors and worked on some of my sketches in my study room. I was so engrossed in it when I heard loud harsh "caw, caw, caw." It was a flock of
crows cawing. They landed on my neighbor's backyard tree. These birds give me the shivers. I don't know what it is about them, but that is how I feel when I see them hovering about. They specially like to roost in groups and make a lot of noise.

The crows on my neighbor's tree.
(click image to enlarge)

I padded to the front bedroom, the master bedroom, and there I saw another flock right on my tree which was so close to my house. They scampered off as soon as they saw me spying on them. Then they landed on a birch tree across the street. There were about 20 of them. Eeewww! They reminded me of that movie The Birds, with Suzanne Pleshette. That must be why they give me the creeps.

The flock across the street.

After a little while they were gone. Good. I'd rather have the smaller birds around, the sparrows, pigeons, and hummingbirds. It won't be long though, and I'd see them in my backyard. In the meantime, I'd have to put up with these blackbirds.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Winter, or Spring?

While some parts of the nation are buried in snow, we here in Southern California are enjoying a warm and sunny weather. This is the crazy weather California is known for.

I dressed light today. I wore my big grey T-shirt and my maroon sweat pants and a pair of old sandals. I drove down the hill to the park to see what folks were up to.
(click images to enlarge)

There were a handful of people enjoying the nice spring-like temperature.

Ah! What a view! Dem thar hills have no snow. No need to bundle up tonight.

Hello down there! Down there is our postage stamp downtown. A little community. It is really a small part of a city, but we call it our downtown.

I got "down there" and there was the time.

And look at that temperature! Perfect day to wear a bikini. LOL Like I'm going to dare wear one. I don't even own a one-piece bathing suit. I did have a couple a long time ago, but...never mind.

Some people sat at an outdoor coffee shop to have a snack and chat.

A lady had done some shopping early in the day.

At a nearby junior high the girls' soccer team were on practice. At this time school was already out for the day.

A young man was taking his dog for a walk.

It was a little bit windy, and Old Glory was flying high. The blue sky as background was perfect. Truly a nice day.

Monday, January 12, 2009

She purred her last.

A quick sketch in pencil on paper.

Miss Eartha Kitt, a legendary singer had passed on Dec. 25, 2008. She left grieving fans from all over the world. Miss Kitt performed on Broadway, starred in movies, tv, and performed in night clubs as well. Her most memorable performance on tv was as Catwoman in the Batman series.

One of her most popular songs that I remember was C'est si bon. I, however, was surprised to hear her sing the Tagalog song Waray Waray. This was originally sang in Tagalog by the late Nida Blanca.

I love listening to her sing this song. It suited her voice and her style; it seemed it was composed for her alone. And one thing I noticed, her pronunciations of the Tagalog words were perfect.

The world will miss Eartha Kitt.

More about Ms. Kitt here and here.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Redondo Beach Revisited

On the last Saturday of the year 2008, my husband and I went to visit Redondo Beach. We had lunch at a restaurant on the boardwalk, then we took a leisurely walk up the pier.
(click images to enlarge)

It was a nice warm day, perfect for strolling, watching, reading, feeding the birds and whatever.

Walking up the ramp near the boat slips we spotted a seabird on its back trying so hard to get back upright. Its head was in the water and it struggled so hard to keep it up for a breath of air, while flailing its legs. Its wing or wings must have been broken. We were rooting for the bird. "Come on bird, come on. Get up. Go...go." But sadly, it lost the battle with the water, died. We could do nothing but watch the little creature drown. The public is prohibited from going in the water on that side as there are big jagged rocks surrounding the railing.

A few yards away was this flock floating, basking in the sun.

Here another seabird lurking, looking for its meal. A small school of fish can be seen at 11:00 o'clock (upper left hand side).

Then the seabird dove in the water, and chased its meal.

Machine, bird and man. That's a sheriff's helicopter flying on a mission somewhere on the beach, where there was trouble. There were 4 of them. Bird was bird watching, looking for lovely chicks. Man ate too much.

A flock of pelicans on a restaurant's roof top.

These pelicans came down from the rooftop to wait for hand outs from a fisherman. Later on a beach police officer came over to stop the fisherman from feeding the birds. He didn't see the fisherman in the act, but his presence was enough to stop the violator.

A fish got lodged in this pelican's pouch. It was in the wrong angle and the pelican could not swallow it. After a lot of twisting, turning and shaking, it finally got it right and swallowed the fish.

And there were those people who could not care less as long as they have each other. Uuuuyyy, kissie...kissie.

On to more fishing for the day's meal.

They bring everything except the kitchen sink. I saw one bring a stove, mind you. Sink is provided for cleaning fish.

A boxful of mackerels, the catch of the day.

Finally, we headed home. And on the freeway we saw Will Smith. Hmmm...did he wink at me?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Welcome 2009!

I had planned this morning to wake up early and take a picture of the first sunrise of the year. I, however, usual. I'm practicing my motto of: Late to bed, late to rise. LOL Well, as I said before, I'm not a morning person.

When I got out of bed, the sun was no longer peeking behind the hills and the trees. It was way up high already, glaring at me. I had breakfast at a little before 9:00 AM.

(click photo to enlarge)

My first meal of the new year was a little bit heavy. I had an egg which was a little bit overdone; 2 mini bagels; 3 pieces of turkey bacon and a small chunk of gouda cheese; and coffee with cream.

I turned on the TV. The Rose Parade was already well underway. I watched some of it, and got some clips. Bear with the quality of the pictures, I am not a professional photographer. (Kuha lang ito sa tv habang nagpaparada sila...)

(Click images to enlarge)

Everything on the floats were made of flowers, seeds, leaves, stalks and other parts of plants. Nothing was man-made except the float platforms, gadgetry and mechanisms.

The Rose Parade is held each year on the New Year's day. Read more and see more photos here.

Yawn...I'm off to bed...again.