Sunday, June 29, 2014

California, Part 5

On our last day we visited the world famous aquarium in Monterey before driving back north to San Francisco where we took the red-eye home. The aquarium was fabulous and I was able to get some pretty good pictures, rather surprising through the glass.

This fellow put on quite a show, swimming all around with his suction cups on the glass. 

This exhibit was all about camouflage. Can you see the fish in the middle?  Click on the picture for a closer view.

Well, not exactly, but we sure did have a wonderful mini vacation. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

California, Part 4

While in Monterey we visited the Fisherman's Wharf, much better, in our opinion, than the one in SF.  We saw seals and otters swimming around.  We loved the way the otters dove down to get their food, then brought it up to the surface and flipped on their backs to eat their catch.  They were so comical. It was hard to get a good picture because they were so fast.

The seals were also funny, vying for territory on this wharf and making a terrible racket.  I sure wouldn't want to be taking a nap while they were around.  The sound carried for a long way.

We visited Cannery Row, where there used to be a huge fish canning industry.  Most of the canned sardines came from this area.  Now it is a tourist area abounding in shops and restaurants and the sardines are long gone due to over fishing.

This sculpture was dedicated to the people who helped to make this area famous, with John Steinbeck on the top.  Although I have read others by him, I don't think I ever read his book, Cannery Row, but I am going to download it on my Kindle.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

California, Part 3

We rented a car and left San Francisco to drive down the coast on US 1 to Monterey.  The scenery was breathtaking!

I don't remember where most of these were taken, but  I know that this is the famous Bixby Bridge, built in 1932.

And at the scenic pull-over for the bridge there sat this man with a rabbit on his head and one on his lap playing the guitar and singing.  What a hoot!

There were wildflowers everywhere, including these succulent buds.  I would love to see them in full bloom.

We took a side trip to Point Lobos State Park, famous for the tide pools. My son took this incredible picture of these purple anemones.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

California, part 2

Since our time there was so short, actually just two full days in SF, we tried to cram in as much as possible.  We did a lot of walking and I thought our feet would fall off from trekking all those hills for which SF is famous.

  We expected the weather to be coolish and it was.  I bought this very light weight down jacket there, so light that you could roll it up and put it in its pouch that was about the size of a large baked potato. We took the ferry to Sausalito and here Ruthie and I are posing near the Golden Gate Bridge.

 We saw so many flower gardens and many flowers that we could not identify.  This is a rose, but I could only tell by its foliage.

I have no idea what this flowering shrub was, but we saw it all over.  So pretty, but no fragrance.

We did quite a bit of walking in the Golden Gate Park, which runs thought the middle of the city and is even larger than Central Park in NYC.  This was at the entrance to its Japanese Garden.  We didn't go in, but peeked through the gates.

We did stroll through the Rose Garden and were treated to so many spectacular blooms like this one. 

 I am very fond of succulents and they were all over, large beds like this one with the plants jammed together and other individual plants or groupings here and there. They were growing in large fields in the country side and even clinging to the side of rocky cliffs.

I thought this one was unusual and although you can't tell from the photo, it was quite tall.

I liked this lovely container of succulents at a shop entrance.

Of course we had to take a trolley ride and after walking all day we took the trolley back to our hotel from Fisherman's Wharf.  It was quite a ride, up and down steep hills with the trolley bell clanging.

Agapanthus is a flower that you rarely see in the Northeast and if you do they are in pots because they can not tolerate a hard freeze.  But in SF and the other towns we visited they were all over.  There were huge beds of them and small groupings, and everywhere you turned you saw them.  They are quite stately, growing 3 to 4 feet high in shades of purple and white.

Here is a bed in front of a shop. Oh, how I wish I could grow them here. They are a perennial in California.

And here a beautiful bed of mixed purple and white.  Stunning!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

California, Here I Come

Instead of visiting my son, Kurt, and his SO, Katie, in Portland, OR, where they live, my sister and I met up with them in San Francisco.  Kurt had spent a summer there several years ago as a law school intern, so he knew his way around, plus he inherited his late Dad's great sense of direction.  Kurt was our tour director, event planner and restaurant finder and he was fabulous at it all.  We spent three days in SF,  then rented a car and drove down that magnificent US 1, along the water to spend two days in the Monterey area.

I'll just give you a few pictures spread over a few days.  We saw so much and I took so many pictures, but  I don't want to bore you.  Where to begin.......??   I'll start with the architecture, always a fascination to me in a new city.

The Transamerica Pyramid is the tallest skyscraper in SF.  It goes up to a sharp point and was visible from most parts of the city.

This view was from the ferry on the way to Sausalito, on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge.

This and the next three views are from our hotel window on the 23rd floor.  I particularly liked the shape of this building.

I managed to capture this lovely sunset.

Still from our window.  Notice the Transamerica Pyramid in the distance.

Come back tomorrow.  Much more to show.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mellow Yellow

While yellow is a color I seldom wear or use in my work and while most of my garden is in pinks and blues and purples, a bit of yellow sneaks in to give its cheery spark.

Knockout Rose

Cushion on chairs on front porch


Kalanchoe, actually a house plant inside




Lantana, Yellow and Pink in one plant

Margarita Daisy

African Dasiy

Stella Doro Day Lily

Yellow gradation hand dyes

The bare beginnings of my next Skinny Wiggly quilt

Lest you think I have a huge garden, I do not. I have several containers on my small front porch and on my big back deck, then some things in beds around the house.  It's enough to give me a lot of color and even some flowers for picking.  I also grow several herbs in containers and cherry tomatoes in big pots on my back deck. I love being able to go out and pick some flavoring for my cooking.