© Robert Sommers 2018

Monday, May 21, 2018

One Hundred Years From Now


Northern Mockingbird

I had a good show in Santa Barbara. Not going to solve all my problems but I am making incremental progress. Met some new clients, made a few sales and things went a little better than expected. Could be much worse. Always.

I didn't get to go out and explore much this trip like I usually do, set up took a little longer than expected. I found that I have developed an allergy to my packing materials, both setup and pack up sent me into extensive sneezing fits. I believe that it is the microfibers in the "depends type" wraps that I use to pack with. I bought some benadryl which helped a little. I am not sure that there is a good substitute out there.

I stayed at the Motel 6 in Carpenteria, the only motel I can afford in the entire area at a still hefty $135 a night. Not terrible if you can do without little things like kleenex and shampoo. And don't mind the brick like mattress. Lovely warning sign on the pool. Really makes you want to go take a dip. I didn't.

At least one of my clients lost their home in the tragic events of the winter, not from fire but from the mudslide. I drove to Ojai twice for a delivery and the extent of the fire is striking. But plants are growing back, the mighty oaks are regreening, I think everything will be fine in time.

Bill had a Cooper's Hawk nesting at his more southern Motel 6. Not a lot of light but I managed a snap or two.

Perfect weather in a perfect locale this week.

I took one morning and walked the Salt Marsh in Carpenteria looking for birds. Didn't see much. But good to stretch my legs after being cooped up in the booth being pleasant all week...

A cat laying in wait, staring longingly at some ducks.

A hummer, shining brightly in the early morning light.

Some pretty native flora. Always nice to walk around a new place, largely free from fellow hominids.

Ate at Superica once. Had a big lengua place at Los Agaves, repeated breakfasts at Esaus. Grabbed a cup of joe at my fave, Vices and Spices. Took the Ojai route to Santa Paula on the way home after a delivery. Interesting route. I didn't get back until after midnight last night, stopped at Dennys for coffee and a pot roast melt to stay awake. Really not bad...

But I am completely exhausted today. Time to go unpack the van. Keep on trucking...

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Flaco Jimenez - En Vivo (1976)

Vaya con dios, ese.

I got word from my wife tonight that one of my oldest friends, Garry Cohen, has passed away.

Two in the morning last night.

The fact that we all knew that it was coming makes it no easier to deal with.

Pancreatic is the worst kind of cancer and he fought it tooth and nail, but it turned out to be an unwinnable match.

Garry was a tough dude, a brilliant artist, a great friend. I've known him since my teens, he was teaching glass and ceramics at Palomar when I was there.

Harold Tanner was having a costume party in Valley Center and Rick and Ida Griffin and I went over. Garry was wearing a spaceman suit and Rick recognized him in the suit. He introduced me. Garry and Rick had gone to elementary school together.

So many people from that era now gone - Rick, Margie, Doug, Barry, Val, the sand in the hourglass is quietly slipping away.

Garry and I did a lot of stuff together, we boxed, shot trap, went through a few wives and girlfriends. Always the most supportive of friends, he loved dancing, Mexican music, motorcycles, his succulent garden, friends and children.

I dropped acid one day in college, during Jim Saw's airbrush class and couldn't quite handle it. Went over to Garry's and rode motorcycles with him in the afternoon to get my bearings. Who should drive up but Jim. We all had a good laugh.

Garry was a Long Beach State graduate, a brilliant jeweler, ceramist, glass blower, he made Leslie's wedding ring. We treasure his whimsical sculptures, have a bunch of his glass around the house. And now he is gone and I had to hear about it courtesy of fucking Facebook.

I am really glad that I got a chance to say goodbye to my old bud last week. I feel very fortunate. We lost a great one.

Monday, May 14, 2018

CALM, Santa Barbara

Caballero - Ernest Coleman Erickson

The Blue Heron Gallery is pleased to announce that it will be exhibiting at the CALM Antique show in Santa Barbara this Friday through Sunday. The event is held biannually at the Earl Warren Showgrounds.

18, 19 & 20, 2018

Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

At the Earl Warren Showgrounds
(Highway 101 at Las Positas)
I got the wonderful caballero painting you see here back today from my restorer and preservationist, Gary Hulbert. Minor cleaning, in its original frame. Cleaned off a century of tobacco. A large painting, the canvas measures 40" x 28".

I will be offering it for sale at the show in Santa Barbara for a very reasonable sum. Perfect for the Spanish Revival or Monterey motif. Classic early California. Rare to find one this good.

Not a lot is known about Erickson. He was a student at Otis for three years in the 1920's. Listed in Hughes, member of the California Art Club. Died in 1981.
Nails it here.

If you would like to screenshot this pass and print it, you can get in for free.

Visit beautiful Santa Barbara and shop for some wonderful decor from the many fine dealers at the show.

Lilac Hills Ranch

Two years ago, more than 64% of San Diego county residents rejected the then proposed Lilac Hills Development measure which aimed to build over 1700 new homes in a very rural and pristine area of Valley Center.

Lo and behold, the developers are back with essentially the exact same plan and the fix might be in for them at the County of San Diego. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig.

The new scheme? Bundling the project with six other projects in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County representing 10,000 more units, and cramming them down the public's throat, like it or not.

Jerry Kern
I have to assume that retiring Supervisor Bill Horn's hand is in this somewhere. His nearby property will certainly be worth more money if the project goes through.

I have not heard anything positive from those seeking to replace him in District 5. I will certainly not be voting for Jerry Kern based on his views on the subject.

Too often the inhabitants of the unincorporated area have ended up on the wrong side of these sorts of funny deals. Some people won't be happy until San Diego is wall to wall housing, asphalt and cement, like Orange County.

The once rural I - 15 corridor near Fallbrook has been inundated with these types of high density developments the last several years.

Yes, we have a housing problem in Southern California. We also have a shortage of other things like water and native habitat. The freeway has become near unbearable at certain peak hours.

Those of us that have fought to protect the back country for years have to bridle when politicians suddenly subvert the will of the people and engage in these kinds of last second, sleight of hand, back room shenanigans. Hold your representatives accountable.

99 Years For One Dark Day


Cardiff caper

Leslie and I had a nice Sunday.

I have a show in Santa Barbara this weekend so I packed some boxes in the morning to get ready.

We visited our friends Ron and Lena on the coast in the early afternoon, they are freshly back from three and a half months in Asia.

We knoshed and caught up with each other and then decided to take a walk down at San Elijo Lagoon, which is undergoing major dredging and renovation.

It was very nice down there. Warm and breezy. I just happened to have a camera with a functional lens in the car and I snapped a few pictures while we walked.

There were a lot of hummingbirds out.

I shot a lot of egrets too but I got to thinking, I probably have captured more pictures of egrets now than any other human being on the planet - I bet that you are getting tired of them?

So I will give you a break. No egrets this time.

Okay, just one...

We did see an amazing number of fish jumping out of the water, some of them very large. Not sure if they were getting goosed or what but they were sure launching themselves.

I wish I had better pictures but I am sure that you will appreciate that it is quite difficult to do justice to an unprovoked and unexpected piscine appearance above the waterline.

After our walk my comrades even took me to VG's donuts for an eclair which for those of you that don't know, is pretty darn close to heaven. Sweet!

We had a nice dinner with our pals. Barb Ap stopped by. Caught this pretty house finch that dropped by their strelitzia to say hello.

We didn't leave that late but I was totally exhausted, was tough driving home.

Old friends are about the best thing on earth. You don't have to impress them, entertain them, you can just be yourself. We do a lot of laughing when we are together.

These are two of our best.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy mother's day.

By biological design you are issued one mother in this lifetime. This is mine, in a last happy moment, with my brother John. She is gone now. Even with all the ups and downs, I was very lucky to have her. Love you, mom.

Bad Dream Blues - Van Ronk


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Dreamgirl - Roy Gaines

Duplex or duplicitous?

I heard this and frankly wanted to puke. The gratuitous um, uh, uh huh's and the like. I don't feel comfortable with machines imitating humans or the deception involved in this sort of human/a.i. interaction.

I thought about a David Bowie concert I attended in the early 1980's, the Glass Spider tour.  Bowie pulls an unsuspecting woman out of the crowd and dances with her, somewhere along the line we all realize that we have been played.

I hate getting played. Or manipulated. By humans or machines.

Wood duck family, Santee Lakes

I don't know you.


Needing a break after a bout with the client from hell, I went down to Santee yesterday to decompress.

Drizzle, cold, cloud cover, I didn't care, I had to get away.

Holy duck sh*t, batman!
I hadn't had the nikkor 400mm 2.8 E out in a while and decided to go for it. It fits with the Nikon D850 like peanut butter and jelly.

There were quite a few birders down there because evidently a rare blackpoll warbler has been hanging around there all week.

I never saw it. A guy I ran into was down from Seattle looking for it.

I saw bullocks and hooded orioles. Equipment worked fine, mostly hand held.

This gent won a new fishing pole for hooking into a tagged catfish.
There were a whole bunch of swifts flying around, including quite a few of these lovely violet green swifts. They fly so darn fast that they are really hard to shoot. 

cliff swallow

I am certainly no expert but this may be a Forster's tern.

I left Santee Lakes after a few trips around the perimeter and headed over to Lindo Lake. Lots of egrets roosting in the eucalyptus and palm trees.

Lindo Lake is pretty in its own way but not exactly the nicest of neighborhoods. Kids getting stoned in their car by the skateboard park wanted to know how much my lens was worth, if it could see people's individual molecules, might be a place a guy could get robbed if he was stupid.

I try not to be.