Cooper's Hawk

Friday, September 22, 2017

Son Of A Preacherman

Whale of a time

I will be hitting the big sixty mark on November 6th. Unfortunately I will be driving back from an antique show in San Francisco that day and won't be able to spend it with family and friends.

But I have a hankering for going whale watching out of Oceanside the following weekend, probably the 12th, a Sunday.

I would like to know how many pals might be interesting on joining me for a couple hours out on the water? Have a few pops and hopefully see some whales and other cetaceans. Celebrate my dotage.

We can charter a private boat for forty five people for about $1700 ($38 a person) but failing to get a lot of takers can go out on the regular 12:00 or 2:30 p.m. boat for a senior rate (55 and older) of $29.00 per person, $34 for you youngsters out there. Let me know if you are in soon and I will try to set something up. If we decide on the latter we need to reserve seats right away.

I went out with Oceanside Adventures a few months ago and they were really great. Should be near the start of the Gray Whale seasonal migration but I plan on having a good time no matter what we encounter.

Please email me privately or call and rsvp.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Guy Clark - Stuff that works

Molly Tuttle

More black and white

Immigration Liberation Movement

Nancy Pelosi got into a big confrontation the other day with the same people that she has been trying to help, the dreamers, or at least a small subset called the Immigration Liberation Movement.
“We are not a bargaining chip!” the protesters chanted.“All of us or none of us." The protesters demanded “a clean bill” — meaning that the Dream Act would get an up-or-down vote on its own without any language regarding border security attached. They “demanded” that Pelosi show a commitment to protecting “all 11 million” undocumented immigrants believed to be in the country.“We demand accountability. Democrats are not the resistance of Trump. We are!” they shouted.
I am sorry my liberal friends but this is where I veer to the right. This sort of heavy handed play is not going to be very helpful in the long run to these undocumented residents of the United States. You bite the people who are trying to help you and you end up with nobody willing to help you at all.

I have sympathy for kids who were brought here through no fault of their own, have tried to make a better life for themselves and now risk deportation. Many are in college or have served admirably in our armed forces. We sent a kid back to Korea earlier this year who was adopted at three, had absolutely no connection with the mother country, couldn't speak Korean. This type of behavior is criminal.

But the parents of these children deserve their share of blame themselves, for not respecting the immigration laws of our country and for using anchor babies as leverage. And that is exactly what is happening when dreamers play this all 11 million undocumented aliens card. It is a gambit destined to fail.

These protesters, from the so called Immigration Liberation Movement, are not doing their peers and comrades any favors and will probably set back any advances they have made with a sizable percentage of the american populous.

Luckily, from the looks of their Facebook page these a-holes are losing traction with everybody, including many from their own community. Every country, including Mexico and the United States, has a right to secure their own borders and regulate residency and citizenship. These people are not helping their own cause. Ask nicely, don't demand.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Allmans do Airplane

Flying stuff and large spadixes

Had a strange experience the night before last. I dreamt that there was a mountain lion and a tiger in my yard. Very vivid.  I woke my wife up to tell her about my dream close to four in the morning and then went back to sleep.

When I got to coffee, Ron, a neighbor above me who is also a friend and my dentist, told me that he saw a puma the previous night while turning off his irrigation. He said that he saw it run down towards my ranch.


I had a midday appointment on the coast yesterday. Decided to bring a camera along.

 First stop was Quail Gardens, oops, the San Diego Botanic Garden. The garden has a blooming titan arum, more properly known as Amorphophallus titanum.

The titan arum, is commonly known as the corpse flower, for the rotting stench it emits.

It is the largest flower in the world and one has only to take a gander to see how it got the name Amorphophallus although the large protruding spadix is actually hundreds of flowers.

It was given the name titan arum by Sir David Attenborough, who worried that Amorphophallus was a little too racy.

Georgia O'keeffe and Judy Chicago would have gone crazy over this thing. Large specimens can be over nine feet tall. I didn't measure this but it might have been close to six or seven.

The corm of this plant can weigh 250 lbs. Do you see the plant on the left? It is the same plant in vegetative state. The leaf form on top is actually one leaf. It takes about a decade to create enough energy to bloom. One orgasm and it is all over.

There were lots of people around taking pictures, it is a two day job and then, finished. So it was crazy there. Went back in the afternoon as it is constantly growing and changing, probably collapsed this morning. Had a cigarette.

I scooted down to La Jolla and stopped at the glider port to take a shot or two before my meeting. Need to spend some more time there when I'm not rushed.

My friend and client has a lovely cliffside view and I took a shot or two off her deck and did my appraisal.

Then I boogied over to the Torrey Pines State Reserve, see if I could spot a peregrine falcon or two.

Lugging the 400mm around hiking is like carrying a small anvil. I brushed agains the lens and accidentally put it in manual focus and it took a while to figure out. Missed some shots.

Saw one falcon. Which was not worth writing home about. But had a nice walk and did come upon this gorgeous Cooper's Hawk on the branch of a Torrey Pine.

You out of town people that think this is pretty, it is not. I use special filters on the camera. Don't even think of moving here. We are out of water. Stay in Phoenix.

So it was another good day. Sort of guilty, too much picture taking and not enough money making but I am planting seeds.

Had the camera on the seat this morning on the way to work and saw a first in the canyon. Five snowy egrets on the top of a large tree. Maybe we are going to get a rookery? Couldn't get all of them in view with the large prime. Hope they stick around.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Tim Hardin

B & W

Toronto view

Dallas night sky
Bristlecone Pine
Tufa reflections

Terry Reid - Seed Of Memory

Morty knows a lot about music, used to be a music writer in Phoenix. He asked me if I knew Terry Reid's work? I did but very vaguely, never really focussed on him too much. But you talk about a guy with fans. Reportedly had such a great voice he turned down vocal gigs with both Zeppelin and Deep Purple.

Lot of great and talented people and bands flew under the rainbow of notoriety, people like Reid, Fred Neil, John Martyn, Karen Dalton, Judy Henske, Iain Matthews, Moby Grape and Evie Sands to name a few choice examples.

The road to the left

I was supposed to hike yesterday with Beth, we were going to try to take a shot of the Santa Margarita River from the identical hilltop vantage of an early twentieth century photo.

It was cloudy and we tabled the idea and will revisit for a future date.

But I had a hankering to get out and hike so I drove down to the mailboxes and hiked the horse trail towards DeLuz.

It is funny, have lived on or near the river for 38 years but I rarely walk this particular stretch.

Used to ride my horse down there but that was a long while back and the trails weren't exactly managed back then.

Nowadays I walk or hike down either right near my house or towards the northeast. Don't ask me why, creature of habit.

It was nice yesterday. Southern California riparian is Coastal Live oaks and sycamores, has its own hue and charm but is still basically desert scrub and chaparral. Lots of yucca and cactus, sumac, cottonwood, toyon and the like. Some manzanita. Dryer than Northern California, a different and somewhat more modulated shade of green.

I didn't see much fauna yesterday, heard a beaver splash his tail, saw a lizard without one.

Walked through a lot of poison oak. Wiped down with isopropyl alcohol when I got home and left my clothes in a heap. Took a benedryl, hope I head off the itching as I am pretty susceptible,

I did see a bunch of horseback riders enjoying their afternoon. Which reminds me, I followed Leslie home from town the other evening, quite near dark.

I came around a curve and her car was stopped in the road. A truck and trailer was coming up the grade below her. Apparently their horse got away.

It was galloping straight for Leslie, and she jumped out of her car and caught it in a heartbeat. The people were amazed at how calm and cool she was but that is my wife. She shines under pressure.

I know that I sound like a broken record but I count my blessings every day that I live in a place that has not been spoiled or destroyed yet. Am sickened by the Trump administration's new plans to shrink National Monuments and relax clean coal regulations.

I passed some mortero holes. The area is full of them. I wonder what the native inhabitants called themselves? I know further south they called themselves Ipa, the people.

The folks on the San Luis Rey were called Luiseño by the Spanish, the coastal people were Diegueño and so on. Pala, Pauma, Rincon, Los Coyotes, Cahuilla and Cupa peoples to the east.

Ethnographers have identified several indian settlements on the Santa Margarita, they call them the Luisefio.

Near me somewhere was a place they called, in their Shoshonean linguistic dialect, Meha. 

Other native settlements on the Santa Margarita River included Ushmai, Katukto, Awá and Takwi. The large original settlement that now hosts the San Luis Rey Mission was called Khecham. It would be nice to know the exact locations.

The Spaniards were no dummies. They stuck their churches right on top of the original inhabitants' kivas, somehow found a way to appropriate the best real estate. The local inhabitants were eventually evicted by the San Diego County sheriff in 1875 and moved to the Pechanga Reservation.

Somewhere I have a rare signed first edition book by Tom Hudson titled Five paths along a river that really does a good job chronicling the natives' culture, language and habits.

I do remember that they subsisted on an acrid oak acorn paste called waweesh

I bought a large Luiseño basket recently for my gallery. Nice lightning iconography.

Mission Indians and the Pauite Shoshone were the only two native groups that used the juncas reed in their basketry and are easily distinguished. Sumac is also used and decorative elements are sometimes made with dahlia and elderberry.

Gavilan Mountain
I live under the eaves of Gavilan Mountain. Native lore says that the local natives would reconnoiter to the top when the area flooded. And it often did.

In fact they told the anglos that their railroad would one day be underwater but were not believed. Three times. The installation of the Vail Dam in 1948 radically restricted the water in the river.

It was fun getting out yesterday, Trail terminates two ways, Rock Mountain and De Luz. I would like to do the whole route one of these days.

Lucky to be here. Beats concrete.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Clown lives matter

Image from The Warriors
First they came for the clowns...

I admit I have been blown away visually by the artistry and creativity I see in the images from yesterday's Insane Clown Posse march in Washington. Also love that it dwarfed the stupid nearby Trumpfest, if not in attendance than at least in media exposure.

The face paint, the signage, the message of inclusion and the rap duo's appeal to the alienated, they all strike a chord with me.

Think Marcel Marceau meets John Candy and throw in a little psycho Heath Ledger and you get a juggalo. Where all are welcome, irrespective of one's color, religion, orientation or body type.

When looking at the fans, I also can't help thinking about one of my favorite cult movies, the 1979 film The Warriors, filmed by the late Hungarian cinematographer Walter Laszlo, specifically the chilling gang of face painted, bat swinging, baseball players the Warriors run into on their way back to Coney Island.

The ICP fans have been designated a criminal gang organization by the federal government on the basis of the flimsiest and most numerically insignificant of incidents.

Just your basic garden variety government harassment. But they have taken people's kids away on the basis of a tattoo or other supposed icp affiliation.

I was a serious fan of the Grateful Dead in my youth. We looked weird, acted weird and were also specifically targeted by the federal government.

The wearing of tie dye and dead shirts was probable cause for search in airports and dead concerts were quite often attended by undercover federal agents trying to bust people for LSD or other psychedelics, which is really quite ironic because there probably never would have been a psychedelic revolution without the CIA, MKUltra or Colonel Al Hubbard. The beast that got away.

I had friends that spent a significant time in jail for their attempts at personal inner exploration.

I also know what it feels like to be different and not to fit in. Maybe that is one of the reasons I feel solidarity with the juggalos.

I hope that the Insane Clown folks win this struggle and keep up the incredible imagery. Probably gained a lot of new converts this week.

Whoop, whoop.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

2018 Anza Borrego Photo Contest

They are having their annual photo contest out at Anza Borrego. My wife saw it in the newspaper. Although I rarely if ever enter anything like this, Leslie asked me to so I did.

Long eared owl - Tamarisk Grove
You can too, you photographers out there. Here is the link.

Whenever you're ready

Although I think that the whole idea of hall of fames is pretty stupid, I still think the Zombies not being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is downright criminal. If you are going to have one, find room for what might be the most beautiful voice in rock, Colin Blunstone.

You think ELO, Journey, the Sex Pistols, NWA, Green Day or Donna Summer are really more deserving? They are all in the hall. Ditto Rush, the Beastie Boys and Tupac.

Simply ridiculous.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Laura Nyro

I wasn't familiar with this cut even though I love Laura Nyro. It's a doozy, Duane Allman on guitar, might want to have a listen.

Keeping it straight

If you are amongst the politically confused these days, don't worry, You've got a lot of company. It used to be so easy.

You were either a Republican or a Democrat. Usually because that is what your folks were. Liberal or conservative.

Paul LePage
Nowadays not so easy. That's all changed. Let's take the GOP:

You might be a hawkish republican, a la Lindsay Graham.

Or on the flip, a non interventionist, isolationist Republican, think Rand Paul.

Or a nativist anti immigrant sort, like Steve King. Build a wall, ...calves as big as cantaloupes...

Or a big business needs an adequate migrant labor pool supporter like Tom Donohue at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Jeb Bush. Big business needs bodies.

Or a fiscal conservative firebrand like the Freedom Caucus types, Meadows and Jordan. Drain the swamp. Against everything. Slash spending.

Or an establishment GOPer like McConnell. People who have been around the block and remember how things used to work, don't necessarily want to blow everything up.

Or a social conservative anti abortion anti gay Repub like Louie Gohmert or Roy Moore.

Or a socially liberal republican like...well, we used to have some, give me a minute. I know, Susan Collins. Maybe the lady from Alaska. Not the one who can see Russia from the back yard, the other one.

Or a Trumper. What does he stand for again? The populist types that back the man, not necessarily any specific ideology. Thinks we are living in a reality television show.

Or a Bannonite. Someone who will stand up for White Americans of European stock. A Breitbart Republican. A voice for the powerful, poor uneducated white demographic.

Steve King
Or a dino like Joe Manchin.

Or an Ayn Rand Republican like Paul Ryan.

Or a Tea Party Republican.

Or a pro Russia Republican like Dana Rohrenbacher.

Or a commie hater like a John McCain.

Or a supply side Republican like Sam Brownback. (that went over really well)

Or a law and order guy like Jeff Sessions.

Or Neocons. The William Krystal wing. George Will, the intellectual Buckley descendants.

Or a Wall Street Republican. The market's good, that is all I care about. AKA Main St. Republicans. Cut taxes.

Or a Christian right Republican. A Trent Franks type.

A free market Republican.

A protectionist Repub.

A Federalist, strong central government Republican.

A log cabin Republican like Peter Thiel.

Or Fossil Fuel republicans like Inhofe, the climate change deniers. Gut the EPA.

Or a Koch Brothers Republican like Judd Gregg. Heartland Institute.

Sheriff Joe
Or a straight libertarian, like a Justin Amash or Paul again. Usually very bullish on weed, some concern for civil liberties.

There used to be a group in favor of bipartisanship, but they are now extinct. People like Rudman and the Concord Coalition. Now it is strictly let's do this alone.

Damn, that is a lot of flavors. The point of all this is that all of the aforementioned groups have just about one thing in common.

They hated Obama. And Obamacare.

But after that, nothing. As much alike as a pig and a parakeet. Antithetical positions, down the board. So it is no wonder that this party, which currently controls every branch of government down to the rank of dogcatcher, has been as worthless as a tit on a boar. Has accomplished exactly nothing short of Neil Gorsuch in nine months. With no prospects in sight.

You really can't blame the Donald for his most recent infidelity with Chuck and Nancy. It's not like his current pals are capable of agreeing on anything, not to mention enacting actual legislation. You think the orange one wants to go another three years in a continuous circle jerk, accomplishing exactly nothing?

Now its not like the Dems don't have their own factions, I have to be fair. But the split seems simpler.

The Bernie people want lots of free stuff, including free health care but show little concern for who is footing the bill. The socialist brigade. And then the rest of them, the standard issue garden variety libs, they haven't changed all that much since FDR. The bi coastal, urban majority that wins the popular vote but gets reamed by the heartland sticks most elections thanks to the electoral college, the closest most of these hayseeds will ever get to college.

Louie Gohmert
So there you have it. I was at Jack and Jill Nursery School in La Mesa when I made my fateful political choice. Maybe four years old. I remember it well, I had just eaten half of an overripe banana and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread when my life's political die was cast.

This was back in Nixon versus Kennedy days (for those of you that don't know, Kennedy won). We lined up in two lines, donkey or elephant. I went with the jackass. The kids in that line seemed so much more chill.

If you still call yourself a Republican, it would be real helpful if you told us what kind. But please don't b.s. me with any of that socially liberal, fiscally conservative stuff. That strain long ago ceased to exist.


Another day at the office

My paper restorer moved to Hemet and I had to bring her a couple things yesterday. Might as well see what was happening at my favorite place to get lost, the San Jacinto Wildlife Area. Just happened to have a couple cameras with long lenses in the van.

It was by no means an epic day. But it was a nice day. More kestrels around then I have ever seen in my life, maybe close to fifty. No mosquitos, plenty of dragonflies.

They are starting to fill the ponds again. Should be great in another month or two.

I would pretty much rather spend a bad day there than a good day anywhere else.

Didn't see another soul for over two hours and had 19,000 acres of unspoiled beauty to myself.

Me and the coots and the ibis and the egrets and the kestrels and the red winged blackbirds.

We were all doing just fine.

There is a sign there that cautions you to watch out for mountain lions.

I thought about it, just hope that I could click the shot before I got et and that somebody would find the camera and figure it all out. Congratulate me posthumously on my wonderful capture.

Hard to have a bad day when it is beautiful out and you get to share it with so many flying friends.

Caught some hawks in my valley on the way home and snapped this red tailed canyon resident with the nikkor 400mm 2.8 early this morning on my way to coffee.