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© Robert Sommers 2018

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Peregrine falcon, Torrey Pines

The peregrine nearly faced extinction during the last century due to pesticides.
The Torrey Pine is far rarer, growing only here in San Diego county on the La Jolla preserve and on one of the near by Channel Islands, Santa Rosa.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Tax cuts create economic growth?

Methinks we have heard this tune before. Kansas Republican Says 'Reckless' State Tax Cuts Offer Warning For U.S. Fiscal conservatives decide to add another trillion or two to the national deficit, based upon a rosy economic scenario and projection that has been repeatably shown to not work in real life. Let's not forget the grand Kansas experiment. When it all goes to hell and the projections go awry, as they certainly will, certain congressmen and women will go to bed knowing they peddled America a false bill of goods, knowingly drank the kool-aid and served their masters' bidding very well.

Flatt & Scruggs - Nine Pound Hammer (Live)



This is a rare recording of the Merle Travis classic with Earl Scruggs playing guitar instead of the more familiar banjo.

More birds from yesterday.

It was still a little early or maybe I just didn't time it right. Larry got some very nice pictures a couple weeks ago from SJWA.

Lots of coots and ibis, red winged blackbirds, a surfeit of egrets. Not a lot of ducks or large raptors. Still tons of kestrels, feasting on a large local dragonfly population.

Kestrels are very cute little raptors.


I did see a black winged kite and I haven't seen one up there for a couple years. Didn't have the reach for a really proper shot but did the best I could.


A harrier or marsh hawk flies just outside of my camera's reach. Will get him next time!





Watched a pair of red tails do their thing up high, actually engage in some flying behavior I have not seen before. I'm guessing a courtship ritual. Legs down.


Saw yellowlegs and willets, avocets and stilts.

I shot the nikon d810 with the nikkor 400mm 2.8 fl and the nikon d7200 with the Sigma 150-600mm C telephoto zoom. Next trip I am going to put the 400mm on the d7200 and see if the crop sensor's extra reach allows me more good captures. Would like to buy the tc -14eIII and 20e III teleconverters as well as the drop in circular polarizer for the 400 but can't afford them right now. Having said that, I can get things with the 400 that I could never grab before. Lens is a joy.



Looking forward to going back for another try.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Butcher Bird

Needed a mental health day today after an awful yesterday.  I went out birding by myself at San Jacinto. It was hot and I just missed with the camera all day. Which is fine. Works like that sometimes. Saw one human, engagement was minimal. Hot, no water.

But I did get this lovely shot of a butcher bird, the loggerhead shrike. You know the bird, Lanius ludovicianus, the one that likes to impale its poor living prey on a sharp thorn or a piece of barbed wire.

Perhaps humans are not the most vicious of god's creatures after all.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

You wreck me

Backsliding

© Robert Sommers 2017
I was making small talk at the bank today and the teller, a very sweet latina I have known for years, was a little bit shaken.

She is a native born U.S. citizen and her family has been in northern San Diego county for over two hundred years.

She was having a private conversation with her aunt in Spanish when a man barged up and told her to speak English in America.

Haranguing her mercilessly, he told her that she was dishonoring the military by not speaking English. When she pointed out that she had lost her own brother in the war protecting those very freedoms the man claimed to champion, he finally shut up.

To be totally accurate, true local natives once spoke a dialect of Uto-aztecan, either a Numic, Tubatulabal or Takic variety, but they of course no longer count.

It is a shame that so many bigots now feel like they have a license to hate. Never seen it this bad, before, must be Obama's fault.

I googled Fallbrook on Google + yesterday and got this nasty guy's pages, well he has many of them, all dedicated to the most vicious racism and antisemitism. I alerted Google, they did nothing.

According to experts, California now has the largest racist skinhead population in the country. A chilling article on the phenomena at ProPublica. You really should read it.

You feed the hateful beast, it is real hard to ever get it back in the cage.

Jackshit

"That Venusian transport is coming in hot, captain..."


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

10-24-17


As you should have surmised and as I have previously stated, I am seriously losing my interest in politics. Not that I am not interested in issues, I am, but the public discourse is so inane, the hypocrisy so tangible, that I just have to pass. And yes, there is a lot of blame to spread around, I just don't really want to discuss it.

Republicans can certainly choose their own standard bearers, from the chief executive on down. They need no partisan advice from me. Still I was sorry to see Arizona Senator Jeff Flake announce today that he is resigning after this term. Although I disagreed with him on the lion's share of issues, I have long admired his independence, integrity, wisdom and intellect and think that the Senate will be a lesser place without him.

I wish him well.

Patti Smith

Three more from Dineh

Navajo hoop dancer

Smoke signals - Antelope

Simple sunrise, Totem Rock

Bust A Move

Color studies


Monday, October 23, 2017

Groove Is In The Heart

PSMSFE - 2017

James and Bianca
I got back from Palm Springs last night. I was exhibiting at the Palm Springs Modernism Show - Fall edition. Did okay, nothing special, nothing like the earlier and much better attended Spring show.

But I put a few sales together, ground it out and that is really all that you can do. I threw the i ching on my phone the other day, who has time to bother with coins, and got a hexagram that mentioned remaining resolute.

Keep on a slogging. Not like I have much of a choice.

My business has been predicated on the knowledgeable collector market. Nowadays things are much more visceral and purely decorative in nature.

Not a lot of scholarship, more like flavor of the week. Gets a little trickier for my sales model. As I have mentioned many times before, I am sort of a reluctant modernist. Like what I like but consider much of the stuff being peddled nowadays as rather dreadful.

In the old days the modernism shows were about anything twentieth century. People brought deco, nouveau, jugendstil, arts and crafts as well as the latest twisted geometry. All dead as a doornail now. Old days are gone.

There were many things I genuinely liked, loved the thirties and sixties, regionalism, revolution. Appears fifties and even sixties are now also passé, the hotter decades are the seventies and eighties, which were and are truly depressing. Although Jimmy across the way had some neat stuff from those very decades, so I suppose I shouldn't be so pedantic.

The Palm Springs Architectural Booth was touting the saving from the wrecking ball of a pretty uninspired building from 1974 and I asked if egads, it had really come to that? What was next, the mansard roof appreciation society? They told me not to mention that in front of one fellow, his specialty was hollywood regency and he had a strong affection for that sort of stucco monstrosity, many of which I was responsible for when I was building and developing in that particularly uninspired decade.

Have to change with the times. They surely won't change for me. Not even smart enough to turn on a television in a hotel room.

A couple of friends and very long time Palm Springs residents let Steve and I stay gratis in their 1927 adobe, which Steve tells me was once the subject of a lovely wood engraving by Paul Landacre. 

Unbelievably nice. They even stocked it with provisions for us and gave us access to a very nice liquor cabinet. Didn't get past the herradura reposado but it did the trick perfectly.

Hot in the desert, I felt like I had weights tied to my feet all week. Amused myself by taking a few pictures of guests and exhibitors.

I asked this affable programmer from Scottsdale if his mom ever told him not to mix fish with plaid but he evidently never got the memo.

Skipped the low hanging fruit, like the Barones, who always dress over the top but are people that I have already chronicled before.

Did get some very interesting color and fabric choices and met some very nice and fun people.

Put a few of my own photos on the wall this time. Appreciated but not sold.

Like this lady, Bianca Juarez. Bianca is a San Diego ceramist who is now exhibiting at Flow Modern. Obviously a multi talented renaissance woman, she has also had a poem recently published on the best poetry 2017 website.


Had a nice thai duck dinner at Chada, good mole poblano at El Mirasol, didn't starve. German pancake at Elmer's, the usual at Rick's. Way too expensive sushi one night.

And checked out the people.


Lots of very strong and interesting characters in my biz, on both sides of the cash register.

Honey, you're not in Fallbrook anymore!

Have a few people still considering paintings and stuff, hoping to get a call or two but we will see.

And now a few more pictures of my fellow exhibitors. Next week, San Francisco.









Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Taj Mahal Johnny Too Bad

Pecos



Amelia - Robin Adler & Mutts of the Planet

Hissing of Summer Lawns


I believe that Robin Adler and her band Mutts of the Planet are the most serious and dedicated group of musicians I have ever encountered. The foremost repertory band on the globe performing the work of Joni Mitchell, they have performed several of her albums in their entirety, including Blue, Court and Spark and Hejira.

Although the lineup has occasional changes the musicians are always top notch. The current lineup features Jamie Kime, an incredible virtuoso and Grammy winner on electric guitar who has toured with Jewel and Zappa meets Zappa, Barnaby Finch, the keyboard wunderkind who has played with everybody, Lee Ritenour, Tom Scott, Dave Grusin, Ronnie Laws, Earl Klugh and George Benson to name only a few. Jim Reeves the bass player, is a Canadian who has long grooved for the band Steely Damned. The drummer Duncan Moore is acknowledged as king of the skins in San Diego. Robin's husband Dave Blackburn plays rhythm guitar and is a supremely talented musician and producer.

The band takes on Joni's Hissing of Summer Lawns on Saturday Nov. 11, the day before my whale watching trip. I plan on going to the show and I hope you will too. You will never have an opportunity to hear this material played live with this level of vérité and musicianship again.

You can order tickets at Robin's website here. This will be a celebration of Joni Mitchell's 74th birthday and the venue is the newest location of Dizzy's. See you there.