Hard stop

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Amazing Spider Man faces mutant angst


I bought this page out of an estate sale recently, pretty cheaply actually. It is the work of Sal Buscema and Joe Rubinstein from 1985. I used to sell comic art in the 1970's, haven't had any overground stuff for a long time. I sent it to Heritage Auction, with two Snow White cells from 1937 that are scheduled to sell in December, depicting Happy and Sneezy.

They were not sure how this would do, Sal's work can go high or it can tank. This one is up to $450 already with ten bidders, with four days until the actual live auction. One of the hottest pages in the pre-auction. I am very pleased. Hoping it takes off. Honestly I think the particular page is pretty cool. Spidey's friend is a bit too needy. I especially like the frog shadow in the third panel.

If nominated I will serve...


Let's make America okay again. Smoke pot with every chicken.

Mike Watt - Big Train

Scientists discover new organ behind nose


438 pipe Wicks organ found behind man's nose. 

Man's wife shocked.

"Well that explains all the silly noises," said Harriett Nerfderfer, Dublin, Ohio. "It sounded like a bloody full orchestra when he sneezed. And the dogs would make an awful racket."

Funny angle


You know, I may not be the funniest guy in the world but I have my moments. 

Like when I am sleeping.

I kid you not, I have had occasional dreams where I do whole stand-up routines with fresh jokes. Now maybe they're not so funny when they see the light of day but seriously, some of them are not half bad when you are asleep.

I wonder about the capacity of the human brain and subconscious to engage in humor on the fly like that. Or is it just my weird mind?

The other night I had a dream where I was entertaining a crew of people at a cabana on the beach. I killed them (in the comic sense.) Laughs galore. Unfortunately you will have to take my word for it right now, they are sort of indisposed at the moment. 

I can only remember one joke that I told my somnolent crowd.

"How do you kill a mathematician?"

It's easiest to swing them from a hypot-e-noose.

Now I admit that this is not exactly a thigh slapper but my god, this is my brain working in the middle of the night, cut me some slack alright?

I told Friedman my joke, my sometime daytime stand up partner, a guy who had a long career writing jokes professionally for people like Bob Hope and Phyllis Diller. He was non-plussed, stifled a yawn, told me not to quit my day job. Nary a snicker, more like a snore. Probably just jealous. Like he could get those kind of crowds in la la land. Charitably, he told me that I would probably knock them dead at M.I.T. with that one. Obviously experts hate it when somebody cuts into their turf.

I get it, it's not my best work but jeezus, I was sleeping. And if you are interested, I will be playing all week, at Tony's Champagne Room. The Holiday Inn in Sleepsville, right off the interstate, land of nod, book your tickets now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Spencer Davis Group

That Zany White House

 Great Headline. 

Trump's tweet on 'total' declassification of Russia docs isn't an order, White House tells judge.

The White House chief of staff told the judge to ignore Trump's tweet saying he had authorized the declassification of "any & all documents" related to the Russia probe.

When President Donald Trump tweeted that he had authorized the full declassification of all documents having to do with the Russia investigation, he didn't mean it literally and didn't intend to make information from the Mueller investigation public, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said in a court filing Tuesday.

"The president indicated to me that his statements on Twitter were not self-executing declassification orders and do not require the declassification or release of any particular documents," Meadows said in a sworn court statement.The White House chief of staff told the judge to ignore Trump's tweet saying he had authorized the declassification of "any & all documents" related to the Russia probe.

As in, don't believe a word we say. Because if our lips are moving, we are lying. Anyway he was probably just kidding.


Funny that Mitch McConnell doesn't have the time or inclination to pass a Covid relief bill that the public desperately needs before the upcoming election but they can find the time to vote for a new justice on Monday. The GOP and administration have broken all sorts of spending records the last four years and can now pretend that they are suddenly worried about the national debt and sit on their hands while America is on the  hot seat. They lack the courage to do the right thing for the American people in their time of need and pandemic. I guess I could say that their hypocrisy is startling but at this point it is not, it is merely business as usual.

I'm An Old Cowhand (From The Rio Grande)

Sunday Morning Coming Down

I have been having some very strange dreams lately. Last week I was swimming with my late brother. Dreamt about my mother, something I rarely do. And my father too.

Last night I was driving on the Bay Bridge towards Oakland when suddenly while everybody else went straight ahead, I was given the option to drive up an incline to the very top of the bridge and sail across the girders on a very narrow and unlit pathway. 

Exhilarating, I was the only person granted the privilege, but still a little roller coaster scary. 

Not sure what it all means. I used to be afraid of driving on bridges before my eyes were operated on, lousy depth perception and life has been a bit of a roller coaster of late. No idea of the actual portent.

Leslie and I got up at five minutes to four on Sunday and drove to the swap meet in Long Beach. We had to drop off a tile table I had sold to a customer. I didn't buy a lot but managed to shop all the rows. 

Afterwards I decided to take a few pictures. Long Beach is one of my favorite places to take people shots as they tend to be pretty far out there.

Portrait of a man © Shlomo Ben Yaacov 2020
I had a shipper from New York come by and pick up a dresser to send to New York the other day. He saw my camera and mentioned that he was a photographer as well. 

His name is Shlomo. I really like his work, made me feel slightly inferior. I like his club stuff, really good. I have not been shooting enough people lately. Seeing his nice photographs drove the point home.

Shlomo is an Israeli, used to drive a tank, now he lives in New York. Great careful shipper, Artisan Shipping. Spends a large chunk of his life on the road.

We had a good time at the market, held on the third Sunday of every month. Saw lots of friends. 

Many people wanted to talk about the new Vintage Swap Meet I am proposing. 

Frank ran a story about it in Collector magazine but I have not seen it as yet.

I talk to the county tomorrow for my first serious meeting. There are some glitches but nothing that can't be resolved, I reckon.

I didn't shoot a lot of pictures but grabbed a couple.

Saw some neat stuff, as I said, didn't buy much. I liked these gas pump bird houses, only forty five bucks.

And positively loved this cereal display, just priced a little bit out of my league. Each brand, with date of manufacture and title properly denoted.

Big shot art dealers

People I knew. Weird stuff. Weird people I knew with stuff.

You just never know what you will find at the swap meet.

Just focussing on the slightly bizarre. 

Saw a cream poster that I think is very rare.

Didn't buy it, kind of kicked myself but they wanted a lot of gelt.

Besides, I stopped selling the rock and roll stuff about thirty years ago.

The visual oddities that one sees at the swap meet are just beyond compare. Masks make it all the stranger.

Last year I missed one of the shots of my life. Bill was selling a wooden Civil War era prosthetic leg. 

I was turned in another direction without camera in hand when a one legged man stopped to ponder it. Sort of like King Lear.


What did they say in the 1960's? Let your freak flag fly?

Still doing it at the swap meet. Those that blanche at eccentricity, DO NOT ENTER!

After we left we had a wonderful birthday feast with my newfound cousins in Los Angeles. Great time.

I got a catscan with and without contrast on my abdomen last Wednesday. Wanted to track the large cyst on my remaining kidney.

Was worried, apprehensive and sweating bullets frankly.

The doctor called yesterday. All is good for now. No change.


Monday, October 19, 2020

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Egret and pipefish


Freedom to kill yourself

A Yale professor, John Witt, wrote an interesting opinion worth reading at the New York Times the other day, Republican Judges Are Quietly Upending Public Health Laws. If you can get through the paywall, read it.

All across the country, conservative justices are overturning sensible mask and capacity regulations in the guise of protecting various so called "freedoms," religious or otherwise. Wisconsin is one of the states with a disastrous Covid spike and there are now three lawsuits in the pipeline thereto overturn mask rules promoted by the Democrat Governor Evers. See Wisconsin breaks record for COVID cases for a third time in a week and hospitalizations hit a new high.

A judge there blocked capacity limits set by the governor this week. See Judge Blocks Wisconsin Governor's Indoor Capacity Limits Amid Spike In COVID-19 Cases

A Wisconsin judge has put a temporary hold on an order by Gov. Tony Evers' administration that limits the capacity of bars, restaurants and indoor spaces amid record numbers of coronavirus cases in the state.

The state health department's emergency order capped indoor public gatherings to no more than 25% of the total occupancy limits for the room or building, with exceptions for schools, child care, health care and long-term care facilities.

The order from Sawyer County Circuit Judge John Yackel blocks the new rules, which went into effect Thursday.

The case was brought by the Tavern League of Wisconsin, the Sawyer County Tavern League and the Flambeau Forest Inn.

Of course, it is not just Wisconsin. Similar actions are taking place in Michigan, Texas, California and throughout our nation. All the while Covid 19 is spiking throughout our land, in this feared autumn season.

I have no problem with the new Supreme Court justice-to-be's faith. I am squeamish about her father's long time position as a Shell Oil lawyer and her past and current opinions on the reality of climate change.

Her father, Michael E. Coney, worked as a prominent attorney at Shell Oil in New Orleans and Houston for 29 years, from 1978 to 2007, focusing on deep sea exploration and drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf. As part of his work, he represented the oil and gas giant before the federal government, frequently dealing with the Department of Interior on royalties, regulations and compliance issues.

Mr. Coney was also an active member of the powerful oil and gas trade organization, the American Petroleum Institute, twice serving as chairman of its Subcommittee on Exploration and Production Law. On top of being the industry’s main lobby group, A.P.I. has played a critical role in casting doubt on climate science and opposing policies to address climate change.

Judge Barrett has previously recused herself from cases involving four Shell entities related to her father’s work. She has not recused herself from matters involving the A.P.I.

I would imagine it will be a little bit difficult to go against the industry that put food on your family's table throughout your life. As wonderful a person as she is said to and seems to be. And I fully expect her to be what I most fear, just another punitive company lawyer, unconcerned and dispassionate about the law's effect on real people. She can be great buddies with Gorsuch and the frozen truck driver. 


Hypocrisy on the High Court - Textualists and the 10th Amendment.

She Belongs To Me

EPA does it again

 EPA may violate courts with new rule extending life of unlined coal ash ponds.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will allow utilities to store toxic waste from coal in open, unlined pits — a move that may defy a court order requiring the agency to close certain types of so-called coal ash ponds that may be leaking contaminants into water.

Research has found even plastic-lined coal ash ponds are likely to leak, but those risks are even higher when a clay barrier is the only layer used to hold the arsenic-laced sludge.

An Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice review of monitoring data from coal ash ponds found 91 percent were leaking toxins in excess of what EPA allows, contaminating groundwater and drinking wells in nearby communities.

And when they aren’t leaching into groundwater, the contaminants risk spilling over the sides of the pond any time there is a heavy rain.

From Earth Justice: Leaking and Looming, Legacy Coal Ash Ponds Spew Poisons. Is There One Near You? 

A shuffle to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) independent board of science advisers will add a longtime consultant who has worked for the tobacco and chemicals industries while promoting a member listed as someone “not to pick” by the Union of Concerned Scientists to be the panel's chair.

The EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) is meant to serve as an outside sounding board on the agency’s actions, with 40 or so of the nation’s top scientists weighing in on the scientific backing behind a number of policy proposals. 

But the board has shifted under the Trump administration, adding more members with ties to industry and fewer members with an academic background, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office. That follows a move by prior EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt barring academics from serving on the board if they received agency grants for their research.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Frank Zappa

Thanks Exide Technologies!

 Nora sent this along.

I can't get through the L.A. Times paywall but I think we can all get the message from the screenshot. The capitalist credo, privatize the profits and subsidize the debt and toxic waste cleanup.

According to KTLA the residents are mighty pissed and rightfully so. From the federal government, crickets, of course.

The U.S. Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency have agreed not to oppose the company’s plan, which is scheduled to be considered for approval at a bankruptcy court hearing Thursday.

“Accepting this terrible proposal would be letting Exide off the hook for poisoning our families with lead and other heavy metals,” said Mayor Elizabeth Alcantar of Cudahy. “The federal government should not be acting on the side of corporate polluters, and instead should be defending our residents.”

Sorry Elizabeth, not the way it works. We now love polluters who run away from their responsibilities in this country. They underwrite our political campaigns.

More here.

Since 2014, the DTSC has ordered testing of some 8,555 homes for lead contamination within a 1.7-mile radius of the shuttered Exide facility. The agency had given itself until June 2021 to clean 3,200 of the worst contaminated homes—those with lead in their soil above 330 parts per million (ppm). But that timeline was set up before the coronavirus pandemic erupted — the residential cleanup was recently suspended completely. What's more, the DTSC currently has no funding and no concrete plan to remediate the 4,753 homes that have a soil lead concentration of between 80 ppm—a state screening threshold—and 330 ppm.

That 80 ppm number is proving contentious. Back in 2017, the DTSC stated how it "maintains a target cleanup goal of properties with lead sampling results that exceed the representative soil lead concentration of 80 ppm." But in a recent email to Capital & Main, an agency spokesperson stressed that 80 ppm is not a "cleanup level," and that the agency has used a federal standard of 400 ppm to prioritize which homes were cleaned first.

Turn off your television.

17 days to go and the country is wound up tighter than a drum. As I have repeated ad nauseam before, no one's mind is changing so all the screaming and ranting is not penetrating the enemy bunker at this point. Might as well save your energy, from whatever side of the street you hail from.

I saw this sign at the local church and largely concur.

First Christian has the best signs in town, the Baptists are a close second. I concur with the sentiments here. Don't work yourselves into a tizzy needlessly. 

JB sent this over the other day. Don't agree entirely, I think some issues need to be brought to light and settled but  still something to ponder...

Daddy, why do the roads glow?

One of the Trump economic talking points is that he has rid the American public of all that troubling regulation that has been strangling the economy. And he has certainly disposed of a heap of it, largely concerning our country's earth, air and water. 

I wonder if the American public ever stops and thinks of the fact that some of that needless regulation is there for a good reason. It might even be protecting their health.

News yesterday that there are new allowances for Phosphogypsum. At the behest of the fertilizer industry, the government is now allowing radioactive material to be used in road construction. 

See EPA allows use of radioactive material in some road construction

The substance exceeds a radioactive level that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has deemed safe for humans and has been found to increase cancer risk.

Phosphogypsum has a high radium content. The lifetime cancer risk for adults resulting from exposure to this waste is one excess fatal cancer per 10,000 people. The risk for children is significantly higher. Radium can leach from gypsum stacks into subsurface aquifers, it can be absorbed by plants, consumed by livestock and wildlife and work its way through the food chain to humans. Radium's 1630-year half-life from phosphogypsum stacks will likely remain a public health risk for generations to come. The long term economic, environmental, and health impacts of this have not been fully realized. Phosphogypsum has been banned in all uses since 1992 because it causes cancer. 

The material is now kept in thirteen large stacks, primarily in the southeast. Scientists say that using the product poses health risks to humans and additional risks to the water supply.

“You now have the potential exposure to something that we, in all other scenarios, treat as radioactive hazardous waste,” said Jacki Lopez, The Center for Biological Diversity’s Florida director and senior attorney.  

In 1992, the EPA banned the use of phosphogypsum in road construction, raising concerns about people potentially living in a house on land where phosphogypsum roads once existed. 

The agency now said that the approval came at the request of The Fertilizer Institute, which advocates for the fertilizer industry. 

You can read about the problems and characteristics of this substance here.

Phosphogypsum is a waste by-product from the processing of phosphate rock in plants producing phosphoric acid and phosphate fertilizers, such as superphosphate. The wet chemical phosphoric acid treatment process, or ‘wet process’, in which phosphate ore is digested with sulfuric acid, is widely used to produce phosphoric acid and calcium sulfate, mainly in dihydrate form (CaSO4 · 2H2O):


Annual world production of phosphogypsum is estimated to be ~300 Mt (Yang et al., 2009). This by-product is contaminated by various impurities, both chemical and radioactive, and is usually stockpiled within special areas. The problem of contaminated phosphogypsum has already become an international ecological problem. For example, a huge amount of phospho-gypsum has accumulated in Florida (more than 1 billion (!) tons), in Europe (where the contaminated phosphogypsum is discharged into the River Rhine close to the North Sea), in Canada, Morocco, Togo, India, China, Korea, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Russia, and other parts of the world.

The building materials industry seems to be the largest among all the industries which is able to reprocess the greatest amount of this industrial by-product and benefit man. However, because of the contamination, only 15% of world phosphogypsum production is recycled as building products and asset retarder in the manufacture of Portland cement (a small amount is recycled as agricultural fertilizer or for soil stabilization amendment), while the remaining 85% is disposed of without any treatment (Tayibi et al., 2009). Disposed phosphogypsum is usually dumped in large stockpiles, occupying considerable land areas and causing serious environmental damage due to both chemical and radioactive contamination.

Typical concentrations of radium (226Ra) in phosphogypsum are 2003000 Bq kg− 1(US Environmental Protection Agency, 1990). They are similar to those in phosphate ores.

I was looking into phosphogypsum last night and came across numerous studies and reports about it leaching into aquifers. It has been long deemed unsafe to put in roads. Read this study about water infiltration of phosphogypsum in Tunisia. The EPA's own guidelines warn people of its dangers. Watch how fast they disappear off the web.

Once again, Trump's EPA is putting the American public at risk. Regulations really suck, that is until you find out that they are possibly keeping you from dying.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Speed of the sound of loneliness

Melissa Ross

Leslie went out to feed the birds yesterday morning. "That was so strange," she said as she walked back into the living room. "On the way to the bird feeder a hawk swooped down right over my shoulder. That has never happened before."

A moment later she sat down at our kitchen table and looked at her phone. The message came in, almost instantly. Melissa Ross had passed.

"She has left us," Leslie said. And then she said something about the message and sign from the hawk which I can not remember perfectly and will not paraphrase at this time. I didn't catch it at first, it was cryptic. 

Our friend Melissa Ross has died, after a valiant two and a half year battle with pancreatic cancer. Who lasts that long against the most dreaded of cancers? Nobody I have ever heard of. Six months maybe... Shows you what a fighter she was.

Melissa had a store in Fallbrook called Lavender Dreams for many years. She was a talented cook and artist, a great mother, a colorful person and a good friend to my wife and to many others. She was part of Leslie's regular Mah Jong group and a familiar face at Leslie's Friday night champagne gatherings with the girls as well.

A host of friends have cared for Melissa over the last two years, including my wife. People had developed a care routine and rotation, including trips to chemo. Leslie had been on extra duty of late and knew that the time was very near. Her eldest son flew in from Japan to be with his mother during her last moments. 

My condolences to all of her friends and family.

I know that she will be greatly missed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Long John Baldry

Woke hairsplitting

I need to say at the outset that I have friends of all persuasions, red, blue, gay, straight and in between. Always have. And I think that the current kerfuffle over the term "sexual preference" is ridiculous. 

Talk about oversensitivity and moving the goalposts.

In the Barrett hearings, Hawaiian Sen. Maze Hirono derided the prospective justice's use of the term, saying that it implied that sexual orientation is a choice. Sorry, but haven't gay and bi people said for years that human sexuality was indeed a fluid choice and that humans were capable of all sorts of sexual relationships.

Is that out the window now? 

Sounds like people are looking for an excuse to feel aggrieved to me.  I fail to see the inherent negativity in the term and what the big deal is. Sounds clinical and innocuous. In my opinion, Judge Barrett had nothing to apologize for, at least on that front.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Bert's Apple Crumble


 I have been loosely following the SCOTUS confirmation hearing minutes and this caught my eye:

In response to questions from Graham, Barrett described her judicial philosophy and sought to dispel claims that judges who believe in originalism and textualism rule in lockstep.

"If I'm confirmed, you would not be getting Justice Scalia, you would be getting Justice Barrett," Barrett said. "And that's so because originalists don't always agree and neither do textualists."

Barrett noted that the late Justice Antonin Scalia and current Justice Clarence Thomas, who shared the same judicial philosophy, did not find themselves on the same sides of cases at times.

Great. Something to look forward to. A new justice somewhere in between Thomas and Scalia. Batten down the hatches, America. It will be a very interesting ride.



“People don’t die of this disease anymore, young people don’t die at all and middle age people die very little. And even elderly people have only 1 percent chance of dying.” Rudolph Giuliani

The biggest radioactive spill in US history

Sunday, October 11, 2020



Northern Cardinal

A man named Hans Petermann posted on the San Diego birding website that he saw a Northern Cardinal today out at Warner Springs. I have never seen one around these parts and think it is fantastic that he was able to. I wrote him and he sent me this picture.

© Hans Petermann 2020
© Hans Petermann 2020

His girlfriend actually spotted it yesterday afternoon. She is from Minnesota and knows her cardinals. He found it again this morning and took this shot. Good job Hans and girlfriend!

Costa's Hummingbird


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Bad Ass Bobcat

Terry sent this over. Taken recently not that far north from here in the Angeles National Forest. Amazing footage of a very tough kitty.

Sierra Hull

You know there are so many mediocre musicians out there (like me.) And then you listen to Sierra Hull, a Molly Tuttle, Billy Strings or Marcus King and you know that everything is going to be just fine. We are in good hands for the future.

Go take a walk!

I had to go to the coast to visit my accountant yesterday. Afterwards I indulged in one of my long time guilty pleasures, an open faced turkey sandwich with hot gravy, mashed potatoes and cranberry at the venerable Encinitas Cafe. On Wonder Bread, no less!

It was delicious, as usual. One of a kind. I had to give them my name and phone number for covid tracing, a first for me.

Afterwards I decided to take a hike down in the San Elijo Lagoon and see what is up. They have been working on their restoration project forever.

I called Ron and Lena, who have been cloistered pretty tight at home and we arranged to meet at the parking lot of the Nature Center. Properly masked of course.

Knowing that the damaged trail would still not be opened (they have been working on it for over a year, interminably) we headed left, clockwise, in order to get a good walk in.

It was pretty uneventful but it still felt good to be out for a brisk walkabout and laugh with my wonderful friends, nonetheless.

Not much fauna around, with the exception of a silhouetted cormorant and a couple egrets.

Lovely day, in any case. Fish were jumping out of the water, everybody was happy. 

I was still rocking the zoom on the camera, the faster 400mm prime is such a beast and I wasn't ready to haul it around yet.

We were amazed when we reached the midpoint of the trail. While there is still a lot of planting work left to be done, the trail is now fixed!

There are two beautiful new bridges open. This allows the walker or birdwatcher to penetrate areas of the lagoon completely unapproachable before.

Hot damn!

The people that were responsible for this did an absolute first rate job. I am elated. How often can you say that about a public project?

Place is great and will only get better when the trails systems are completed.

We walked around, I grabbed some shots. Lots of misses, just like the day before. The 2.8 prime spoils you although even my shots with that looked lousy the other day.

The highlight of the day was seeing a peregrine falcon on a power pole. Not sure I have ever seen one here before, or if so maybe only once.

Didn't have the proper speed locked in, going from stationary to flying can be a trick. But you get the idea, it was a beautiful bird.

I look forward to returning soon and taking some more trails, capturing better images. Next time I bring the heavy artillery. Get outside and take a walk!

Golden Tree Snake

Shawn sent some pictures from Thailand. I am not a snake guy whatsoever but the patterns are certainly pretty.

I asked him for more information and he sent back this:

Chrysopelea ornata ornattissima, The Golden tree snake.  (ngu kieo lai dok mak) in Thai. Probably the most (or second most) commonly observed snake around here. They have a unique bone structure that they can control to create an airfoil that allows them to do controlled glides...once watched a tree lizard with the same feature climb a coconut tree to escape one of these guys. Both climbed about 20 meters up the tree and then both launched and glided to the next coconut tree five meters away and began climbing again. David Attenborrough moment! Shawn

Bonnie Raitt - Dimming of the day

Friday, October 9, 2020

SJWA 10/08/20


There are red tailed hawks and then there are red tailed hawks. So many different morphs and color combinations. 

This bird was on the ground as I left yesterday and was striking in his or her rich colors and contrast.

As usual, there were tons of kestrels around. Where you find dragonflies you find this small raptor and there were plenty of both.

I met the man who takes care of the Ramona Duck Club, Elmer, yesterday. He and his wife drove out to check on their property, nice couple.

He told me that a pair of swans has been hanging out in Mystic Lake of late. I never saw them.

But I did see a bunch of pretty yellow headed blackbirds on an island of reeds across the lake.

They are a lovely bird. Yesterday they were mixed in with the red winged blackbirds.

I was shooting with the 400mm so they were still a little out of my reach.

Here is a power line full of tree swallows. They are a neat little bird, iridescent in their aqua feathering.

The water district is filling the lakes up, there is measurably more water at the preserve than the last time I was there but still nowhere near full.

With the heat and water were mosquitos. I got nailed on my hike.

Felt great to stretch my legs, push myself a little bit, having been in a long covid slumber. 

I stuck the zoom lens on for the hike. It is a lot lighter and gave me some extra reach, although I lose a bit optically.

There were a lot of red tailed hawks around, this one was perched on a far ledge.

And a grebe popped up to survey the situation.

I ran into this lovely female harrier on the ground assessing the situation. 

They have been doing a lot of mowing so all the raptors were on gopher patrol. 

Didn't have the right speed settings so I sort of flubbed what could have been a nice shot. Oh well, there is always another day!

I mostly shot red tailed yesterday. Saw a Coopers and heard red shouldered but didn't get any shots.

I will get back into the swing of things. Just need to keep shooting, work the kinks out. Get my muscle memory back.


I did see the white tailed kite overhead at one point, always a big thrill for me. 
Wish he had not been so far away.

Anyway I am like a broken record, I know. But without regular trips to the wild, I am pretty much worthless. Need to keep my battery charged.
That is pretty much all for yesterday. Of course I shot today too when I was on the coast. Will share some of those shots tomorrow.