Scourge of the Season

Last year it was those pesky Russians


Just when they looked ready to take over our serene valley my call to arms rang out.  You, my army of 11 brave souls took it upon yourselves to confront this menace.  This summer I look around and see a lot less Russian Thistle and ipso facto you all did a heckuva job.  I call upon you once again to help stop an invader in its tracks. Continue reading

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Dog Day Flower Blooms

Boohoohoo August stinks Mr. Rambler…. It’s so hot and sticky and there’s nothing blooming out there…and Al Pacino and Fredo took me hostage…and.. and… ATTICA!!! ATTICA!!!!

Get a hold of yourself, deep breaths.  There are plenty of flowers out there, you just need to know where to look.  I’m here to help.

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The Ojai Fruit Calender

Dropped by the Friends Packing House on Highway 33 last week, and they have one of those handy calendars that shows what is ripe for every month of they year.  Here’s the California native version to get your fresh fruit January through December (more or less).  I wouldn’t recommend eating too much of any of these unless you know what you are doing.  The month range given doesn’t imply that the fruiting season is that long.  Some are just a few weeks long while others can fruit almost any time of the year given the right conditions.  Enjoy the cornucopia: Continue reading

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July In the Sierras Part II – Lundy Canyon

Once again I believe Lundy deserves a post all its own.  There is no more spectacular wildflower show in the region, if there is, please don’t be shy, would love a new hike for next year.  Some of these are with the snazzy Canon SLR, the rest my handy-dandy new Elph.  We’ll get back to Ojai next post I promise.

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July In The Eastern Sierras Part I

Despite lava-like mud flows across I-14 trying to keep us from getting back home we made it last night in one piece, and even got to enjoy a late afternoon thunderstorm.  Two batches of pictures for you, the first is mostly from the incredible Ancient Bristelcone Pine forest, which features trees over 4,000 years old.  Mixed in some lovely blooms from Days 1 and 3 at Lee Vining Creek and Parker Lake respectively.  Next week we get the always-stunning Lundy Canyon.  Enjoy the rain.

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Review of the Canon Powershot Elph 135

Nah… just teasing you… They don’t even make this model anymore.  But it is under 100 bucks, pocket-sized and let’s have a look at how it does for nature pics shall we?  I did a quick 4 mile loop starting at the Old Baldwin Road parking lot of the Ventura River Preserve.

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As you may have noticed, I haven’t quite gotten the hang of the closeups, but it takes a damn fine medium range picture.  Enjoy the holiday.

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Some Like It Hot

Others… not so much.  As the summer takes hold and the mercury climbs many of our natives decide to close up shop and hunker down until October’s first rains.  Dormancy is an important way to survive the 4-6 months of intense heat and almost total lack of water.  This includes dropping some or all of the plant’s leaves or sometimes even dying back completely.  Here are some before and after pictures of some of the more well-known summer grumps. Continue reading

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