Thursday, February 13, 2014

Catching Up - Left Over LA Shots - 60 Chevy, Monarch, And Dry Landscape

We're getting ready to go south again.  A few days in Seattle to see our grand daughter (and, of course, our daughter and the rest of the gang) and then to visit my mom who has her 92nd birthday in two weeks.

I've been busy - did a workshop today on racism with people in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.  It went quite well.  Having a house guest is fun, and he's wonderful, but I spend a lot more time just talking than normally.

Also, haven't done an update on my Achilles heel.  Long story short - been to the podiatrist, physical therapy, new shoes and inserts, back to the podiatrist when it swelled up again, some steroid treatment.  I'm ok at the moment, but running is going to have to wait until it's had more time to heal completely.  It appears my minimalist shoes might have contributed.  As I wrote earlier, while they are great for something things, they do put more strain on the Achilles heal.

I'd been thinking about taking a weight training class at UAA, but didn't get around to.  But T, our houseguest, suggested I just get a pass for the semester, and so I've been to the weight room a couple of times now.  I feel so much better getting good vigorous exercise again.  But I do still see people running and get very jealous.

I don't have too much time to post today, but I thought I'd put up some left over pictures from LA.

LA is a car city, so I thought I'd give you some cars.  Next is a 1960 Chevy.  We had one of these.  I couldn't believe my parents were buying it, I was stoked.  And I couldn't help talking a picture of this one, shiny in the setting sun.

These cars used a lot of gas, but gas was 31 cents a gallon back then.  And cars today are 99% cleaner than in the 1960s.  So, cool as they might be, I'm not sure driving them around is a good idea.  Of course, I don't know what kinds of modifications they might have made, or not.  The little vehicles above make more sense today.

And then there are birds.  Well, only a few photos.

A murder of crows chasing away a red tailed hawk above my mom's house.

We saw this bird when we were hiking in Las Trancas canyon in the Malibu area with some friends.  It looked somewhat like a jay, but I wasn't quite sure.  It had a blue coat. 

And some colorful birds sitting on a wall not too far from my mom's.

And a monarch butterfly resting on a jade plant.

From a New York Times article that just went up, it looks like genetically modified corn and soybeans and pesticides are threatening this magnificent butterfly that migrates 1000 miles.

MEXICO CITY — Hoping to focus attention on the plight of the monarch butterfly at a North American summit meeting next week, a group of prominent scientists and writers urged the leaders of Mexico, the United States and Canada to commit to restoring the habitat that supports the insect’s extraordinary migration across the continent.
Calling the situation facing the butterfly “grim,” the group issued a letter that outlined a proposal to plant milkweed, the monarch caterpillar’s only food source, along its migratory route in Canada and the United States.
Milkweed has been disappearing from American fields over the past decade as farmers have switched to genetically modified corn and soybeans that are resistant to the herbicide glyphosate that kills other plants. At the same time, subsidies to produce corn for ethanol have increased, expanding the amount of land planted with corn by an estimated 25 percent since 2007.

Back to the Las Trancas canyon hike.  It was a beautiful day - sunny, but not hot.  These pictures will give a little sense of how dry things are down there.

There were guided horseback rides that we passed on the trail.  

And one more that shows how the urban landscape can look fairly pastoral as well.  There's a public golf course near my mom's and this is a late afternoon shot along the edge of the course.  


  1. Stellar's Jay, perhaps?

    1. It could be from this picture, but I don't think so. I know the Steller from my back yard in here in Anchorage and I thought about it, but I didn't think it was a Steller at the time. It's been a while so can't really tell you why.


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