Yes, summer is over, but it didn’t let go without a fight. It’s going to be close to 100 for the next several days. I think we will all be happy to see summer go away. The beasties are not fond of the air conditioning. I’m not fond of it either.
Once the weather cools down again, we’ll have a couple of adventures. We are going to visit a different botanical garden in the Berkeley Hills. In the meantime here are the pointy eared people and some birdies.
Tito doing the dead-bug
Titanescu and the sunbeam
Titanescu using Miss Jenny as a pillow
Pepi and her green blankie
And now for the birds pics and a couple of not-bird pics.
Egret hunting for dinner
The dainty look
With luck, we’ll have more variety coming up instead of just birds.
I haven’t taken a huge amount of photos as I’m still learning my way around the camera. However, we did manage to go to Martinez on a bird hunt. We got lucky and there were a few birds we didn’t see last time. One nice thing about the camera though is that it seems to work well in low light and so it makes it easier to capture the pointy eared people. It also takes better action photos than the last one, so Pepi looks good in mid run.
Miss Jenny’s blue peepers
Here’s Pepi having a run.
As for the birds, here are a few. The fall migration is beginning to kick in, so we’ll try to make regular trips out there to what drops in to visit.
Teeny weeny itty bitty lizard. It was only about 3 inches long, including the tail.
Napping Black-necked stilt
I was amazed to see a green heron fishing. The last time I saw one was in South Florida in 2001. The photo isn’t as good as I would like, but I’m happy to have seen it.
Green heron with a fish.
Alhambra Creek flowing out to the Carquinez Strait.
Footbridge over the creek
Looking across the marsh with a sunken ship in the water.
Sparrow on a bridge
Snowy egret hunting for supper
Snowy egret posing nicely
While we’ll make regular trips out to the marsh, I’m hoping for a trip back up Diablo and another trip to a botanical garden. The weather has warmed up again though, so it might be a short wait.
Before I get to that, we wish to extend our sincerest condelences, hugs, and head bonks to the woman we refer to as Auntie Grace. Last week she lost her beloved doggie, Louise. Louise lived an amazing 17 and a half years with an equally amazing pet mum. I’m sure that Louise has reunited with Jake, but her loss is deeply felt. More hugs and bonks from the entire household.
As to the camera, it gave up the ghost. I had taken well over 300,000 pictures with it. Along with the LCD screen going bad, the photo quality wasn’t good either. However, I now have a new camera and it blows the old one away. It takes great pics of the pointy eared people. Hopefully next week we’ll get outdoors and see what else it can do. I’ve been tired of only doing Caturday posts due to mostly cruddy pics. Lastech’s phone pics were better than the old camera. Of course, Lastech will still produce great pics as he has a great eye. The new camera works great in low light conditions, which is great for kitty and dog pics. For those curious, it’s a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300. A DSLR was simply not in the budget and I’m not sure I want to lug a heavy camera with a hyper dog on a leash. This camera isn’t small, but it weighs less than the bigger DSLRs.
Now for the pointy eared people and the floppy eared one. For the record, these pics are straight out of the camera with no adjustments made. I may have cropped one, but that’s all.
Tito looking a bit like a Vermeer painting
The lovely Miss Jenny
Gasp! Dare I say it? Titanescu is looking almost cute.
Yes, it’s an anniversary. Last Labor Day weekend, Miss Pepita was found in a dumpster. We went back to the pier and picked her up that night. You can read her story here. Since then, she has made friends with Tito and Miss Jenny. Titanescu regards her as his personal punching bag and has her properly cowed. She and Tito play together. Miss Jenny merely sniffs noses with her. She also does it when Pepi is at the end of her leash so that she can dart away if she wants. We have since discovered that her biggest enemy is a plastic bag. Oddly enough, when I handle the bags indoors, she’s fine. If it’s outside, it’s a giant NOPE for her. She was laying at my feet earlier and heard a plastic grocery bag blow by outside. OMG! You would have thought it was a home invasion robbery. She never saw it. She just heard it and went all wonky and barky. Titanescu merely looked at her in disgust. Titanescu may not be celebrating this anniversary, but the rest of us are 🙂
And here is our little dumpster doggie
Pepi, one year later
Now it’s time for the pointy-eared people to shine
The great and magnificently crabby Titanescu watching over his kingdom
The gallant and good-natured Tito
The lovely blue-eyed Miss Jenny
Just for something different, here’s an angry froggy
The cats are happy because the air conditioner has been off for a few days. The weather is cooler than average. From 109 a few weeks ago to 70s and low 80s now. Go figure. I don’t mind at all. Anyhow, the cats are glued to the windows and the floor by the screen door. We’re all happy with the change.
Speaking of the pointy-eared people…
Tito keeping me company
Miss Jenny doing a pin-up pose
Happy Titan hogging the sunbeam
The goofy mutt? We were off at the arboretum when she suddenly went nuts snarling and growling.
Note the raised hackles
What was she snarling at? Why, the enemy of course.
Yeah, seriously. This is what she was growling and snarling at.
After that, we took her home because we wanted to go to the shoreline and pooches aren’t permitted. Once we got to the shoreline, we saw plenty of birds putting on a funny performance.
There were three beautiful white pelicans that landed on the water to feed.
They provided plenty of entertainment. I’ve put the pelicans and other birds in a slideshow that includes a lovely white swan butt.
Rudha-an here. Caturday was delayed. Blame Titanescu. I was attempting to update WordPress, but he insisted on walking on the laptop as usual. Today, he’s leaving me alone, but that will change in a couple of hours. 🙂
For now, here are the pointy eared people and the droopy eared one.
Tito was keeping me company
Miss Jenny was bird watching
Titanescu was being a poophead and standing on my mouse pad. The battle is real.
Pepi enjoying the porch. We made her day and got her a new farting hedgehog toy. It’s her third one.
This last week, we escaped and went adventuring. Lastech will tell you about that, but I’m going to do a bit of an intro. As I’ve mentioned before, California is on fire, making the air quality unpleasant, to say the least. Here are two pics I took during out outing that show the problem.
Looking to the North, you can see the smoke layer from the Clayton fire in Lake County. This same area had horrible fires last year. This one was arson.
Looking to the South, you can see the smoke from the Soberanes fire in Monterey County.
Lucky for us, our outing took us above the smoke so it was nice out. The critters all stayed home in the air conditioning. Pepi didn’t get to go this time as doggies aren’t permitted on the trails. She had a good run at the park before we went though, so she wasn’t deprived.
Rock City is a group of sandstone caves carved by the winds. It’s located on the SSW side of Mt. Diablo.
And now for adventure…in Lastech’s words.
As familiarity breeds contempt, proximity to “civilization” brings its blemishes. In the case of Rock City, this means carvings in the sandstone, some mundane, some obscene. There’s spray painting as well, although, in fairness, this becomes scarce the further along the trails you go. Driving up from the North Gate, you come to a fork in the road, about 3000 feet up, and turn right at the Ranger station. A short drive later, you pull off the road into one of the lots and choose your trail, easy-peasy.
On the way from the North Gate entrance.
Even though you know it is there, sandstone holds some fascination in sight and touch. In sunlight, much of it looks like granite, gray with some black specks (soot from older fires?), but on the ground, the color is tan, and in places, the stone looks ‘pleated’, like windswept sand dunes. You cannot help but touch it to feel its texture, and it appears slightly porous, though firm. And in the heat of an afternoon, it is hard to imagine it could ever be cold to the touch.
Sandstone caves of Rock City
Sound travels differently as you walk around the stone formations: there are no echoes, voices sound slightly muffled. It is a quiet place, where you mostly hear birds, and we did see and hear a few woodpeckers.
As sunlight reflects off the lip of a hole in the stone, it paints the inside of the gaping maw in goldish-tan hues,as you can see on some of our photos.
Walking further up the trail, we came to a couple spots where I could take panoramic shots of the area, all the way to the horizon, and lo! carved into the ground was the symbol, universal: a spiral, or maelstrom.
Panorama looking to the West
Could this be where Ceiling Cat comes to bury His turds..?
Rest assured, I love Titanescu, but he’s a jerk. When he’s not giving me the stinkeye or slapping the wall, he’s a bitey, grouchy jerk. Today he decided to start getting my attention to feed him…three hours before his dinnertime. It went like this:
Titanescu: I’m going to walk on your laptop
Me: No you are not going to walk my laptop
Titanescu: Yes, I’m going to walk your laptop
Me: No you are not going to walk my laptop
Repeat a dozen more times
Me: Puts arm in front of him to keep him off the laptop
Titanescu: I’m going to bite your arm
Me: Go ahead
Me: That didn’t hurt. You only pushed with your teeth
Titanescu: Ok. I’m going to walk your laptop
Me: You’re a jerk
Titanescu: Yes, I’m a jerk and I’m going to walk on your laptop after I bite your arm again
Me: You’re still being a jerk and NO! I’m not going to feed you.
Titanescu: I’ll bite your arm, hiss my foul breath into your face and then I’ll walk on your laptop
I had to deal with three hours of his highness being a jerk.
Here’s Tito. Tito wasn’t a jerk. He was a sweetie.
Miss Jenny waking from a nap.
Titanescu giving me the stinkeye from his sunbeam
Pepi decided that she didn’t like the air conditioner and covered herself with a blanket.
I saw this video and laughed, trying to imagine Titanescu being that patient.
Those who know me know I complain about phone zombies. Trust Ikea to come up with a wonderful commercial.
Pepi decided that today was pirate day. Every time Lastech would move, she would say aarrrrrr and leap at him. Then after he went to work and I grabbed up the evil monster known as the vacuum, she yelled “aarrrrrr” every few seconds and tried to attack it. The only thing missing from her pirate imitation was the eyepatch. Otherwise, she had it nailed. Miss Jenny and Tito said %$#& this noise and hid under the sofa. Titan watched with disdain. He does not fear the evil vacuum.
Here are the pointy eared people.
This pic is a rerun as Tito just didn’t cooperate this week.
Miss Jenny waking up from a nap
Titanescu owning his sunbeam
I haven’t forgotten Pepita the pirate
I finally gathered a few nature photos from recent journeys. Lastech managed to get two lovely pics of Karl the Fog over the bay.
Late afternoon fog
Fog and birds
He also got a cool pic of a rock.
Just a cool rock
When the heatwave broke and the weather improved, we went to Martinez, which is a few miles North of us on the Carquinez Strait. The strait is part of the tidal estuary of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers as they drain into the bay. We wandered around the trails where Alhambra Creek runs to the strait. The tide was up and it was beautiful out.
Things are returning to normal on board the Endurance, and Titanescu’s internal clock is working just fine. For the four days Rudha-an was house sitting, there was peace.
Yes, I had peace. The cats were quiet. The cats didn’t claw at me at ungodly hours. They were quiet. Their routine normally includes walking on us, hitting the wall (loudly) and any other racket-making habit they may think of. But while Rudha-an was gone, nothing… Then, after her return, Bam! Whiz! Bang! Miss Jenny became the Midnight Growler again at the window and Titanescu started playing the drums on the old TV box, same as it ever was.
Welcome home, Mommy.
Her first night back, at exactly 4:20. Tap. TAP! TAP! TAP! TAP! TAP! TAP! We checked the time, 4:20 am. Not 4:19, not 4:21. And each morning since then, as before. Like a promise.
Rudha-an here. Everything returned to normal until it didn’t. I would say that Titanescu pulled a fast one, but it really wasn’t fast at all. Lastech came home with groceries last night. As he made his way in the door, Titanescu decided that he wanted to see the outside. He sauntered out the door before Lastech could get it closed. Yes, sauntered. The only reason he made it out the door was because Lastech’s hands were full. Lastech followed him out the door. In a rush, I grabbed a can of cat food and the flashlight (It was 1 am). The cat food didn’t work because the stupid pull tap broke. %$@#&! In spite of all that, Lastech was able to scoop him up at the fence line. Picking up Titanescu takes much bravery. It worked out ok. Lastech got the tyrant back in where he belongs and managed to NOT get shredded in the process. In fact, Titanescu had a disgustingly smug look on his face. We will do things differently when we come home with groceries from now on as we will be properly paranoid.
Oh yeah. I keep complaining about heatwaves. I won’t do that anymore as each one is hotter than the last. It hit 109 when I was off house sitting. I won’t complain. I don’t want the next heatwave to be worse. 109? pffffft. It was nothing. NOTHING!
The world has gone mad and the tragedies continue. I’m getting to the point I don’t even want to turn on the computer. We have no cable, so the computer is how I get the news. Nice is where Lastech was born. He grew up in Antibes, which is only 15 miles away. He spent a lot of time where the truck driver ended the lives of so many. I’m trying to maintain my sense of humor as it’s a survival skill, but it’s getting tough. The world gets more mad by the day.
Thankfully, we have the furkids.
Tito loves his towel
Miss Jenny looking like a pinup girl
Titanescu basking in the window
Pepi: I can haz cookie?
Happy Pepi running. Zoom zoom. The world has gone mad, but she still loves to run.
And because we really really really need to watch these hungry kittens.