Sunday with kitties, the arboretum and Diablo

… Enough with my brains, we have more rain this week! We started with an excursion to the top of Mount Diablo Monday to watch clouds go by. We now finish it with another system moving through, giving everything a good soak. The hills and island have returned to a beautiful green and the Force is strong with the Galindo creek running through Markham arboretum.

View from Diablo looking South
View from Diablo looking South
The hills are turning green again
The hills are turning green again

We’ve really been regular Stormtroopers, hiking our butts off (and Pepita’s).

Markham Arboretum is turning green again (the grass at any rate)
Markham Arboretum is turning green again (the grass at any rate)
Looks like fall in the arboretum
Looks like fall in the arboretum
Galindo Creek is flowing again
Galindo Creek is flowing again

A couple days ago, Rudha-an had a Mexican stand off with Titanescu after he slapped miss Jenny, who walked too close. Danger close.. Rudha-an had her hand up ready to shield Jenny, which Titanescu took as a threat. Did he move, of course not. He raised his paw, waiving it a bit, ready to hit anything that moved.

When he realized it wasn’t anything serious (we were giggling) he finally settled down.

But he was still serious as a heart attack.

Titanescu looking intense, as usual
Titanescu looking intense, as usual
Miss Jenny
Miss Jenny
Tito!
Tito!
Miss Pepi in her bed
Miss Pepi in her bed

With luck, we’ll get out again this week.


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Rainy days, Sunday, and a missed Caturday

Yes, I missed Caturday. On a happy note, it’s rainy. The pointy eared people have been glued to the windows watching the drops fall. My favorite weather is rainy weather, so I’m thrilled. Hopefully tomorrow, we’ll take a run up Mt. Diablo.

Before I post the cloud pics, I better let the stars of the show have the spotlight.

Tito wondering why I'm pointing a clicky thing (camera) at him.
Tito wondering why I’m pointing a clicky thing (camera) at him.
Miss Jenny watching the rain
Miss Jenny watching the rain
Titanescu looking positively angelic in his sleep. No worries, it won't last long.
Titanescu looking positively angelic in his sleep. No worries, it won’t last long.
Pepi looking ever hopeful for noms.
Pepi looking ever hopeful for noms.

Before the rain arrived, we went out to see the birds. However, the clouds were far more interesting. It was very late afternoon and the sun had dropped behind the hills. That made the sky a pretty darker blue.

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Clouds reflected in water
Clouds reflected in water

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That was our week in a nutshell. Hopefully we’ll have more for next week.


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Caturday: With a seizure and rotten brain update

I won’t discuss the election as I cannot come close to being polite. On the other hand, I can provide an update to Lastech’s rotten brain and seizure episode. Last Monday we went off to Kaiser where he had an EEG and an MRI. Lastech said that during the EEG they worked really hard trying to trigger a seizure but were unsuccessful. From there, he went off to have his MRI. Both tests came out negative. The EEG showed normal activity and the MRI showed nothing but the original injury. His brain is still rotten, but apparently it wasn’t the culprit. The most likely cause was very low blood sugar. His diabetes med works by increasing his production of insulin. This can cause a drop in blood glucose levels. Getting too low can trigger a seizure. Lastech will now check his blood sugar far more often and will also increase his carb intake as he had cut it too much.

I think that was pretty good news. Now it’s time for the pointy eared people and the floppy eared one to shine.

Tito snoozing
Tito snoozing
Miss Jenny on her perch
Miss Jenny on her perch
Titanescu on the lower perch
Titanescu on the lower perch
Pepi and the sad chicken
Pepi and the sad chicken

Along with the awful election, the world has lost yet another treasure. Leonard Cohen, the Canadian poet, singer and song writer passed away at 82 yrs of age. He will be greatly missed.

Here is a piece of music from his final album.

And here is my favorite cover of his wonderful song, Hallelujah.


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Caturday: Halloween and rotten brains

Yes, rotten brains… As in Abby Normal. This past week had a definite Halloween theme, with my waking up from dreams of epileptic sheep in the back of an ambulance early Monday morning, my brain not firing on all cylinders. All day at work on Sunday, I’d complained of a headache. Got home, wolfed down a cheeseburger, still felt weird, popped a couple glucose tablets and the lights went out before I finished the second one. We got home at 4:20 a.m., I emailed work to let them know I would need a few days off.

Rudha-an here: The fur people will have their moment before Lastech continues with his story. I’m going to add though, that it scared the living crap out of me. Lucky for me, my friend came and hauled me to the hospital and “held my hand” as it were. And now for the furry stars of the show…

Tito watching the neighbors
Tito watching the neighbors
Miss Jenny in the window
Miss Jenny in the window
Titanescu watching the birdies
Titanescu watching the birdies
Pepi with her chicken toy
Pepi with her chicken toy
I did some rearranging and shortened the cat tower. Then I put it in the window on the dinette seat. They seem to like that much better. They have bird watching marathons now.
I did some rearranging and shortened the cat tower. Then I put it in the window on the dinette seat. They seem to like that much better. They have bird watching marathons now.

Now back to Lastech’s Halloween story

It’s at times like these you find reasons to feel fortunate, strange as it may seem. For instance, I learned the reason why someone working in my department has been out for the past two weeks: seizures revealed a tumor, which returned after surgery. Stage 3 brain cancer. Then one of the kids we newly hired had to take emergency bereavement leave after his father committed suicide.

So I’m thankful my passing out pales by comparison, even with a 6 months driving license suspension due to the risk of recurrence.
Also, thanks to modern technology, I now have this nice photo of my rotten brain showing dead tissue from 40 years ago. They had to take a drill and relieve the pressure after a nasty motorcycle crash, and it must have been a little like this: NSFW

As for that rotten brain? Here ya go

Yep, it's my brain
Yep, it’s my brain

Rudha-an here: Lastech goes back for more tests on Monday. We’ll keep you posted.


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Caturday: Chills, thrills, and rain

Yes! It’s raining! We’re now well above average for the month. That doesn’t mean the drought is over and we may still be very short of our needed rainfall for the season. Still, it’s giving the hills a good boost and they’re greening up already. We missed last Caturday due to performing our bi-yearly move-out-move-back-in thing. It’s a royal pain in the posterior, but at least the weather was nice and no rain.

Rain on glass
Rain on glass

Anyhow, the move thing was relatively uneventful, though Murphy’s Law did manage to kick in though as poor Lastech went to go to work and the car wouldn’t start. Lucky for us, we have AAA membership and they came and changed out the battery and made sure the starter and alternator were working correctly.

In the midst of everything, we took a trip up Mt. Diablo. I’m still sorting those pictures, but Lastech used some different settings on his phone with Halloween in mind. Here are the pointy eared people and the floppy eared one mixed in with some creepy pics. Happy Halloween everyone!

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Tito
Tito

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Miss Jenny
Miss Jenny

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Titanescu
Titanescu

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Miss Pepita
Miss Pepita

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We do hope that everyone has a wonderful and safe Halloween this year.


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Caturday: Furbutts, storms and a succulent exhibition

Well, summer went with a bang and now we have storms. Hooray! Ok, I’m hoping for no flooding or wind damage, but I love the storms. I’m not sure the pointy eared people are all that thrilled, but as long as the air conditioner isn’t on, they’re happy.

Anyhow, earlier in the week we made a rare trip to the city to see the succulent exhibit at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. Before we get to that however, it’s time for the stars of this show to make their appearance.

Tito lounging in a sunbeam
Tito lounging in a sunbeam
Miss Jenny
Miss Jenny
Titanescu
Titanescu
Miss Pepi
Miss Pepi

Here is miss Pepi doing her pirate imitation again.

The almost constant game of slappy paws. Arrrrggghhhh! Arrrrgggghhhhh!
The almost constant game of slappy paws. Arrrrggghhhh! Arrrrgggghhhhh!

Here’s another hummingbird

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The rest of the post is on the other side.

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Caturday: Kitties, a dog, and an hour in a wonderful garden

It was an interesting week. We wound up waiting on a guy to show up with a tow truck. The appointment was for the afternoon, but he never showed up. He finally showed up at noon the next day. That effectively killed most of our weekend (for us, it’s Monday and Tuesday). We made it to Tilden Regional Botanical Garden, but could only spend about an hour there. It was still worth it and we’ll go back. We’ll get to that later.

The kitties have been happier with the air conditioning off most of the time now and we might even get some rain later next week. The bird watching has been intense. Very intense. Today though, the neighbor has been outside working Tito and Titanescu have been on alert and Miss Jenny has been growling. Miss Pepi has been a good doggie. No barking or growling from her. That’s good because her volume level is set way too high. 🙂

Miss Jenny watching the birdies. There's a shrub about two feet away from the window that is full of sparrows every evening.
Miss Jenny watching the birdies. There’s a shrub about two feet away from the window that is full of sparrows every evening.
Miss Jenny looking quite lovely
Miss Jenny looking quite lovely
Snoozing Tito
Snoozing Tito
Titanescu owning his sunbeam
Titanescu owning his sunbeam
Pepi was watching the hummingbirds with me
Pepi was watching the hummingbirds with me

This was a camera test. I liked it.

Hummingbird
Hummingbird

Onward to the Tilden Regional Botanical Garden. With the tow truck driver effectively shredding our weekend, we didn’t get to spend much time there. However, it’s not far away, so we’ll go back. The friends of the garden describe it best.

The Regional Parks Botanic Garden is a naturally beautiful and tranquil living museum of California native plants. Located within Tilden Park in the hills above Berkeley, California, this enchanting 10-acre garden is a sanctuary for many of the state’s rare and endangered plants and a place for visitors to wander among trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses from plant communities throughout the state.

View across the garden from the visitor center
View across the garden from the visitor center

It’s located in Tilden Park in the hills above Berkeley, which is WSW of Concord.

Seeds, photo by Lastech
Seeds, photo by Lastech
Cholla, photo by Lastech
Cholla, photo by Lastech
Teeny lizard. It was only about two inches nose to the tip of the tail.
Teeny lizard. It was only about two inches nose to the tip of the tail.

I put the rest of the pictures in a slide show.


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Fur people, rain, and a loud crash

Yes, I missed Caturday. I got busy taking care of a small repair job and prepping for when it’s colder. I was settling in earlier today to make up for it, when things went wonky and there was a loud crash.

First things first though. The pointy eared people and floppy eared one get to star first. Summer is officially gone and the air conditioner is off. There may be another warm day or two, but the worst is past and the kitties are loving it.

Titanescu having some noms
Titanescu having some noms
Miss Jenny watching the birdies
Miss Jenny watching the birdies
Watchful Tito
Watchful Tito
Miss Pepi was lounging in the sun and hoping we would drop bit of meat (we were grilling).
Miss Pepi was lounging in the sun and hoping we would drop bit of meat (we were grilling).

Now for the crash

My neighbor in the first space in from the Boulevard was moving back in. They had just started to back in into the space when I heard a very loud crashing noise. My first thought was that they clipped the trailer next door, but I couldn’t tell as I had shrubbery in the way. I wandered outside to see. The trailers were fine, thank goodness. However, one of our other neighbors was pulling into the park drive and another car on the boulevard slammed into the back of his truck. The woman in the SUV went to the hospital. My neighbor was ok, but shaken up. As for the cause of the accident? It was unsafe speed, inattention, or both. The street was damp from a prior heavy drizzle making it slippery as we haven’t had rain for a while. It’s a good lesson to alway be alert and watchful. I hope the woman is ok. The ambulance didn’t take off with a siren, so I’m assuming there’s nothing life threatening.

Concord PD providing a traffic break
Concord PD providing a traffic break
The neighbor moving back in is on the right. The truck belongs to another neighbor trying to get home.
The neighbor moving back in is on the right. The truck belongs to another neighbor trying to get home.
It wasn't a mild crash. That's a fair amount of damage
It wasn’t a mild crash. That’s a fair amount of damage
I hope the driver is ok. That was quite a hit.
I hope the driver is ok. That was quite a hit.

To end this on a happy note, here are some desert burros seeing grass for the first time.


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Caturday: Summer’s last hurrah

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
Tito doing the dead-bug
Miss Jenny
Miss Jenny
Titanescu and the sunbeam
Titanescu and the sunbeam
Titanescu using Miss Jenny as a pillow
Titanescu using Miss Jenny as a pillow
Pepi and her green blankie
Pepi and her green blankie

And now for the birds pics and a couple of not-bird pics.

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret
Snowy egret
Snowy egret
Tugboat
Tugboat
Duck butt
Duck butt
Egret hunting for dinner
Egret hunting for dinner
Kites
Kites
Juvenile cormorant
Juvenile cormorant
Hahahahaha!
Hahahahaha!
The dainty look
The dainty look
Mystery berries
Mystery berries

With luck, we’ll have more variety coming up instead of just birds.

Just for fun, here’s a glamorous kitty


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Caturday: Testing the new camera

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.

Tito's closeup
Tito’s closeup
Miss Jenny's blue peepers
Miss Jenny’s blue peepers
Titanescu's stinkeye
Titanescu’s stinkeye
Here's Pepi having a run.
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.
Teeny weeny itty bitty lizard. It was only about 3 inches long, including the tail.
Black-necked stilts
Black-necked stilts
Napping Black-necked stilt
Napping Black-necked stilt
Western Sandpipers
Western Sandpipers

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.
Green heron with a fish.
Alhambra Creek flowing out to the Carquinez Strait.
Alhambra Creek flowing out to the Carquinez Strait.
Footbridge over the creek
Footbridge over the creek
Looking across the marsh with a sunken ship in the water.
Looking across the marsh with a sunken ship in the water.
Sparrow on a bridge
Sparrow on a bridge
Old boat
Old boat
Snowy egret hunting for supper
Snowy egret hunting for supper
Found it!
Found it!
Snowy egret posing nicely
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.


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