Archive for September, 2011


It’s so dry out, that we have to run sprinklers to keep any plants alive. The rains will start soon though. A big garden spider has build her web right outside of one door, at eye level. That photo was taken through the glass of the door, shining a flashlight on the spider.


On the left is a small image of a large poster I owned in college, of the Finnish Saimaa ringed seal by Erik Bruun. I loved that poster. It was for the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation. The Saimaa seal is one of most endangered seals, and lives only in Lake Saimaa, Finland. Reports say there are about 260- 270 seals. I found a video of one Saimaa seal.

Professor Bruun is very well-known in Finland for his nature-inspired graphic design work, and his drawings are seen on stamps and currency as well as posters.

On the right is a photo (turned sideways) of Viivi, the cat, lying on the ground. She’s such a sweet kitty.

hot weather

We’ve had dry, hot weather in the 90’s F for a week or more. Sunrises are beautiful though and it’s cooler then..

  • Kiddo has a new haircut.

  • The little bird is made from that squishy stuff that’s used to attach photos to the wall. The feathers I’ve collected on my biking adventures and just outside gardening. The blue feathers are of Stellar Jays and the white one is from an egret at Alviso Wetlands. The big striped brown one is from my last ride on Coyote creek trail.

coyote creek trail

Here are today’s photos from my 30 miles by bike on Coyote Creek Trail. Didn’t see any mountain lions but the feral cats were not shy at all. Next time I’ll bring dry cat food with me. Also on the trail were golf carts, horses, a recumbent trike, and a recumbent tandem trike! This trail goes through Hellyer Park where there’s a velodrome, and winds under the 101 highway. Photos taken with Joe’s little Panasonic Lumix 28mm 10x camera – easy to carry. The weather was hot and dry, probably 80’s, and sunny. A little further and I could have made it to Anderson Lake. Next time.

morning bike ride

Short bike ride, with a few hills. Today the wind is blowing in the other direction, from the east. I can feel the dry air coming in and it makes me feel uneasy. The wind almost always comes from the sea. The good thing is that the wind blows those annoying gnats away a bit.

Like every weekend, the trail was crowded, including groups of high schoolers jogging, other bikers and joggers, and dogs & their dog-walkers..

Here’s our path to Lexington Reservoir and back. It’s only about 8 miles or maybe less but with the hills it feels like we accomplished something.

garden spider

Araneus diadematus, or Cross orb weaver, or European Garden Spider. (Photos taken with the Canon 20D and macro lens.)

Also shown in the slideshow is a grey triangular shawl I just finished knitting. The spider’s web is pretty fancy too.

up early

Probably I should be checking the stock market instead.


The bats have a nest under the eaves near the kitchen window. Every morning from about 6:15 to 6:30am they fly back and forth many times, to and from the nest. This morning I was out on the porch photographing the morning fog and they came and checked me out. Three or so bats suddenly flew around me for a few seconds.

After that I went inside and photographed them from the window – I used 3 separate photos to make the image at left. (Click it to enlarge).

camera test at Alviso

Here I am comparing the small Panasonic Lumix 10x DMC-T25 camera, with the newer Canon PowerShot sx30IS bridge SLR with the 35x zoom. What I am looking for here, is something that I can take with me easily on a bike ride, or skiing. The Canon is a lot bigger, but that zoom lens is soo enticing. – Unfortunately the Canon’s macro and the manual focus seem unusable to me. The dial is overloaded with functions and it’s fumbly to use. I find the Panasonic’s macro surprisingly useful, in comparison, especially for such a small camera.

OK. Colors first. Here’s my bike ride: Alviso salt flats – I went around the blue path twice, 2 x 9 miles = 18 miles. (Not much compared to my last ride with Danny!)

The Panasonic on the left, Canon on the right:

It was hot and somewhat hazy out. I found the ghost town in the distance with the zoom, but the heat haze is clearly visible. I learned that snowy egrets are very difficult to sneak up on, and herons are a lot more relaxed. Those big white pelicans are so cool and they know it.

OK. Well here’s the rest. The ones with ‘p’ in the filenames are from the Panasonic. There are only 2 of those that I chose for this slideshow.

Well. I really like the zoom and it’s OK for a bike ride, but… it isn’t good enough to be my only camera on a trip. And it’s too big to carry along with a real SLR. In that case, I should continue to look, maybe into the MFTs..

macro photo test

These are taken with Joe’s small Panasonic Lumix 10x DMC-T25 camera, set on macro. Not too shabby for a little camera. The blue feather is from a Steller’s Jay. See Aaron’s laser pointer’s red dot on Viivi (the grey cat).