Saturday, April 2, 2011

Wild on Walnut

When East of Allen's Michael Coppess emailed me about the wildflowers on Walnut, I knew just what he was talking about. A couple of blocks' worth of beautiful flowers are opening up along the north side of the street between Kinneola and Daisy Avenues, and he thought I might like to photograph them. Did I ever. Thanks, Michael.

It's an industrial area, where artist's studios mix with factories (and flowers, apparently). I like it. There's not much traffic except the cargo carriers that cross an old train trestle parallel to the road.

You really ought to go over there while the flowers are blooming. There's way more going on than I could fit into one picture.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Theme Day: Edges

This isn't a photo about edges any more than any other photo is about edges.

I had planned to post something else. But yesterday I posted about the Japanese Garden at the Huntington Library and that got me thinking about Japan, its crises, and the edges we live on.

The edges we live on in southern California:
The San Andreas Fault, which may or may not dole out
the big one during our lifetime (seismologists say it's a matter of time--we just don't know how much), and if/when it happens, it may or may not be big enough to damage
the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, which may or may not already be in violation of safety codes.

Even without the dangers there's no dirtier energy than nuclear, with its toxic, terrible waste. I'd sure like to see American nuclear plants shut down. I'm thinking of the workers trying to tame the raging nuclear power plant in Japan. They may be sacrificing their lives and they know it. That's the edge they're living on now. They've become stoic heroes, because their country needs them.

All of us live on edges--maybe we drive too fast or eat the wrong foods or just don't look when we cross the street. We have the power to smooth those edges.

There's not much we can do when the planet gets cranky, but we can shut down Diablo Canyon and San Onofre before the San Andreas Fault does it for us.

The City Daily Photo community continues to grow. As of this posting we're 1368 blogs worldwide! Find one in your favorite town and see how they interpreted today's theme.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

No Japanese Garden?

How ever will we manage?

If I'd only read my Huntington Library Calendar when it first arrived, I wouldn't be telling you this at the last minute: "Beginning April 4, the Japanese Garden will be closed to visitors through next spring so that renovations can begin to this much loved, 99-year-old landscape." So if you want to gaze serenely at the Japanese house, gawk at the fattest koi in the west or wander across the bridges while the koi gawk back at you, you'd better do it by April 3rd.

The garden's going to be great when they reopen it. The house will be renovated and a traditional Japanese teahouse--donated by the Pasadena Buddhist Cultural Center--will be added. I don't know what else they're going to do. The garden looks plenty gorgeous to me as it is. Maybe they'll restore the central, arched bridge to its original color of bright red. I hope they don't trim that willow.

In the intervening year we shall have to content ourselves with the other 111 acres of gardens at the Huntington: the Desert garden, the Australian garden, the Herb garden, the Chinese garden, the Shakespeare garden, the Children's garden, the Camellia garden, the Lily Ponds, the Subtropical garden, the Jungle garden, the Rose positively dreary.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sandwiches by Connal

We were hungry, and as is often the case we couldn't bring ourselves to cook. All we wanted was a sandwich.

What we got was neighborhood regulars regaling us with recommendations ("Ask for well-done fries, they do 'em a little light--you'll learn...") and stories ("Did you see that youtube video...") and ideas for next time ("You hafta try the burger, put that on your list.").

Cash only, but if you don't have enough there's an ATM inside. The BLTs were fresh--not fancy, but they didn't scrimp on bacon. The avocado fries were spicy and they give you a lot. But what's really great about Connal's is the small-town, neighborhood feel.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Any Minute Now

A hint of sunshine today. A hint of heat. It's going to get warm this week and I can't wait.

I love the days when you can leave the windows open. I love going for a walk without a sweater. I love sitting on the front porch with a glass of iced tea and a book. I love sleeping without an extra blanket--or without a blanket at all.

It's been so cold and rainy lately that people have been joking about the San Gabriel Valley turning into Seattle. Not that there's anything wrong with Seattle. Some of my best friends live in Seattle.

But I live here where it's warm and sunny. Any minute now.

P.S. Early risers please note: tomorrow morning at 8:00am, the Pasadena City Council will meet with L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich in the Grand Conference Room (basement room S038) at Pasadena City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave.

Agenda items include:
* $2 million award from the county for environmental rehabilitation of Centennial Place
* Request for assistance developing and implementing a regional San Gabriel Valley approach to homeless services
* City participation in an environmental impact report (EIR) process for sediment removal at Devil’s Gate Dam by the L.A. County Department of Public Works.

The meeting is open to the public. Public comment will be limited to items on the agenda. The meeting will not be televised.
(My god, they go to meetings at 8am for us! Let's show some support!)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Zen Monday: #139

On Zen Monday, we experience the photo and share what we've learned in the comments.

Well, I don't. Monday's your turn.

(Your first Zen Monday? Tell us what the photo makes you think of or how it makes you feel. Say whatever comes to mind. There's no right or wrong, no secret, no prize. Just have fun.)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Million Blessed Events

I promised you some wet photos this weekend.

At first glance the toad above seemed ungainly. Then I realized it was two toads--two toads in love. They're graceful, considering. You don't see toad sex every day. Well, maybe you do, but I don't.

What is the result of toad love? That would be a tadpole. Or many tadpoles.
I took this photo 12 days after the first one, at the same catch basin at Hahamongna Watershed Park. I took both photos before last week's rain. I hope this week we'll find thousands of baby toads.