April 25, 2008

Myopic meanderings

Posted in blogging, photography tagged , , , at 8:19 pm by czygyny


Today was a day that didn’t go right. People ran out of gas, tasks did not get completed, sick kids, bodies feeling age, grumpy moods prevailed.  Just as I was about to leave for a walk to the creek with the dogs, I was called away on a rescue mission. By the time I got back, some horse riders with their trailers were visiting the creek. I was going to try and beg off on the walk, but the dogs were having none of it, and milling about where ever I went, inside and out, incessant in their urgings, finally pestering me enough to venture out. Not wanting to try to control three dogs in an unfamiliar situation at the creek, I took them out into the 35 acre parcel that sits to the side and to the back of our property.

The grassy stretch belied its dry and fire prone heart. It is a droughty spring, and a feeble crop of grasses barely push up through the tangled mass of withered old straw. Gopher holes and runs crowd each other. Where are my owls, my hawks? Where are my bobcats and coyotes? This is a dangerous fire hazard awaiting the spark!

While the dogs are having a good time, I experimented with my zoom lens. I noticed ladybugs, fierce thistle thorns on prickly lettuce, and a diminutive lotus plant with hairy leaves. The blurred background paints lovely pastels, here and there is a leaf puts on gaudy colors of death.

The day got better and better as it went along, and ended on a positive note, and a few more good photos are stashed away.


This prickly lettuce looks like Audrey II of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ fame.


This lotus’ flower head is about 3/8″ in size. I love the hairs.


Here’s another cheery lady bug, hunting on young star thistle plants.


A tripod would make these photos a bit crisper, but for now, its fun just to walk about and capture what my eye sees up close. I went many years with poor eyesight before I was given glasses, as a young girl. I think that is one reason I tend to experience life in the small things.


This last image is of a Western Fence Lizard. I try to make friends of all lizards in my garden. I talk to them and have a ‘secret’ wave of my fingers for them that seems to reassure them that I am not a predator. They let me get up rather close, as you can see. Look at those turquoise spots on her back!



  1. leafless said,

    This post has some great lines.

    “The grassy stretch belied its dry and fire prone heart. It is a droughty spring, and a feeble crop of grasses barely push up through the tangled mass of withered old straw.”

  2. czygyny said,

    Wildfires are a problem in the north state as well as to our southerly neighbors. It is an ever present danger to us. The second month after we moved here, we experienced the Jones Fire that swept through and burned a swath of area so fast that it rarely crowned the oak trees, yet left 100s homeless. While that firestorm raged on just a mile and a half to the east of us, Bohemotash mountain was on fire, and rained down ash on my other home, just ten miles away.
    I remember waking up about 5pm seeing the red glow to the north, and hearing the north wind howling and knowing in an instant that we were in deep trouble.
    I was in awe of those huge air tankers flying over my house, rocked in the wind like little Cessna airplanes, flying overhead dawn to dusk, and fire-fighting choppers trying valiantly to balance their buckets of water to protect homes-the north wind blowing so fiercely that it pushed the buckets away at an amazing angle. Rumor has it that the wind flipped the ‘bird-dog’ spotter plane completely over, thankfully to no harm.
    We have already had a couple of escaped burns in our area, and the fire marshal has closed all burning below 1,000 feet. Thank goodness! I still have a pile to burn, but it will have to wait till fall.
    I wish there was some way to control burn this stretch of grassland every once in a while. It would benefit the vitality of the whole ecosystem and keep the fire danger to a minimum. The gopher population is rather concerning, too. None of the hawks are nesting close by as usual, they often nest right in my back yard. All I hear are the owls, and see the occasional bald eagle.

  3. Good stuff, Mitzers.

  4. Jon said,

    Hi Mitsy, love the composition on the ‘shop of horrors’ picture, pretty amazing the way the leaves swirl away. What a talent you are!

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