Odds and Ends

Aug 29, 2010 by Janine |
While catching up with some yard work this morning, I made some interesting discoveries.
First I found this unusually colored Brahminy Blind Snake under a pot. They are normally a much darker grayish black. These tiny snakes are not native to Florida but unlike the pythons, they do not seem to be having any negative effects.

Next, a pair of stick insects "caught in the act"

Vanda orchid flower

The last thing you expect when you go to the gas station is to find a praying mantis on the pump.

In other news, I just got back from San Diego. Pics to follow. Eventually. :)

California Assortment

Aug 16, 2010 by Janine |
Here are the last of the California shots from April.
One unusual thing that we did was visit the Winchester House in San Jose. The story goes that Sarah Winchester was told by a psychic that the spirits of those killed by the Winchester rifle had put a curse on her and her family, and caused the death of her husband and daughter. To thwart the spirits, she was told to continue constructing an elaborate mansion to confuse them. She did so for 38 years until her death.

Lady Winchester had a fondness for stained glass and the number 13.

As 13 is my lucky number, I appreciated the symbolic use of the number throughout the mansion.

Ground Squirrels

Golden Eagle


Bay Bridge

The famous sea lions of Pier 39

Views of the City


Summer Daze

Aug 12, 2010 by Janine |
This summer I have spent quite a bit of time in the field. Which is good, in that I enjoy field work and its great exercise. However, I was out one morning this week and the ground was literally steaming as the sun climbed higher in the sky. We have had record high temperatures the past few weeks and I have to admit that it was nice to cool off in Maine for a few days! (Due to record high temperatures in the northeast, "cool off" was over 80 degrees! A lot better than 95).

Artsy reflection

A baby armadillo that we saw today. He was rooting around in some grass, and we almost stepped on him because he was so small!

After I went to Maine a couple of weeks ago, I went directly to another meeting on Florida's west coast, in Sarasota. It was my first stay in Sarasota and I really enjoyed it.

West coast sunsets are always spectacular.

Speaking of the west coast, I am off to the west coast of the US (San Diego) for work in a couple of weeks. I am heading over a little early to do some sightseeing beforehand. I have yet to finish going through my California pictures from earlier this year and must get that done soon. Things are a bit hectic right now with lots going on at work and at home. We are continuing to wage war on the lawn, and the invasive exotic plants that are growing in our yard. The goal is to restore it to a more "natural" state, with native groundcover species and more trees and shrubs. So far our efforts have been rewarded by more birds visiting the yard to feast on berries, and abundant butterflies and other insects. Its definitely a long term project!