..........A little blog about the little things in life..........

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Saturday Visit to the E-Seals

I haven't visited the elephant seals in quite awhile.  We started out with lunch in Cayucos at the Sea Shanty and an attempt to check out the seaglass festival.  Unfortunately, there was a very long line just waiting to get into the Veterans Hall where the festival was held, so I just kept driving north past Cambria and San Simeon until I arrived at the beach the elephant seals have claimed as their own.  According to the little newsletter, the adults are leaving the beach and there are mostly weaned pups, who need to teach themselves how to swim left.  I think they preferred napping to swimming lessons though.  Or maybe they were just really tired after swimming all morning?

 The young ones always seem to have a smile.

Obviously, this big guy didn't get the message to take off.  

About a mile north of the e-seal beach is the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse.  It's presently undergoing restoration, and tours are offered.  That's on my "to-do" list.

And lastly, my attempt at an "arty" shot of dried foilage.

Friday, February 24, 2012

For the Birds

I've taken a little break from blogging for the last couple of months just because I needed a break - lots going on.  We have our house up for sale, and we spent a lot of time cleaning, patching, staging the house.  And of course I need to keep it in tip-top shape all the time in case we have a showing.  Plus, I just felt so sad after our sweet cat, Casey, passed away.  Kind of in a funk.  Just haven't wanted to take photos.  But I thought I would get back in the saddle, so to speak, so I've posted a couple of bird shots I have taken the last day or so. 

There has a been a small hawk hanging around for awhile - this morning he got especially close to the house so I was able to get some nice photos of him while he was perched on a bush outside Tom's office. 

Then the roadrunner showed up while we were having lunch yesterday.  Haven't seen him for several months. 

And of course there are always finches and sparrows around eating from our feeders. 

We usually have a couple of hummingbirds that winter over (this year I've had to melt their sugar water many mornings, as we've had particularly cold nights this winter).  This guy, however, is a new one - I think he's an Allen's hummingbird and from the information from my birdbook, they are the earliest species to migrate. 

Another shot of the hawk - we have red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks around here, but he doesn't really look like them, and is smaller.  He could be an immature hawk, though.  Or maybe a Cooper's?  If anyone out there can identify him/her, let me know.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


We made a quick trip to Kanab, Utah the first of the month to supervise the installation of a new septic tank at Stacy's vacation rental house.  The weather was lovely and the trip went smoothly.  We spent a few hours driving around the area and especially enjoyed a trip to the Pink Coral Sand Dunes State Park.

We had a nice visit with Stacy and her friend Bob, who had driven out to pick up a dog that Stacy was adopting.  Blitzer belonged to a friend of Stacy's who passed away recently - he's such a sweet, friendly guy, I'm sure he'll fit right in.

I'm sure by now he has been groomed and doesn't look quite so shaggy.  And I understand he had to make a trip to the doggy dentist. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lots of Hummers

Counting hummingbirds that come to our feeder is a very difficult job!  They rarely sit still long enough for me to count them all.  This morning there were at least 8 buzzing around our feeders.  They are drinking 4 cups of sugar water daily and I've counted as many as 11 this summer.  I can get quite close to the feeders - especially if I'm wearing a red shirt....they'll come right up to me.

The bluebirds were enjoying the bird bath this morning. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lawson Family Reunion

Yesterday we enjoyed a visit from Tom's brother John (who lives in Philadelphia), John's daughter Cary (who lives in New York), Tom's sister Phoebe (who lives in Silver City, New Mexico), and Phoebe's daughter Jenn, (who lives in Grover Beach, CA).  We had lunch outdoors at the restaurant at Hunter Ranch Golf Course.  Phoebe, Cary and Jenn are avid photographers, so there was a lot of "snapping" going on!

Cary and Jenn

 John, Tom and Phoebe


Cary and Jenn

We spent the afternoon at our house comparing ipads (there were 4), installing apps, bird watching (and taking photos of birds),   looking at old annuals and photos, and catching up.  Check out the link below to see one of Jenn's hummer photos.

 Jenn, Tom, John, Phoebe and Cary

Tom, John and Phoebe

Because family members are scattered all across the country, it's not often we're able to get together, so it was a special treat to be able to have 3 of the 4 Lawson kids together (along with 2 of their kids)!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Times They Are A'Changing

Last week we drove down to Santa Barbara and hopped on a Frontier plane for a flight into Denver.  (We were surprised to find that the new terminal at Santa Barbara was completed and in use). The goal of our trip was to check out the town of Parker, Colorado.  Which we did.  We've been talking about returning to Colorado and this was a recon trip of sorts.  We stayed with friends Judy and Mike and spent 3 days driving around by ourselves and with a realtor looking at houses and getting a feel for the area.  We liked what we saw, found a house that will work for us, and decided to make an offer.

Bottom line, we are now buying a house in Parker Colorado which we'll rent until we're able to sell our house out here.  We work fast when we set our minds to it!

(Photo of main terminal at DIA)

 Unfortunately, I have no photos of the house yet.  But I did take a photo of my daughter and her friend, Rebecca.  We met them for dinner one evening. 

And we had dinner with my friend Kathy, as well.

We'll have a busy year ahead of us getting our house in Templeton ready to sell, and moving to Parker, Colorado. We're excited!

Monday, August 15, 2011


We went to Morro Bay yesterday - it was foggy and cool in the morning, but the sun finally broke through about 1:00.  Some fishermen were cleaning their catch and had quite an audience of gulls and pelicans waiting for handouts.  I love pelicans - love to see them fly (they barely seem to flap their wings), dive, swim or just stand around. 

Then as we were turning into our driveway I noticed this mom and fawn duo under the plum tree in our yard.  Later on in the evening, there was another doe with an even younger fawn (still spotted) right outside my window.

Friday, August 12, 2011

And the Saga Continues

Well, no...I haven't been on the road in Arizona since May.  Chalk it up to blogger's block, inertia, laziness, whatever.  But I'll try to get up-to-date in one lengthy blog.  So, here goes.

We ended up our southwestern tour through Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada by spending the last couple of nights in Kanab at Stacy's vacation rental.  (http://www.vrbo.com/354399).  She's really getting it in shape, especially with the addition of a lovely deck which has a killer view of the beautiful red buttes.

We have been fortunate this summer in enjoying unusually cool weather, and lots of guests! 

Judy from Denver dropped by after Memorial Day and we enjoyed getting to catch up.

Barbie from Tulsa came for a week toward the end of June. 

Kristen from Denver was here the first part of July.

Judy must have had a good time in May, cause she returned the end of July along with her fiance Mike!

Activities included (in no certain order), and not limited to the following:  visits to wineries, walking on the beach, eating out, playing cards, attending the Templeton 4th of July Parade, eating out, playing golf, attending an outdoor play in Solvang, watching fireworks and picnicing at Pear Valley Winery, happy hour on the patio,  horseback riding, eating out, driving around sight-seeing, and eating out! 

Between guests we settled into our usual routine:  a little golf, eating out, watching Net Flix or our favorite tv shows that we tape (Damages, Breaking Bad, Weeds, Suits, etc.), reading, taking photos and experimenting with processing them in unusual ways, going to the art show in the park in Paso, checking out the Historical Museum in Paso, etc.  We also headed-up our annual Spanish Lakes garage sale the first Saturday in August.

My birthday present this year was an Apple i-pad2 and I am loving it!  I especially like the Nook, Kindle, and Overdrive apps which let me download books; as well as other nifty apps, such as the one where you can point your i-pad at the sky and it identifies stars!  Coolness.

I've also been busy with 365 Project - it's an internet place to post a photo a day.  Check mine out if you have time:  www.365Project.org/dala42

So, I'll sign off with a couple of my favorite photographs taken this summer!  And I'll try to keep this blog current!

 The Niner Winery at Heart Hill

Beachcombing with Kristen

 Hanging out with Kristen

Enjoying some lovely sunsets.

And I think that brings me up-to-date!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May Road Trip - Part 1 - Arizona

We're back from our latest road trip.  This time we traveled approximately 2800 miles, making a big loop through Arizona, New Mexico, back to Arizona, Utah, Nevada and home.  Our first destination was Tucson, Arizona, where we visited the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, located about 12 miles west of Tucson.

The ASDM is a world renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden located on 98 acres of beautiful desert country.  There are 2 miles of walking paths and the focus is on the plants and animals that live in the Sonoran Desert.  There are 300 animal species and 1200 kinds of plants. 

We really enjoyed our brief stay and made it over most of the walking paths.  Luckily it wasn't too hot (in the low 80's).

Here are some photos from our morning at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

The giant saguaro cactus are the most well-known cactus in the Sonoran Desert.  They are slow growing and can live for 150 years and grow from 15 to 50 feet tall.  When it rains, the saguaros soak up the rainwater, visibly expanding to hold the water for later consumption.  The white and yellow night-blooming flowers appear April thru June and bats are the main pollinators.  Birds such as Gila woodpeckers, purple martins, house finches and flickers live inside holes in the saguaros.

There are many others kinds of cacti as well.

The desert animals are kept in naturalistic zoo enclosures.  On our trip we saw:

Javalinas, a gray fox, bobcat and wolf.


 a beautiful green parrot
 A fat dove
 A mountain sheep
 a sleepy coyote
and a playful river otter!

But this blue-collared lizard was one of my favorites.

From Tucson we drove to Sierra Vista, Arizona.  Sierra Vista is fairly close to the US-Mexican border, so illegal immigrants are a large problem.  We saw several road blocks where north bound traffic was stopped, and noticed this sign on a hiking trail several miles from the town.

Tom had his driver's license ready in case he needed to prove he was legal!

Next entry - on to Silver City, New Mexico.