Tag Archive: julian


The other day Rich & I went to Viejas Casino for lunch. (No, we don’t gamble. We just go there for cold beers, really great food at amazingly cheap prices, and, in the summer, for the industrial-grade air-conditioning.)

We were on the back end of three days of rain and the air was still quite unstable. Spotted this rainbow reaching down into the Sweetwater Meadow on the way home. Had to stop the car and get a picture. It faded fast, too.

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After three solid days of rain / sleet / snow, the skies are finally clearing. Which meant sub-freezing temperatures last night. Got up in the night and left a faucet dripping just in case. Out at 7am to walk Cisco, I noticed this lovely swirling frost effect on the hood of the truck:

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The nectarine tree is blossoming, so I took the opportunity to trim a few unruly low-hanging branches:

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Around six months ago, it occurred to me that our little mountain community would be a perfect place for a Little Free Library. In case you’ve been under a rock, these micro-libraries are twee little “houses” full of books. Anyone can take a book if they leave a book. They’ve been popping up everywhere.

I wrote to the president of our Property Owners’ Association suggesting our community would be perfect. Lo and behold, the board approved it, and now finally, it’s been built and installed! Yours truly will act as caretaker and unofficial “librarian.”

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LOVE this adorable frog door handle.

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CalFire was conducting a prescribed controlled burn yesterday on the south side of Middle Peak. It got alarmingly large, but they kept it under control. The smoke cloud was HUGE – it looked like a nuclear mushroom cloud. Luckily, the wind was blowing all the smoke away from here, at least until last night. I woke up and closed all the windows before the house filled up with smoke.

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There’s a stray dog in the neighborhood that we’ve been feeding. Sometimes the dog gets the food; other times it’s eaten by blue jays. But today we had a very unusual visitor at the food bowl — a beautiful grey fox! It was incredibly skittish and nervous. Today’s gusty Santa Ana winds surely weren’t helping. In one shot, you can see a wind gust ruffling his thick neck fur as he squints. He’d get a kibble from the bowl, then take it a few feet away to the steps to eat it while keeping a lookout. Repeatedly.

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We had a perfect combination of crystal-clear skies and pretty pink sunset clouds the other evening. The Channel Islands, around 100-150 miles away, were quite visible:

Starting towards the north we have Catalina Island...

Starting towards the north we have Catalina Island…

Then we can see San Clemente Island way off in the distance...

Then we can see San Clemente Island way off in the distance…

Here we have El Capitan in the foreground, with downtown San Diego and Point Loma to the left...

Here we have El Capitan in the right foreground, with downtown San Diego and Point Loma to the left of it…

Finally we see the south end of San Diego Bay lit up and Mexico's Coronado Islands in the distance.

Finally we see the south end of San Diego Bay lit by the sunset, and Mexico’s Coronado Islands in the distance.

Sunday was perfect playoff-football-watching weather — cold, windy, cloudy, and foggy. But for a brief few minutes, the clouds parted and a gorgeous rainbow appeared:

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Finally, Gracie has fully and officially transformed into Winter Cat. She even allowed Rich to cover her with a blanket, an unprecedented event:

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One of Rich’s kung fu students, Chris, came up the hill recently to visit, and brought a bag full of exotic tropical fruit from his garden. (The banana was ours.)

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In addition to some oranges, we also got a Buddha’s Hand citron. They’re quite rare. I’ll be making candied peel with it. There’s also three weird green things that Rich forgot the name of. They have lumpy pale green skin with white flesh inside and seeds in the center. Anyone? It tastes a bit citrusy, not overly sweet at all.

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The other day, a pair of deer grazed through.

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Cisco watched intently, tennis ball securely fixed in mouth.

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Here he is all bundled up against the cold.

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Merry Christmas, everyone!

 

Gracie has become fully smitten with Cisco. Recently she brought over a live bird to where we were sitting outside. She set it down, and the poor thing was alive but stunned. Cisco came over to investigate, and sniffed at it. We both were sure Gracie would smack him in the face or worse, but she just sat there and watched him. Eventually Cisco went to open his mouth to pick it up, and that was when the bird regained its senses and flew away to safety.

That encounter marked a huge change in their relationship. He LOVES her, and follows her around like a little brother in awe. She considers him to be the best, most funnest cat toy EVER. He’ll chase her in play occasionally, which she clearly loves.

So the integration seems to have gone swimmingly. She’s been coming in earlier and earlier lately, and sleeping later in the morning before going out. And she’s playing with her toys again. Here she is curled up in the box, showing those unruly plastic strips who’s boss, and with her cardboard-tube squid nearby:

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Spotted a small bird of prey sitting on the edge of the birdfeeder before it flew off to a roost right outside the window. Managed to get this shot off before it flew away for good. I think it might be a Cooper’s hawk:

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Cisco on the stone bench:

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Here’s more shots of his new coat. He looks SO cute and spiffy in it:

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Found another tree mushroom, about 30 yards from that other one. My hand is for perspective:

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It starts growing from deep inside the tree:

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We took Cisco to Fletcher Island again. He is just beside himself with excitement. First the car ride, and then OMGOMGOMG!!!

I can pee on everything I see!

I can pee on everything I see!

So many smells.

So many smells.

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Gotta check out under this tangle of roots, make sure there's no squirrels here.

Gotta check out under this tangle of roots, make sure there’s no squirrels here.

He's not a water dog, thankfully.

He’s not a water dog, thankfully.

Our view to the west.

Our view to the west.

Our view to the northeast.

Our view to the northeast.

What do you mean, we have to leave? We just got here!

What do you mean, we have to leave? We just got here!

An excellent way to burn off all that energy.

An excellent way to burn off all that energy.

 

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