Saturday, March 31, 2012
moving hawks

A number of years ago when I was somewhat more mobile and able, I followed the birth and growth a some baby Hawks.....I wrote quite a bit about them back then, but I took so very many pictures during those months, I thought it might be fun to show some of them to you now---some I don't believe I ever posted...... I so enjoyed getting pictures of these truly beautiful birds, in flight...Especially with the sun highlighting their feathers, as in the pictures above..... They are magnificent Birds, these Hawks. I see them all the time as I sit looking out at the city...They usually float and sore and swoop slowly, looking for prey, I know.....It is the way of nature. But these pictures are all of the Baby's after they learned to fly---trying their wings and doing really well.... Taking off......WOW! It's awesome to catch these Hawks right as this is happening.....Look at those little yellow feet....These Birds are strong! Such a young face, above....One of the three babies---not quite mature yet.....(Do click on these to make them bigger......). You can tell by their eyes, among other things, that they are still so very young in these pictures....... Here are the three 'babies' together....They were together a lot when they were teenagers....It was such fun to photograph them and to follow their growth....Fun and also so very satisfying....! I am always saying this, but there is nothing like watching nature in all it's wonder......There are more special pictures of these three siblings....Next time, my time......

More To Come.......

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Monday, March 26, 2012
the rare beauty's

I have written about these flowers before...but I don't believe I have ever shown these particular pictures---though if I have, I hope you'll forgive me.....These are such unusual flowers---the shape alone is quite incredible, as well as the color...And they grow in such abundance when this plant is flowering----It is quite extraordinary...... The common name for this cactus is "Old Man Cactus", though I think almost any tall cylindrical cactus that has white 'fur' on top, is called 'Old Man Cactus'......! It's real name is Cleistocactus....and I'm not sure of the sub-genre.....At any given time, during the flowering season, this plant will have between 300 and 400 flowers......One would have to say it is prolific....! I have always called these unusual blooms, 'The Penis Flowers'.....I know that is silly, but of all the many Cactus plants in my garden this Cleistocactus is the only one that has flowers that grow out like this....... And what is so very interesting is, the Bees love these flowers...! Here are some pictures of a Bee or two trying to get all the good sweet stuff out of this unusual and amazing flower..... There must be some really great nectar inside there, wouldn't you say? I mean, the way the Bees burrow in....It has to be something quite special...... These flowers are so different from anything else I've ever seen. The shape, the color...the way they only open up just so much....I really love these flowers more than I can say.....To me, they are little works of 'art' created by nature, as only 'nature' can create......

More To Come........

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012
garden wonders

I first posted this back in 2007.....Since Spring seems to be "springing", I thought it would be fun for you to see it again...And for many of you, for the first time.....Enjoy! above is an Aloe in 'flower' with this dear little Bird sitting right on top of one of the amazing flower stalks.....the orange of these flowers is just stunning.....! There are many kinds of Aloe's and this is just one of them....and the thing is, the flowers are different on every one of them. This is not an Aloe is a flower on "George", who I have posted about exstensivly in the past, like last year all through the Winter and Spring....but as you can see above, a dear Bee was enjoying a bit of a snack here....And this was just this spring....And below, a wonderful side view of a flower on "George", again, this spring.... The furry fuzz on the side is very important as it becomes the outside of the fruit...yes, the flower turns into a wonderful amazing fruit. But it goes through quite a metamorphesis before it is ready....I know some of you will remember seeing the fruits last year....well, soon again, there will be some more....just like this one, below. I will show you this metamorphasis in another post, because it is pretty amazing how that flower can get to be this fruit....And what's even more amazing is how the flower gets to be a flower, in the first place...but, that is for another day....I promise. Here are some Agave flowers....from a small agave....What I love is the variations of colors....These flowers are very popular with all the birds, but particularly the Hummingbirds and the Finches.....Here below is another view..... This picture reminds us that the city is right out there...You can forget sometimes because you can get 'lost', (in a good way), in the garden itself.... But from this point of view that city is all 'out there'. Here above is where you get 'lost' in the garden....or here below, too....
This is a small Opuntia....each of those little brown fuzzy dots contains hundreds of little sticker thingy's....trying to pick up one of the pads without wearing gloves is a couple of hours with a tweezers ....!

I think this is a very beautiful sculpture right here in my garden..... And above, a closer look at those little tufts of evenly spaced....Natures Designs.....there is nothing like them. These are the flower pods on a Dracena Drago....A beautiful plant that starts out with one 'head' and then keeps creating new heads every year or so....And here below, the flowers that were inside those little round pods.... Lush and gorgeous.....they look good enough to eat, don't they? I wonder if people might eat these in 'the wild'....I'll have to look that up.......

More To Come.....

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Thursday, March 15, 2012
dean spanley

I stumbled upon this little "gem" of a film---I had never even heard of it before, let alone seen it---and it was released in 2008. Now, having seen it, I do not understand why it didn't get any attention back then---particularly by the Academy at Oscar time.....It is a wonderfully literate screenplay and the five principal actors are all, superb! And Peter O'Toole, who plays the cold detached and seemingly heartless father of Jeremy Northam in 1904 Edwardian England, just about steals every scene he is in.....His character is exasperating and funny and ultimately deeply touching.....Quite a 'hat trick', isn't it? But, in truth, it is no "hat trick". Peter O'Toole is still one of the finest actors, not just of his generation, but...ever...! And wasn't he amazingly beautiful in "Lawrence Of Arabia"? It was said that the great and talented Actor/Composer/ Writer/Raconteur, Noel Coward said to Peter O'Toole, back in the day, "If you had been any prettier, you would have been "Florence Of Arabia".......". Be that as it may----O'Toole's performance in this wonderful little film, grabs your heart in a really deep way and it is ultimately what the film is about. The resurrection and un-melting of a heart thought frozen......A true 'Artist', is this continually astounding and now elder, Peter O'Toole.Another performance that bares talking about is Sam Neill.....He, in a way, has the much more difficult challenge as an actor.....He has to convince us that he is much more than the eye can see without doing anything but "being" who his character is---and I must say---he truly pulls it off quite brilliantly. It is a performance of epoch proportions done in a very quiet and unassuming way.And, I want to talk about Jeremy Northam. I think he is a really WONDERFUL actor--mostly overlooked and underrated because he makes it all look so easy. In my opinion, he has incredible depth as an actor....I have loved him in so many films--The first one that comes to mind is "Gosford Park", (A truly fabulous film that I never tire of watching....) But because there is nothing particularly 'showy' about the characters he plays...Well, for me, in "Gosford Park"....I thought he was sublime in a performance that is just kind of taken for granted....And even here, in "Dean Spanley", his performance has been mostly overlooked...Make no mistake. Without Jeremy Northam, this would be a very different film. He grabbed my heart, too. And, may I say, I think he is a most attractive man as well as being so very talented.....You may have noticed I haven't said too much about what this film is actually about. There is a reason for that. I want you to discover it for yourself just as I did, never having even heard of it before, and as I said, having stumbled upon it....And, Oh My, what an amazing 'stumble' this was.....! I urge you to seek this film out. You won't be sorry....It goes places that are surprising and illuminating, too......I will quote what it says on IMDB:
Set in Edwardian England where upper lips are always stiff and men from the Colonies are not entirely to be trusted, Fisk Senior has little time or affection for his son, but when the pair visit an eccentric Indian, they start a strange journey that eventually allows the old man to find his heart.

And, to touch your heart in the process! My favorite kind of film!

More To Come......

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Thursday, March 08, 2012
some views

Here are some of the things I see from my deck on different days---depending on the weather and the smog.......Sometimes what I can see truly astonishes me......All of these pictures are facing West, towards the Pacific Ocean. You can see my favorite trees there on the hill....... The sky looks a backdrop in a movie or something. It always astounds me the way the weather effects my view....Sunsets can be breathtaking, beyond words...... It looks unreal, doesn't it? But....that is how it actually looked......(You can see all the pictures bigger by clicking on them and then clicking, again.......) These pictures remind me how fantastic nature is and how lucky I am to see this beautiful ever-changing 'Sunset Show' up here on my hill......

More To Come.......

Note: For those who believe, Mercury is Retrograde and I have had a lot of problems with my computer, my phone, my printer---you name it!.....They say one should just go to bed and not do anything during a Mercury Retrograde. I think that is good advice!

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Saturday, March 03, 2012
youngins' & elders

At the beginning of July, we took a ride to Hollywood Forever and I got some pictures of the very beautiful Peacocks that live there...At the time there were some very small Peacock Baby's........I don't know for sure, but they couldn't have been more than a few days or weeks old....Here they are, below back in July......And here they are, just a few days ago....And a couple of other young ones, below......As always.....these were taken from the front passenger seat of the car....The sun was not completely co-operating, and the fact that they were all "cooped" up, having just returned from an outing of sorts...I think the pictures came out pretty good.....Here below, some of the beautiful elders.... So Beautiful...The colors are just breath-taking.....Here below, more of Natures Beauty...... It doesn't seem possible, does it? I mean.....the depth of the color is astounding and to use an overused word---Awesome! Then....take a look at this, below......So click on these to see them bigger---you click and then, you click again......It was a rather windy day and I could see the tail feathers moving in such a peaceful lovely way....I took a little short video of it....Enjoy!

More To Come...........

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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