Saturday, 25 June 2016

San Francisco

Alas it was not me visiting San Francisco this week but David was there and, in between meetings, he took a few photos.

Above, Nob Hill, the amazingly steep street with hairpin bends.

The island prison of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay.

The restaurants and shops on Fisherman's Wharf.

The lovely bakery near Fisherman's Wharf - famous for serving Clam Chowder in hollowed out crusty rolls.

View of the San Francisco skyline and Fisherman's Wharf from one of the piers.

Friday, 24 June 2016

A Fragrant Bouquet

A friend came to lunch this week and brought me a wonderful bouquet from her garden - lovely, fresh and fragrant herbs (interestingly always pronounced here as 'erbs).

Basil, chives, parsley, marjoram..

..and lots of lovely mint.  Now, where did I put that bottle of Pimm's that Lauren brought over for me?

And a little flower... not quite an allium, but I guess a diminutive member of the same flower family.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Just a bowl of cherries..?

It is said in English idiom that 'life is just a bowl of cherries..'  (you can look up the words of the song and hear Judy Garland sing it on You Tube).

It means, apparently, that life is very good - but can also be used to mean the opposite..

So maybe that is a good symbol for such a strange divided day.

(The cherries, though well travelled - from Washington State on the west coast - are real, not idiomatic and very good!!)

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Woodpecker Wars

Generally the Downy Woodpeckers are fairly tolerant of each other.

But this afternoon two males arrived at the feeder at the same time.

For a while one waited patiently..

Then made his move.

There was the inevitable confrontation..

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Stormy Day

This morning it was very warm but by lunchtime the temperature had dropped by 10C and the thunder was starting to roll around. By the end of the afternoon the rain clouds were so heavy that it was almost dark.

The rain fell steadily for an hour and so the stream was once again turned into a fast flowing brown river.

At the end of the storm everything was a little clearer..

And the soon to bloom Hosta flowers by the front door were beautiful with their raindrop decorations..

Monday, 20 June 2016

Two more for lunch?

On Sunday we decided to have our lunch outside and as soon as we sat down heard noises of flapping in the trees.

Unusually (they are usually soaring high overhead or picking at carcasses by the side of the roads) there were two Turkey Vultures perched in the tree.

They are by no means attractive birds but when they fly close by they are impressive because of their 4-6 foot wingspan.

They stayed around for a little while - hopefully it was not our lunch that attracted them!  One of them then flew and perched on the decking rail which was a bit of a surprise to us all - no photo, unfortunately.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Surprise in the Woods

We have been in this house more than a month now but still had not investigated the trail that runs along on the other side of the stream at the bottom of the back garden.

Today we remedied that - walking out to the small mall of shops via the trail, before it got too hot to be outside.

We also wanted to see how visible the house is from the trail.  In winter it will obviously be quite visible and it looks as if at any time of year going out on the deck in dressing gown and slippers to fill the bird feeders may not be a good idea!

At a junction on the trail we came across this little, beautifully roofed, house.  

Or Little Library..

All the books were quite dry and in a little door under the roof there was a log book where you are invited to leave your comments about the book that you have read and are returning..

I have seen phone box libraries but never quite such a small one or one in quite such a pretty spot.