Saturday, February 15, 2014


I just finished reading a great book by Jon Meacham.  It's Thomas Jefferson - The Art of Power .  I heartily recommend it to all my friends and relatives.  It's not a biography so much as a character sketch, but it's moving and powerful.  Whatever you may think of Jefferson, you'll find this book intriguing at least.  I was fascinated and I've read half a dozen biographies of Jefferson in the last fifteen or so years. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

A NEW Year

OK, so it has been a while since I posted anything on this blog.  So sue me!  I've been busy with other things, like playing "Candy Crush".  I'm still out there with my trusty camera though.  Got this shot of a robin that was passing through our part of the world the other day.  An early sign of spring?  We can dream, can't we?:

In any case, Happy New Year to anyone who happens to drop by this humble site!  Maybe I'll get around here more often this year.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow, originally uploaded by Grandpa Carl 1929.

Grandpa Carl 1929

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!, originally uploaded by ♫ zampi.

Our pistache trees had plenty of red berries for the cedar waxwings this year. It made for a neat Christmas shot!♫ zampi

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


There still is hope for this country!  The re-election of President Obama makes half of our country happy and half of it sad, but it is remarkable.  A man who, if he had lived in George Washington's day, would have been born into slavery is still the Commander-in-Chief of the USA.  Two hundred years ago he wouldn't have been able to vote.  He wouldn't even have been recognized as any white man's equal.  Had he exerted his independence and tried to run away from his owners, George Washington himself would have had him beaten bloody and cut off his toes, as he and other planters did with their slaves.

Today Barach Obama is our re-elected President.  That's progress, even if it took more than 200 years and some of our fellow citizens still hold strongly racist views.

We're a country in crisis, but good things are still happening and the man who has been re-elected President has a terrific head on his shoulders.  He has a huge task in front of him, but, if we all get behind him, we can make more good things happen.  Let's go forward!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

End of September

Pohley's Market here in the old-town part of Windsor has a new mural on the side of the building.  The artist is James Molina (no relation to Benjie or Yadier, he says).  Anyway, it's a great work stretching along the whole west side of the store.  I took some pictures of it the other day and stitched them together.  Couldn't get the whole length of it without making the picture too long for this blog so I settled for about three quarters of it.  If you're in the area, take a look at the real thing.  The photo below is small, but you can get the idea.  The dark rectangles are windows of the building:

Dickie and I made a trip to Shollenberger Park last week.  The wetlands lake was almost dry but we found quite a few egrets, ducks, stilts, sandpipers and several swans in the water treatment ponds just south Shollenberger.  Here's proof.  You can emlarge the photo by clicking on it:

The swans were in a fighting mood.  Here's one chasing the other away from his mate.  The guy in front was taking a pretty good beating:

I've always been partial to stilts.  They and their cousins, the avocets, are some of the prettiest of waterfowl.  I caught this guy high-stepping through the muck:

The bird below is a snowy egret.  There were quite a few of them around.  Some visitor we met at Shollenberger told us there were millions of them at the ponds, but we found that to be a gross exaggeration.  Still, there were more than a few:

It's fall now and the leaves are turning.  It's always a pretty sight.  I got this shot below on our morning walk yesterday:

That's about it for now.  See you next time!

Monday, July 16, 2012


Our daughter Mary took us down to Aromas, California, to visit our son, Peter, and daughter-in-law, Kate in their new home over the past weekend.  They have a beautiful place on a hillside overlooking a large valley where the Driscoll Corporation grows strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc  This is the view from their house (you can enlarge the photo by clicking on it):

As I mentioned above, the house itself sits on a hillside which is full of eucalyptus and assorted fruit trees.  It's their own little Garden of Eden.  Here's a view of theri home from down the hill:

One of the great treats of a country home is the wildlife.  In the morning and evening, the bunnies come out to feed.  I caught this one with my 400mm lens.  He's a handsome little guy.  Don't you think?:

There were birds around, too.  One I hadn't seen before was this one.  I think it's a California thrasher:

Peter told me there were hawks around, but we didn't see any until we were on our way out of the property.  Then Mary spotted this red-shouldered hawk as he flew from the road into the trees with some kind of a meal.  We couldn't tell what it was.  I hope it wasn't a little bunny!:

Anyway, it was a fun visit, and I'm grateful to Mary for doing the driving!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012



Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Independence Day

I haven't done this for a while.  At my age, I almost forget how to do it.  Not to worry, it's all coming back to me now!

We had a full moon last night so I took a shot.  This is what I got:

Dickie had a birthday last month.  Our daughters, Heidi and Mary dropped by to deliver some presents and we all had a great time.  Now Dickie has two new magnifying lamps to work with when she sews.  Here are the three of them mugging it up for the camera:

Dickie and I walk down a road that borders a vineyard here in town.  Before we reach the vineyards we pass these hollyhocks that are in beautiful bloom just now.  The bees like them, too.  You can see one in this pic, if you look carefully at the top of the flower (or click on the picture to see a larger version):

Below is a shot of what we see in the distance as we walk along the road.  Just now, everything is very green and the grapes are still tiny:

When the spirit moves us, we travel down to Schollenberger Park in Petaluma.  There's a large shallow lake there with an asphalt path built completely around it.  There are always plenty of waterfowl like swans, ducks, stilts and avocets.  However, all around the edges of the lake there are quite a number of other birds like red-winged blackbirds, swallows, and finches, not to mention hawks and harriers.  If you keep your eyes open, you'll usually spot this hummingbird who makes his home there.  I caught him up close the last time we visited:

Another place we like to visit is the fish hatchery at the north end of Dry Creek Valley.  The water there is convenient for a large number of cliff swallows.  They dig the mud from the pools to make their nests.  I caught this one on the wing - not an easy thing to do.  I felt very lucky.

I hope you're lucky, too, in whatever you're doing these days.  Have a happy 4th of July!

Monday, May 14, 2012


It's been a while since I've done any posting to this blog, but the muse grabbed me today and here I go.  I want to do a little boasting.  Our daughter, Mary Szecsey, is the executive director of the West County Health Centers here in Sonoma County California.  Recently, she co-authored an article in PACIFIC HEALTH.  I've copied it out below so you can take a look (just double-click the photo for a readable size):

Good things are still happening in this world!  I'm proud of our daughter's contribution.

My own contributions have been quite modest lately.  Getting out to find those hawks and shore birds is getting harder and harder for this 83 year-old.  I have gotten lucky occasionally.  Here's a red-winged blackbird I shot (with my camera) not too long ago:

He looks almost angry, doesn't he?  Truth be told, he was quite happily chirping away as he guarded the nest.

One of my favorite birds is the avocet.  There were quite a few of them assembled at Shollenberger Park in Petaluma the last time we visited.  The avocet comes from the same family (recurvirostridae) as the stilt which is black and white and similar in size.  Here's what an adult avocet looks like at this time of year:

For years Mary and her husband, Christopher, have been telling me they see coyotes on their property out in Occidental, CA.  I finally got to see one on Mother's Day weekend.  I took this pic through a window, so it's not as sharp and clear as I'd like, but, if you look closely, you can see the gopher in his mouth:

I guess that's enough for now.  It's time for me to get ready for the Cardinal ballgame.  Dickie and I watch them all.  Happy May!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!, originally uploaded by ♫ zampi.

♫ zampi

Friday, July 08, 2011


Here are some of the birds I have managed to photograph in the last few years. I have dozens, sometimes hundreds of photos of each, but these are a few of the best shots. Hopefully, I'll ge able to add a few more to my collection before I'm done. It has certainly been fun so far.

Ps.  Just keep clicking on the photo to expand it for a better look.
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Thursday, July 07, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Another Hummer

Another Hummer, originally uploaded by ♫ zampi.

I was sitting out on our patio this afternoon when this hummer dropped by for a cool drink. He split when I snapped the shutter, but not before I grabbed his profile.♫ zampi