Sunday, February 28, 2010




Today, March 1st, is the National Day of Celebration for the people of Wales.

 If you see anyone wearing a daffodil or a leek today, they are probably Welsh.

Take a good look at this picture.  It is the Welsh flag. What is that red creature?
As a clue, I will tell you on my entry for the ABC Wednesday, which usually gets posted on Tuesday afternoon for the sake of our friends in the earlier time zones -- and that would definitely be my Welsh friends.

(I know I have recently  posted about St. David, the patron Saint of Wales, but I couldn't let the actual day pass without another  mention.  Can't let the Irish get all the recognition!)

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Day After Valentines.

I know I'm a little late with this but it's been a busy week, one way and another.

On Monday we took the day off.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day, so we decided to go to Leo Carrillo's Ranch.  Unfortunately it was closed, so I will save all that info for another post.  In the mean time I did get two beautiful photographs of two houses just outside the gates.  They are so beautiful I have to post them now.


From there we decided to take a look at Batiquitos Lagoon. Along the coast from Oceanside to San Diego there are quite a number of lagoons.  Some are salt water marshes that open up to the ocean.  We found a very nice level spot at the top of the trail and pulled out our chairs we always carry in the trunk and sat for an hour or so in the very warm sun .  We had the binoculars and watched a beautiful red hawk hunting for lunch -- which he found.  But he was too far away for a photo.
 This is looking south, the ocean to the right.  You can see the salt in large patches, white instead of the blue of the water.
This is looking to the south east.  The green hedge-like pathway coming from the left is off limits because it is here that the snowy plover and the least tern nest in the spring.  These are both endangered species.  It was of course too early in the year to see them.  However the hawk patrolled up and down this green pathway a good number of times and managed to catch something right where that path divides into a 'Y' .

Right behind where we sat were two beautiful bushes in full flower.

I don't know what this one is called but it was alive with bees.  If you click on it to enlarge it, you should be able to see the bees.
The other one is the Cape Honeysuckle, which I believe originates in South Africa.
These are very popular around here, both in yards and in the wild.  The humming birds love them.
Didn't see much else, bird-wise, though I could hear plenty -- a pheasant, humming birds and song sparrows.

Then there was this beautiful tree, also behind us -- some kind of eucalyptus I'm sure, but it is so beautifully shaped against the blue sky, I had to take its photo.  I do love trees.

It was a wonderful day and hard to believe it was the middle of February.  If you are getting a little jealous, take comfort in the fact that the days since have been cool, windy and rainy.

See you Tuesday!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

ABC Wednesday

F  is for...FOAM or FROTH  like the kind we saw all over the beach on a windy, stormy day about a month ago. Should have been able to get a better photo than this but it's been a busy week, one way and another.

FIREWORKS  not always easy to catch and get a good shot. I think Moth took this one.

FIFTY golden roses for our FIFTIETH Anniversary last October


An ATC done in pen and ink and a little water color.  That means NO ERASING!  I'm very new to this kind of work.  It took about thirty minutes to do.

    Surely you didn't think I would let you get away with not using 'Flamborough'  for the letter 'F' !!!

(For the uninitiated, I am obsessed with my home village of Flamborough 6,000 miles away in the UK. See the photo on my banner.)
 I remember one of my elementary school teachers frequently saying,  "Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see".  That was in the late 1940's, and if anything, that adage is more widely and consistently accepted in today's western culture.  Yet this was not always the case.  It is only since the so-called "Enlightenment" that this cultural attitude has prevailed.  It regards faith as being primitive, old fashioned or even dangerous.  But I wonder, is there really more enlightenment today than there was 250 years ago?  Knowledge and achievement, yes, but enlightenment in the expression of fundamental human nature? I don't think so. 
      Suppose we have been led astray all these years to believe that knowledge and achievement is the greatest enlightenment and there is no place for faith.  Yet to be truly enlightened we surely have to include ethics and morality or it really would be "a jungle out there".  
    So knowledge and achievement is not enough. But here's our problem:  who decides whose ethics and which morality?
    For many people, FAITH is an obstacle to believing in Jesus Christ, yet "Without FAITH it is impossible to please God." Hebrews 11:6. 
    Faith is not so difficult to achieve.  It begins by acknowledging the fact that we don't have all the answers in this world and accepting the thought that maybe God does.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I have been waiting for more than three weeks to get a good shot of our Cooper's Hawk who comes through our yard past the bird feeders at least once a day.  When Kay was here we sat often for almost an hour several times, waiting.  But no luck!  Last week I sat an hour and a half  and still no luck.  Birds often come to the same place at around the same time.  So I wait.  Today, Barry called from the kitchen to say there was a rabbit on the patio.  I got my camera out but missed him.  I had just sat down at the computer and laid my camera in front of me when there was the hawk!  I had a perfect view -- through the den window -- without even moving and managed to get six shots!

This is the best of them:
So perfectly posed against the blue sky at the tip of the yucca tree.  

Now to get the rabbit!  I guess the hawk and I have the same plan but different motivations!

I have done a little more painting in the past week.  This is an ATC ..."Shep"

  This is another of my farm and farmhouse views, that I love to do.  This is also an ATC.

Finally, this is Shelter Cove, near San Francisco which I did for Virtual Paintout.  To join this challenge, the owner of Virtual Paintout determines some place in the world each month and the painter who participates, must choose some view in that general area using only Google Street View, (no photographs allowed) and paint it.  The location for February is San Francisco.  I haven't decided whether to enter it or not, -- some of those who participate are pretty classy artists.  If nothing else it did help me to become familiar with Google Street Scene.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Flamblogger: E is for EGGS

Fully known as Chinese Opalescent Eggs, also magic eggs.  I had no idea what they were when I bought them a couple of years ago.  I don't believe in what people usually think of as magic so I just call them opalescent eggs.  I don't really know if they are from China.


To be shown off at their best they should be in water and they do need light to give off this golden glow.  I just placed this one on the kitchen counter where the sun was coming in.  This one was wet because I had had it in the bowl below.  


They are very pretty and some people think they have Feng Shui properties, but again, I'm not into that.  I just think they are pretty.  I see that on the internet some are going for $8.99 each!  I paid $1.99 each for mine.

As you see below, I put them in a planter in the living room with some other glass pebbles.  They don't give off the light here, but I do think they have a pleasing shape. I like collecting interesting rocks and stones.


 I couldn't leave the topic of eggs without mentioning Henrietta, our neighbor's little white bantam hen. She adopted us for 10 months because she liked my bird seed and her freedom, and roosted in the olive tree between our two yards.  No-one could catch her, and she and Bailey struck up a friendship through the screen door.  Somehow the neighbors  managed to catch her many moons later.  Soon afterwards, we found her gift to us in the corner of an old forgotten planter!

Henrietta's Eggs

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wanda's Valentine's Day Art Challenge



You and I had similar thoughts, Wanda. (Click here). I chose a butterfly in a heart because of its life-changing experience, which is a reminder to me of God's love which is indeed a life changing experience for those who trust Him.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cabrillo Point, Point Loma S.D.

While Kay was still with us we made the trip to  Cabrillo Point which is at the end of the San Diego Bay, and a beautiful spot to see the city spread far below. I took this shot from the back which I thought made for a nicer picture with the white picket fence.

This huge lens, more than 6 foot high is one that was used in the lighthouse. It is three sided.  It is almost exactly the same as the one we have in Flamborough lighthouse.  The prisms magnify the light in the center so that the light can be seen many miles away.  Each side is like a huge eye.

This cheeky scrub jay thought he owned the place and of course, because I have been up to this light- house quite a number of times, I was more interested in the birds.  It was too misty to see any whales.

Here he is again, with Shelter Island and the city of San Diego in the distance...
...and again, this time on the top of the Cabrillo monument.
                                                                                  ...and a towhee was pretty active looking for crumbs, I guess.  There are many good viewing places from up here to see whales, shipping and great views of the city and the bay.  I'm sorry I didn't take any, I wasn't thinking blogs --but if you're in the area it's well worth going up to see.

And far below, us the good old U.S. Coastguard, was keeping watch over us all.

 And the drive home was SPECTACULAR!

See you Monday.  Going car hunting tomorrow if possible.  We are borrowing our son's massive old Cadillac SUV! I don't think I'll be driving that.  I can only just about climb in it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Best Laid Plans...

Not two hours after I had taught my Ladies Bible Study group in which I said "We don't know what the future holds. God does not hold back bad things from Christians in this world or else every one would want to be a Christian, but He does bring good out of bad."  This is what our next two hours held:

I'll dispense with the details, but suffice it to say that Barry was alone in the car, both cars were totaled, but neither driver was hurt.  The other driver was going 'way too fast in a congested area and hit our car so hard he took off the front end and it went flying.  Fortunately there was a witness as to the cause of the accident.  So it is a BIG praise that no-one was hurt and no, we are not exempt from the troubles and trials of life.

So the next couple of days will be dealing with insurance and getting transportation. We have only the one car.  But our life could have been drastically changed in  a second.  So thank you Lord, for safekeeping, and may we always be ready to meet Him.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

D is for Daffodils...St. David...


  It's that time of year again!  Vons is carrying daffodils for three dollars or so a bunch.  Because the climate here -- and the rabbits -- is not conducive to growing daffodils, I buy two bunches every two weeks, clip their stems, put them in a vase with a baby aspirin and put them on the patio table, where it is cool and where we can admire them until their days are over. Above is as they were more than two weeks ago.

Here they are today -- more than two weeks later!  I will buy some more at the weekend.

At this time of year daffodils -- well perhaps a couple of weeks later, but not many -- daffodils bloom in the wild across the fields and meadows of the British Isles.  They of course herald the coming of spring and are the national flower of WALES.

Daffodils have come to symbolize  ST. DAVID'S DAY.  Now there are those who would say the leek is the symbol of Wales.

They look something like fat spring onions and are not so strong in taste.

Though I love leek soup, I have to say that the daffodil is by far the prettier of the two.  However,  the history of the leek is that during some long ago battle against the Saxons, all the Welsh soldiers were instructed by St. David to wear a leek in in their caps so they could distinguish friend from foe. So they raided the farmer's field nearby in which leeks were growing and they won a tremendous victory!

The confusion between the daffodil and the leek comes about because the same Welsh word 'cenhinen' is used for both of them.

ST DAVID is the Patron Saint of Wales.  He was born about 500 A.D. and has several miracles  to his credit.  However one story tells of him owning a large sapphire which he gave to the Glastonbury Abbey and which Henry VIII (of many wives fame), confiscated at the time he separated the churches in England, from the Church of Rome.  It is said that today, that sapphire can be found among the Crown Jewels of England, which may be seen at the Tower of London.

All this historical information is courtesy of Wikipedia.

It is a favorite Welsh saying, attributed to St. David:  "Do the little things in life."  By this I think he means that if you are a caring and a humble person, you will do the little things in life, because taking care of the little things means that you will naturally take care of the big things.  For a Christian it is so important that we watch our lives and our words and take care of the little things. "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much".  Luke 16:10

Friday, February 5, 2010

ATC's and Cormorants

Meet Pebbles.

She belongs to Morning's Minion. She is 20 years old and, I don't know, but I suspect that she will be going with them when they make their big move soon.  The white fleck on her neck is from the scanner.  Doesn't she look sweet and gentle? This is the first horse I have drawn.

Meet Daisy

I met her on The Weaver of Grass.  I called her 'Daisy'  just because that's the only name I know for a cow.  She is really only a calf but she has beautiful eyes.  I think after these two attempts I'm going to try doing more animals.  But first I have a wonderful rooster of gorgeous colors that I might try this weekend.

 Driving back from San Diego one day last week, we saw this line of black birds.  It was quite strange to see because there were such a lot of them and they were all in a line.
Getting closer we could see a pelican or two among them as well as a couple of seagulls.  I couldn't get any closer because we were in a 'no stopping' zone.  I'm pretty sure they were cormorants because of the angle they held their beaks (up in the air). We decided there must have been an outlet of warm water there in the bay and they were enjoying a warm bath -- though it wasn't a particularly cold day.  It must have been about 65 degrees but the water would probably be in the fifties.


In loving memory of my wonderful friend, JoEllen Penman
who very suddenly went to be with her Savior and Lord last Monday.  She was, what I called jokingly, my "partner-in-crime" as we worked together at Victory Christian School. I praise God for the many happy times we shared together.  She will be so missed by the girls who were in her Bible Class.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

C is for CLIFFS and CAVES

There is my old house on the extreme right.  Not there any more. The second tower is the old lighthouse built in the 1600's.  They had to light a bonfire on the top if there was any one in distress.

Below left is  the rescue of three young girls who got cut off by the tide hoping to be able to climb around the cliffs to the next bay.  Happens all the time! What they didn't know was that there are two large caves they have to get past, and one of the girls couldn't swim.  We were on a 'Round the Caves' coble and our fishermen were able to rescue them. They were lucky because this was the last trip for the night.  It would have been mighty cold on those ledges.

The very high cliffs are just north of Flamborough, rising to 400 feet -- a sheer drop.  It is a wild bird preserve and part of the Heritage Coast line.  Razorbills, kittiwakes, guillimots, petrels, fulmars and more  are all to be found here nesting on the ledges.  Puffins are also there, nesting on the ledges instead of burrowing into the cliffs as they do elsewhere.  As children we roamed these cliffs without a care in the world.  The fishermen used to go over the cliffs on ropes and collect seabirds eggs to eat and also to sell in nearby Bridlington.  I have eaten many seabirds eggs.  They're good!  This practice was outlawed in 1954.  Today, the cliffs and nesting areas are well protected by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.  But you can still visit them .  Trails have been made along the cliff edge.
 Numerous caves are found all around the headland.  Some very large -- large enough to take a boat in at high tide.  They all have names.  What a wonderful childhood it was to have free access to these cliffs, caves and bays.
Thornwick Bay looking north to the Bempton cliffs.  Some of these photos are old, so please excuse their quality.
This is the inside of Robin Lyth's Cave, which is found at North Landing and is the largest cave of all.  It is perfectly safe to enter at low tide.  It is about 60 feet high and perhaps 150 feet from the entrance to the exit, where the sea is always splashing close in.  It is named after a legendary smuggler Robin Lyth and is the name I used as the title of my book "The Tale of Robin Lyth".  Shameless plug here! My book is an updated version of "Mary Anerley".by R. D. Blackmore  (of "Lorna Doone" fame.   A good number of years ago, so I'm told, the villagers used to hold village meetings in this cave.  I'm not sure that that isn't a bit of enhanced memory from the fishermen, but it could be true.

"Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord, "though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow." Isaiah 2:18
Here is a picture of a loving God, who so desires to stop the punishment of his children for their sins (and believe me their sins were every bit as horrible as what we read of today), that He puts aside His holiness that makes sin so repugnant to Him,  and asks in all reasonableness that He and we the sinners should sit down together and look at this problem, just as a father would with his children.  He is holy; we are not.  How then can the two come together?  In these words is the foreshadowing of Jesus Christ who brought the two aspects together by bearing the punishment for our sins and offering forgiveness.  We can be "as white as snow" and may now come boldly before the Father without a shred of guiltiness because it has all been taken away.  THAT is salvation.