Botany Boot Camp

Lori and I went to a Botany Boot Camp Saturday morning at the LA Arboretum.

It was a six hour class studying the terminology, concepts and structures needed to identify the 7 most common plant families at the Arboretum.

Five and a half hours in class going over the plant structures.  Leaves, stems, flowers, roots and other identifying parts.  We also went over lots of plant families.  My brain could not absorb everything, but it was lots of fun.

We ended up walking for the last two hours and looking at plants and trying to identify them from what we had gone over.  There was just too much information but then again it was called boot camp.

A cool side note was the woman who is in charge of the LA County Master Gardeners was also in the class.  Lori and I both signed up last year and were not chosen to take the training, but she remembered our applications and said they had so many and encouraged us to re-apply.

 

 

Beach and Movies

My dear friend Katherine flew in on Thursday night.  I took Friday off and after a good sleep in and breakfast in the backyard we went to Seal Beach for an afternoon in the sand.

It ended up being quite a bit sandier then we thought due to the very windy conditions.  We started out with the bigger umbrella, but after we lost it once and a young man named Clayton caught it for us we switched to the smaller, earlier to tie down to our bags umbrella. Katherine ventured down to put her feet in the ocean, I didn’t get that close.

Saturday we went walking at Eldorado nature park, my usual walk.  Besides a lot of turtles we watched a couple hawks swoop through.  One landed right above it and I got this picture although it is hard to see amongst the branches.  Katherine captured our 2 mile and then 1 mile loop on her watch app.  It made for a pretty cool map of our walk.

Saturday we also went to see the movie DunkirkIt was a very interesting movie, on the rescue of hundreds of thousands of soldiers from the city of Dunkirk after the German invasion.  It isn’t actually a move I had heard about but I found it very captivating.

Katherine also introduced me to Netflix and the show Call the Midwives. I realize “introduce me to Netflix” sounds like I am living under a rock, but the last time I had Netflix was when you got a couple DVD’s in the mail and returned them when you were done and they mailed out the next one on your list.  Needless to say, I’m almost through the first season.

 

 

Humming Bird Nest

This morning I was doing some weeding  and needed a break from the heat and so sat in the oasis for just a bit as it is nice and shady now that the vines have nearly covered the top.

A hummingbird buzzed in, looked at me and took off.  It came back, then landed on its nest!!!!  then left again.

There is a nest, oh so small, on the wind chime in the middle of the oasis.  I took this picture, zoomed it so everything looks bigger, but those little bells and beads are quite small.

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After the third flight in and out, I decided to leave,  I have no idea if there are eggs up there and didn’t want to keep the little momma away.

52 and exhausted

I turned 52 today.  It was rung in with cards, emails, texts, phone calls and a visit.  I felt very celebrated!

Right now I’m working late, hoping third shift is in before midnight so I can get out.  I technically got enough sleep this weekend but feel like I am needing a good nights sleep.

Katherine flew in on Friday night and I picked her up after work.  Saturday we slept in a little having gotten in around 1am and then headed out to see the girls in Calimesa and Katherine got to meet Coral!  It was a very quick visit and when we got back home no one wanted to go out or wait for me to cook so Lori went out and picked us up Thai food.

Sunday we all went out to breakfast and then Katherine and I went for a walk on the beach and having not enough walking and chatting in we headed over to Bolsa Chica and walked there as well.  We all managed to make it out to dinner and had a lovely time.

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Today I dropped her off on my way to work and when leaving I left Lori instructions to cook the chicken I had gotten for the weekend but didn’t cook.  Granted all I did was wash the potatoes and put them in the dish and left her directions for temp and time.  She looked up a recipe, added the herbs, onions and lemon and sent me this picture of a happy birthday dinner.  She is going to have to give up the “I don’t cook” if she keeps this up.

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I am a very luck (albeit tired) girl!

 

First Beach of the year

Well, Seal beach that is.  (I walked Long Beach earlier in the year, it was a cloudy day also.)

This morning after breakfast we headed to the beach for a  walk.  Parked down by the jetty and wondered up the beach and back a couple of times.

The weather was cloudy and looked of rain but not cold at all.  However because it looked like rain the beach was pretty empty.  The diehard surfers were there and other beachcombers like us.

Lots of shore birds, curlews, sandpipers, seagulls, two pelicans and a heron flying over!  We were walking past a section we had just passed and I saw this conch in the surf.  It was beautiful, I picked it up and it was completely alive, showed Lori and then she got it further into the water so those shorebirds wouldn’t tear it apart.  Simply beautiful!

 

 

Hawk Walk

I have blogged about Sky Falconry before.  Lori had given me a hawk class for my birthday a couple years ago.  Well last year for Christmas she gave me a Hawk Walk.

We finally had a weekend that we could take advantage of the gift certificate before it expired.

It did mean that we were up, showered and out of the house at 4:45 this morning.  Drove down to Alpine, CA and did the hour and a half walk.  We got to fly the hawk between us and watch him soar close to the ground conserving energy and right through branches in  a tree.

At the end the hawk dispatched of a rat, completely, while the owner tethered him back up.

Once we finished it was only 10:00 a.m. and we were pretty close to San Diego so we went to a cafe for breakfast before driving home.  The rest of the day consisted of laundry and cleaning.  I have very little left in me from being up so early so I will just load up a few of the pictures.

It was an awesome day!

 

 

Heron

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We were out early to beat the heat this morning.  Dropped my car off for airbags to be replaced, breakfast at a new spot and to Eldorado Nature park right when it opened at 8:00.