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Category Archives: Dilettantism

Photography, writing and other related pursuits.

The Grand Remodel: The Construction Phase, week 1

The first week of construction had a lot going: All of the demolition, excavation for the addition, some initial interior framing, and forms for the addition. The addition — the future dining-living room and part of the new kitchen — will replace for the Ugly Back Room, at the same location but with a slightly […]

The Grand Remodel: Pictures before construction

Wondering what the remodeled portions of the house looked like before they were torn down? Go ahead and check out the gallery, but I’ve included some summary pictures here. The back yard (outdoors) view of the back room that was torn down. This region will be replaced with a Newer, Better addition that’ll include the […]

More photos of nature-y things and house fix-ups from last year

Finally got around to updating the online gallery, which includes: Resident Scrub-jay and lizard, having made themselves comfortable here this past spring and summer. My first uploads of insect pictures, including a green dragonfly and sleepy bees. Even more flowers: more Gilias, more Clarkias, Penstemon and Mimulus, Cistus, and a mondo sunflower. Garage improvements and […]

Farewell to Spring

Fine, three articles in a row on garden plants. And over a month since my last post — I’ve been busy with starting the multifarious, multistep process of starting our big remodeling project, a.k.a., the Replacement of the Ugly Backroom and Kitchen et al. So it goes. Nevertheless, the spring wildflowers are coming to an […]

More wildflowers in the yard

I continue to be amazed by the wildflowers in our garden. I had low hopes, since the last time we tried wildflower mixes — which was, oh, six to eight years ago in the front yard and parking strip — all we got were Calpops. Those are nice of course, but they’re rather short-lived, and […]

March showers bring April flowers

Some say it’s April showers that get the flowers going, but here in sunny, rainfall-challenged California, things pop out about a month (or more) earlier. Even though March had its typical paucity of precipitation, the single hailstorm — complete with rain and wind — had occurred right at the peak of apricot blossoms. (Indeed, I […]

Young Scrub Jays in the garden

We have a scrawny fig tree that bears fruit annually, but we rarely get more than a taste. I’ve often suspected birds as the culprits. WENK. Wenk wenk wenk! Now I have proof: young Western Scrub Jay bossing over backyard fig tree! Okay, only indirect proof, since none of the pictures actually showed the bird’s […]

Encyclopedia of Life: Initial launch

Last year I had eagerly anticipated the arrival of the Encyclopedia of Life (EoL). Entries on individual species became viewable on 28 February, a few months earlier than the projected mid-2008 deadline. Coolness! Currently they have twenty-four exemplar species pages, tens of thousands of authenticated (but not detailed) species pages, and about a million other […]

Hot bird action

Unfortunately, the title of this entry is quite literal: Last week a hawk died in our neighborhood. As the poor thing expired, it managed to take out a transformer and blow a power line —rendering our block powerless until dinnertime. It had (the remains of) a squirrel, so one theory was that as the squirrel […]

Bathroom remodel from… a couple years ago

For years we lived with a bathroom that I called the Pink Horror. No ventilation (other than the window and door), a rotten (literally) paint job done by the house seller, and pink tiles. I hate the color pink, and Pepto-Bismo Pink just ain’t gonna be an exception. Before bathroom remodel.