Hooded Orioles

Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus) male perched on the twig of a Cape Honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis, a native of southern Africa). Rancho Bernardo, California; March 2023.

The Hooded Orioles (Icterus cucullatus) have arrived in Southern California, which is in their breeding range. We’ve heard their chatty sounds for a week or two around our backyard now and on Friday, I finally managed to get a good picture of the couple (albeit individually) as it was coming through for some nectar snacks. 🙂

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Orange rose, Balboa Park, San Diego, California; September 2011.

“What you dislike in another may be something you cannot see in yourself. If you are honest, no longer deceiving yourself, you may see that you also suffer, and cause others suffering. Then there is humility. Then compassion. Then calm. The aversion, anger, hate and ranting ceases.” (Unknown)

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Mysterious Memorial Stone at Garnet Peak

The K. P. Zaleski Memorial Rock at Garnet Peak, Laguna Mountains, California; July 2022.

During one of my monsoon visits to the Laguna Crest, I noticed an out-of-place looking blue rock a short distance away from the summit of Garnet Peak. No other rock in the area has this color or texture. The rock has an inscription on it and is probably 18-20″ long (~50cm), maybe more. It must have been considerable effort to get the rock up there and place it!

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California Quails in Our Back Yard

Male and Female California Quail (Callipepla californica), Rancho Bernardo, California; August 2022.

While working in the back yard two days ago, I heard the call of California Quails — a first in our residential area; it was rather unexpected. Normally, we briefly see them on our local trails, where the sound of their fast wing beats are the most notable thing (“PRRRRRRRR”) as they fly away… they are very shy and skittish.

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Negative Charge

Negative rendition of Jeffrey Pine cones, needles, and a wilted oak leaf. Laguna Mountains, California

“See if you can catch yourself complaining in either speech or thought, about a situation you find yourself in, what other people do or say, your surroundings, your life situation, even the weather. To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.” (Eckhart Tolle)

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