Thunderbolts and lightning

Lightning strikes

Lightning strikes

I haven’t been getting out and doing anything exciting this summer. Mostly concentrating on work and trying to complete a couple of programing projects before school starts again in the fall. (more about those once they get nearer to completion)

Even without leaving home though, I had an interesting occurrence, a thunderstorm complete with rain and lightning. This combined with a couple of other sprinkles of rain means this may be the most rain recorded for July in Bakersfield since 1989! Sadly still not enough to make a dent in the current drought situation (most of it evaporated immediately after since its hot here this time of year)

Made for some interesting photo ops though.

Cloud to air lightning

Cloud to air lightning

Posts searches and the Internetz

Ventura Pirates Ventura Pirates

So I admit it, I enjoy browsing through the stats on my blog trying to see where folks have come from when they stumble onto my little corner of the internet. I have to say though that the search terms that lead people here sometimes baffle me. Here’s a few recent search terms:

yellow baja bug    
haunted castle halloween    
jenny springs florida cave    
eagle photographer attacked    
map of captain nemo’s voyage    
images spooky tower    
ventura pirates    
sea caves pirate  
tortoise log
auburn photo locations
auburn sunset    
dawn center indian falls apple picking    
cactus v4 triggers and couple    
trail driving with baja bug    
what snakes are on isla holbox, mexico    
pictures of captain nemos cabin    
captain nemo’s prague    
pictures of posey cave blountsville alabama    
bow and arrow grass caving    
back door cave channel islands    
birds mono lake    
captain nemo’s log    
lowered landrovers    
bird in mono lake    
captain nemos mexico    
captain nemo information    
captain nemo’s house in morro bay, ca.

Now going through them most are quite obvious: i.e.

 Yellow Baja Bug Yellow Baja Bug

Haunted Castle Halloween Haunted Castle Halloween

Some though were less then obvious, I have no pictures of “posey cave blountsville alabama ”   however I did post on Cavechat shortly after this post” So I assume that’s how the search engine came to the conclusion I might have.

I have no idea what “bow and arrow grass caving” might be referring to and my attempts to follow this search back to my webpage proved fruitless so perhaps that was one of those strange coincidences that led them there?

“Tortoise log”? that’s a strange term but I assume the search engine found my pics of traveling on the “Green Tortoise bus” and combined the fact that I wrote about it in my Log.

most of the rest of them are pretty straight forward so I’ll just leave you with this

Lowered Landrover Lowered Landrover (VW bug chassis/engine with Landrover body)


Los Osos

California Quail calling his heart out California Quail calling his heart out

This spring we took another trip to the coast. This time it was my Dad’s trip as evidenced by our itinerary, Orchid show, visit to a nursery and hunting for a specific type of succulent- a dudlea found in the Elfen forest.

The orchid show was impressive, such a huge variety and so many brilliant colors, hard to decide which to photograph.

Orchid OrchidOrchid show Orchid show

Also since this was our first stop of the day I picked up an excellent breakfast burrito and cup of coffee to start things out while we viewed the flowers.

Next up was a trip out to the Skillins nursery in Arroyo Grande. These are some of the people that we traveled with on our desert trips to Baja so it was fun seeing them again. Unfortunately my parents Prius  decided the steep road was too much and all it’s engine warnings came on. I googled a nearby Toyota dealer who determined it was a coolant pump, a few hours later we were on the road again, yeah toyota!

Skillins green house Skillins green house

in Bloom In bloom

at the Skillins at the Skillins

Since Toyota had done such timely repairs we still had plenty of daylight to head over to the Elfen Forest.

Here I found some great opportunities for pictures , from the coastal waterways, the birds and even the  elfen trees.

water ways water ways

scrub Jay scrub Jay

Dwarf tree in the Elfen Forest. Dwarf tree in the Elfen Forest.

I felt very lucky to get a close up of a California Quail, though I soon found out he wasn’t paying any attention to me so I got several pics.

California Quail California Quail

And we even located the Dudlea Dad wanted to find.

Dudlea Dudlea

So it was a long day but another great adventure.

Broug Dadford turns 80!

Brug Dadford turns 80! Brug Dadford turns 80!

For many years now It has been a Mother Lode Grotto tradition to Celebrate Doug Bradfords birthday with a trip to one of our favorite caves. He has made this an opportunity to encourage a better sense of style and attire amongst cavers, by making this a formal affair. He certainly makes a dapper figure caving in his tuxedo!

In the cave In the cave

This years trip was a great success and while Doug said he doesn’t intend to continue (it is a pretty strenuous hike, usually leaves me feeling tired for a couple of days after), hopefully others will continue this great tradition.

Once in the cave Dave had fun directing a photo shoot  and I got to test out a couple of new video lights I picked up- overall consensus was they were pretty darn bright. You can check out the results-

You may want to go make some popcorn first though its 20 minutes long or just skip ahead to 12:45 that’s my favorite bit.

Matt poses over the lake Matt poses over the lake

There was still a little water in the cave though the water levels were not surprisingly very low.

Conrad,Rich,Forest and Scott. Conrad,Rich,Forest and Scott.

Millipede in the cave. Millipede in the cave. approx. 6cm

Sun setting as we hike up. Sun setting as we hike up.

lupine lupine

After our great trip we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at El Jardin, though our party filled the restaurant to capacity. I still had a long motorcycle ride before I got home but it was worth it.



Hunting for Succulents at Huntington

Tiny Pomegranate

Tiny Pomegranate

Earlier this year my parents invited me to go along to Huntington Gardens, this time to attend a special show and sale for members of Cactus and Succulent clubs.

Aloes in bloom

Aloes in bloom

It turned out to be an excellent photo opportunity as a great deal of the aloes and cacti were in bloom.

Cactus blooms

Cactus blooms

succulents in bloom

succulents in bloom

There were special tours of the succulent greenhouses which my Dad really enjoyed and even some for sale so we had to load up the car for the trip home.

The rest of the gardens were wonderful as all ways and we enjoyed lunch over by the Chinese gardens at the tea house.

Also we got to see the fruit of Titan arum, the giant flower that apparently only rarely sets fruit so this was a neat thing to see. the giant red cluster was very impressive.

Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum)

Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum)

flowers by a stream

flowers by a stream

Chinese Garden

Chinese Garden

We also admired some of the planned expansions for the already impressive Chinese Garden before heading for home. I look forward to returning to visit “The Huntington” again.

More flowers

More flowers

cactus bloom

cactus bloom

bird perched by aloe flowers

bird perched by aloe flowers