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

Broug Dadford turns 80!


"OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA" 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- http://captnemo.smugmug.com/Video/CaptNemos-videos/i-Cfn5hqR/A

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

Night in the City of Angels


L.A at night

L.A at night

Since I was driving down to the airport at LAX to drop off my parents I decided to make an evening of it  and drive around taking some pictures.

Venice at night

Venice at night

My first stop was Venice beach. It certainly has a different vibe at night. I especially enjoyed taking pictures of bicyclists going by with led’s in their spokes as the long exposures made for some interesting shots.

Bicyclist at Venice beach

Bicyclist at Venice beach

Even the Murals and graffiti take on a different appearance at night.

Mural with graffiti

Mural with graffiti

St. Mark Mural, Venice Beach

St. Mark Mural, Venice Beach

Touch of Venice Mural

Touch of Venice Mural

Next I headed down towards an inlet.

Waterway inlet

Waterway inlet

Here I spotted this Pelican.

Pelican

Pelican

and while taking the pelicans picture I was lucky enough to spot a night Heron.

Night Heron

Night Heron

I then headed towards downtown Los Angeles, hoping to get a skyline shot.

I worked my way through the garment district and wound up in some sketchy neighborhood.

Right after I took the picture at the top of the post several police cars came speeding past and then were questioning someone just up ahead. I also became aware of huge numbers of homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk on the numerous side streets,  so that was enough for one night, I made my way back to the freeway and headed home.

Big Bird


Got an eye on you?

Got an eye on you?

My Aunt suggested a trip out of town to check out an Ostrich farm. This turned out to be a marvelous idea.

While it was chilly in Tehachapi, it was a beautiful sunny day making for some great scenery on our way there.

We started out with feeding the ostriches and that was fun for the kids, especially when the greedy birds tried to snatch the bowls away.

 

Feed the birds

Feed the birds

After a short walk around the farm we stopped at a pen to meet the ostrich celebrities.

Ostrich Celebrity

Ostrich Celebrity

This bird has starred in music videos!

Getting acquainted

Getting acquainted

After our tour we visited the gift shop where they had loads of ostrich related products, feathers, eggs, even ostrich oil which is described as having all sorts of benefits when used on your skin.

finally we headed into town for lunch at the ‘Burger spot’. A great wind up to a fun outing!