Monday, May 26, 2008

My Christmas Present from Nick

All planted in their little pots. This was actually a group effort: Bridget planted all the seeds, carefully color-coordinating the packets with their respective pots, and Habou put them in her sunny studio window.

Soon I will find a place for the pots, but soon after that I will start putting them in the garden, because they are already sort of jumping out of there!

Friday, May 23, 2008

beekeeping








Bridget and I inspected the hive this evening. It was her first experience close up, with her new veil. For me, the second time. It's a very odd experience, and we both think we'll be more comfortable next time. You can see us testing the smoker, then approaching the hive and give a few puffs to calm down the bees. (At least that's what it's supposed to accomplish; they seemed pretty angry despite the smoke.) I took off the covers, and you can see the top of the frames insides. I picked up one so that you can see the comb that the bees have been building. For some reason it looks darker in the picture than it really is. Everything looked OK, so we closed up the hive and left-- with one very persistent bee buzzing around us, trying to impress upon us that our interference in their domestic life had not been appreciated. But no stings this time. Our next adventure will be trying to identify the queen and decide whether the little critters need a larger home, to expand the brood before they get serious about making honey full-time.

It's really exciting. There's a whole lot going on inside that little box! Unfortunately you don't get a clear sense of how very many bees there are living inside-- literally thousands of them.

It's a challenge to get good pictures, too-- partly because the designated photographer tends to want to keep a safe distance. Maybe next time we'll have one of the people in the Martian-explorer suits take a snap or two.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

It just goes on...but start at the first post -- this is the third

Here we are in a Redwood:



































Yes, I'm sorry to say I'm including this cute pic of Natasha which she expressly ordered me to delete. I am mean that way, I admit. I wish I could be quicker and more sneaky with the camera. This is the best I can do for a candid.

















This makes up for it, doesn't it? We went out to eat at night, and Bridget ate her first oysters (raw) and wonderful salmon (cooked -- in a fig leaf) and had a "virgin mojito"!



















On Sunday evening we headed out for Alcatraz, which we thoroughly enjoyed, which seems macabre, but there it is.
Here we are on the ferry, and that is San Francisco in the background:


















Here's Bridget with the Golden Gate Bridge over her shoulder. You can see how glorious the weather was, can't you?


















Practically our first view of the island:



















Nick, Bridget, and Phil looking a tad uncomfortable in one of the cells:



















SF in the background:



















And that is all!

More fabulous trip pics

I forgot to mention that after the beach but before this scenic looking over we had an amazing grilled lunch at the picnic tables by the shore. Nick grilled chicken and veggies (I suspect Natasha had something to do with the preparation of the food -- I know for a fact that she made delightful cookies -- and the thoughtful procurement of amenities such as forks, watermelon, and napkins). One had no idea one was going to be presented with a banquet by the seaside!




































Then we went to Muir Woods where we goggled over the Redwoods:



















Here's Bridget at the bottom of the Redwood:























And here's my attempt to show the rest of it:
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Sunny California

At the end of April Phil, Bridget, and I visited Nick in San Francisco. We had a great time! Nick certainly took us to see everything and made us eat so much that we didn't get hungry until about two days after we returned home.

First we visited his office. Across the way there is a rather anti-aesthetic fountain, but fascinating nonetheless. A sort of suspended walkway goes along a couple of inches below the water level, and Bridget explored this while we waited for Nick and Phil to finish their respective work-related activities. We also checked out the Ferry Building and walked around a bunch.


















Later we had a great Chinese dinner where we met Natasha, and then we headed for the Giants game. It was cold at the park, but what a fun place. The bleachers there were jumpin', with fans who kept things interesting with some intense heckling. At one point a park official actually sat down, in the friendliest way possible, next to one guy and talked him into a better place, spiritually.

I admit that Nick is making a funny face here...

















...and here...really funny! Look how sweet that field is!

















The next day we went to the beach. The weather could not have been more warm, breezy, and sunny. Here we are at a somewhat understatedly designated scenic overlook:





More to come in the next post.