Monday Memories . . . not exactly Matt and Kitty

If you’re on Facebook, you’re familiar with . . . Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday. Two days that some of us will post photos that are oldies but goodies of our former selves. Reliving the past can either bring a smile, a chuckle or “I can’t believe I did that” and . . . kept the photograph to prove it.

While looking through some old files I came across a shot that I always loved. We had only been married a few years, back in the 90s and took a road trip to the Calico Ghost Town. That would be the 1990s.


A little bit about this silver mining town:

Calico Ghost Town
36600 Ghost Town Rd
Yermo, CA 92398

Calico is an old West mining town that has been around since  1881 during the largest silver strike in California.  With its 500 mines, Calico produced over $20 million in silver ore over a 12-year span.  When silver lost its value in the mid-1890’s, Calico lost its population.  The miner’s packed up, loaded their mules and moved away abandoning the town that once gave them a good living.  It became a “ghost town.”  

Walter Knott purchased Calico in the 1950’s architecturally restoring all but the five original buildings to look as they did in the 1880’s.Calico received State Historical Landmark 782 and in 2005 was proclaimed by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be California’s Silver Rush Ghost Town.

The day we visited was HOT and something I ate kept reminding me to never do that again. I really wanted to be a good sport and go on this silver mine adventure. There was a short entrance to the mine and a guide doing his best to educate and entertain us. He mentioned that once we entered the mine there was no turning back and you must exit at the other end. calico silverSuddenly the walls began to close in on me, I felt it hard to breathe. I began to perspire. Did I mention I am claustrophobic? Very claustrophobic. I told my husband I was going back, he reminded me of what the guide said. At this point, it was be disobedient or leave my lunch in the tunnel. I turned tail and ran out into the God-given sunlight.

Today I began thinking about giving Monday a special day for Memories. This shot is not exactly Matt and Kitty, but we did our best. For some reason, there were no shoes for the saloon girls in this little studio set-up. Matt &Kitty

Grant Calico001

Grant Calico &me color

If you are a fan of Gunsmoke, enjoy a few clips from this famlous couple – Marshal Dillon and Miss Kitty.

Golden Girl . . . and coming and going.

While out on a trail yesterday my husband asked me why I take the shots as people are walking away from me, or in the case of this next image, jogging away. You never know, a rear shot might be more interesting.
golden girl

The only time I take shots as they approach is shooting from the hip, using my camera’s high-resolution vari-angle LCD. Yes, it’s an old camera, but good enough for Canon

Then there’s the opportunity of catching someone coming and going . . .
coming & going

There had been a group of people ‘counting birds’ who made the lagoon their home this time of year.
Some wore huge binoculars around their necks and one man had the big gun . . . photo shoot, not lunch.
Bird counting day resize
birds in lagoon re

A wood pile, free for the taking away, caught my eye. Such brilliant color – for now.IMG_1548
And a little more color on the trail. couple

Then there was a man walking his cell phone – dog was extra.Walking dog

One Day in May . . . Fire Storm

Unless you live off the grid, you are no doubt aware of the fire storm that continues to damage our end of SoCal. While I wasn’t close enough to get the big picture, I did get the very beginning smoke in the Carlsbad fire, the Poinsettia fire. They say the fire started at 10:30AM, we were just getting out of our car to walk Max at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon around 10:45AM when I saw plumes of white smoke behind the condos on the beach.

The beginning.

The beginning.

Notice the man in the corner left fishing while keeping an eye on the smoke.

Behind me, Max ventured into the water – smart dog.

We were blessed not to have to evacuate. At least today is cooler, those 99 degree days are over for now. We still have the late summer fire season ahead of us.

Paddleboard Racers . . .

Every Thursday, starting at 6:30AM, a large group of paddleboarders train at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon. Come April these racers will head back out into the Pacific for competition. I was never there early enough to see the start, but they can move once the pistol goes off – or the instruction yells. They make two trips from lands-end to the freeway bridge and back. Quite a site, I only wish I could have been closer as they are some distance from the beach once they start.

With all the rain we finally had, it won’t be safe to go back into the lagoon this week. This might deter them, as once in awhile someone will get very wet.

A Rising Tide . . .

One of our dog walking spots gave us quite a surprise as we ventured out with Max around 7AM today. It’s just a small strip of a beach which the locals call Dog Beach at the Agua Hedionda off Bayshore. A place where two-legged and four-legged critters romp, play catch and make new friends. This day, no beach –  no way. A 6.5 high tide washed over the sand and filled in the heron habitat.

dog beach

December Surfing . . .

70-200mm f/2.8L IS Telephoto Lens

70-200mm f/2.8L IS Telephoto Lens (Photo credit: fensterbme)


Yesterday was a perfect day, for any month – but more delightful when it’s in December. Temps were hovering around 80 and we beat it to the beach.  Some pretty good sets came through and the tide was still  high. How I longed for a telephoto lens, but did what I could with my trusty Canon Powershot S5.


It was about getting some vitamin D and breathing in that wonderful salty air.  Spending time with hubby away from computers and our dog, Max – who was at  Big Dog Camp. A few people sat on the beach, strolled the tide line and a couple of little girls frolicked in the surf while their mother shot video and stills. I think I may have ended up in one, so I captured her also.


Today, gloomy and barely 60 degrees. Rain on the way tonight.  But, that’s Southern California.


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Sunny pics to my snow-bound friends . . .

The frost wasn’t quite on the pumpkin yesterday morning, around 48 degrees at 7AM. But, this is Southern CA and by the time we headed out the temps were in the low 60s. Dog walkers, cyclists and a woman doing yoga in the middle of the drive area used by conservation trucks were enjoying the noon day sun. Lake Calavera is a favorite spot, so close to home.

I have no idea why this woman chose to sit on the asphalt . . . I asked her if I might take her picture, that after getting a long shot of her. She nodded and gave me a smile – and a V for Victory – cute. I never did get a shot of her posing, she was facing the mountain, not sure if that had anything to do with her yoga practice.happy girl

Along with a happy girl, a happy dog.

yoga dog walker

yoga girl
man dog 1man dog 2
ride through gate

two riders

Doesn’t even look like snow, but this bush will do . . .

Starting to green-up in the canyon. By February, providing we have more rain, flowers will be blooming and summer will be here soon.
across trail

Bluffing . . .

Noon, and walking along the bluff on the Coast Highway, I spotted someone taking pictures over the fence. Since there wasn’t much going on below, I wandered over to see what had attracted him. He was already back at his car, so no interference on my part. It turned out to be a spot of seriously eroded bluff. There are signs along the fence line to stay away from the cliffs. One woman was walking on the beach, very far below and a surfer too far out to capture from my vantage point.  Here’s my  bluff.

bluff PG

Then there’s this . . . a Facebook Friend whose pose sent imagination flowing. He loved the results, said “Now that’s . . . a classic.” Another bluff . . .

Fuschia hanging around

The delicate color of this Fuschia quietly said – buy me, buy me.  I was in the market for one and had always seen the lovely dark-colored ones, but this day there was just one Fuschia hanging from a mental support beam for the tent.  Love was in bloom. I carefully put this lady in the back of the Outback and drove home with my prize. Suspended from the back deck of the master bedroom and seemly happy, she produced more and more buds.
Yesterday was one of those SoCal  May Grey days, I  decided to capture a few images and play around with them.  The bump on my head from the pot each time I stood up  soon taught me a lesson. Back away from the plant slowly with knees bent and count to ten before standing upright.

One man’s journey

Even in the dead of winter, well a Southern California winter, some will still paddle and straddle at the nearby lagoon. The fish were jumping, and this one lone man ventured forth.