Sunday, August 31, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
This plant, commonly called red buckwheat, is endemic to the Channel Islands National Park. These islands are sometimes called the Galapagos of North America because there are both plant and animal species that occur no where else in the world. The flowers get a deeper red as you move from Santa Cruz to Santa Rosa Island to San Miguel. This particular specimen was on Santa Rosa Island. Catalina Island is also part of the chain of islands, but not part of the national park.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Yesterday on the way back from a one-day trip to the Channel Islands National Park, my husband got off the freeway in the San Fernando Valley hoping to find an Indian restaurant we had happened on under similar circumstances a few years ago. Unfortunately, we couldn't find the place, so I started looking for any place that looked interesting. I try to avoid restaurant chains when away from home. I spotted a place that was filled with people and looked interesting. Cafe Dolce's sign said, "Kebabs, gelato, and pastries." Once we went in, we realized there was no menu. We sat down and the owner (see the picture) came over to explain that they weren't open yet, but they were serving everything to test things out. His English was heavily accented, but I finally understood. He said that everything was "on the house." A few minutes later a woman, maybe his wife, came and explained that the man had been trying to get this restaurant open for seven months. So tonight everything was just free. Everyone there, except us, was Middle Eastern- Persian, I think, but maybe Turkish. The owner was happy to pose for my picture. He kept dancing with two little girls whom I assumed were his daughters. It was surreal, but fun too. We were the ones who just happened to stop by. The quantities were huge- rice with saffron and four types of meat. There was a spice that was supposed to go on the meat. The woman came over to tell us that. A yogurt dish with mint accompanied the rice and meat. Some slices of onion were brought to these other patrons, but not us. We did leave money in the tip jar, but could have just left without paying anything. It was a surprising serendipity to end our weekend. When you live in Los Angeles County, you don't have to drive far to feel like you're in a foreign country.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
There was a Festival of Tail Ships last weeknd at our nearby port, the Port of Los Angeles. One of the most beautiful was the U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle. At 295 feet, the Eagle dwarfs the historic tall ships one-third its size. Its masts tower up to 150 feet, supporting 22,000 square feet of sail reaching across teak weather decks. It's the largest ship sailing under the U.S. flag. The eagle figurehead gleamed in the late afternoon sun.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The lighthouse's light is a third-order Fresnel lens. It's five-foot high and has 52 prisms. It was made in Paris, France and gives off 1.1 million candlepower. It's range is 20 miles out to sea. I took a lot of pictures of it while at the top of the lighthouse. It got very hot standing near it.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
When the Point Vicente Lighthouse is open to the public, you can climb the 74 steps to get up to see the lens and the light. There are four levels with four sets of stairs-- the last set is rather steep. I was walking down from the top when I took this photo.
Monday, August 18, 2008
This view of the lighthouse is from inside of the Coast Guard gates as I attended the Palos Verdes Radio Club picnic. I had a great time inside of the lighthouse itself, too. It was finished in 1926, stands 67 feet high, and is 185 feet above sea level. Stop by tomorrow and later in the week to see more of the inside of the lighthouse, including the stairs and lens.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Each year amateur radio operators (ham radio) celebrate International Lighthouse Weekend. This year it's August 15-17. The local ham radio club operates a station from this lighthouse at Point Vincente. The goal is to contact by radio as many lighthouses as possible. In spite of the advances in wireless communication, radio communication is often the most reliable form of communication in the case of an emergency. The lighthouse is owned and operated by the U.S. Coast Guard and is open to the public once a month. The radio club has its annual picnic here each August during the International Lighthouse weekend.
There's also Coast Guard residential housing here, too. Check back in the next few days for other photos of the lighthouse and base.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I don't know these people, but I've been intrigued by this large cross which is in their yard. They shine a light on it at night so that's its visible from a major road and from quite a distance. One of these days I'll ring their door bell and ask them why they decided to place such a large cross in their yard. My unsubstantiated theory is that they were reacting to the separation of church and state which has prevented crosses from being placed on public land and put a large one on their private property.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
One of the nicest things about living in Rancho Palos Verdes, and southern California in general, is the proximity to the beach.
We've been having some wonderful beach days. My daughter spent hours enjoying boogie-board riding with her son, her brother, and her daughter before wrapping herself in my towel and relaxing on the sand. Forty years ago I walked on the beach for hours trying to hasten her birth. It didn't make any difference, though.
Happy 40th Birthday, Rachel.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
It's nice to see that there are still some reasonable prices around. This sign is attached to a bicycle rental shop along the Strand. Last week my daughter and I rode our bicycles from south Torrance north of Manhattan Beach along the beach bike path- about 13 miles round trip. It was a wonderful California day with warm sunshine, blue skies, and a light breeze.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
This restored whaling boat is visible from the outside of the Point Vincente Interpretative Center here in RPV. The center hosts volunteers who count whales swimming both north and south in season. Inside there are historical exhibits from the surrounding areas.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
This is the newly-painted sign for Marymount College which is within walking distance of my home. It was established by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic order. It's continued in their culture and tradition for over 75 years. Now it's a two-year college that welcomes all nationalities and faiths and provide an environment for students to continue their own religious heritage while learning about the Catholic religion.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
The fountains provide a water show with moving spray. Children and some adults have been enjoying standing near the edge of the fountain during the show so that they can get wet. They're not allowed into the fountain, but nearby there is a small fountain for the children to play in.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
The Fanfare Fountains adjacent to the cruise ship docks are one of the newest attractions of our area. These fountains that use 400,000 gallons of water are 250 feet long and 100 feet wide. In this picture groups of families with a lot of children are waiting for the music and water show. Check back later in the week for photos of the fountains in action.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to attend the Hollywood Bowl. It's in Hollywood, not Rancho Palos Verdes. We take a MTA bus from Torrance to the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. The Bowl is also the summer home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Last night we went to hear the L.A. Phil play Beethoven's Seventh Symphony and Grieg's Piano Concerto. This large amphitheater looks out on the Hollywood hills. Unlike some summer venues, there are no bad seats.
Many music lovers bring wonderful picnic suppers to eat either at a picnic table or at their seats. Devising a yummy dinner is one of the things that I enjoy, too. Last night we had a Greek salad with local tomatoes and cucumbers, a corn salad with local corn, local strawberries, local and organic honeydew, bread, chicken, and brownies at intermission.