Sunday, April 22, 2012


Lucy is an endangered species.  She's a California Desert Tortoise and the only way you are legally supposed to have one is if you have a permit, which I do.  She lives in our backyard and has a burrow that she sleeps in at night and during the cold winter months.  

She usually comes out in the spring time, usually in mid March when the days become warmer.  This year, she didn't make her usual appearance even though we'd gotten some nice warm weather in mid March, so I was a little concerned about whether she'd made it through the winter or not.  

Friday afternoon, I was logging some of the geocaches I'd found that afternoon on the computer when my youngest came into the family room and looked out onto the patio in the back yard and announced the tortoise was out.  I didn't think twice; I grabbed the camera and went outside intent on documenting the moment.  Fortunately, I hadn't mowed the lawn yet this seasons, so it was highly overgrown with dandelions.

Dandelions are good for tortoises because they're high in calcium which helps build strong shells.  She started chowing down on the dandelions I picked for her and I got some nice shots, this one being the best of the bunch.  Saturday I mowed, but she was out eating again, so it looks like she's going to be active again this season.  I think we'll see her regularly now until sometime in the middle of September when she settles down for her hibernation.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring is definitely here

Spring has sprung.  Last week, we had temperatures in the low 50s with over 2 inches of rain.  This week, it's been in the low 80s.  The natives are restless at school, with testing right around the corner.  

Another harbinger of spring is the return of butterflies and ladybugs.  As I look back over my album for the past month, I can see four different photographs that feature ladybugs.  There's a photo of a ladybug on a post, there's one on an artichoke, there's this one and then there's one I took today of a bug in a flower.

Ladybugs are very cute little critters and pretty easy to photograph.  As long as it's not too windy, they make a decent subject and very few people get tired of looking at ladybugs.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lots of zeroes

It probably isn't very significant, but last Friday, my Toyota Corolla rolled over 100,000 miles on the odometer.  I know lot of people that have cars with way more mileage than that, but it's actually the first car I've ever owned that had more mileage than the zip code I had growing up (92704 - Santa Ana, CA).  

Our van is quickly reaching that same number as I noticed it was about to roll over to 89,000 miles.  It's a year younger than our Corolla, but either way, we really don't put much mileage on our cars.  It took us almost exactly 11 years to go over 100K on the Corolla.  It will probably take a little bit less than that for the van, since we use that for major trips.

So, what's the most mileage you've gotten out of an automobile?  I'd love to hear your stories.