“Rat taa taa taat!”
Me: *yawn* Wat wassat?!
I looked at my alarm clock ~ not due yet ~ OK, false alarm (pun intended).
Head went back down to my comfortable pillow, eyelids slowly came down.
Then again “Rat taa taa taat!”
Now I’m wide awake!!
By the back door, what I saw made me quickly run back in to grab my camera and then slowly, very stealthily, creep back out again to try my luck to get a few shots.
There was Mr P Woodpecker (different from the the Ladder-Backed Woodpeckers, who love our front yard oak tree). He was pecking away at (of all things) my bathouse! The bathouse, being hollow, of course made an extra loud “Rat taa taa taat!” compared to a tree trunk, no wonder it woke me up.
He’s a big one ~ about 20″ tall, while standing vertical on the bathouse, that is.
That’s 1 handsome bird!
Look at those eyes!
Want to see his head rattle and hear his wake-up call?
It’s time to blog anew, just like the start of a new Lunar Year.
Today is the 1st day of the Year of the Dog.
Hurricane (Irma’s) damage has long been cleared, post travel weeds were mostly pulled (some retained to act as shelter for seedlings), then came cold fronts in January 2018, which actually killed those poor sheltered seedlings. *sigh*
I can only say that Mother Nature has a mind of her own but
all is not lost. Spring has Sprung, though not officially, but definitely in my part of Florida.
It’s time to sow, grow and update this blog.
… be sure to wear some flowers in your hair …
Ah yes, that beautiful song by Scott McKenzie.
The Hippie Movement has always intrigued me. The flower children advocating peace and love, dressing differently and creating a new form of ‘psychedelic’ music which literally changed cultures and lifestyles for the young, all over the world. I think I would have happily been a hippie but unfortunately was born in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
Oh well, no harm then visiting the site where early hippies hung out and began their love trips. (Better late than Never.)
Haight-Ashbury ~ where it all began
When the influx of young ones, also known as Hippies, began growing for their Summer of Love event, Haight-Ashbury soon became known as “Hashbury”. Even today, it is so appropriate and in my humble opinion, it’s a very sweet nickname. 😆
The scent/aroma was just there! It made me wonder if I would feel the effect of the second-hand smoke (not that I’m complaining).
Jimi Hendrix lived at 1524 Haight Street
It would have been a bonus if some ‘smoke shop’ had played Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze while I strolled by.
How can I possibly not visit one of the oldest Chinatowns (which can be traced to have begun around the mid 1850’s) in the USA?
I wasn’t sure if one is supposed to begin one’s exploration via the entrance or simply walk through using many of its mini-sidestreets.
The “entrance” to Chinatown.
We roamed the steep gradient streets and found the official entrance which had the slogan 天下为公 (read from right to left) meaning The World is for All and decided to re-do our walk-in.
We were greeted by several of our primate ancestors’ effigies so I decided to capture a photo of one, simply as a reminder.
Me and my Gorri
Apart from the usual touristy shops, what captured my attention was the street wall-art. No matter which Chinatown one visits, wall art will always pertain to Chinese astronomy, religion and movie celebrities.
Chinese Zodiac Animals
Luke Dragon and a touch of Black History
Lord Buddha and Bruce Lee
The late Kung-fu celebrity Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco in the year of the Dragon, which is how he ended with the screen name 李小龍 or Little Dragon Lee. Thus, many of the images I saw of Bruce Lee had dragons for company.
A few hours of walking got us hungry, so did we settle for Americanized Chinese takeaway? Korean-Sushi cafe food? We (at least I did) wanted real Chinese food with no substitutes or toned-down versions, hence a mini food hunt began …
We had booked our air ticket much earlier in 2017; then came Hurricane Irma with her wrecking ball. Oh well, if Mother Nature can destroy, she can also re-create, right? Let her have her way. No reason to change our travel plans.
In the meantime, sadly, she decided to destroy parts of our vacation venue as well. Our 1st stop out of Florida was San Francisco. In the news for many days was the devastating wild fire that swept Napa, Sonoma & Mendocino counties.
We smelt the smoke & saw the haze ~ a sad sight indeed.
Scene of haze taken while I rode on the BART (Bay Area Transport Service)
Visits to the (burning) vineyards and wineries were out, so on to the next iconic site of San Francisco ~ The Golden Gate Bridge.
Part of what was visible of the Golden Gate Bridge,
A sad scene …
Consolation: Not many visitors get to see the Golden Gate Bridge clouded in smoke, fog maybe, but not whiffy smoke, right?
Alcatraz (sometimes called The Rock) – made famous by the movie Escape from Alcatraz, starring Clint Eastwood as Frank Lee Morris – also grimly stood in the haze.
The prison that housed some famous inmates.
OK, enough of scenes in the Bay area and their sad state.
Time to move inland …
Has Ma Nature made Bees hurricane resistant? Will they stay after Hurricane Irma blows through or will they simply abandon their hive and find a safer place?
They are on lower ground so we hope that in itself provides a buffer to the forthcoming hurricane wind force. We can at least try our best to help keep their roof in place.
Yes, we are about to find out if Bees and Hurricanes are compatible creations of Nature.
Hurricane Irma is about to come my way,
I’m not sure what I can say,
Am I prepared to sit out her strong wind and rain?
It’s like Frances, Jeanne & Wilma again.
Having experienced three hurricanes
you’d think I’d worry less;
No, the preparation process is less frantic
but nothing changes the level of stress.
Hurricane Matthew struck last year
when we were away,
I guess Mother Nature wants us here this year
to hear what she has to say.
Oh, Mother Nature, I’m here
and I can hear you loud and clear,
please go easy on your wind and torrent power
why not just give us a gust and a mild shower?
There’s the decorative Bromeliad (which is very pretty when in bloom)
and the edible Bromeliad which is otherwise known simply as the Pineapple.
When ripened they are fruits that are simply so “tropical” looking, aren’t they?
Ripe and Ready!