nature (175)

Birds by Keith Hansen

Keith Hansen is an artist who does exquisite bird drawings. He did the illustrations in this book, recently published by the University of California Press. Although these are birds of the Sierra Nevada, this is also a very informative book on birds in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I stopped by to see Keith yesterday and we got into talking about hummingbirds we have found; they sometimes get inside (like a greenhouse) and if not discovered, can’t get out, and die. They are so small and have so little body flesh that they will usually mummify. I told Keith I had one where the head had fallen off and he reached over and picked up this one.

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Coyote Scat, Horned Grebe Diving in Lagoon

When I lived in Big Sur, I found that coyotes shat where the view was great. Check out the hair (mice, gophers, etc.) and bits of deer bones here.

I was poke poling for eel (nada) in the lagoon yesterday and this little Horned Grebe would dive down for maybe a minute, then pop back up energetically, didn’t seem concerned by my proximity.

Thanks to HighFidelityRob for identifying the bird.

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Friday Fish Fry

I did an an interview last night with Kevin Kelly on the Google+ “hang out” feature. I used my MacAir laptop with the camera and was a little nervous, but it went OK. Kevin, whose latest book is the sensational Cool Tools, guided the conversation. We talked about tiny homes, owner building, gardening, chickens, the myth of self-sufficiency, what you can do in cities, the Whole Earth Catalog, what I would do if I were building a new house now, the fact that I don’t like shipping containers or Earth Ships or domes or A-frames as homes, and the virtues of self-publishing. The video of it is here…Next week I’m flying to Charlotte, NC, to talk about tiny homes at the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show. Deek Diedrickson from Relaxshacks will be there as well, and we’ll talk to people about the subject out in front of a tiny home he designed; if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello. I’ll be handing out mini Tiny Homes books (2″ by 2″, 64 pages) and have proofs of our latest book, Tiny Homes on the MoveIn praise of real books and bookstores: I’ve read a few books on my IPad, and it’s fine for reading on airplanes or trips, but in my reading for an hour or so every night before going to sleep, I don’t want the electrons; I spend enough time at a computer screen as it is. The publishing business is obviously in turmoil, but books like our building books, although we’ve done digital editions, work best as hold-in-your-hands physical objects. And there’s nothing like a physical bookstore. Sure, Amazon is cheaper, but money ain’t everything. One of my very favorites is Bookshop Santa Cruz; it makes me happy to be there…Tiny Homes On The Move: Just about there. Yesterday Rick, Lew and I sewed up a lot of loose ends. About 3 knotty problems in design worked out. Often we’ll start working on something with no idea how to fix it, and as we go along, things fall into place. Like I told this guy in the interview yesterday about building house: just START. You’ll never get anywhere if you wait for everything to be perfect. Get going, and things will work out as momentum carries you along. When I was about to start building my first house in 1961, I asked my friend Bob what to do, and he said “This,” and picked up a shovel and started digging the foundation trench…Spectacular sunsets of late, this shot with iPhone last night; tonight’s the full moon, ow-wooo!

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Down a Coastal Canyon

Thursday I hiked, hopped, jumped down a steep canyon… The entire west coast has rivers and creeks that run down to the ocean. Anywhere from Washington down to San Diego, it’s the same, clear water heading to sea, running perpendicular to the coast. In Baja, it’s arroyos…This canyon, with a good water source running even in this drought, isn’t much traveled; it’s makable, but not easy…so beautiful…at one point I slipped and fell down a slope; luckily hit no rocks…gotta be more careful.

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Little Home in San Rafael, Running At Night

Drove over the hill yesterday, listening to Deadbeat Poets’ Society, Mott the Hoople (All the Young Dudes), shot pic of this nice little home in San Rafael…Went running alone, night-before-full-moon, no headlight necessary; it’s taken me years to cast off the feeling that I have to “train,” i.e. push it to stay in shape for races. Now I’m comfortable going at my own pace, pushing it a bit on the uphills to get the cardio system pumping, stopping to catch my breath and enjoy the view…photo of the coast…last photo of horses shot in pretty total dark. One of them came over and let me pat him on the cheek…the wetlands are dry this year; usually the frogs are loud, but nary a frog voice last night.

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