Monday, May 21, 2018

Friday, May 18, 2018

Master's Graduate

I am not here just to visit.

I decided to go ahead and walk at graduation.  With a master's in Spanish I have a lot to celebrate.
This is pre-hood.

And then post.
The hood is a symbol of passage from student to master.
As you can tell, I look so much more sophisticated.  


We were there for over three hours, two and half of that for the ceremony.
Not that we had a choice, but it was worth it to get whacked in the head by an incoming cap...

I have had so much support along the way.  I am so fortunate. 

Cal State professors are inspirational. 

¡Lo hicimos, amigas!

Of course I have to get a picture with my number one fan!
Thank you, Eric!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Bike to Work Day! 2018

Yay!  It is that time of year, when biking to work is promoted and acknowledged!
Every day is bike to work day for me... but I don't mind sharing the train or the bike path.

After signing up with you have your choice of pitstops which supply accolades and free goodies.

The one my coworker and I go to is at City Hall, right across the street from the train stop.

Susan had little luck with the wheel, but I won a bike lock that lights up!

And of course, everyone gets a t-shirt.
Until next year!  
And every day in between then and now.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Oceanside Big Year (10th day)

The first Saturday of each month the Buena Vista Audubon Society hosts a birding event at Whelan Lake in Oceanside.  The lake is part of the San Luis Rey watershed and is also an important 73-acre bird sanctuary.  Upon Ellen Whelan's death she donated the property to a Board of Trustees so the land could be protected and continue to be a sanctuary for migratory and resident waterfowl.  (Smart lady.)

The property is closed to the public except for birding events, or if you call the caretaker, Greg, at least 24 hours in advance to schedule an appointment.

The ol' Whelan house.

Once again, the experts were impressed by the numbers of people that showed up, nine of us new to birding.

There have been 170 bird species sighted here. 
Perfect for the today's global event!

I really need a new lens, mine just doesn't do it for birding.  I feel like my pictures are blurry Bigfoot pictures, but they will just have to do.

#31- Townsend's Warbler (Setophaga townsendi)
This yellow warbler has two white wing bars.

#32- Wilson's Warbler (Cardellina pusilla)
The warblers are so hard to photograph because they are constantly hopping around, eating insects.

#33- Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)

#34- Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)
These birds are so pretty and tropical looking, even though they are found as far north as Canada.
They have a yellow body and a red head.

The ol' barn, where a barn owl supposedly lives.

#35- American Kestrel (Falco sparverius).
Apparently every farm has one.

#36- Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheuticus melanocephalus).
He is named because of his short, deep based bill.

#37- Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)

#38- Spotted Towhee (Pipulo maculatus)

In the far distance, barely visible are two Gadwalls, distinguished by the male's black butt.
#39- Gadwall (Anas strepera)

#40- White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus)
Even while soaring overhead, you can tell this apart this primarily white kite by the black wrist patch.
I am up to forty!  I got a sarcastic applause from the caretaker of the property as most people saw more today than I have spotted all year but I don't mind.  I am not counting ones that I don't feel like I got a good enough look at.  Which SOME people would find commendable! 
Anyway, I am working on it, slowly but surely. 

Cheers to birding on this Global Big Day!

I will definitely be going back to Whelan Lake.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Oceanside Big Year (9th day)

I joined the Buena Vista Audubon Society this morning for a bird count and workshop.

Apparently I am not the only one new to birding... this was an unusually large group.

#28- Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Ruddy Duck's have a blue bill!

Image result for ruddy duck
(I didn't take this picture.)

Right after seeing the Ruddy Ducks a Green Heron flew right overhead!
I couldn't miss his bright orange legs!
(I didn't take the picture below either.)
Image result for green heron
#29- Green Heron (Butorides virescens)

#30- Hermit Warbler (Setophaga occidentalis)
This was an exciting one, both of the birders conducting the workshop had never seen this bird before.  Hermit Warblers are being displaced by a similar looking warbler, the Townsend Warbler.  The Hermit Warblers are also hybridizing with the Townsend (meaning they are cross breeding).  The Hermit Warblers can be distinguished from the Townsend because of their all yellow head.
Like I said, exciting stuff!  

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Padres

It has been way too long since I have been to a baseball game.  No, San Diego doesn't have the highest ranked team, but we have a team, and that is what it is important!  

Nancy and Vinny joined us for our first baseball game together, and the first as a married couple!
We loved our seats in the Toyota Terrace.  Section 209 is so good, camera men permanently occupy the first row.
We bought them through Costco (they have everything...).
You get two vouchers for $60.  The only catch is that you have to go to the box office to exchange them, but you can exchange them as far in advance that season as you want to.
I would totally do it again.  In these seats there are no vendors, instead there is seat service, you can get all the baseball food you want without ever getting up.  
I probably don't have to add this, but the Padres didn't score as much as we did, they lost to the Mets, 5-1.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Idyllic San Diego Wedding

Behind this door, on April 16th, I officially changed my name, and went from the beginning of the alphabet straight to the end! 

We booked the outdoor area at the Downtown San Diego County Clerk office and couldn't have been more happy with the venue.

We do!
We are officially official!

Surrounded by our family the day couldn't have been more special.

The downtown location has a decent size garden to the north, and the harbor to the west.  It is perfect for pictures.  
Who needs to hire a photographer when you have professional cameras and a tripod?  Between my sisters, myself and whomever was available, we captured the moment.

I LOVE our pictures. 
Thank you, Raya and Marla!

The cowboy boots were a must!
There was absolutely no resistance when I told both sisters that I was wearing cowboy boots, and I wanted them to wear theirs too!

Thank you, Evelyn, for making our wedding signs!

My nieces were more than happy to accept the position as ring bearers during the ceremony.  

Move over Evelyn, there is a new Mrs. in town!  

The Maritime Museum vessels were the best possible setting to continue taking wedding pictures.

I love my handpicked "Pangea Bouquet," it has flowers from all over the world: Dianthus , Craspedia Billy Balls, Tropical Sunburst, Ursula Purple Thistle and Protea Pincushion.  The employee at Franco's Flowers in Encinitas had serious doubts when Raya, Eric and I brought him the selection.  He made it despite his reservations and it is the most beautiful bouquet I have ever seen!

After the ceremony we went out for lunch, dessert and coffee at Extraordinary Desserts.

What a delicious day.