Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Autumn, reflected

Still grooving on autumn!
I noticed the pumpkin's reflection on the glass top patio side table.

Then spotted my own reflection in the doorway to the garage.

Surrounded by autumn I am!

As is Bernie. He is working hard as usual.
He got to be home this week; he kept in touch with his east coast office from his deck "corner" office.

We all seem to be heading in different directions yet still enjoying being outside.

Some end of season perennial planting was done this week.

I get such a kick out of how these two enjoy being together.

(Our other two cats are not quite as amicable.)

Autumn reflections!
Two winters ago I shot a photo of windows reflecting snow covered pine trees.
It looked like a wintry forest had moved inside.
Doesn't this window look like there is a tree inside looking out the window?

That got me looking for more autumn reflections.

Suddenly I was seeing autumn reflected on the kitchen table in the morning.
Reflection: another aspect of autumn I am going to watch for.

Zipping around the corner from our house, running errands, I see this scene.
The trees are having a good lively chat together around the telephone pole.
Trees just visit together.
They don't bother with cell phones or email.

The bright clear morning sunlight hits red leaves and lights them up to a deep rich pink.
I stop again to capture the glow.

At the grocery store there is a fence around the parking lot.
Autumn is turning an ordinary green creeping vine into some very wild modern art.

Tentacles stretch out, and pulse with color as they reach.

Each leaf is sun reddened; the shaded leaf parts stay yellow.
Love. This. Vine.

Remember a few posts ago where I said I am now seeing pink as also an autumnal color?
Uh huh.
Autumn colors too, actually.

The mysterious way that a vine or tree will go about changing color.
One branch is green, the one beside it yellow and red.
How come?

A rather artistic bit of graffiti...I hadn't noticed it before.
Won't the vine make a competing frame for it eventually? some kid using tissue paper to make a lei.
Using all the colors, got to use all the colors!

If this vine looked like this year around wouldn't everyone want one?
(I think it is Boston or Japanese ivy, not a true ivy however.)

A trip to the grocery store is a lot more fun when I can check out this thing changing colors daily.

Back to reflected autumn...
A golden forest has taken up residence behind this window.

The tree looks like it has moved inside, and is looking back outside at all its friends.
(Yeah, I am feeling whimsical.)

This is a window in the Log Haven restaurant up in Mill Creek.
It is the same window where I saw the snow covered pine trees reflected two years ago.

I was frustrated when I saw all mirrored glass high rises just off the freeway turned into yellow forest, and couldn't stop to get a photo.
Look closely at the bottom third of this building...see the reflections?
(I was at a stoplight when I took this photo. Think I might go back and park and take some more shots next week.)

Faint reflections in the front door.
The sheet of autumn leaves nearly blocks the view of the house three doors down from me.

I went back to the grocery store later when the parking lot was empty and got this shot of the entire Boston ivy covered wall.
Isn't it totally cool?
Looks like some kind of fire dragon in flight.
Or perhaps a phoenix arising from the fire?
Our weather has been absolutely perfect for the past week.
Cool mornings, and clear skies.
It gets up into the mid 60s, then sinks back to the 40s by evening.
Leaves dance in spirals as they fall, there is no wind to hasten their journey or to sweep them away from my view.
It doesn't get much better than this!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dad's Honor Flight: Oct 18-20

Dad on his Honor Flight San Diego last Friday.
(He is the one in the light blue shirt next to the window.)
If you haven't heard about Honor Flights before the Government shut down here in America made it front page news, you probably have now.
I hadn't really known much about them until my Dad signed up to be on an Honor Flight.
You can read all about the program HERE. is a non-profit organization dedicated to flying military veterans to Washington DC free of charge to see the various War Memorials, Arlington Cemetery etc.
They arrive, stay over night for free in a hotel (Hilton, in Dad's case), then are ferried around DC in tour buses with one Guardian (who travels on their own dime to serve in this manner) for every three veterans.
The veterans are fed, feted at a banquet, and fly home on the third day.
A real whirl wind experience of a life time for them.

First night banquet.
Dad is the one in light blue long sleeves.
There were 70+ people with this Honor Flight.

Dad being honored...I don't know yet what exactly he is being singled out about.

Out in DC on Saturday.

My Dad served with the Boy Scouts for over 25 years.
One of his troop's Eagle Scouts was John Cotton, who was my brother's age, three years older than me.
John grew up to eventually become the Secretary of the Navy (Reserves).
He lives in Virginia and made a special effort to meet up with Dad during the Memorials tour.

There are "Flights" in DC every day, coming from all over America.
Each group has its own logo.
Honor Flight San Diego, Dad's group, has a logo with a plane soaring over the Coronado Bay bridge, flanked by a setting sun and two palm trees.
I am trying to find out what the lettering says on the back of the tee shirt.

A group shot of the San Diego veterans and their guardians at the (now open again!) WWII Memorial.

A photographer was along on the Flight and worked very diligently to photograph each person during the trip.
It moved to me to see men wearing "Pearl Harbor Survivor" hats, and see the faces those who served our country during WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam.

I believe the charted flight was with US Air.
They decorated the plane for the flight home.

Dad served on a couple of ships during WWII.
He was a "Plank Owner" for the Providence, which means he was part of the ship's original crew after it was commissioned.

They had some fun with the vets on the flight home by providing word bubbles and feature masks.
They certainly gave Dad the right bubble!
(Bernie joked that as soon as the US gov realized Dad was rolling into DC to see the Memorials, they quickly decided to open them again.  They knew better than to mess with Carl Dustin!)

I choked up a bit to see that there were people who came to the Memorials to hold signs thanking the Vets.

The Flight arrived back in San Diego and walked into the airport with a band playing and dancers jitterbugging to Glen Miller Music and other celebratory goings on.
See a video of this Honor Flight's return to San Diego HERE
                                           See the photos of the whole Honor Flight Here.
If you know of an American vet, and particular a WWII vet or any vet facing a terminal illness, please encourage them to apply to be in on a free Honor Flight from their area.
Wheelchairs are provided; the flight, hotel and food is also provided.
 Bus transportation and air transportation is first class.
The Vets are well cared for every moment of the trip.
It really is a trip of a lifetime.
And it is our chance to honor them for their service.

Monday, October 21, 2013

October Catch up: 6: East Canyon three days apart.

I drove up East Canyon on Oct 5th to do wide angle photography, then again Oct 11th with Mom, then again on Oct 16 and then Oct 19.
The colors were close to peak on the 5th, and at a peak with Mom; that day I photographed only the empty bird's nest filled with two golden leaves.
Scroll through to see how the canyon changed in three days, between the 16th and the 19th.
The golden aspen is starting to go skeleton.

The white trunks and branches are now highlighted against brown undergrowth that used to be green or red.

They still look like they are wandering, or even marching down the hills.

And look just a bit to one's right, there are still green aspen, circled protectively by fully leafed gold trees.

Purple mountains, blue mountains, snow caps, orange, brown, olive, gold, green, yellow, gray, black.
God used all the colors in His crayon box!

I never get tired of the zig zag parade of aspens spilling down the mountainside.

Along the roadside golden flowers on dusty green stems billow and pillow the canyon edge.

Sometimes the aspen get going in a stampede!
Golden or naked bare, they stick together while they go down the hill.

Sometimes I wonder if "short brown" is a bit jealous of the showy " tall golden".

My last view as I left the canyon.
Silhouetted bird nest.
Where are the baby birds nesting tonight?
Not here.
Not anywhere near here I think.
Three days later.

The colors are thin now...
Compared to how they looked on Oct. 5th!
Paths are more easily seen.

Overhead a hornet's nest stands out, no longer hidden by leaves.

The aspen still march, but their color is dull now.

They are worn down to mere skeleton form now.

I park and walk along the roadside, looking at the smaller autumn scenes.

This is a flower.

I swear it is down, each tendril looks like a feather.
What an unimaginable flower!

As I walk, convertibles and motorcycles pass and then this vintage car comes.

Deep green.
Reminded me of a friend's old Mercury truck that in an early life had sported green paint as well.

I walked looking for a tree, an apple tree that I had seen out of the corner of my eye as I drove.
How could there be an apple tree up here?
Did I dream it?
There it was, bearing the most beautiful red/green apples I have ever seen shining in the sun.
The apples looked perfect.
The apple tree grew on a slope that was nearly 80 degrees sharp.
I'd need a friend to hold a rope as I rappelled down the hillside after the apples.
Lucky they eat some every day! 

The few still vibrant aspen groves seen through a now vibrant oak tree.
It is odd how the oak leaves often look completely dried up and dead brown, then suddenly the leaves seem to turn golden and glow after all.
Not dead.
Not dead at all!

As the sun set, the red soil caught the light and began to glow around me.

The hazy in the air robbed the scene of fine detail, yet also added a mysterious light too.