Esther convinced me that it was much too nice a day outside not to take a post-lunch outing before heading back into the studio. All the outdoor furniture is coated with a light powdering of chartreuse pine pollen. We lounged in the backyard soaking up a few rays while robins and cedar waxwings zoomed around overhead. They travel in flocks this time of year feeding on berries. They were working the cotoneaster bushes next door. I love the cedar waxwing's thin, high pitched whistling call. A pair of scrub jays took a break from their insistent scolding to engage in some pair bonding. One jay joined another on the telephone wire and fed her some tasty tidbits. I've been worried about where they will nest this year since the guy up behind us had their favored nesting tree all hacked to s--- a few weeks ago. A few chipping yellow rumped warblers practiced aerial fly-catching. A lone red tailed hawk soared silently high above.
A shiny red ladybug gleaned the parsley while honeybees probed the periwinkle blue rosemary flowers for nectar. A large bumblebee buzzed lazily inches from Esther's face while she just gazed at it impassively. I notice that one of the foxgloves I planted in the fall has thrown up a flower spike that's already over a foot tall with pink buds. My new "strategy" of planting mostly Bay Area native plants is so far not working out so fabulously. The oxalis is threatening to choke out everything but this one plant which is supposed to be a Birdseye gilia. It's sprawling all over the place, making me suspect it might be something else. But my Julia Phelps ceanothus (wild lilac) bushes are covered in bluish purple buds. I love their subtle scent. (Too bad there aren't websites I can link to where you can sample the scent.)
While we no longer have our huge Monterey pines looming large in the upper level of our backyard, we now have a space where we can eventually put in a bench with a view over our roof of Mt. San Bruno and Montara Mountain beyond to the south and west to the sun glinting off the Pacific Ocean.