Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Limantour Marsh in Rain

Limantour Marsh, Rain - Point Reyes  2018

Dune Grass, Ocean, Rain - Point Reyes  2018

Yes, Mike's parka was waterproof, but his pants were not. True, they're quick dry, but the rain was really coming down, so they got soaked. So just a quick walk down to the beach, then back.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Point Reyes Rain

Rain on Side Window - Point Reyes  2018

Mike sat in his car listening to the rain pounding on the roof. He hadn't expected it to be coming down quite so hard. So he took a little extra time sipping his coffee and eating his morning bun.

What the heck . . . he opened the door and stepped outside. Zipped up his parka halfway and shoved his camera underneath the flap, then headed out. Huh. Nobody around.

Toyota RAV - Point Reyes  2018

Monday, February 26, 2018

Monday Deer Blogging

Deer - Point Reyes  2018

As seen while walking on the Point Reyes Earthquake Trail in the rain. They eventually moved off the trail.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Farewell to the East

Haneda Airport #1 (Tokyo) - Japan  2017
Kids, Haneda Airport (Tokyo) - Japan  2017

We arrived and left from Haneda Airport. We liked it! Much more convenient than Narita.

Lots of turbulence on the way back. People had to start ignoring the "fasten seatbelt" sign in order to go on bathroom breaks.

Back in Marin, Mike, as usual, took longer than anyone else to overcome his west to east jet lag.

Farewell to the East (George Wunder)

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Benza Block

Benza Block (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

On the very last day of Mike's most recent Japan visit, he starting coming down with a cold. What to do? No U.S. over-the-counter medications are for sale there. Luckily, Mr. Sasaki, the grandkids ojiichan, was able to point out this product. Masa bought it, and . . . it helped! Especially on the flight home.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Morning Walk - Yokohama

Storefront A.M. (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

Maple Tree (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

On their last full day in Japan, Hali and Mike, with the assistance of Google Maps, located a Starbucks not that far from their Yokohama residence and resolved to walk over there for breakfast. The route went by still-closed storefronts, a Buddhist temple and finally, Starbucks. The bonus feature was a Vie de France bakery at the same location!

Starbucks, Vie de France (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Japan Culinary Adventure (38): Wagyu Beef in Yokohama

Wagyu Beef (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

Wagyu Beef Chefs (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

All of us had dinner at a Korean-style restaurant in the Yokohama Station restaurant maze that served wagyu beef. Can I say, quite a long discussion prior to the giving of the order. Probably something to do with the intricacies of the various cuts ( in great abundance - see top photo.) Of course, the beef had melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

Earlier beef posts:

Marunouchi Beef

Hida Beef

Also of note, as seen on our way to the restaurant, the sunset view from the bridge at Nishi Yokohama Station.

Sunset, Tracks (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Food Basement

Food Basement (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

Food Gift Box (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

Photos taken in the basement at the Sogo department store near Yokohama Station. Sensory overload, very exhausting.

So 45,000 yen is certainly more than $400.00.

Didn't realize that 7-11 had a "premium" brand:

Yosemite Road Wine (Yokohama) - Japan   2017

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Anpanman Museum

Anpanman Toys (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

Anpanman Exhibit (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

Masa and Mike took Hanna and Nolan to see the Anpanman Museum in Yokohama. Masa showed an impressive knowledge of Yokohama Station's elevators as he wheeled Nolan about in a stroller.

The Anpanman TV show "is one of the most popular anime series among young children in Japan. The series follows the adventures of Anpanman, a superhero with an anpan (a bean-jam filled pastry) for a head, who protects the world from an evil anthropomorphic germ named Baikinman."

Kids (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday Oriental Turtle Dove Blogging

Oriental Turtle Dove (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

Very pretty. It was on the ground in front of us as we were walking away from our residence. It kept its distance, finally hopping up on a concrete fence and posing for this shot taken with a Canon G5X.

"In 1994, the British Birds Rarities Committee reviewed the British records of this species and concluded that three of the eight accepted records should no longer stand. The Oriental turtle dove has occurred a number of times since, including a well-watched bird in Oxfordshire in February 2011, which was found in a birdwatcher's garden. The house owner used the opportunity to charge a £5 fee to view the bird from his kitchen window and up to 500 people queued to see the bird."

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Fall Colors

Shinjuku Tree (Tokyo) - Japan  2017

Maple Leaves (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

We stayed for two weeks in Japan, starting November 5th. So, maybe a little too early for true fall colors (we didn't make it up into the mountains, alas.) The most spectacular tree was the one seen at top, just outside Shinjuku Station.

Bottom photo taken in the courtyard of our residence in Yokohama.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Photo Studios

Foto Studio Hollywood (Ensenada) - Mexico  1979

Photo Studio (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

Top photo taken in 1979, bottom in 2017.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Train to Yokohama

Street (Tokyo) - Japan  2017

Buildings (Tokyo) - Japan  2017

Photos taken through the train window. At one point we caught a glimpse of far-off Mt. Fuji. But just a glimpse: too distant for a photo. (Mike has an earlier shot of the famous mountain.) The train started out crowded, but Mike was able to snag a seat after a while.

Train to Yokohama - Japan  2017

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Mr Doughnut and Mr Waffle / Gotoh Museum

Mr Doughnut (Tokyo) - Japan  2017

Mr Waffle (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

Top: Hali and Mike's breakfast in Tokyo at Mr. Doughnut before embarking on an exploratory journey to Kaminoge.

Bottom: Mr. Waffle in Yokohama. We got various waffles for our next day's breakfast.

Speaking of Kaminoge, while we were there looking for Hali's cooking class location, we visited the Gotoh Museum. Best part was walking through the garden.

Stone Lantern (Kaminoge) - Japan  2017

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Leaves (Kichijoji) - Japan  2017

Leaves (Kichijoji) - Japan  2017

Seen in and around Inokashira Park. Photos taken using an Olympus E-M10 and a 14-150mm zoom lens.

Leaves (Kichijoji) - Japan  2017

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Inokashira Park, Kichijoji

Inokashira Park (Kichijoji) - Japan  2017

Broom (Kichijoji) - Japan  2017

Kichijoji is a pleasant suburb of Tokyo.  While Hali and Shawna were taking a cooking class, Mike took the short train ride from Shinjuku to Kichijoji, then walked around the neighborhood.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Monday Cat Blogging

Cats (Yokohama) - Japan  2017

Two cats meowing quite loudly as their owner approached.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Rim Fire - 2

Poison Oak (Rim Fire) - Sierra Nevada  2017

Burnt Trees, New Growth (Rim Fire) - Sierra Nevada  2017

Now it's possible to pull off of highway 120 and get a closer view of the burn. Poison oak seems to be flourishing nicely. Some snags have been scheduled for removal.

Of course, there are varying opinions.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Rim Fire - 1

Rim Fire - Sierra Nevada  2017

Burnt Trees (Rim FIre) - Sierra Nevada  2017

Some earlier (2013) entries:

Smoke in the Foothills

Rim Fire

Friday, February 9, 2018

Tuolumne Meadows

Cloud, Tuolumne Meadows - Yosemite  2017

Cloud, Tuolumne Meadows - Yosemite  2017

Had to stop for some neat clouds. Single vertical shot on top and, next, a three shot merge. Black and white seems to work better than color.

Also on the blog: some nice color photos from 2012.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Mt. Dana

Mt Dana, Tioga Lake - Yosemite  2017

Compare to 2013 photo with better reflections and snow. Oh well.

The actual summit can be seen to the left of the photo. Mike climbed (hiked/scrambled up) Mt. Dana in 2000, coming face-to-face with a marmot at the top. From his journal:

"The views are actually somewhat unsettling: vast incomprehensible panoramas of snow-capped mountains and the Mono Basin as interpreted by an altitude-befogged brain. (The summit altitude is 13,050 ft.) The obligatory 'I Was There' photos are taken. Also proving to be an excellent subject is the marmot that had raced to the top just ahead of Mike and was doing backflips and handstands (almost!) in a vain effort to divest him of some of his food. Mike eats a few left-over peanut M & M's, has some water from his canteen, and the descent begins."

Marmot, Mt Dana Summit, Mono Lake - Yosemite  2000

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

West Towards Tioga Pass

Sage, Mountains - Yosemite  2017

Mountains, AM - Yosemite  2017

Nice early morning shadows.

Taken from a pull-out going west on Highway 120 towards Tioga Pass. I used an Olympus E-PL7 with a Panasonic 12-60mm zoom lens.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Mono Basin

Road, Cloud - Mono County  2017

Telephone Poles - Mono County  2017

From last September's camping trip. Mike stopped at a few spots on the drive home for some photos. These were taken just before the highway 120 junction near Mono Lake.

Google Street View, for reference.