Archive for the ‘Hikes’ Category


Thursday, March 19th, 2020

Rock South Hills

Rock, South Hills

Agave Colors

Agave Colors and Textures

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Oakleaf Hydrangea


Freesia and Bunny Ornament

May be Paeonia californica not Paeonia brownii

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

I thought that when I collected seeds from Paeonia plants during a hike in SLO California, I originally thought they were Paeonia brownii. Recently I have come to believe that I made a mistake and the plants were actually Paeonia californica.

This is an image of the seeds I collected.

Paeonia Seeds

I went to the Jepson Herbarium to check it out.

Paeonia californica

Paeonia brownii

Currently there are a couple of Paeonia seedlings growing in my succulent garden.

Paeonia Seedlings

Paeonia Seedlings


California Native Plant Society

Jefferson, Monticello, Notebooks, and Tools

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

I am an obsessive note maker. A small notebook is in pocket or bag, always at the ready.

A Staedtler Lead Holder was my go to writing utensil, until last night. I am in the process of planning a wool, knitted and fulled wallpiece.

The problem with using lead is the possible disappearance over time. But it is easy to erase for changes.

Pencil and Eraser

One of the cool things about the Staedtler Lead Holder is the built in sharpener, which eliminates the need to carry another tool.

Pencil and Sharpener

There are two problems with a felt marker, not permanent and mistakes.


I stopped by target today and picked up a bottle of Bic Wite Out.

Bic Correction Fluid

It is so much nicer than the last bottle. No longer is the applicator a brush, it is a little sponge wedge that glides nicely.

Back to notebooks and note making. I was delighted to see reference to Thomas Jefferson and his pocket notebooks at this great book art site. It was a different time, but I am not keen on the material that was used for the pages. I do like the idea of reusable pages that you could write notes in pencil and erase when notes are transferred to sketchbook or journal.

Jefferson Ivory Books

According to the Monticello site, Jefferson carried a small ivory notebook on which he could write in pencil. Back in his Cabinet, or office, he later copied the information into any of seven books in which he kept records about his garden, farms, finances, and other concerns; he then erased the writing in the ivory notebook. The photo of the notebooks was taken by Edward Owen.

The Monticello site also included additional information about tools that he carried with him, Among his collection of pocket-sized devices were scales, drawing instruments, a thermometer, a surveying compass, a level, and even a globe.

Got to thinking about tools that I tend to carry with me. When I go hiking I always carry gloves, tool for digging, small cutters, bags for finds, a magnifier, a small flashlight, twine, and often a camera.

The Monticello site has loads of interesting facts and fun things for purchase. I am an avid gardener and have purchased seed from the site. My favorite seeds have been: Sunset Hibiscus (Abelmoschus manihot), Aquilegia Barlows, and the Fringed Pink (Dianthus superbus).

Every time I visit the site I look at the wheel cypher decoder. Maybe one day I will actually purchase it.

Jefferson Wheel Cypher Decoder

Fungi Colony

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Fungi Colony

Fungi Detail


Sunday, May 22nd, 2016


Hike on a Gloomy Day

Monday, June 15th, 2015


Unfortunately gloomy days are not accompanied by rain.


A hawk that kept flying around. Really too far away to get a photo.

Found Rock

Found this great rock on the trail. I like that it is triangular and sharp and pointy.
Brings to mind beautiful ceramic glazes.

Jay on Agave

Checked out the agave. Interesting that the flowers close when gloomy.
And there was a blue jay finding something to eat.

Agave 06152015

Prayer Flags in San Luis Obispo

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Today we hiked a trail that we haven’t hike in several years. And at the top of the hill we found this–

Prayer Flags

I have been thinking about using the idea of prayer cloth/flags in my work. It would be a different way to display my coded messages. I have used the idea of prayer beads in previous series.

My series From Evil has several objects that refer to prayer beads.

From Evil

Bad Habits–The Seven Deadly Sins,
Each tin contains a rosary with the sin and Forgive
Yourself in code. There is a mirror for viewing yourself.

I also made a series of cast soap cups and soap filled vessels as part of my Cleanse Your Palate series.

Cleanse Your Palate

Cleanse Your Palate Series
Forgive Yourself. Forgive yourself is coded into the beads.
Soap, Cloves, Wood, Metal, Fiber, Salt, Wax

More images of the prayer flags:

Prayer Flags

Prayer Flags

I like that the flag bits are in the bottle.
Prayer Flags

Some information on prayer flags can be seen here:

Prayer Flags

Tibetan Prayer Flags

The Prayer Flag Project

More images of my work:
From Evil series

Cleanse Your Palate series

Plant on Mountain

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Plant on Mountain

Vegan Replacement Boots

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

It is often difficult to find vegan friendly footwear. I have been wearing the same vegan Garmont boots since 2002. Recently the soles began to crumble and fall apart. I would have purchased a new pair of vegan Garmont boots, but a replacement does not exist.

I was unable to find someone to replace the soles of my Garmont boots, so I gave Shoe Goo a go. After the adhesive cured I noticed that the areas around the adhesive began to crumble. I suspect Shoe Goo would be great for making certain types of repairs, but it is not really intended for making new soles.

I went on a search for replacement boots. It is easy to find hiking boots, but not vegan hiking boots. Finally, I found a pair of Merrell boots that are vegan friendly.

All of the reviews that I read stated the Merrell boots were true to size. I ordered a pair from Title Nine. Unfortunately, the pair that I ordered was a tad snug.

The boots were on sale and when I checked the website for the larger size, many of the sizes were no longer available. I phoned Title Nine customer service. The person I spoke with was quite helpful. I placed a new order for a half size larger, and then I packaged up the original pair for shipping back. The new pair arrived in a few days.

Merrell Boots

When I slipped them on they fit great. I wore them around the house for a couple of days. Yesterday I wore them on my first hike.

Yeah, they really have bold and bright colors…

While on the hike I noticed this cool bark. At first glance it appeared to have been deliberately attached to the tree.

Cool Bark

Lichen Amble

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

My husband and I enjoy hiking. Today he decided that we don’t actually hike we amble because I tend to make frequent stops to look at and document lichens, rocks, plants, and critters.


Today I was particularly interested to see how the lichens were doing since there has been a few inches of rain. Lichens add such lovely color and texture to the rock surfaces. In a few months there will be more growth and variety of texture and color.



When I travel I visit old cemeteries to view sculptural grave markers. I am fond of carved markers that visually reflect the life of the individual being remembered. And if those markers also have beautiful lichen colonies, even better.

Lichens Baby

Lichens on Flowers 1 Lichens on Flowers 2

Ceramicists have imitated lichen surfaces in their work. For several years I used low fire lead glazes resulting in great textural surfaces. Now that I am older and after working in medical practices for a number of years, I try not to use things that I know are potentially dangerous. Substituting leaded frits worked for a time until I read lead is lead whether fritted or not. Still potentially dangerous.

This is a detail of a lead glaze that I used several years back. It is on a piece that is situated on a balcony in full sun nearly all day. What I hadn’t anticipated was the fading of the glaze.

Glaze Detail

There are numerous ways that to make textural glazes without using lead. Glazes can be underfired or overfired, formulas altered, aggregates added… A great book to read is Lana Wilson’s Ceramics: Shape and Surface Handouts for Potters. She is generous with glaze formulas and handbuilding tips. The book can be purchased directly from her website.

The California Lichen Society (CALS)

SLO Species List

Lichens of North America

British Lichen Society

Lichens of Ireland Project