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December 18, 2022

Red Ocotillo - and Macadamia Nuts

Red Ocotillo:

We spent Thanksgiving in the desert…  I should have prepared to turn that into a blog outing as we did a difficult Jeep trail between 17 Palms and S2, the Southern Truckhaven Trail.  But I was there mainly to see the Red Ocotillo.

Red Ocotillo

After our long drought the ocotillo had dropped all their leaves.  As they recover and leaf out the new leaves are red.  Entire forests of Red Ocotillo.  This is the first time I have seen one.

Macadamia Nuts:

The neighbor’s Macadamia Nut trees are ready to supply a us with some Christmas cookies.

Macadamia Nuts

I use a fruit tree picker to pluck them from the tree.  Although the branches hang well over the fence, the picker reaches over the fence.  Yes, with the neighbor's complete cooperation.

Not just a fruit picker

I gathered a enough for the cookies from the 2 trees.  On one tree the nuts grow in one or twos on a long stem.  The other in clusters, like grapes.

As the husks dry out, they shrink and crack.

In the husk and drying

The shells also need to dry out until they become rigid and brittle.

In the shell drying

I separate the nut from the shell by slamming, it with force onto a hard surface.  Then shake if, if the nut does not rattle inside the shell it’s not yet ready.

I place the shelled nuts in small snack bags for use or freezing.


Fran roasted all the ones I collected in this first harvest, nothing for the freezer.


The cookie dough also contains white chocolate.  The cookies are delish.

Even the dough is good

I took one batch is provided to the neighbors … Who declared them “fricken delicious”.  That’s one reason they want us to collect nuts from both side of the fence.  They really do not take the time to do anything with them.

Meanwhile on our side of the fence, we’ve been having mandarins for breakfast for the past couple weeks.

The lime tree is always an over producer.

While the lemon tree is lazy and never produces enough ... but just enough to keep me from replacing it.

We’ll be eating oranges about the same time we run out of mandarins.

We wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and the all the best in 2023.

December 12, 2022

Blog post has been UNpublished

I had an unusual email the other day from Blogger saying that I have violated their “Community Guidelines”  ARG!

          As you may know, our Community Guidelines
https://blogger.com/go/contentpolicy) describe the boundaries for what we
allow-- and don't allow-- on Blogger. Your post titled "Chasing Waterfalls
– Cedar Creek Falls" was flagged to us for review. We have determined that
it violates our guidelines and have unpublished the URL
making it unavailable to blog readers.
     Why was your blog post unpublished?
     Your content has violated our Malware and Viruses policy. Please visit
our Community Guidelines page linked in this email to learn more.
     If you are interested in republishing the post, please update the
content to adhere to Blogger's Community Guidelines. Once the content is
updated, you may republish it at
This will trigger a review of the post.
     For more information, please review the following resources:
     Terms of Service:
     Blogger Community Guidelines: https://blogger.com/go/contentpolicy
     The Blogger Team
<end quote>

Yikes!  I take pride in checking all links before I post a blog.  What I didn’t think of is that those links may change over time.  In this case an East County newspaper is now a virus site!  Who Knew?

I’ve checked my other posts and can verify that Norton Security has found no other corrupt links. 

I removed the links to that pesky newspaper link and resubmitted the questionable post.  Which the Blogger Team has oked.

     We have re-evaluated the post titled "Chasing Waterfalls – Cedar Creek
Falls" against Community Guidelines
Upon review, the post has been reinstated. You may access the post at
     The Blogger Team
<end quote>

I will continue to check every link in my blog.  But no longer use links from small ‘authorities’ that may change.

I will continue my commitment to not monetarize my blog and will reply to all comments.  If a reader takes the time to leave a comment, I feel I should certainly should take the time to acknowledge and respond.

I’ve been quiet for a a bit, now you know why.

Merry Christmas to ALL!

November 18, 2022

De Anza Cove - Mission Bay Progress

I have not been able to attend any meetings on the revitalization changes on the De Anza Cove.  But I can provide some information on the changes.

Pre-Covid in November 2017 the San Diego De Anza Committee presented the public meeting with these 3 options.

Option 1 was the clear winner!  Note the golf remains but as a 9-hole executive (3x9-hole),  tennis courts ae relocated and Rose Creek remains, basically untouched.

The committee certainly has been busy during Covid, and now offers only these choices.

Not much difference between them.  The golf course is removed and becomes part of the marsh land.  The tennis courts have been removed and Rose Creek will be allowed to meander through the marsh.

The swale in the RV park (pink) will allow for a better tidal flush.  The RV park should remain at 40 acres - the same size as Campland is now.

That’s enough background and with construction already underway, it’s time for a few photos of the work in progress.

I’ll start at the RV park.

The actual RV park itself remains unchanged from any previous visit.  A few more of the derelict mobile homes have been removed.

There are still quite a few left, but they are actively being removed.  

However the pool is now open!  Looks great.

The erosion along the perimeter trail has been cause by the wakes of the ski boats.

The pre-Covid plan continued ski boats to be allowed, and the boat launch ramp remained untouched.

All current options will include the launch ramp, but create a no-wake zone, allowing for more human or wind powered craft.  And improve landscaping at the parking lot.

However the De Anza Cove parking lot is not going to be entirely spared.  The partial removal of the De Anza Cove parking lot is already underway.

At the golf course the existing buildings are being demolished.

However the golf course itself remains open with the temporary buildings being used.

The golf course will become part of the marsh extension by 2035.

The Kendall Marsh will then extend from Crown Point in the west, east to the current boat ramp in De Anza Cove in the east..

Although the marina will be removed the condos will remain.

Rose Creek that flows under the Mike Gotch footbridge will become a large feed stream for the extended marshland.

The marsh will begin at Grand Avenue (bridge in the distance) and continue into the bay.

The idea is to allow the marsh to filter the water that is flowing into the bay from the now unobstructed Rose Creek.

Fran does not like the restroom redesign.  The new units will all be gender neutral.

Her point is ‘guys can be messy’ – good point!

In addition to new playground equipment,

exercise equipment is also being provided.

The new water fountains also include a doggy bowl.

The changes are not all what I voted for.  But should still create a better experience for visitors.

November 03, 2022

Dia de los Muertos - Day of the Dead

Day of the dead is an ancient Mayan and Aztec tradition to honor the departed.

With the arrival of the Spanish, the celebrations were incorporated into the Spanish All Saints Day and All Souls Day on November 1 and 2.

It is customary to have an alter to honor a loved one.  Old Town becomes transformed for this celebration of life.

Marigolds are the flower of choice as they ward off evil spirits and their vibrant color acts as a guide for any lost spirit.

Traditions vary, but departed children are celebrated on Nov. 1.  The children's alter includes sugar skulls, fruits and candles.

Disney’s Coco departed animals act as spirit guides.

And departed adults honored on Nov 2.

Traditional adult alters include water, breads and candles.  Often including items used in life. 

This alter is a bit different in that instead of water, a tequila cask is included.  I like it!

Old Town has it’s own alter to honor the ladies that were dedicated to the park.

There is a large public alter in the Old Town Market.

Guarded by a coyote.

Throughout the park are skeletons in colorful, often wacky, dress.
The bride

and her attendants

and Fran

This troupe has a coyote as their fiddler.

Another bride with her groom and wedding cake.

and flower girl

The father and mother of the bride are ready to party!

The artist

Some of the visitors get totally immersed in the festivities.


The Old Town Sheriff was there to ensure no zombies interfere with the festivities.

We spent some time meandering through the Estudillo Museum.  The Estudillo family was quite prominent in early San Diego history.  The museum is housed in the original adobe home.

In the book Ramona ~Hellen Jackson Hunt the adobe is the setting for the wedding.

I’ve mentioned before that both my brother and Fran’s brother have married Latinas.  In their family homes a private alter is maintained for the deceased family members.  Probably something similar to this alter in the Estudillo home..

As we rode our bikes back through Mission Bay Park it was windy, which not only brought out a lot of kids with kites,

but big kids with Wing Foil Boards