Posts Tagged ‘Folsom’

April’s Fools

4 April 2020
people at the light rail stop Friday morning

In anticipation of more rain today (Saturday) I (again) went out to do my grocery shopping in Folsom on Friday. Just a few people needing transport hung around the light rail station – about normal for non-rush times on this line.

empty light rail car

By the time we got to Folsom, everyone else had debarked.

bridge on trail with bikers

I very seldom take shots of the general area that the bike trail goes through. This is a foot bridge across an inlet on the little lake used for boat racing by university student athletes. As you can see, there are plenty of people out on bikes.

further down the river trail

Further down the trail there are both walkers and bikers.

more people on the trail

And on this very picturesque section of the trail much closer to town, still more walkers and bikers.

More Flowers

fiddlenecks

I got a nice clear photo of the fiddlenecks.

vetch

And another of some vetch. There is a lot of this along the trail; most of it will bloom out a little later.

collinsias

And I couldn’t resist taking more pictures of the little hill full of Collinsias. These are also interspersed with Lupine.

Then down at the Aquatic Park I decided to take a closer look at the tree I’d seen last week full of big yellow flowers. I have been unable to identify this tree. Obviously it has a horticultural source, as this is the only specimen I have ever seen.

unidentified tree with big yellow flowers

California poppies continue to proliferate, particularly on sun-baked slopes.

California poppies along the river

Flowering dogwood is a familiar site in other climates this time of year, but it thrives only in gardens here in Sacramento.

flowering dogwood in town

These streets were full of these small trees, and they were full of flowers. Quite a display! This was taken by the way in the “40’s” neighborhood, streets 40 through 49. It’s a very nice part of town.

Animals in motion

A swallowtail posed patiently for me, but my camera refused to focus on its black body. The image below is cropped out of a wider shot.

swallowtail butterfly

The turkeys were chasing a hen, but I was moving a little when I snapped this, if they weren’t.

male turkeys chasing a hen

Pandemic News

The Germans got their testing started early, with almost 100,000 confirmed cases at this point, and 1,500 deaths. That would be a fatality rate of about 1.5%, but doctors there think that number will rise. According to reports I’ve seen, ordinary flu kills at about 1/10th of that rate.

My friend Patrick who was visiting Malaysia and afraid of getting stuck there managed to get on the next-to-the-last plane from Malaysia to Japan. He likes Japan and trusts that country to handle the pandemic brightly.

He recommended “Last Plane Out” as the theme song for his adventure and possibly this whole episode of history. It was written by Kevin Gilbert (a short-lived professional musician born in Sacramento in 1966) and recorded by his band Toy Matinee, getting some airplay around 1990.

More Spring Rain

15 March 2020
willow catkins in folsom

It was with some exasperation that I looked out upon the morning scene this Saturday and found it raining, again.

It’s not that I don’t like rain or that we don’t need rain. But this was Saturday, the one day I allow myself to go out and enjoy the out-of-doors!

And so once again, as I did last week, I packed my shopping bags, umbrella, and a book of short stories to pass the time, into my backpack and walked, without my bicycle, to the train stop to go to Folsom.

I’m glad I brought my umbrella this time, as it was still raining pretty hard when I got to Folsom. But it was tapering off a bit, so taking a few pictures was quite possible. How about this little snail skating across the walkway? I don’t see this much in these parts. Animals like this have to spend most of their time in the shadows under plants that get watered frequently, or they will just shrivel up.

snail on sidewalk with flower petals

I found this snail on the walkway up to Winco. I had checked their website and there the company assured customers that they would stay open (so that we can eat!) while also doing everything they could to comply with government regulations regarding crowd situations.

Thus, it was not a total surprise when I found a line outside the store, and employees there to inform us that they were limiting the number of people in the store to 250, letting us in ten at a time as shoppers exited.

It didn’t take long.

Much less of an inconvenience, I would imagine, than allowing thousands to come down to DOCO for a Kings (basketball) game, just to be turned away as one of the players had tested positive for the latest virus, resulting in the need to postpone the game.

Virus

I have gotten used to the word in its now-popular usage as a cybersecurity term. I had never really studied it that much as a biological phenomenon.

Some of the articles I read about it were so obfuscated by the heavy use of terms only commonly used in the arcane world of molecular biology that I could not make myself get all the way through them.

Articles “dumbed down” for the general public tended to anthropomorphize virus, as they seem to act in ways that are distinctly intelligent.

This tendency to portray virus as living thinking creatures might not be all that misguided, but is similar to what we have done with computers, and intentionally with AI programs like “Siri” and “Alexa.”

From my point of view, the probability that virus have a higher-level intelligence behind their structure and behavior is close to 100%. Chances are they have been around since the early days of biology, and perhaps were even a “mistake” or “security breach” from that era – totally lost now in the dimly-recalled and long-gone past.

An interesting game that virus play with higher-level organisms is that they mutate fairly rapidly, enabling them to re-infect organisms that have already developed immunity to previous versions. The only way for organisms to keep up with this game is to somehow face the consequences of getting re-infected, and then through that experience building up new immunity to the new strains.

Our medical people have attempted to simulate this process using vaccines. However, this has created a vaccine industry that depends for its cash flow on the constant development and sale of new vaccines, leading to ethically questionable practices. I sometimes think that all medical activities should be required to go forward only on a not-for-profit basis, thus discouraging bad behavior at the expense of our lives and our health.

The obvious priority in playing this vaccine game is to be as physically healthy as possible. This seems to be part of the impetus behind the pushing of “keto,” as the biggest advocates of it seem to be students of nutrition and physical exercise.

However, my training has taught me that there are mental and spiritual aspects to body health that cannot be overlooked. The brightest among us balance all these factors and tend to be very successful. The rest of us just try to keep up, or else have given up and wait quietly for their time to come.

I recommend the most proactive approach that you can manage given your resources. There is a certain clarity that comes with taking one’s personal health seriously in all of its aspects that is really worth having. I think it has something to do with certainty about one’s own future.

Here is a final image from my Saturday visit to Folsom:

oak tree new growth

Folsom Sage

26 May 2019

My “photo of the week” is of a lovely sage plant which I pass when I go to Folsom to shop.

sage-flowers-20190525-63

By my best guess, this is a sage “cultivar” called Allen Chickering. Genetically it is a hybrid, and per my understanding of the term cultivar, the plant has been enhanced for visual appearance and aroma by selective breeding.

Currently this plant is mid its rather short flowering season, but this has perhaps been prolonged by an unusually rainy Spring. Sage is one of the favored native plants for this area, due to its drought resistance and pollinator-friendly flowers.

As mentioned earlier, my trips to Winco in Folsom save me money on food, and continue to be entertaining and a good way to get in some moderate exercise on the weekend. These days I almost always bring my camera along, as there’s no telling what will turn up along the way.

Mather/Mills in Rancho Cordova

On this trip I had to stop somewhere to wait for the train that goes all the way to Folsom, and I chose the Mather Field/Mills station. This route mostly follows Folsom Blvd, and it passes many historic locations, as this road is one of the oldest in the area.

For much of the route, the light rail parallels a conventional train track. It is hardly ever used now, but harkens back to times were trains were the major passenger and freight service. One structure from that period that has been saved and reused is the station house/tavern/dance hall that was built in 1911.

mills-station-building-rancho_cordova-20190525

Next door is a small park with a kiosk containing historic information and a decidedly non-historic little sculpture that looks like it would be fun for kids.

mills-station-play-area-rancho_cordova-20190525

 

I sight a special bird

3 March 2019

I’ve been going to Winco in Folsom almost every weekend, as it’s such a nice store compared to anything near downtown, it’s near a light rail station, and food costs much less there than in town.

Last weekend I spotted this special bird, but I didn’t remember to look it up and find out what it was until this weekend reminded me. It was swimming in a creek that I cross over when I walk to Winco.

Known as the Hooded Merganser, this duck winters in no-freeze zones, then returns north during the summer. It is absolutely unmistakable when you see it; the appearance of the male’s head is so striking. This photo was borrowed from Wikimedia Commons, and kindly provided to them by scientist/photographer Ken Billington.