RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


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Feline Friday – #82- Mountain lion P-23 killed on Malibu Canyon Road

mountain lion

The remains of female mountain lion P-23 were recently found near Malibu Canyon Road, where it appears she was struck by a vehicle. (Copyright National Park Service)

It’s sad to have to report that yet another mountain lion has been struck and killed by a vehicle in the Santa Monica Mountains. Pretty soon we will be bereft of mountain lions.

According to the LA Times, from where I “borrowed” the above photo, she gave birth to three litters of kittens during her five and a half years of life.

Not only was she was the product of inbreeding with P-12 as her dad and granddad, but she also later mated with P-12. This is because the lions are trapped within small regions bordered by freeways and subdivisions that used to be their habitat.

Please read the full story here. 

 

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Deck the Halls of DTLA again – with views from the Wilshire Grand Hotel

christmas downtown los angeles

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Two days before Christmas I repeated the Downtown Los Angeles Christmas Tree & Decorations Tour. Click on this link for last week’s walk. This time there were five of us. I know there were other people who wanted to come but due to illnesses, injuries and other commitments, could not make it.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

Don’t know what kind of tree this is but the red berries made it very festive. At California Plaza.

So I’m thinking maybe I should do this again in 2018! I’m also thinking about a Christmas Decorations walk through Beverly Hills. I did a photo walk a couple of years ago, see the post here.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

Another view of the red berry tree

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

California Plaza includes two skyscrapers, both of which are shown in the above photo.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

My four companions on the walk at California Plaza

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

Lobby of the US Bank Building with the Central Library in the background.

In February or March I’m hoping to put together a tour of the Central Library and then use the 50% off coupons I have to visit Skyspace, the open air observation deck at the top of the US Bank Building.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

A view of the Central Library with the new Wilshire Grand Hotel (with the mast) peeking up behind it.

The US Bank building (also known as Library Tower) was able to build to 72 floors by trading air space with the Central Library. So the library can never build higher than its present height.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

Millenium Biltmore Hotel lobby

Yup, you saw the above tree in my previous post. But it’s so gorgeous it’s worth seeing again! Do you recognize that ceiling? It was used in The Poseidon Adventure.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations  

Hands-on dad assisting his daughter with the Penguin helper at Pershing Square

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

There’s construction going on everywhere these days. More people, more traffic.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

Hotel Clark as seen from Pershing Square

The Hotel Clark was built sometime around 1912-ish. It was a transient hotel for many years and in pretty bad shape. It’s really good to see its new life as a boutique hotel with a rooftop restaurant/bar. I have to see if I can get up there at some point.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

Tree on 70th floor of Wilshire Grand

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

View from the 70th floor of the new Wilshire Grand Hotel

If you read my previous blog post, the first time I made it to the 70th floor lobby of the Wilshire Grand Hotel I had a terrible case of vertigo that crippled me, so I couldn’t take any photos. This time I was still a little queazy but I was able to wrap my brain around the fact that I was up so high and it was okay. The above view looks out to the Santa Monica Mountains and towards Malibu.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

The main part of LA is known as the Los Angeles Basin. You can see how the name originated as we are surrounded by mountain ranges. On the other side of the mountains is The Valley… still a part of the City of Angels.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

And then there are the freeways. Pretty light traffic for a Saturday. Everybody has parked their cars at the shopping malls for Christmas shopping!

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

The ocean on the horizon… from Palos Verdes to Santa Monica. The ocean is about 15 miles (24 km) from the Wilshire Grand.

I know the color is awful on these photos. I’m still having problems with color calibration and Lightroom… and reflections through the windows didn’t help. A triple whammy.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

You might notice the heli-pad on the building next door. Until recently there was a requirement to have a helicopter landing place on every building in downtown for emergencies. Since that ruling has been lifted we are seeing some more architecturally interesting rooftops.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

This last photo is a zoomed-in look at Echo Park Lake, approximately two miles (3.2 km) from the hotel. That white object sticking up in the center of the lake is the Olympic Fountain installed for the 1984 Olympics. You can see photos of the lake on my blog post here.

Be sure to see my post about the previous week’s walk-through of downtown decorations at Deck the Halls of DTLA.

 


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Deck the halls of DTLA

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Los Angeles City Hall at right mirrored with Christmas tree

Thanks to my friend SB for walking around Downtown Los Angeles (otherwise known as DTLA) with me today. It’s no secret I love downtown and I especially love it at Christmas… otherwise know as “The Holidays.” As anybody who knows me is aware, I embrace all religions and follow none. But I was brought up with Christmas, so that’s the way it is!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

The above photo advertises El Dia de Los Muertos which is celebrated at Grand Park with installations honoring the dead, a Mexican tradition. The N.Y.E.L.A. poster is for the New Years Eve party hosted at Grand Park. At right is the reflection of the fountain.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

A reflection in a window of the fountain with Christmas decoration on the left half. I always love Christmas with palm trees! After being too hot, today the temperature was around 70F (21C), my perfect temperature!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

We walked over to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. This was the window of the gift shop. We assumed the colorful tubes represent the pipes of the organ in the hall. And you can see the reflection of City Hall peeking up behind the pipes.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Decorations in the window of the gift shop with reflections of clouds and palm trees. How Southern California is this?

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

The exterior of the Broad Museum mirroring a reflection of the building next to it.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

We walked over to California Plaza to look at the decorations. The Angels Flight train was coming up the track.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

City Hall in the background.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Christmas trees reflected in the pool at California Plaza.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Christmas tree and wreath inside the building with reflections from outside.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Another tree inside lobby of a building with reflections from outside. Obviously I’m obsessed with reflections!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Decorations inside the lobby, yes, with more reflections!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Looking upwards from California Plaza

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Next we moved on to Grand Central Market. Loved this neon ad for Frontier Whiskey!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Grand Central Market Christmas Tree

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

One Bunker Hill didn’t disappoint with their decorations. But the coffee bar was closed for the weekend.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations
One Bunker Hill is one of my favorite buildings any time of the year.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

A very decent tree at the US Bank Building, the “real” tallest building in LA.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

We then transported ourselves over to the Biltmore Hotel. We had lunch there at Smeraldi’s. We each ordered the mushroom bisque.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Absolute heaven. And we split the prawn sandwich. Equally as good. Just enough food. Would do that again for sure!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

I adore the Biltmore. I could live there!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Now this is what I call a Christmas tree. The photo really doesn’t do it justice. Sorry.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations
They do a really great “tea” in the afternoons.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Christmas in LA cannot be complete without a visit to the skating rink at Pershing Square. The little kids have “penguins” to hold on to. It’s great to see them fall and get up again and still enjoy themselves. A lesson there for all of us!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Looking up from Pershing Square.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Pacific Mutual always has some good decorations. I love all the 1920s buildings in downtown but this one is special to me as when I did my LA Conservancy training this was the building I had to present in order to become a docent. It’s hard for me to believe now but I was so nervous I almost decided to quit the program before I had to give my talk. Glad I didn’t!

After this we visited the brand new Wilshire Grand Hotel. We took the elevator up to the lobby on the 70th floor. I had a bad vertigo attack looking out of the windows as there are no railings to hold on to. Why not??? In any case it was horribly hazy from all the fires so I could not have taken any photos anyway. But it would certainly be an impressive view on a clear day. Some other time, for sure!


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Marché de Noël

marche de noel

Last weekend I participated in le Marché de Noël, a holiday boutique in aid of Ecole Claire Fontaine, a French art and language school in Venice for two to seven year olds. A French friend from the Culver City Art Group invited me. I figured it was a way to put my photos out into the world, so why not?

I displayed some of my earlier work in the form of 20″ x 16″ (51 cm x 41 cm) canvas prints I had made up when there was a promotional sale some years ago. At the time I was so excited about getting back into photography I went a little crazy. But I still love those photos, even though now I see all the mistakes, and they adorn my walls. It was nice to see them out of the house and in a different setting. I didn’t sell any but I did get some very positive feedback.

I sold quite a few of my photo greeting cards which more than covered all the expenses of making them and other expenses for the day. I met some interesting people who tried to speak French to me. Unfortunately all those DVDs fell on deaf ears. Well, I can speak and understand French “un peu” in a controlled situation when I know the context, like walking into a store and asking how much is that scarf? But when somebody walks up to me and starts speaking, I get flustered and intimidated. So I had to keep saying, sorry I don’t understand you!

marche de noel

I liked this photo of me standing next to the red arrow. It means to me that I have to keep moving forward with my photography and not get discouraged.

It was this time of year five years ago that I bought my Canon T3i, a very basic DSLR. At the time I questioned whether this was a good decision. I thought I was too old to start up a new hobby. Every photographer in the universe was way ahead of me. I almost gave up before I started. But then I told myself that in five years I would be five years further along the path. And here I am, indeed, five years on and not doing too badly!

I was really happy that several friends showed up at this event to chat. E and her sister walked all the way from Santa Monica. S took several buses from Westwood. L fought beach traffic and spent 2o minutes looking for a parking space. So I appreciate the effort they made.

The photo below is of a gentlemen who set up his art next to me. He is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, so of course I told him that is where my mother was from. Along with Spanish he also speaks fluent French and English. How do people do that?

marche de noel

He told me he clips photos of people out of magazines that interest him in some way and paints them. I really loved the portrait in the center of the man with turban and beard. The beard was like flowing water. He told me the story of each one. He said he knew he wouldn’t sell anything. He just wanted people to see his paintings. Really, when you are an artist that is what it’s about.

The “ecole” was a lovely setting to be in for the day. I’m glad I decided to be there. Life is good!

 


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My day in DTLA

carole garland

I’m not ashamed to admit I love downtown Los Angeles. So when I heard that Carole Garland was showing her paintings of downtown at the TAG Gallery on Wilshire Blvd (near the Los Angeles County Museum of Art) I had to go. I took the Culver CityBus line #1 to the Metro line #217.

TAG gallery

This was my first visit to TAG since the gallery moved from Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.

I really like the space. It gives the artists a chance to spread out. There’s also a second level.

The photo above is all Carole’s DTLA show.

Carole Garland

Los Angeles Union Station

It was difficult for me to pick her three best paintings. I just had to be arbitrary or I would have ended up showing you all of them!

Carole Garland

Bridge spanning the LA River

BTW, all Carole’s images are shown with her permission.

carole garland

The heart of downtown with new Wilshire Grand building in foreground as it was being constructed.

After this I jumped on the Metro #720 bus thinking it would take me along Wilshire Blvd all the way downtown. Surprise, it was only going to Vermont. Fortunately, the bus turned the corner and dropped us all off at the Wilshire/Vermont Red and Purple Line Station.

angel's flight

Looking upwards to the station at the top of the hill

That actually worked out better as I was able to take the Purple Line all the way to Pershing Square for my next adventure. Angels Flight, the world’s shortest railway, had reopened recently (this was September 20, 2017) and I wanted a ride. I won’t go into the whole history here. It’s been pretty rocky. You’ll have to Google it.

The price is one whole dollar for the ride. As I have a TAP card it only cost me 50 cents each way.

angels flight

I’ve ridden this little railway a million times over the years. I never get tired of it.

One Bunker Hill

Having gotten my jollies on Angels Flight (up and down), it was time for coffee. I had read an article in the LA Times (I subscribe to the digital version) that a coffee bar had opened in the lobby of one of my favorite buildings, One Bunker Hill. Don’t have to ask me twice!

One Bunker Hill

My coffee and the view from where I was sitting.

One Bunker Hill

The building was originally called the Southern California Edison Building when it opened around 1930. It was on the very first architectural tour I took with the Los Angeles Conservancy in 1988 and when I saw the interior I decided I had to become an architectural docent. So I took the training and led LAC walking tours for sixteen years.

One Bunker Hill

I think my little Canon point & shoot camera doesn’t do too bad of a job, does it?

One Bunker Hill

I love the subdued light that comes in through the pastel-colored window panes.

One Bunker Hill

This is the most elegant coffee bar I have ever had the pleasure of spending my time in.

One Bunker HillThe very friendly and personable barista.

When I was doing the tours I seem to remember there were something like 30 different kinds of marble used in the building. This was just before the Wall Street Crash of 1929 which hit the West Coast around 1930 as the building was opening.

One Bunker Hill

Travertine, a porous rock formed in surface waters. If you ever go to Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone, you will be walking on it as it is forming. A fabulous experience.

cabbage patch

So now it was lunchtime. I had read a review about Cabbage Patch so I decided to try it out. Mmmmm. I ordered two sides, mashed potatoes and cole slaw. Both were heavenly.

downtown la

I was so happy, sitting at my window table watching the world walk by. What a lovely day. I was so grateful for my life.

pershing squareI walked back over to Pershing Square to discover it was farmers market day. We have these pop-up markets all over the LA area on different days. I go to the Culver City farmers market on Tuesday afternoons to buy all my veggies and fruit.

downtown la

Biltmore Hotel, Library Tower,  Gas Company, California Plaza

And it was time to go home. Downtown is an endless source of enjoyment for me. This was a super day.


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Photos I’m showing at the Culver City Art Group Show

The first five photos are in the main show:

Lion at the Los Angeles Zoo

 

Tree at White Sands

 

White Sands Landscape

 

Canoes for rent at Avalon, Catalina Island

 

culver city art show

William Jefferson Clinton Pedestrian Bridge, Little Rock, Arkansas

 

Entry for the Members’ Theme: Let there be light

White Sands

My self-portrait at White Sands, New Mexico

These will be on view Saturday, November 11 at Playa Vista.


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Feline Friday – #74 – Memorial award for Pharoah at the Culver City Art Group Holiday Show

culver city art group

I’m getting ready for the art show on Saturday. After this I am looking forward to getting back to blogging again.

It’s our custom to give memorial awards to fellow artists in the show for somebody who has passed away during the past year. My memorial award this year is given in honor of sweet Pharoah who passed away July 2nd.

pharoah

I’ll be channeling Pharoah as I view the artwork looking for a piece that he would enjoy.

 


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Feline Friday – #72 – P41 found dead in Verdugo Mountains

mountain lion

Photo copyright Los Angeles Times

I was sad to find out that according to the Los Angeles Times, the mountain lion tagged P-41 was found dead Wednesday. Residents in the area found the male puma near Shadow Hills.

From LA Times: The cause of death had not been determined. The cat had been dead for several days, and the carcass was decayed, said Kate Kuykendall, spokeswoman for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife will conduct a necropsy in the next couple of weeks, she said.

At about 10 years old, P-41 was considered to be of advanced age for a mountain lion in the wild. But his death could have been hastened by causes including rat poison and the La Tuna fire, which burned more than 7,000 acres in the Verdugos last month.

Please read the entire article here.

September 15th I posted an article about P-22 that referenced P-41. You can read that post here.

RIP P-41.


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Feline Friday -#70 – LA’s famous mountain lion P-22

P22

P-22

This is not P-22, obviously, but a similar mountain lion.

While I was at the Natural History Museum the other day to visit the Extreme Mammals exhibit, I saw the new display about P-22, the mountain lion who lives in Griffith Park.

From the Natural History Museum website:

In the hills of Griffith Park, a mountain lion roams. His name is P-22.

Born in the western Santa Monica Mountains, P-22 crossed both the 405 and 101 freeways, eventually reaching Griffith Park. He lives alone in this small territory by the Hollywood sign, surrounded and confined by the city of L.A. P-22 was first spotted by now NHMLA Citizen Science Coordinator Miguel Ordeñana in 2012 as part of the Griffith Park Connectivity Study, a joint effort of Cooper Ecological and the U.S. Geological Survey. 

P22

P-22, and other big cats like him, are often blamed for encroaching on people’s homes. The truth is, people are the one’s encroaching on the home of the mountain lions.

P22

This is a map of the LA area and the city these lions have to deal with. The dark red splodge at lower right shows P-22’s habitat. Basically he is caged in by the freeways all around him. Many cats have lost their lives trying to cross them.

P22

A closer look at P-22’s area. He lives in Griffith Park all by himself.

P-41 is also hemmed in by freeways all around.

P22

The inability to move around to other territories is the cause of inbreeding, as with P-19, who, having no choice, mated with her father. This doesn’t bode well for the survival of the species.

P-22

Wildlife crossings over the freeways have been proposed for years but so far nothing has been done. It isn’t just the big cats that suffer from being penned in, it’s all the species of animals, insects, plants that are stuck in small habitats. My answer is, let’s keep people trapped in their own neighborhoods and let the animals roam freely!

Just as important is the habitat of insects like the Delhi Sands fly. If just one small part of the eco-system is endangered it causes a domino effect for all of us.

One fly, one species… and then the human species. We live in dangerous times!

 


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Last day of Extreme Mammals

natural history museum

It’s been a while since I posted anything on WordPress. Several reasons, which I won’t go into! Let’s just say I needed a rest.

So many things have happened since my last post that I decided to work backwards with the latest happenings first, for the most part.

I seem to have a habit of leaving things to the last minute. This includes museum exhibits. Often I attend exhibits on the last day even though I know about them months in advance. So, my visit to Extreme Mammals at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum (NHM for short) was on September 10, the last day.

I didn’t know for sure I was really going up until about an hour before I left for the train. But as I’m a member I hate to miss any exhibits that are part of my membership. So I went on my own (except for the company of my Inner Child, of course).

From the website:  For over 200 million years, mammals have inhabited the Earth. In this epic evolutionary journey, mammals lived with—and even ate—dinosaurs, swam in the ocean, flew in the air, and became the fastest land animals of all time!

natural history museum

The photo at the top of the page is of an Indricotherium, the largest mammal to ever walk the earth. It weighed up to 20 tons and lived about 23 million years ago. However, a larger mammal lives today: the Blue Whale, ten to twenty times the size of the Indricotheriume . It can grow that large due to the buoyancy of water. The Blue Whale is the largest animal, mammal or otherwise, ever known!

natural history museum

Batodonoides was the smallest mammal, living about 50 million years ago. It could climb up your pencil (if you were around 50 million years ago and there were pencils) and was as light as a dollar bill.

As the sign states, there are more than 5,400 species of mammals alive today.

extreme-mammals-091017-010-C-500px

This sign board  explains a lot!

extreme-mammals-091017-011-C-500px

This Synthetocerus tricornatus doesn’t look terribly cuddly. In all instances, horns evolved in animals whose ancestors had no headgear at all.

extreme-mammals-091017-012-C-500px

extreme-mammals-091017-013-C-500px

For millions of years plant-eating glyptodonts the size of cars roamed North and South America. Their closest living relatives are armadillos.

extreme-mammals-091017-016-C-500px

extreme-mammals-091017-022-C-500px

This Macrauchenia was known for being very nosy… sorry…

extreme-mammals-091017-026-C-500px

Yes, a walking whale!

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extreme-mammals-091017-030-C-500px

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Mammoths living on the islands off the coast of Ventura (just north of Los Angeles) were half the size of mammoths on the mainland due to their isolation, lack of big predators and limited food resources.

 

extreme-mammals-091017-035-C-500px

Jaws of a Columbian Mammoth and a Pygmy Mammoth.

extreme-mammals-091017-033-C-500px

Ellsmere Island, a mere 600 miles from the North Pole, 50 million years ago. A great stopping place for a cruise.

extreme-mammals-091017-038-C-500px

Beautifully preserved Scarrittia lived in Argentina 29 to 24 million years ago.

extreme-mammals-091017-043-C-500px

Paleontologists have unearthed more than three million fossils at La Brea Tar Pits (next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art) including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, shells, and plants.

extreme-mammals-091017-045-C-500px

Ninety-nine percent of all mammals and other species that have ever lived on Earth are extinct.

Pretty soon it’s going to be 100% including you and me! Maybe not quite 100%… the cockroaches will survive…

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extreme-mammals-091017-019-C-500px

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