Jon Crispin's Notebook

2017 Smith College Bulb Show

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Cristine and I always look forward to the Smith College Bulb Show.  Always in mid March, it is a lovely reminder that Spring is not far off.

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There are always a ton of very exotic tulips.

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It ends tomorrow, so if you live in the Valley and want to see it, get moving!

Howth

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We have been spending most of our time in busy cities on this trip, so we decided to take the DART train to Howth yesterday and spend some time on the coastal path.

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This is a lovely seaside  fishing village, and since it was Sunday it was a bit crowded, but we really wanted to walk, so it was worth it.

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As we walked through the carpark at the beginning of the path, we saw a guy in a superman costume get out of a taxi.  We didn’t think much about it at the time since it was a few days before Halloween.  We started our walk, and some minutes later looked down to a little island just off the coast and saw him jump off a diving platform.  He is in mid-flight in this photo but it is a bit difficult to see him.  Look for the red spot on the left.  Wild.

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It was a lovely day.  Not too hot, not too cool.

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Ireland is really green, and like Cornwall has a really interesting variety of plants.

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I can never keep these things straight, but I think this is gorse.  So lovely.

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There were amazing views throughout the walk.  In the foreground is an entire field of ferns that are just starting to turn brown.

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At one point the coast path crossed an enormous golf course.  We were instructed to stay quiet.  We obliged, and we did see some golfers teeing off.  It would have been a lovely day to play 18.

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But by far the coolest part of the walk was when we went through the Bog of Frogs.  It was boggy, but not noticeably froggy.

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We walked well over 10 miles, and it was spectacular.  It was great to get a pint and some fish and chips once back in Howth.

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As we waited for the train to Dublin, a Carphone Warehouse advert kept scrolling through this sign at the station.

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Once back in Dublin, we stopped at Mary’s Bar and Hardware for a whiskey.  They really love JFK here.  And the whiskey was nice.

Pink Lady’s Slipper / Red Eft

Posted in Animals, botany, Flowers, Nature, Orchids, Plants, Uncategorized, walking in the woods by joncrispin on 05/06/2016

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There are hundreds of pink lady’s slippers around the house.  We are very lucky.

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Red efts were out today as well, as it is a rainy, humid day.  These guys are tiny.

Lettuces

Posted in botany, Food, Plants, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 04/06/2016

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Amazing, beautiful lettuces at today’s farmer’s market.  Apparently there is a bumper crop this year.  Everything around here is flowering to beat the band.  The mountain laurels are just about to pop and the lady slippers are all around us in the the woods.

Disney / The Huntington

Posted in botany, Disneyland, painters, theme parks by joncrispin on 05/06/2015

Cristine grew up going to Disneyland as a very young child.  Her parents would drop off all three kids when the park opened and they would pick them up when it closed.  Many of her popular culture references are Disney related.  Once when we were snorkeling in the Caribbean, she popped up from a dive and said “It’s just like the submarine ride at Disneyland”!  We would go to the park while visiting her family when Peter was little, and I really got to like it as well.

We had a wonderful day there on Wednesday which included a fine meal at the Blue Bayou.  Our table overlooked the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and I was able to make this nice picture.

Yesterday we went to The Huntington near Pasadena, which in its own way is just as cool as Disneyland.  We started off in the Botanical Center which was full of orchids.

Then moved on to the rose garden.

Made the obligatory stop to see Blue Boy.

Which is breathtaking.  Gainsborough had it rockin’.

Asked about Turner, and they had this, “The Grand Canal. A Street Scene in Venice”.  Here is a detail.

Yikes!

And then walked into this room and nearly fell over when I saw this.

When we were in the American Art building I was somehow reminded of a painting in my brother’s and my bedroom when we were children.  All I could remember was a guy lashed to a small boat being circled by sharks.  So I did a quick search on my phone (guy lashed to a small boat being circled by sharks painting) and saw this.  I don’t know why we had it in our house, and as a child I remember being frightened by it.  Bob, do you remember this?

Just got back from a last visit to In-n-Out.  I guess it’s time to go home.

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