seasonal


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Halloween 2013

For the number of trick-or-treaters we get some might argue that the spooky yard we create is not worth the several initial hours of extraction from the basement and set-up and wiring for light and spooky sounds, followed by several more hours over the days leading up to Halloween night spent tinkering and fine-tuning (and in the case of this year filing a police report for a theft of one of the ornaments). Lastly there are the hours on the Big Day spent getting all the electronics ready, carving the pumpkins, and also in the case of this year, subbing in 10 pounds of dry ice for the way-pat-its-prime fog machine that finally crapped out.

The trick is: I don’t do all that for the 70 or so kids who come tromping up the front steps seeking candy. I do it for the inner child in me and my love of my favorite night of the year.

But because I’m a firm believer in Halloween being over when it’s over, come the morning of November 1, I waste little time dismantling the entire thing back into the basement and returning our yard to normalcy as if nothing had happened… leaving only the above photograph (click it for the bigger picture) as proof, and these that I uploaded to Flickr.

 

Winter always freaks me out when it comes to our Russian tortoise, Buster. Why? Hibernation. She doesn’t eat at all during that season and instead literally hunkers down and “sleeps” through the short days and cold weather. Even though I know it’s what tortoise are awesome at doing for the 250 million years they’ve been around, I still worry about her on a daily basis — especially when those days turn into months.

Well, the worry’s over as of this Friday morning. The warmer-than-normal temps we’re having in Los Angeles got Buster stirring and today I set out some food and the cam to timelapse what I hoped would be her first meal since at least December. And I got it. As you can see it wasn’t an extended stay at the buffet, but it was enough to have me breath a sigh of relief and let out a silent cheer that spring is almost here.

photo(2)On Christmas Eve morning Susan and I set out in the light rain for a Silver Lake walkabout that turned into an almost-six-mile loop around our wonderful neighborhood. We discovered new stuff, like this colorfully reborn parking meter we dropped a couple coins into where it stands just south of Rowena on West Silver Lake Drive. This one’s set up to raise money to keep lighted the lovely “Chandelier Tree” the property owner created, and represents a variation of a movement afoot in various cities across the country to re-adapt and reuse the defunct machines as donation stations for various causes.

And we stopped into a variety of shops catering to last-minute holiday shoppers including Yolk, Brightwell, Broome St. General Store, Casita del Campo (for a mid-route libation), The Cheese Store of Silver Lake, Pull My Daisy, Reform School, the 99-Cent store, Daisy’s Antiques and Danish Modern LA.

Before we left I loaded into my backpack a couple books because the one place I wanted to visit in order to give rather than receive was St. George Street branch of the Little Free Library that’s been set up for well over a year (and actual it’s stationed on Rowena between St. George and Hyperion).

Mission accomplished:

give

One of these years I’m going to add my own satellite branch to the extensive nationwide system.

Merry Christmas!

PS> For a few more snaps of some of the things we saw along the way, check out this Flickr set.

I’m not usually so tardy with my timelapsings, but then rarely do I attempt to capture anything more than a couple hours. This one — November 17th’s 7th-annual Great Los Angeles Walk, organized by Franklin Avenue Blog’s Michael Schneider — ran a weeee bit longer. Starting at about 9:30 a.m. and traversing a 17-mile route over about eight hours from downtown to Ocean Park in Santa Monica, my attempt wasn’t a total success. An inexplicable camera fail resulted in the stretch walked on Melrose between La Brea and almost La Cienega being unrecorded. And then there was the matter of the rain that fell upon us that day eventually being enough to get into the camera housing and fog-up of the lens the last couple miles.

Those discouraging things were quantified by YouTube repeatedly aborting attempts to upload the mega-sized files of higher-resolution versions, until I gave up for awhile until finally exported it in a stripped down old-school 320×240 and said to hell with it. YouTube finally relented and so here it is, an 11:21 minuteĀ  jerkjumpy document of a long walk across the city.

Bit of a somber day, what with the passing and burial of our frog Hop. Funny how such things can sdrain the color from a day. But I finally snapped out of my funk to bring some color to our standard icicle’d eaves and reindeer in the form of some strings of never-before-used lights, three of which fit perfectly in framing the entire railing across the front of the house (click it for the bigger picture):

Happy holidays!

 

Our five pumpkins we grew in the backyard patch before and after they went under the carving knife (click it for the bigger picture):

 

They won’t win any design awards, but my timeframe might qualify for an honorable mention: I hacked up all five in 30 minutes flat. And yes there’s a timelapse of it… soon to come.

Happy Halloween!

UPDATED (11.01): Yep, here’s all the timelapsed frenzy of pumpkin cutting activity:

And lastly, here’s the obligatory night shot of the quintet as they were meant to be seen:

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