Archive for the ‘Outdoors’ Category

Nordie’s Opens in Fashion Island

Fashion Island has always been one of my favorite malls (although that might be changing due the to un-kid friendly things they’ve been doing lately to “rebrand” themselves.  Hellooo, the carousel was/is going bye-bye? Cut me some slack, I don’t get out a whole lot with a five month old).  I adore outdoor malls, and have always wondered why there aren’t more in the beneficially climatized Southern California.  It seems that most of the only outdoor malls are outlet ones.  Perhaps they think that only poor people like being outside.

The addition of a very large Nordstrom over by the Cheesecake Factory is bound to make it even more popular, and the grand opening is today.

It’s a lovely day and I very much would like to go, but we’ve got the whole napping thing going on, which really puts a cramp in my style, ya know?

RIP … Mitchell

I’m very sad to report that one of the baby hummingbirds, Mitchell, met an untimely demise on Saturday, April 3, thanks to a dastardly crow. Sorry for the delayed report, but I thought I was coming to an untimely demise as well, in the form of the flu.

So here’s what happened: my husband had been noticing a crow in our backyard, which is kinda uncommon. Then a short while later he noticed it on the ficus tree, with the hummingbird nest. My husband chased the crow away then went to the grocery store to get me more lozenges, syrups, etc. When he came back … “Where’s the nest!?!” We can only assume the crow came back and took the entire nest with poor little Mitchell still in it. Cam either fluttered out or fell out. We found him lying directly under where the nest used to be. He was alive atop the pile of towels positioned underneath; A Tip of the Hat to Jeannie for the towel tip!

A wide shot of the tree, which is pretty protected (next to a house and under a pergola) and all of the blankets underneath.

My husband immediately Googled what to do while I cried. I know it’s part of nature and all, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. So he made a makeshift nest from coffee filters and a hanging glass candle holder. Not ideal, but better than nothing, and put Cam in. The Internet assured us that the mother would indeed find the new nest and continue to feed the remaining baby(ies). You know what, it actually worked.

The makeshift nest. A coffee filter inside a glass candleholder. The fishing line is for stability.

So over the next few days everything was fine, Gloria coming and going feeding little Cam and Cam perched on the edge of the nest poised to fly. One day my husband found him on the ground and put him back in the nest. Yesterday, before I went to work, I found him on the ground and put him back in the nest. When I came home he was nowhere to be found. I looked everywhere, even in the blankets. I saw Gloria looking frantically for him. Nothing. I shed a few more tears. My husband comes home and informs me I was wrong, hallelujah – and for once happy to be – Cam was indeed inside the folds of the blanket. He saw Gloria feeding Cam through an opening.

It was after this last fall we decided (rightly or wrongly) to just leave Cam on the ground in the blanket nest. Thankfully he seems to be doing well and Gloria is continuing to feed him. He’s probably safer

Cam opening wide for breakfast. Glare is from the window, I shot this from inside the house.

Breakfast is served! Glare is from the window, I shot this from inside the house.

All together now ... awww!

Angels Start 2010 Season With A Lit Halo

It’s no secret I’m Dodger Blue through and through. (I grew up just minutes from the stadium and used to have season tickets)  But as long as they’re not playing the Dodgers, I always enjoy a good Angels game.  Tonight was a very good Angels game!  It was the home opener for the 2010 season and boy did they put on a good show.  3 homers, with 2 of those being back-to-back!

Hopefully the rest of their season is as good as this.  Maybe I’ll even forgive them for making me sad in the pre-season freeway series……..Yeah, I think not.

Obligatory Eathquake in Orange County! Post

Oh hai.

It’s been a bit quiet here on the old OC Metblogs hasn’t it?  And wouldn’t you know, it would literally take an earthquake to get me to post.

We were in Huntington Beach, in the middle of an egg hunt in my sister’s back yard.  I was sitting with my five-month old on a bench when I felt sort of dizzy.  I thought for sure I was about to faint for some unknown reason, and was searching for the nearest adult to hand her off to before I hit the pavement.

Then the rolling sensation got a little more pronounced, and I swear I could see the earth moving, watching as I went lower than the house, and then back again.  It was pretty freaky, actually, and this is coming from a So Cal native with dozens and dozens of earthquakes under her belt.  I screeched calmly stated that there was an earthquake, as no one else had seemed to notice. Then all the adults froze in place, while the oblivious kids kept running around trying to find their eggs. Which was a good thing, actually.

It took quite a long time for the rolling sensation to stop, at least a minute, if not more.  We could hear the neighbor’s pool sloshing and overflowing.

I’m not sure if we felt it a little bit more in HB because the water table is so high there, or what. 

How about you? Did you feel it?

We’re Parents … of Two Baby Hummingbirds!

Sometime in the last few days I noticed mama hummingbird, whom I’ve decided to name Gloria, has been away from the nest a little more often. I began to pay more attention to her comings and goings. Low and behold when she came back to the nest one time it sure looked like she was feeding her hatchlings.

Gloria going in for a landing to feed her two little ones.

So, yesterday, I took a closer look and there are two little babies in the nest. I was able to get a photo of the little guys, whom I’ve named Cam and Mitchell, this afternoon whilst Gloria was out. Also, I’m pretty sure I was mistaken when I reported three eggs.

My two babies, Cam and Mitchell. I think they kind of look like wooly worms. Can you see their little beaks poking up?

Thanks, Rancho Santa Margarita

For spilling 500,00o gallons of your crap, literally, into the ocean.

As a result, beaches from Dana Point to Capistrano Bay are predicted to be closed through the weekend.

Get Out & About This Weekend!

In honor of the Vernal Equinox “springing” tomorrow at 10:32 a.m. PDT and the predicted gorgeous SoCal weather go outside and enjoy it. I know you may be temped to stay inside and watch college basketball, but let’s be honest many of you probably already had a bracket buster yesterday … thanks for nothing Notre Dame and Georgetown. Although I’ll give you a pass if your team is playing ;).

In case you need some ideas … follow me after the jump


Backyard Hummingbird

I’ve been seeing a Hummingbird near our backdoor for the past few weeks. Then, the other evening, when I was taking photos of my garden flowers, I got dive-bombed, by what I thought was a giant bee. Those suckers are called Hummingbirds for a reason, their wings seriously hum.

The papier-mache looking nest

Last evening whilst I was on our patio, I noticed something that appeared to be a little nest in the potted ficus tree, which is literally at our back door. This morning I investigated further. Low and behold it is a nest with eggs in it! Little teeny tiny Hummingbird eggs. Now that I know she is there I’m afraid to go outside.

I just hope I’m around when they hatch. They will be sooo small. If anyone has any suggestions of what we should do/not do please comment away. I am going to get a Hummingbird feeder for her/them. I think she should have a name … any suggestions?

Check out the rest of the photos, after the jump.


Dana Point: Festival of Whales

Image courtesy

Are you looking for an inexpensive family-friendly event to attend this weekend or next? If so, Dana Point’s 39th Annual Festival of Whales may be just what you are looking for.

The Festival kicks off tomorrow, Saturday, March 6th at 10:00 a.m. with a parade along Pacific Coast Highway. According to the website all events are weather permitting, so you may want to call (1.888.440.4309 or 949.472.7888) before venturing out.

For more information check out the the official event program. Some of the events include: guided family tide pool hikes, street faire, free fishing clinic and trip for kids, cars, art, movie in the park and much more.

This years promotional poster was designed by John Van Hamersveld. You may not recognize the name, but you definitely know who he is. He designed one of the most iconic surfing images ever, The Endless Summer film promotional poster.

February Showers Bring March Flowers

… well, at least here in SoCal. As you know, I’m from Pittsburgh and let me just say it rains there. A lot. The sky is also gray quite often. Living in Orange County for the past five years made me appreciate rain and – gasp – even miss it.

I know we’re all spoiled by the warm sunny weather here and get annoyed when it’s cool and rainy. So, I just wanted to take the time to show my appreciation for the rain and to say I enjoy the change of pace. It’s funny though, all of my East Coast friends and family think we live in the tropics, even after half a decade. I’m constantly reminding people that while it’s warmer here than Pittsburgh or Philadelphia or Washington, D.C., etc. 65° is NOT beach/pool weather.

As I’ve been driving around South County the past few days I’ve been noticing flowers and other plant life in bloom, thanks to the aforementioned rain. The onramp to the 5 North at Stonehill has some really pretty wildflowers. Seeing everything in bloom inspired me to take a closer look at my own yard. The people who lived here before us (remember, we just moved in December) really had a green thumb and things are sprouting and blooming all over the place. Of course, being the Dr. Kavorkian of all things green I figured I better document this while I can.

So follow me after the jump to take the time to “smell” the flowers.


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