Monday, January 19, 2015

Barbecue weekend by lake Murray.......

This weekend, bluebird sky prevailed here in San Diego...we decided to head for near-by lake Murray for a barbecue picnic....

We found a decent spot by the water edge under a palm....starting the coal fire was quite challenging..while spouse toiled over it, I ambled in the park...

The bare cottonwoods were sporting zillion buds, getting ready to break into tender foliages...

The coral tree was sporting the pretty red clusters...

I gathered the rodents have become a nuisance to the park lawn...countless burrows and mud miles dotted the field...true to doubt, I saw a couple of ground squirrels and gophers sun basking by their underground dens....


Back to the picnic spot, spouse had successfully lit the grill and putting the marinated chicken slabs on it...

Well, it was our very first independent barbecue endeavor and the visitors who happened to pass by us complimented on its aroma...

Though not that photogenic, it tasted real good...with help of some grilled onion and lemon...

After a sumptuous lunch by the lake, fanned by balmy breeze  and enjoying the vista of swimming waterfowls and paddling revelers, we indulged in birding..

He fed the ducks with some bread....

It was fun to see the mighty gull claim the loaf for himself while the coots approached guardedly..

Saw a rare white pigeon...

And  a great egret.........

Male mallard with resplendent green head....

And a calm female......

Alert coot...

I took quite decent shots of the ripple stars........ 
It was a pleasant outing........

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Winter delicacies from our kitchen........

The long winter holidays gave me some leisure time to flex my cooking skill......

I tried preparing vegetable pulao and it turned out quite well.........

Good enough to induce me to make yet another variation of it........a simple comfort food

Paneer-bell pepper curry with cashew and poppy seeds gravy.......

Crisp okra fry...........

Pressure cooker boiled chicken soup......

Chicken dry fry.........

Paneer tikka........

Fried cluster beans........

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hiking the South California trails...

My hiking pictures.....don't know from where I picked up this habit of exploring the wilderness, but this passion enriched my life in more than one ways...it helped me cruise through the bumpy career path in foreign soil, eased my health problems and filled with enough inspiration and information to churn out series of articles.....a journey down the memory lane..










Much of South California is covered in chaparral...and its happens to be the smallest biome of the world...I feel happy to have savored most of its elements...the spring mustard blooms, the summer meadows, the lone scrub oaks, the yellow riparian willows, California peppers, sumac, lemonade berry, yucca blossoms, giant coast live oaks...
Recently, we completed our 25th trail...looking forward to many more...

Art and craft at Fullerton arboretum.....

Fullerton arboretum was one of my most favorite place when we lived in Orange county.....
I visited there 4 times...in  4 different seasons...and it always enchanted me with its distinct looks....
Some interesting arts and crafts captured there...

A plastic bug on a ginkgo, we were naive enough to think real...

Unique donation box.......

Painted hydrant.........

Pretty garden table...

Giant water sprinkler......

Cheerful sun.........

Topiary dinosaur.........
Can't wait to get back to Orange county and visit this botanical paradise...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Yet another rainy day..............

Another drizzly day....pictures of rain-laced entities in  my  surrounding....
Pavement littered with sycamore and pear leaves.....



Kalanchoe blossoms...

Vibrant cape honeysuckle..........

Ruby berries of toyon........

Home-bound crows........

Drenched trees.....

Nandina....


After a dry 2013 and drier 2014, this year has been generous in terms of showers.....