According to a geology tour brochure from the Carrizo Plain National Monument, the San Andreas fault is about 700 miles long, and it’s “the boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates.” The land on each side of the fault has slipped sideways as the tectonic plates moved, and you can see this at Carrizo Plain.
In the above aerial view from Google Earth, the red arrow points to where Wallace Creek crosses the San Andreas fault. The diagonal line running parallel to the Temblor Range is the San Andreas fault. From wikipedia, temblor is “from the Spanish word for ‘earthquake’ (terremoto)”.
On Hawaii’s Big Island, we searched for honu (the Hawaiian name for the green sea turtle) and stars. The Big Island has high mountains, and I wanted to photograph the Milky Way from there.
Shown above, a father and son fish at Kiholo Bay, where we looked for honu. We asked a Hilo family camping at the beach, but they hadn’t seen any either. Days later, they emailed us that their auntie saw honu whenwalking the other way from the parking lot.
Wanting to see a ballet in Russia, we saw one at Saint Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater. The theater and dancers were wonderful. At first we didn’t know about selecting seats and transportation, but everything worked out well.
Shown above is the stage showing “Les Saisons Russes“, French for “The Russian Seasons”, which seems to be a theme of the Mariinsky. In Soviet times, the Mariinsky Ballet was known as the Kirov Ballet. Rudolph Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov danced for the Kirov Ballet before defecting to the West.
In June my home town of Los Altos, California, received no rain — not surprising for our dry summer. Although the US government expects California’s drought to continue, state and local agencies are reducing water conservation targets for urban users.
This month’s image is a red flame dragonfly sitting on a metal cage for a Sungold tomato in our backyard. The photo was taken on July 4. We resumed growing tomatoes this year after skipping last year. We’re also growing two heirloom varieties: San Marzano and Cherokee Purple.
June temperatures and rainfall
Our June temperatures were normal for us, with the overnight temperatures above average as usual. Higher overnight temperatures favors growing tomatoes. Our agriculture experts advise us to hold off transplanting tomatoes outside until the overnight lows are above 50 degrees F. In the past, this means we wait until May 1, but I transplanted our tomatoes on April 21, and the tomatoes are doing fine.
Our normal rainfall for June is only .09 inches — about the same as the zero rain we received. Our rainfall for the past year was nearly normal, much better than the previous few years. Rainfall since I started tracking this in January 2013 remains unchanged at 61%.
As California’s drought continues, water conservation targets reduced
While the US government continues to forecast drought for California, state and local agencies are reducing water conservation targets for urban users.
With our nearly normal rainfall last winter, our state and local agencies are reining back calls for urban users to conserve water. In late May,
California on Wednesday suspended its mandatory statewide 25 percent reduction in urban water use, telling local communities to set their own conservation standards after a relatively wet winter and a year of enormous savings in urban water use.
Troubled at first when our fernspolypodium californicum (California polypody) died back in June, I now enjoy the polypody’s use of dormancy to survive the harsh, dry summer of California. In our Mediterranean climate, we have mild, wet winters and dry, hot summers. Very appropriately, the polypody fern is lush and green when we have rain, and it goes dormant in the summer, when we get little rain for six months.
To illustrate how the polypody fades as summer nears, here are photos of the same fern frond at one-week intervals this June. On June 1, the polypody frond is turning yellow with some burnt spots. The fronds in the background are in deeper shade, and they are green.
One week later, the frond is no longer green, and the frond tips are brown. Sunlight filtered by an oak tree shines on the frond and lights the spider webs on the frond tips.
Two weeks after the initial photo, the polypody frond, now brown and curled, lies on the oak leaf litter. Fronds in deeper shade are still green, and some are fading.
The polypody, a California native plant, is a visible harbinger of summer.
I’m learning to use depth of field to focus attention on the subject, the polypody frond. When the frond was upright, I photographed it in a single plane where the entire frond was about the same distance from the camera. Therefore, I could use a narrow depth of field. By the 15th, the frond had fallen toward where I shot the first photos. To use the same viewpoint as before, I needed a greater depth of field to still keep the frond in focus and blur out the background.