Thursday, October 22, 2009


Agave, originally uploaded by ParsecTraveller.

Agave attenuata in the gardens of the Mission. This is one of the "safest" agaves to plant, as the leaves are much less rigid than those of other agaves...meaning the injury factor is reduced.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trail to the Sun

Trail to the Sun, originally uploaded by ParsecTraveller.

Waiting for sunset on Poly Mountain in San Luis Obispo, California. The other shots I took were marred by pesky dust particles...time to clean the sensor.

The hills appear to be brown in the photo, but close examination of the earth along the trail revealed thousands of tiny seedlings coming up due to the 7.5 inches of rain we received the other day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


banana leaf, originally uploaded by ParsecTraveller.

Looking up underneath a banana leaf at Mission San Luis Obispo.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hibiscus Up Close

Fall Colors, originally uploaded by ParsecTraveller.

Here's the stamen of a hibiscus flower at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. The colors on these flowers are pollen against a rich pink stamen and rosy white petals.

Anyone have experience with tropical hibiscus plants?

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Creepin', originally uploaded by ParsecTraveller.

Saturday night I was hiking up Poly Mountain and a large, slow-moving creature next to the trail caught my eye. Upon looking closer I saw that it was a tarantula.

This is the time of the year when the tarantulas are out and about in the hills. Some places, like Mt. Diablo in the Bay Area, are famous for the large numbers of the arachnids that creep through the dry grasses in search of mates...and prey.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Raspberries, originally uploaded by ParsecTraveller.

Berries for sale at the SLO Farmers' Market.

SLO Farmers' Market

SLO Farmers' Market, originally uploaded by ParsecTraveller.

McClintock's Barbecue serves up succulent tri-tip sandwiches to a long line of hungry customers at the popular San Luis Obispo Farmers' Market.

Every Thursday, 3 blocks of Higuera Street close down and are converted into this farmers' market-street fair. It's worth a visit if you're in SLO!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Farmers' Market Harvest

Harvest for Sale, originally uploaded by ParsecTraveller.

San Luis Obispo is home to one of the most famous farmers' markets in California.

Earlier tonight I found out why.

The market definitely lives up to its reputation. There are a decent number of produce vendors along with many food stands, barbecue joints, kettle corn sellers, and candy makers. If that's not enough there street performers, clubs and organizations, and live music.

If you're ever in SLO on a Thursday night, try to stop by the farmers' market - it's a great experience.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Creek Flows Again...

Brizzolara Creek , originally uploaded by ParsecTraveller.

In California, October is usually a dry month with little in the way of rain.

That was not the case with this October.

Yesterday a powerful storm came through the area and dumped 4-7 inches of rain, bringing the creeks back to life. Mining Ridge in Monterey County was drenched with an incredible 21 inches of rain in 24 hours!

This is Brizzolara Creek in the rugged Poly Canyon near San Luis Obispo. Two days ago there was no water at this spot - as you can see that is no longer the case!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First Storm of the Season

Today California is being hit by the first storm of the season. After five months without rain, the wet season has finally begun. The powerful storm impacting the state today has the potential to drop up to eight inches of rain in spots. Here in San Luis Obispo, the rain is falling in drenching, wind-blown sheets.

The photos here show colorful poison oak leaves in Poly Canyon and the now-flowing Brizzolara Creek.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bishop Peak

On Edge, originally uploaded by ParsecTraveller.

Today my friend and I climbed Bishop Peak, a rugged volcanic mountain that dominates much of the view from San Luis Obispo. The peak rises more than 1,300 feet above the surrounding town and offers impressive views of the region.

Here's a picture taken from a precipice near the summit. The mountain in the distance is Cerro San Luis, and you can see SLO at its base.

Wildlife was abundant on the peak - at least six vultures were resting on summit boulders, and of course lizards were everywhere. There were also plenty of places that mountain lions could call home...

Friday, October 09, 2009

The End of Summer

The end of summer is upon us here in California...

Remnants of a typhoon from Japan are being pulled across the Pacific Ocean and are forecast to hit California early to mid-next week. Right now the ground is extremely dry, as this state hasn't seen significant rain in five months.

That's about to change.

The National Weather Service is saying that this potentially record-breaking storm is going to dump up to 8-10 inches of rain in places. El Nino was predicted for this year, and it looks like that's what we're gonna get!

Any exciting weather in your part of the world?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Mission Hibiscus

Mission Hibiscus, originally uploaded by ParsecTraveller.

Autumn may officially be here, but the hibiscus plants in central California don't know that. These hibiscus flowers were outside of the old mission in San Luis Obispo. Over by the veterans hall there are hibiscus bushes about 10 feet wide and at least five feet tall...giant.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

San Luis Obispo at Night

San Luis Obispo at Night, originally uploaded by ParsecTraveller.

Here's a view of the Cal Poly campus and San Luis Obispo at night (well, during the last minutes of twilight). The view was stunning from the top of Caballo Peak, which borders Cal Poly-owned land.

If you've never visited San Luis Obispo, I highly recommend you do so. SLO is great, with an excellent downtown and cool shops and restaurants. Also, the town is surrounded by statuesque mountains and the ocean is only 15 minutes away.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Clouds Over Canyon

Clouds Over Canyon, originally uploaded by ParsecTraveller.

About 45 minutes after sunset the clouds parted a bit, allowing crepuscular sun rays to penetrate. It was a beautiful morning in San Luis Obispo, but a cold and windy one!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Poly Mountain Sunrise

Poly Mountain Sunrise, originally uploaded by ParsecTraveller.

I woke up at 5:50 this morning to go on a sunrise hike. It was definitely a great sunrise - clouds rolled in which captured the light of Sun. With the clouds came wind, and with the wind came cold. It's starting to feel like fall here in San Luis Obispo - what about in your area?