"This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affectations glow and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

HAT! (Happy Animal THURSDAY)

I was late with my Animal Wednesday post.....I have a cold and am also just in a bit of a down state.  But, as Mim mentioned there wasn't a creature in sight - I thought I would provide some!

Don't worry, Lo....the video below has 60's Flute Music!

It is bitter cold in San Francisco - we are expecting snow flurries here tonight!  Snow is a rareity at sea level...if it happens, it will be the first time in 30 years!

This one's especially for Emma - AKA "The Squirrel Huntress"!

HAT!  I hope all you East Coast and Midwest Friends enjoyed this!  I will let you know if the flurries really fall!


♥ Robin ♥

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Olmec - A Mystery in Mexico - and Now, at the de Young

Our newest exhibit, "Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico,"   opened yesterday at the de Young.   In our Volunteer Bulletin, it seemed a far cry from the "Art" that speaks to me.....  but today, before my early morning shift, as I wandered through the exhibit by myself, I felt curously drawn to the figures and the "magical" power that emantes from them.The pieces are displayed in an uncluttered way - letting you savour the enormity of the figures.  At the entrance to the exhibition hangs a photo mural of archaeologists contemplating an immense stone head unearthed at a rain forest site. The picture appears posed, but it conveys awe and bafflement on the excavators' part, nicely presaging the visitor's experience of the exhibition.

I was delighted to find not only heroic male figures, resplendent with, resplendent with breastplates, but fantastical creatures.. like this little fellow above.... and this "Cat" below.  These figures were created in 1,200 B.C.!

Love the teeth and paws!

 We do know the people did not call themselves "Olmec," a Nahuatl word that denotes dwellers of the rubber-producing region. Nothing of their own language survives, except perhaps in the still-undeciphered glyphs adorning items such as the stone "celts". Their geographical region was the Southern part of Mexico....their time from 1200 - 400 B.C.

An Olmec Woman...  and a complete, upright figure! (A rareity in the exhibit - as you can imagine, many of the figures are missing parts.)

Here, you can see the scope of an Olmec head, in the site where it was discovered.  I can only begin to imagine the excitement of the Archeologists's who stumbled onto this!

Here, if you look closely, you can see a profile carbed in jadeite.  There were quite a few pieces done in this material - still bright, clear and shining.

I love this group of small figures, all done in obsidian and granite, circling around the one figure in limestone. The columns remind me of Stonehedge...
Are they threatening him?  Worshipping him?

An Olmec baby - complete with his ball! 

I was completely entranced with these figures....in fact, I found my hand reaching out, wanting to to touch them....( a real "no-no" - especially for a staff member)!  But there seemed to be a sort of "power" still emanating from them.  The Olmec vanished into history around 400 B.C.  - no one know why.

Two of my favourite pieces - a Jaguar and a truly unusual giant had which was smiling....were impossible for me to capture.  Perhaps in time.  (This exhibit runs until May.)

Here's a great video to show how some of these heads were actually discovered!  I hope you enjoy my little preview!


♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Life "Up North"

I spent a few days, including Valentine's Day, a few hours North of San Francisco, at a home of a friend who recently moved from San Francisco. She has a lovely home - with lots of mountains and lakes - where I encountered some animal friends!  Lots of Mule Deer - including this curious one!

There is a golf course nearby, and although one shouldn't be walking about on it, when I took my friend's WONDERFUL dog, Mimi, for a morning walk....  we couldn't resist.  (It was early and there were no golfers yet!)  And....  we met....  these adorable "Golf-Deer"!

I also was lucky to see....this beautiful White Egret.

And... these "Romantic Ducks" - a perfect image for Valentine's Day!

The change of scenery was relaxing and talking to a good friend, laughing, cooking great meals, sharing a glass of wine - all were such fun....  I felt like I had a mini-holiday!

Here is the wonderful Mimi - in action - doing her favourite thing in the world - retrieving a ball! We can do this for hours! (I took this shot of her last year in San Francisco at Chrissy Field.) It was lovely to have a doggie in my life again!

Happy Animal Wednesday everyone!  Oh, and congratulations to the ADORABLE 2011 Winner of the Westminster "Best in Show" - Hickory - one of my favourite breeds - a Scottish Deer Hound! Bravo, Hickory!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Cat Butts and Other Feral Stuff

The other day, I received a packet from Lolo, full of assorted goodies and one thing inside was some cat food from Holland!  (Courtesy of Marianne) 
I ventured downstairs to my garden to see if any of my "Feral Furballs" were around (it was not time for their breakfast or dinner)....and yes, Mr. Orange and Charlie were sunning themselves. As you can see, they LOVED the food!

Mr. Orange says: "Oh yeah, yummy! Danke Tantes Lolo und Marianne!"

After a snack, it's time for some grooming!
And......I had to include this wonderful video......
Happy Animal Wednesday everyone!
♥ Robin ♥

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Splendid Sunset

Home from a long day running errands.....I saw the most beautiful sunset.... definitely the "Violet Hour".

It was a gorgeous Spring-like day....in the 60's.  I think the Groundhogs only got it right for the West Coast.... but I hope those of my dear friends in colder climes will enjoy this.


♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chuck and Phil Predict...... an Early Spring! HAW! Ha-ha-ha!

Here is NYC's famous Groundhog, Chuck.....  looking cranky as he breakfasts on corn on the cob!  He did NOT see his shadow, thus, according to "Groundhog Lore", Spring will soon be here! However, if you ask the people in the Midwest and Northeast, they will beg to differ!  (And besides, Chuck once bit Mayor Bloomberg.....so he might have "lied" to wreak more revenge on "da Mayor"!)

Chuck's more famous counterpart, Punxsutawney Phil , also predicted the same thing......it's a Groundhog Conspiracy!

Love and Wintry Hugs,

♥ Robin ♥