"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."

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday - Post-Irene and Pre- "Heart of a Soldier" with Koa - the New "Opera Doggie"!

What a wild and scary weekend for those of you living up and down the Eastern Seaboard...and for those of us in other parts who love you and were concerned.  Thank goodness you are all ok - though Lo's area was hardest hit...and she is still without power.

I am working daily at the opera, watching a new Opera, titled "Heart of a Soldier" take shape.  It's about 9/11 and a very brave man (Rick Rescorla) who saved 2, 700 people....(yes that number is correct) - only to lose his own life trying to save even more.  The emotions it conjured up the first time I entered the house and saw the set (the Twin Towers stand proudly throughout the opera) were overwelming. Tears welled up in my eyes.  I didn't really expect that to happen.   This is the fourth day of rehearsals...to say it is draining, is an understatement....yet, the music is gorgeous...and the story ultimately uplifting. The hero grew up believing that one's duty was to always look out for one's friends...   something we all can relate to.

Here are a few models of some of the sets.

I will do a thorough post on this soon....  we have another  week or so until the final dress rehearsal. 

I hope those of you drying out from Irene's *fury* will have sunny, mild days....  Lo, hope that power comes on soon...so you and Bri can have a *real dinner*, cooked on a real stove!

Love to you all....time to get dressed and head on back....

♥ Robin ♥

P.S. Two days ago, I was pleasantly surprised to see a new "Opera Dog" walk onto the stage!  A gorgeous Golden Retriever named Koa (Hawaiian for *Precious*).  Of course, I HAD to have my photo taken with him...so last night, we posed together!  Isn't he adorable! 

Look at that face!!!!  Koa was only so happy to give me a "Big Wet One" with his tongue!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Animal Wednesday - White Heron and....*Turandot*

Keeping with Mim's White Heron theme...here is a lovely, close-up view of one - from Florida!

No *AW live photos* from me this week because I am here:

Our Autumn Season rehearsals have begun....  first up, Puccini's "Turandot" - with this gorgeous set, designed by David Hockney.

Happy Animal Wednesday, one and all!  I think about where everyone is....today, we are scattered all round the world.... yet we are bound by our love of animals!!!! Isn't is glorious!


♥ Robin ♥

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Foggy (What Else?) Friday

Yes....the "grey stuff" is still lingering here....  but, I threw jeans, sweater, jacket, hat, gloves and sneakers on...and went out on a LONG walk all the way to Baker Beach.  (About two hours - round trip.) I was glad I did...because I encountered beauty with every step.  Pictured above "Mountain Lake"....  really an inaccurate name - because there are no mountains anywhere near it!

Lilac Thistles

 A *gift* from Mr. Blue Jay.....  yes, I took it home with me... at least I can have a reminder of what "Sky Blue" looks like!

As I neared the beach, the ground became softer, and sandy....  but, I encountered these beauties!  Seeds must have been blown by the wind and blossomed here!  An unexpected surprise!

I wonder how old this big fellow was?

 At the beach, I heard a piercing *shriek*...and looked up in time to see this marvelous Hawk land in the trees.  I walked as close as I dared..... and he did look down at me....  he was gorgeous!

Finally......here is Baker Beach...I reached it just in time to see two of  "Lo's Ravens" cavorting!!!

Of course, after reaching the beach...I had to turn round and hike all the way home!  But, it helps keep me in shape - both physically and mentally!

Tonight, I am going to dinner with a friend...and then off to the Opera House to see the Merola Finals (the SFO programme for young singers).  It will be fun to put on a dress and heels and sit in my beloved Opera House again!  Monday, rehearsals begin for our Autumn Season!!!!

Have a wonderful weekend all!!


♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

At the Aquarium....Animal Wednesday with Watery - And Airy Creatures

Madagascar *Tomato* Frog....   hmmmm....wonder why he is named that? 

Yesterday was yet another day swathed in cold, foggy, drizzly skies.... we have had almost two uninterrupted months of grayness.   I'm sure you are all tired of my complaints...but, if you lived with grayness for so long....you would be unhappy too.  My remedy?  Why off to the Academy of Sciences...to see the slimy, scaly and feathery ones!    The Academy is currently featuring an exhibit I really wanted to see  *Snakes and Lizards*!  (Oh my..)  I probably seem like a *girly-girl* to many....  but I have a passion for the outdoors and really like snakes and lizards....(just not fond of insects who have many legs  and move fast)!  Cameras were not allowed in the Snake/Lizard exhibit....   but, here are a few photos from the Academy's website.

Hello there....  hisssss...

A friend and I went early - to avoid the crowds....and, as it turned out, a wise decision because everyone (including the animals) were awake and lively! 
I actually saw a few of the *slithery ones* open wide.....I guess they were yawning...or were hungry....  (Thank goodness feeding time is later in the day!)

Here is *Lemondrop*....an albino Boa Constrictor...yes, he is this yellow.....in fact, he's gorgeous!  (Once, during my modeling days, I had an assignment where I held an Albino Boa -while wearing a bikini!  This was long before Brittney Spears ever did it! )

Okay....now on to my photos....

It's Claude..the Albino Alligator!  He is so gorgeous -  pink eyes and all!  I was happy he raised his head to *greet* me....  Claude lives in harmony with three Snapping Turtles.....

A beautiful symphony of colourful fish!

 A large Manta Ray glides by.....
 Exiting the Planetarium...three levels up from the watery depths of the Aquarium.... we went there too..but I will save that for another day...


Lots of LILAC!

There is a three story *Rainforest*....you enter and find a steamy, jungle-like atmosphere - lower lever, fish, middle level, plants and birds, upper level - BUTTERFLIES!  They fly freely and float over your head and around you....
it's heavenly!
My favourite - the Blue Morpho Butterfly......he has incandescent blue and silver wings......

When you depart the upper floor of the Rainforest (by lift)...every one is checked to make sure none of the Butterflies has *hitched a ride* on your shoulders!

We have a very unique and *Green* Academy.... here is the *living* rooftop...where plants and other edibles are grown ... we ended our day up here...  and....sigh....you can see (after six hours at the Academy) - it was STILL foggy.    But, it was a marvelous, magical day.....

Happy Animal Wednesday!


♥ Robin ♥

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Animal Wednesday.....a Day Late..... Blame it on the Dutch!

Gerrit Dou (1613–1675), Sleeping Dog ,1650.

Although I volunteer at the de Young Museum, often my heart belongs to the exhibits at our *sister* museum, the Legion of Honour.  Currently, they are showing some fantastic works from 17th Century *Dutch Masters*.

I was finally able to get there to see these masterpieces.  Don't you just love Dou's *Sleeping Dog*?  What a sweet face - up close, even his nose is wet, his paws curl in total repose.

Willem van Aelst , Still Life with a Candle, Walnuts and a Mouse, 1647.

Normally, I am not a lover of *Still Life" - because there usually is a bloody carcass of an animal in there... but I adored this one...the candle drippings, the walnuts (you can even see where the Mouse has been nibbling on one) - and of course, the Mouse! 

Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691), Orpheus Charming the Animals, c.1640.
(See how many different creatures you can find.....do you see the Magpie?)

Salomon van Ruysdael , River Landscape with a Sailboat, 1655.
(See how the cows are being transported across the river!)
Nicolaes Maes ,Sleeping Man Having His Pockets Picked, ca. 1655.

I had to include this one....the young girl , fingers to her lips, beseeches the viewer (that's YOU) NOT to give her away while she helps herself to what's in the pockets of the man...! I know, stealing is not a virtue....but still something about this was humourous.

I'm sorry this is so small....and....I forgot to write down the painter's name. 
I really love this Winter landscape.  Europe in the 17th Century had one of the coldest Winters ever....and the Dutch Artists were inspired to paint some really gorgeous Wintry scenes..... the play on light... the reflection on the snow....the windmill.....it's haunting! 

(I could make a pun and say: It's HAW-nting!)

Love to all,

♥ Robin ♥

p.s. Marianne and Marja, I thought of you both so much as I looked at the Exhibition!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Potpourri

A few of the sights I have encountered during my SF Walks....  (ooh...this was taken on a *rare* sunny day weeks ago..)

Seagulls *relaxing* atop their *Chosen House*!
*Embiggen please..."

A photo from the Palace of Fine Arts......more to come soon...

And last...  from two days ago (in fog, of course)...this amazingly beautiful Blue Heron!

Isn't he GORGEOUS!


♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Animals Near the Beach - It Must Be ANIMAL WEDNESDAY!

Coyotes?  In San Francisco?  Near the Beach?  Ah, it's true my friends. 
I mentioned a few months ago how I once encountered a Coyote deep in the forests of the Presidio.... he must have *gone West* like so many others....and now, right on the cliffs overlooking the Western-most tip of SF...I came across this sign!  (No Coyotes in sight though...)

*Embiggen* please!~  I was standing right on the cliff edge....wind blowing like crazy....when three Pelicans soared by.... they were so fast, by the time I struggled to get my camera aimed (and not fall off the cliff) they were already out over the Pacific - looking for lunch!

I also encountered a beautiful memorial to WW II  Men who perished at sea... I was enchanted to see Pegasus amid the Stars and Pisces and Waves.... here is the plaque with the description of what it symbolises.

And here is the actual memorial.

I leave you with a few scenic shots of those cliffs where I encountered the Pellies....  HAW!

Happy Animal Wednesday!


♥ Robin ♥