It's our first barbecue of the year. We pulled out the grill Jan. 22 to cook up some burgers and sausages. Photo by Glenn.
The latest addition to our backyard statuary collection is this garden fairy pushing her wheelbarrow. It's a great rain collector, we've found. Photo by Glenn.
Roni isn't taking any chances while dicing hot peppers Jan. 23. She learned from previous experience that these chiles are potent when inhaled. Photo by Glenn.
We're at the Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley on Feb. 3, and Roni is showing where the Delta Science Center's office will be once the shoreline's new interpretive center is built later this year. The building is the project of the East Bay Regional Park District. Photo by Glenn.
There has been a lot going on at Big Break this fall and winter. Work on a new park is nearing completion. Here is a new covered sand play area. Photo by Glenn.
A worker with Richmond-based Scientific Art Studio maps out what will be a huge mural of the Delta region at Big Break Regional Shoreline. Photo by Glenn.
A pelican swims through Big Break doing whatever it is that pelicans do. Photo by Glenn.
Roni makes use of the fishing pier to take photos... Photo by Glenn.
...And this is one of the sights Roni got to photograph from the pier a pair of trees reflected off the Big Break waters. Photo by Roni.
On. Jan. 31 we walked out at the Antioch Marina, where we saw the RV Robert G. Brownlee docked at Humphrey's restaurant. As director of the Delta Science Center, Roni has been involved with helping sponsor trips aboard the ship for hundreds of local fifth-graders. Photo by Glenn.
The Brownlee departs east up the San Joaquin River after dropping off its last tour group. Photo by Glenn.
This is the public art sculpture that greets boaters and strollers at the entrance to the Antioch Marina. It is supposed to symbolize sailboats and waves. Photo by Glenn.
Skipping ahead to Feb. 12, we're back at the marina for our own closeup look at the Brownlee. We are going as passengers for a 2-hour Delta science cruise. About 60 people were along for the ride. Photo by Glenn.
Roni models her life jacket, which all passengers were required to wear. Photo by Glenn.
Hayley, one of the Brownlee's crew, demonstrates the proper way to handle the fish we'll soon be catching with a trawling net. Photo by Glenn.
This flounder was netted on a previous trip, but it was on display for cruise guests to see. Most of what we caught were Sacramento splittail. Photo by Glenn.
Kids dig into a scoop of river mud in search of plankton, shells and other hidden treasures. They used hoses to wash the mud through the screen to reveal the goodies. Photo by Glenn.
We got to see this a lot on our cruise boats of all shapes and sizes drifting past industrial backdrops. This is looking southeast toward Pittsburg. Photo by Glenn.
We're near the end of our cruise, and time for one last picture or two. Glenn was feeling seriously overdressed for the day's springlike weather. Photo by Roni.
Speaking of springlike, if it's February you can expect to see blossom photos in this space. This is one of the larger almond trees on the Cline Vineyard property in Oakley, taken Feb. 13. Photo by Glenn.
A closeup of the blossoms on the tree above. These blossoms are a pleasant pink, unlike most of the almond trees that have white blossoms. Photo by Glenn.
Not all the trees are huge. Glenn stands in front of a younger tree that blooms on the former DuPont property. Photo by Glenn.
Glenn and Ben usually take their annual blossom walk together, but Ben was spending the afternoon on a date at the movies. Photo by Glenn.
A very busy bee contemplates yet another flower on the tree pictured above. Its hind legs are already fat with pollen. Photo by Glenn.
A lot has changed in the railyard since we visited it a year ago. BNSF upgraded the tracks, replacing switches, ties, rails and more. In many cases, they simply left the old stuff behind. Here is another angle of the tree pictured above with a pile of rusted tie plates nearby. Photo by Glenn.
A lot of the old ties were replaced, but it is still possible to find date nails from that era. This 1956 nail was rescued from a splintered remnant of a removed tie. Oldest one seen on this walk was 1942. Photo by Glenn.
Our blossom walks always reveal an interesting comination of nature mixed with industrial decay. Here, even the weeds can be pretty, as with this plant growing at the edge of the grape vineyard. Photo by Glenn.
Piles of grapevine prunings remain in the aisles of the Cline Vineyard. That's the Live Oak Church on Main Street in the distance. Photo by Glenn.
Anyone missing a spa? Someone went to a lot of work to haul that thing to the Cline property, where it got piled with an existing collection of broken concrete. Photo by Glenn.
We'd prefer to look at the blossoms. After all, that's what this walk is mostly about. The flowers explode like popcorn from every branch. Photo by Glenn.
The railroad Maintenance of Way crews refer to this as a red board, which means rail vehicles aren't allowed beyond this point. To us, it represents the end of this year's blossom walk. Photo by Glenn.
Valentine's Day finds Ben distributing an impromptu valentine he drew on the liner of a box of chocolates his dad gave him. Photo by Roni.
What is love? Ask our kittens Katy and Rio, who snuggle up together on their favorite blanket on the living room sofa. Photo by Roni.