Limantour birding & wildflowering (Point Reyes)

Verrry good wildflowering & OK birding around the Limantour area of Point Reyes this weekend! Although we were late for the Irises, a few stragglers remained. We didn’t see anything new-to-us, but it was neat to see twinberry in fruit, as we’d only seen it in flower previously (at the nearby Drake’s Estero area of Point Reyes, in fact!).

We saw but a modest number of birds. The highlight was definitely a GREAT HORNED OWL and fledging OWLET, but there was a good variety of the usual suspects throughout our hike.

Great Horned Owlet

Mmmm, salsa….

I’ve been on something of a salsa kick the past week, and after making a tasty, but piquant, salsa fresca from Jacques Pepin’s “Shortcut Cook,” and a basic, but incredibly easy chipotle salsa from “Hot Peppers,” I came across this recipe on Epicurious for a proper roasted salsa. I made the recipe this evening, and…

More from Istanbul

The past few days have been lovely, exploring Istanbul and enjoying the many sights and smells of this ancient and modern city.

Dolmabace Palace was a bit of a bust – the (mandatory) guided tour was monotonous and sparse of information, but the palace was certainly fancy in a gaudy Roccoco sort of way.  It does have the world’s largest crystal chandelier (4.5 tons) and the world’s largest throne room (18,000 sq. ft. or so), but isn’t really to my taste.

Merhaba Istanbul’de!

It’s a lovely grey day here in Istanbul, with rain on the horizon, making us plan on more indoors activities, perhaps the Dolmabace Palace and/or the Spice Bazaar.

Yesterday was a lovely day – we visited Ayasofia (Haghia Sofia), Sultanahmet Camii (the Blue Mosque) and Yerebetan (Basilica Cistern) in the morning.  All were lovely, but the Blue Mosque gets my vote as the loveliest building I’ve had the good fortune to see.  Inside and out it is graceful and flowing on the grandest scale.