The recent wet weather in San Diego has caused new plants to germinate. Everything is green now, and the species-specific insects in love with purple and violet flowers must be enjoying all of this.

Many years ago, there would be decent numbers of Monarch butterflies in the area for short spans of time, stopping by on their way in and out of Mexico. I rarely see them anymore.

Today, with the smell of drying dampness in the air and people yelling at me to take my shoes off coming back inside, I ran to get the digital camera for a shot of a Monarch-looking creature that was more yellow and black instead of the typical orange and black markings I was used to seeing. At my age, I move too slow, and alas, I have no picture to show you.

It's not the first year I've seen this type of creature, and the markings are in a different patterned arrangement than those of the Monarch. For me, the one that passes through now – rather than the swarms of Monarchs I used to see – is just another unidentified flying object, an alien probably from Mexico.

I didn't see it carrying any passport...

I did get a couple of shots of what the bees have done by screwing with the navel orange tree. The branches are so heavy with fruit that they touch the ground. We're happy the branches seem to be flexible. Trading oranges with the neighbors always improves foreign relations. Lately, the bees have taken to turning the numerous old pepper trees into vibrant white noise machines, and it is a treat to watch and hear them at work by standing beneath the overhead branches.

For the first time that can recall, the decades-old olive shrubs are turning out fruit. Strange, although I know there have been productive trees maybe half a block away. Hopefully, those trees are still standing.

Unfortunately, there are no seedless grapes. The dog has discovered her taste for seedless grapes, and they are no more. A couple of years ago, I managed to haul down an impressive bunch of them that was worth a few days of baked goods from one neighbor. We contemplate the erection of trellises high enough that the dog, great leaper that she is, will be challenged to eat all of them. We like the local baked goods barter trade.

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