Category Archives: General Blog

Walking in the Doggie Dash for the Sacramento SPCA June 8th

Hey Everyone,  on June 8th, 2013, Sergeant Margie and I are taking part in the 20th anniversary Doggy Dash, a 2k that supports the Sacramento SPCA. The Doggy Dash is more than a fun walk and pet festival. It is an event that raises much-needed funds to help the SPCA feed, house, vaccinate, spay/neuter, and care for the more than 11,000 homeless animals each year. 

There are many organizations doing wonderful things, but I passionately believe in the Sacramento SPCA. This organization is more than a great place to adopt a new companion, it provides a wide variety of services to our community – from programs designed to assist seniors and educate children, to obedience training, a free behavior helpline, an award-winning volunteer program, and the region’s only high-volume spay/neuter clinic. Can you imagine what a task that must be?

I know for many it is hard to consider making a donation at this time, but please know that each dollar adds up, and any amount you donate is welcome and appreciated.

Click Here to Donate to the Doggie Dash!
Click Here to Donate to the Doggie Dash!


Did you know that…

$25.00 will cover the board and care for one animal in the shelter for one day.
$50.00 will microchip 10 dogs or cats.
$150.00 will cover the cost of inoculations, spay or neuter surgery and microchip for one adoption animal.


I wholeheartedly believe that the Sacramento SPCA makes a difference in our community. That is why I am asking for your support. It would mean a great deal to me, and you can be assured that your donation will be well-spent, making our community a better place for homeless pets and people too!

Thank you so much!
Mare and Sergeant Margie

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Sometimes Cool & Weird Stuff Can Happen on a Walkabout

Yesterday, after work, it was still so nice outside that I stopped at the WPA Rock Garden with Sergeant Margie and walked for about an hour.  I got a lot of photos of pretty flowers, and some good ones of the bees.  There were several Teddy Bear Bees around, and some of them even stood still long enough for me to “pet” them while they drank nectar.  Kewl.  I tried taking some video of that, but my camera wouldn’t focus on what I wanted it to, so I had to be satisfied with still shots of them.  While we were there, a police helicopter dove down along the street right next to the garden and did their voice-of-God-thing telling a suspect on the ground he was surrounded, “Get down on the ground and put your hands on top of your head!”  Yikes!  It only took a few seconds and then the helicopter whizzed away.  A few minutes later, some loud kid came running through the garden screaming, “Rattle snake!  Rattle snake!”  Wow, you never know what you’re going to encounter on a walkabout.  Hah!

OH, BTW: I’ve got a three-day weekend coming up and am planning two trips: one to Solano Lake near Winters (the gateway city to the Berryessa Snow Mountain Region) so I can see it before it all burns away for the summer, and one to the Capay Valley along with the folks of the Yolo Basin Foundation.  Let’s hope all goes well and I can get lots of photos and information to share with everyone.

Mother’s Day Walk

On Sunday, Sergeant Margie and I went over to the American River Bend Park for our walk. Saw all the usual suspects: bugs, birds, wildflowers… but the walk was quiet and relaxing. I got some photos of a mama Tree Swallow outside of her nest, and also saw long-legged brown spiders that seemed to be all over the place.

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Mama Tree Swallow. See, this is why I need new camera equipment. My little hand-held Fuji Instamatic camera just doesn’t cut it on these kind of long-distance shots….

Discovery Park… eventually…

I had planned to go to Napa today, but just couldn’t face the 5 or 6 hours of round-trip driving — and I couldn’t afford the extra gasoline to get there and back this week — so I headed out to try to find the Lake of the Woods wildlife area.  Google said it was about 35 miles down 15 to the 99, “…follow the signs to Marysville/Yuba City and then… turn right…”  Uh, yeah.  What Google doesn’t tell you is that at one point the 99 and 70 separate and BOTH of them have signs that say “to Marysville/Yuba City”.  Cripes.  So I followed the 70 for a while and… nothing.  Then I turned around and found the 99 again, and kept looking for some kind of indicator or sign post that would tell me when I was near the place.   Again… nothing…  That is so frustrating.  I don’t know how these places expect to get tourist money or donations if no one can find where the heck they are!

On the way back to the house, I decided to stop off at Discovery Park on the American River.  It’s near downtown Sacramento, but I’d never been there before.  I like more “wild” places to walk, and this was a bit too “homogenized” for me…but I’m sure other people like it.

I walked along the sandy “beach” area along the river, then took one of the bike paths up to where the old PG&E building is (now called “The Power House”), and then on to a structure my brother Marty and I had seen when we took a boat cruise down the river about a year ago.  We had no idea what is was, so when I got close enough to it today, I had to investigate it… and I was actually quite impressed by it.  It sits out in the river, with access to it from the shore.  It’s all windows with decorative metal gates in front, and a huge feather structure on top that acts as a giant weather vane.  Rather than being a museum or something it was actually a water processing plant.  The whole interior is filled with turbines and huge blue and white pipes.  If it had been sitting out there “naked” it would have been an eyesore, but covered by the structure it’s actually quite beautiful.  The city planners took something hideous and made something lovely out of it.  That was really neat!

The floor-to-ceiling glass windows have huge multicolored translucent “water spots” on them, which color the light inside the structure.  Outside, the metal gates depict clouds raining down on the metal outlines of hillsides.  The lights around the perimeter are like huge hurricane lamps with “sailing boats” beside them.  And the whole thing is surrounded by a walkway that gives you great views of the river and the surrounding bridges, and some of the skyscrapers downtown, too.

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On the way back to the car from there, I was watching some of the smaller fishing boats on the water, and saw what I thought was a sea lion screwing with their lines.  When I got back to the beach area, I could see the sea lion continued to swim down the river, so I followed him for a little bit.  When he came across a flock of geese sitting on the shore, he stopped, lifted his big head out of the water and “barked” at them.  Hah!  That was kind of kewl! 

The Pollination Project

Wow, how apropos is the name of this grantor in light of the many photos I take of local “pollinators”?!  Hah!  Yes, I applied today for a grant through The Pollination Project for $1000.00 (but if they want to give me more, that would be great, too).  I just love their mission and the whole “vibe” of their organization; it seems to sync so well with my own way of looking at and interacting with the world.  Part of their home page reads: “…We express this value through compassion. Compassion is an active expression of understanding that as I treat others, I treat myself.  Therefore, we seek to mitigate suffering wherever we are able- including suffering of animals, the planet, our fellow humans and of every inhabitant of Mother Earth…”  How amazing is that?!

Walking by the Parking Lot

I walk about a block from my office ever day to the parking lot where my car spends its day while I’m working.  Today, along the edge of the parking lot I saw piles of red bugs and had to stop to get some photos of them.  They were immature Western Box Elder Bugs (Boisea rubrolineata).  Kewl!


Western Box Elder bugs (Boisea rubrolineata).  Photo by Mary K. Hanson, (c) 2013.  All Rights Reserved.
Western Box Elder bugs (Boisea rubrolineata). Photo by Mary K. Hanson, (c) 2013. All Rights Reserved.