Category Archives: Campbell California

Campbell Cats and a fresh flower for you

Cruising around Campbell over the past few months, I’ve noticed many family pets asleep in windows, under window sills, back behind fence boards, on porches, etc. As you’ve probably figured out by now, somehow – ok, through having Pandora and Delilah as part of our lives for the past 12 years – I’ve become something of a cat person and, I’ll admit, when I’m out and about on my rides, I seem to pay more attention to cats than dogs. (And while I look up for raptors and other types of birds in our neighborhoods and trails, there aren’t nearly as many raptors as there are neighborhood cats to watch.)

The other day I decided it was as good time as any to take a few pics of Campbell Cats, so here’s the first in whatever “series” I put together over time. (remember to CLICK THE PIC to see the close-up of this cat sleeping.)

A couple of weeks ago this was our first bulb flower of the year and the brightness of it against the green stalks caught my eye, so here you go.

Thx for stopping by and don’t forget to write when you get work.

Hey, Bud!

Well, it’s happened a whole lot earlier than usual – the first blossom of the year on one of our fruit trees.

I saw the buds forming up late last week and thought they’d open in a week or so… they opened yesterday, so here for your viewing pleasure is the first blossom of our Apricot tree for 2009 🙂 (Click the pic – it’s massively beautiful!)

Almond blossom.

Fig bud (several weeks before they’ll open, I’m betting.)

Almond blossoms.

Cherry buds (weeks before opening), with beautiful Dapnne in the background.

I realize that a number of people who visit TBC are pretty well wrapped around the axle, chasing the ever-important sale and other business goals and/or family / life issues they’re dealing with. With the reporting tools Google provides me, I can see that visitors are coming from around the world, including snow-bound places like London, Munich, Berlin, Wales, Oslo, Chicago, Ft. Wayne, Beijing, Boston and the like. Thinking of them, I stepped outside last week to shoot these photos and then, naturally, took the a few minutes – just for me – to stop and smell the flowers.

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to write when you get work.

This is the neighborhood cat who started it all for us…

His name was Payne and he lived next door to us at our previous home. I can’t say for sure, but I’m betting this picture was probably taken in ’94ish. Funny little guy, Payne.

His owners brought he and his brother (Weber) home and as the cats grew older, they began to roam a bit. Not far, I don’t think, just house-to-house, exploring things and learning the lay of the land. Back then, I used to get up ~4:30 most days and either head off for a bike ride or rollerblade in the dark – helmet / light on my head and off I went. Being an indoor / outdoor cat, I’d often see Payne as I headed out and when I returned home… usually waiting by the garage door, apparently waiting to say “hi” while I was coming or going.

Then one day when I was at the grocery store picking up dog goodies for Daphne (her regular food + treats), I broke down and bought a pack of cat treats FOR THE NEIGHBOR’S CAT – what was I thinking, I’m not a cat guy! So the next time I saw Payne, out came the goodies and we were both hooked. From that point forward, Payne was “my special friend”.

He’d greet me each morning, have a goodie and watch me ride off into the darkness. When I returned home, then showered and readied for work, Payne would patiently wait out on the sidewalk (where you see him here) and before I knew it, he was getting two rounds of goodies in the morning. And then he started showing up when I returned home from work each day – “Hey, the lunch wagon just pulled in!” – in fact, sometimes as I drove up, he’d come running down the sidewalk at full speed to make sure I knew he was my new best friend. Yup, we were special buds 😉

Then one day, probably a Saturday or Sunday when I was around for more than a minute or two after giving him his morning goodies (“Hal, Payne’s out front waiting for his treats”), I noticed that not long after he ate the goodies I gave him, he headed over to Bob and Mary’s and waited on their doorstep. After they’d fed him, he ambled (too full to run, I guess) over to Al’s and Al would repeat the process. At the end of each day, as each homeowner returned home from work, Payne repeated the process and called it a day. Four houses and three of us were feeding him morning, noon and night.

What a pimp!

But he was our pimp and we loved him for being him 🙂 As I remember Payne, he wasn’t really a vocal cat, but he was friendly and liked being conversed with. I can’t recall him ever setting in my lap and he only came in to our house on a couple of occasions… Daphne was cautious of him and it was pretty clear I didn’t like cats… yeah, that was clear 😉

Unfortunately, there was a neighborhood raccoon that was eating Payne and Weber’s food in their garage. Apparently one night there was a confrontation with the raccoon, Weber was seriously injured and Payne was never seen again. I always surmised that Payne was injured and crawled away somewhere and died. A very sad ending for a wonderful little guy — the very reason our cats have always been housecats: indoor / outdoor cats have a significantly shorter and more violence & injury-prone lives than indoor-only cats.

It’s been many years since we’ve seen Payne, so it’s with great pleasure that I discovered this photo and share it with you.

Swan Lake… In Campbell?

A couple of days ago, Springfield Al and I were out for a bike ride in to downtown Campbell (yes, there actually is a downtown Campbell, thank you very much.) and as we cruised past the Perc Pond, we spotted a swan.


We’ve lived in Campbell for 24 years and have been active users of the Los Gatos Creek Trail (Parcourse) and the Perc Pond for much of that time.

NEVER, EVER have we seen a swan in the pond. Kingfishers. Yup. Canada Geese. Check. Osprey, Cormorants, Mallard and Domestic Ducks. 10-4, Roger that.

But never a swan. Until this week.

So I headed back out yesterday afternoon and took this brief clip of the swan cruising the shoreline. You’ll note that I’m trying to talk the swan in to coming closer to me. A number of years ago, Joanne and I discovered that (some) birds respond well to the sound of my voice and at times, even wild birds will come right up to me when I speak to them in an even-toned voice.

Not this one, though… I suppose that’s one of the reasons it’s survived to be this big, eh? 😉