The conference has finally ended and we are free to vacation … spent the afternoon on the east bay area with an old school friend whom I have known for 55 years since we met on our first day at school together (do the math as they say) … good talk, good food, excellent whisky, interesting walks and some fine birds including bright orange variant House Finches – prevalent here – and a Red-tailed Hawk catching and flying off with a ground squirrel. Also added Black Phoebe to the trip list.

The down-side at the moment is that the air is really thick with smoke from these forest fires that they do not seem to be getting a grip on and what should have been beautiful views of SF across the bay turned out to be hazy glimpses through the murk.

Museums and a japanes tea house tomorrow.