What Caught My Eyes

I stepped out of an underground parking garage and saw neon-blue tree trunks and branches at Palo Alto’s Civic Center. They were clearly painted, but I don’t know why. I’ll bet some of you will.


Proof that dragons love to read. I saw this painted on a wall asI walked to the gorgeous ornate Stanford Theatre to see two Alfred Hitchcock movies, North By Northwest and The man Who Knew Too Much. A friend and I are seeing Hitchcock double features per week for three weeks.


We were greeted by two very curious snouts when we walked up the driveway to visit our local son Ben and his family.


My Mom’s fairy garden. I’m blessed to have living parents at my age.



As some of you know, I love sunsets and silhouettes, especially involving trees. I’m always amazed when I think how lucky I am to live in a place where I can experience redwoods and palm trees, sometimes at the same time (though this scene is only of the latter.)

With Love,


About russtowne

I'm awed by the beauty of nature and the power of love and gratitude. Some of my favorite sensory experiences include waves crashing on rocky shores, waterways in ancient redwood and fern-filled forests, and rain. My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children.
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14 Responses to What Caught My Eyes

  1. On the edge of my seat now about the blue tree trunks.

    • russtowne says:

      I look forward to finding out whether the city sanctioned the painting (and if so, for what purpose) or if it was a brazen prank. Clearly, a lot of time went into painting them.

  2. utesmile says:

    Would that not be dangerous for the trees? Can they breathe?…… Actually I just found the answer.. check out this link – it is the season of blue – https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2018/05/13/around-town-the-season-of-blue-leaders-of-tomorrow

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you for providing the link to answers about the blue trees, Ute. I too wondered if the trees could breathe properly with so much paint on them. I was amazed at the $20,000 price tag for the project.

  3. Mrs. P says:

    Wow…as an artist, I have to say this does not seem to be an effective use of city dollars…it’s only expected to last 9 months before fading. I can’t believe there aren’t more pressing needs for the money.

    • russtowne says:

      That was along the lines of my initial thinking. But then I thought that but Palo Alto is a rich city with a large tax base and probably very few who people who need soup kitchens, etc. I guess if it’s going to happen somewhere it’s probably best in places where few will suffer as the result of not spending the money more intelligently. It’s a form of whimsical extravagance. I’m not suggesting I’d have used the money in that way, however. As a taxpayer it seems like quite a waste. I try to factor in that to a multimillionaire a $400 dinner may be less expensive as a percentage of assets than a $10 dinner might be for a minimum wage earner. I try to remind myself that it’s all relative, and that to someone living in a poor country even frugal people in a wealthy country can appear to be living an extravagant lifestyle.

      • Mrs. P says:

        I agree and do see the relativity. But in a time where finger pointing and demand for accountability along with so much controversy between the haves and have nots…I think there might be some fallout on the use of these funds. I lived in Palo Alto for many years so I know the crowd that lives there.

  4. Those blue trees are so striking

  5. ksbeth says:

    what beautiful and magical images, russ. you know i’m partial to fairy gardens –

    • russtowne says:

      Magical was a word that came to my mind as well, Beth. I love having a bit of magic and whimsy in my life. Your posts often provide both to me.

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