Monday, May 31, 2010

Our White World

We didn't want to wait any longer, we just had to see how the cabin made it through the harsh Sierra winter at 9600'.
The main road was plowed but not the dirt track that leads to our place.  This was as far as we could drive.  It was only about 200' over the snow.
Fortunately, there wasn't a lot of snow piled in front of the door.  As far as we could tell there is no damage.  Until the water is turned on we won't know about any plumbing problems, there are often some surprises.
We took a walk up to the resort and were pleased to find it open for the season.  I had food to last us a couple of days but no ice cream.  Hubby might go into withdrawel but for the ice cream they had on sale.
I inquired of the owner how the summer was shaping up.  She said this was the first year that she had not been fully booked
We checked out the lake across from the resort.  It's just beginning to thaw.  Too soft for ice fishing, to solid for fly fishing; the fishermen will just have to wait a bit longer.
This little guy is impatient for the season to start.  Where are all those vacationers?  He can beg as much as he wants, I won't feed him.
We had some snow flurries during our stay at the cabin and more fell on our way home.  The sign said "carry chains".  Who carries chains at the end of May?  We hadn't expected snow but it didn't stick on the road and we have all season tires on our 4-wheel drive so there was no problem.
More views of the world can be found at That's My World !, hosted for us by
Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Shadows on the Snow

There's still lots of snow at 9600', always a great canvas for shadows.

You can find lots more shadows at Hey Harriet,  hosted for us by Tracy in Brisbane.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Western Sky

A spectacular sunset augmented with HDR software.

You can find more skies at Sky Watch Friday, hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Spring in Yosemite

My dad loved this perennial spring near Happy Isles in Yosemite.  He would always stop and scoop a drink.  Not a good idea today as even these seemingly pristine waters can carry a nasty intestinal bug.

You can find more water sights at Water Wednesday hosted for us by 2sweetnsaxy.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cabin in White

A cabin neighbor sent these photos of our cabin that he took the end of April.
You can see from all the snow on the deck why we take down the railing, one way or the other it will come down.
After visiting with our son Eric and his family in LA we hope to go check it out for ourselves.
I am hoping that most of this will be gone. Usually by Memorial Day there is just patchy snow but with all the spring storms we've had this year I'm not sure what we will find.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Watching from the Shadows--Shadow Shot

I was thinning the nectarines in this tree when this little goldfinch flew from her nest. No more thinning for now, I'll leave her in peace.

There are more shadows to be found at Hey Harriet, hosted by Tracy in Brisbane.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Game Over--Sky Watch

We came for pictures in the nearby preserve, most folks came for a girls softball game that finished just as the sun was setting.

You can find more skies at Sky Watch Friday, hosted for us each week by Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Little Bit of Water

At the side of the John Muir Trail in Yosemite, this tiny stream flows over the rocks into a grotto.

You can see more watery sights at Watery Wednesday, hosted for us by 2sweetnsaxy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

12 Bridges Perserve

That's my World, Tuesday

One of our favorite bike routes takes us through the nearby 12 Bridges preserve near our home. This is a lovely ride and takes us through several different habitats. It is not without its hazards though.

I have not yet seen a rattlesnake on our ride but I have seen king snakes and racers. I'm sure the rattlers are around someplace.

In spring there are many wildflowers in the prairie grasslands. Nothing like what John Muir described after walking through the central valley in 1868, but lovely none the less.

One of the prettiest is the Gold Nuggets. This one was nice enough to bloom by the trail where I could get a good shot.

We also ride by wetlands with their perennial pools, cattails and marsh grasses.

A special type of pool is the Vernal Pool. Unlike the perennial pool above, these are seasonal. Once common in the central valley they are being lost to development. Lately there has been an attempt to save as many as possible.

This pond is in the process of drying up. As reduced in size as it is I have recently seen cinnamon teals and black necked stilts in it as well as killdeer and an egret, barely visible center rear of the green area.

This pond is now completely dry, the water has been replaced by a field of golden wildflowers. Yet another habitat can be seen along the edge, the oak woodland. On this ride we could hear wild turkeys and ring neck pheasants.

The several interconnected wild land corridors within the 12 Bridges development provide a rich habitat that is enjoyed by the residents, both the human kind and the native wild species.

There are more worlds to see at That's my World Tuesday, hosted for us each week by Klaus, Sandy Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

One of many sets of stone stairs on trails in Yosemite built by the CCC during the depression.
More shadows for Shadow Shot Sunday can be found at Hey Harriet, hosted for us by Tracy in Brisbane.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mergansers--Watery Wednesday

Walking up to Mirror Lake I spotted this male common merganser in
Tenaya Creek.

Then I spied his mate. She is much harder to pick out in the raging water. I wasn't prepared, I'd never seen them in Yosemite before and they swim and dive quickly in the churning water. It is amazing that they can swim against the current. They must be incredibly strong.

Unfortunately, the view was blocked by the trees but I think it is interesting how she is swimming with her head in the water. We watched for a while before they flew off.

You can find more watery sites at Watery Wednesday, hosted for us by 2sweetnsaxy.

Yosemite—My World

Everyone has seen the icons of Yosemite, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, El Capitan.  There is more to this place.  In early spring the dogwood blooms under the towering pines and cedars.

At Bridal Veil Falls, turn your back to that beauty and look to the east shoulder of El Capitan.  There you will see Horse Tail Fall only during spring run off.

At the same place, look to your left to see what is actually the tallest fall in Yosemite.  Since Ribbon Fall only flows in spring it doesn’t get that honor officially.

It’s ok to be inspired by Yosemite Falls but don’t overlook the majestic cliffs to the right.

Pull your eyes from Half Dome and appreciate the other domes above the Valley.

Don’t forget the meadows.  This view to the west was one I especially appreciated.  Usually there is so much air pollution  coming into the valley from the San Joaquin that the sky and granite are washed with a gray haze.

Don’t be like me, always rushing around to see the next view, get the next picture.  Emulate this woman and her dog, just enjoy being in the place, in the moment.  Enjoy the grandeur and the peace of Yosemite.

map Find more views of our wonderful world at My World Tuesday, hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

There's a Bear!

A sharp eyed fellow passenger on the Yosemite Valley Shuttle spotted this guy near Happy Isles. It was evening so the shutter speed was a bit slow even at ISO of 400. The bear was minding his own business and we continued on to our campsite. We did, I must admit, leave the footpath where the photographer is standing and put a little more distance between us and the bear.

See more critters at Camera Critters.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Half Dome--Weekend Reflections

What's this, an impressionist's painting of Half Dome?
It's backwards!
No, it is Half Dome reflected in Mirror Lake.
We had a wonderful time in Yosemite this week and all of my shots are of incredibly blue skies and raging water. It was Yosemite at its absolute best, I wish you could have been with us.

See more reflections at Weekedend Reflections, hosted for us by James at Newtown Area Photo.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

To Little Time in My World

I seem to have too little time or too many projects.  With summer coming I have been trying to get the new parts of the garden on autopilot with new drip emitters.  Do you remember what it looked like last year?  Click here for a reminder.  I used divisions from plants elsewhere in the garden for much of the new plantings.  It will take a while to fill out. 

I’ve also got the guest room half painted and soft cornices made for our bedroom.  That leaves three more rooms waiting for window treatments.  Seeing what the rest of you accomplish has spurred me to action.

It’s almost time to open the cabin for the summer and the Roadtrek thinks we need to do some more camping, it’s feeling neglected, and I’m having trouble finding time for exercise, that’s not good.

I just don’t seem to find time for it all.  Maybe I should give up sleeping.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Shadows on the Dunes

Sand dunes make a great pallet for shadows.

The dune plants cast a shadow if the sun is out.

Tracks in the sand are defined by their shadow.  People passed by here.

But who came by here?  A snake, perhaps, in pursuit of a rabbit?

Here we can see who is making a track, crossing the shadow of ripples in the sand as well as those of other creatures living in this hostel environment.

You can see more shadows at Shadow Shot Sunday, hosted for us by Tracy in Brisbane.