Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Teddy Bear Finds a Home

I have been fostering this big Teddy Bear for several years.  He belonged to my mother.  When my brother learned that our mother had never had a Teddy as a child he decided to rectify that and gave her this bear one year for Christmas.
Both are gone now so the bear has been waiting patiently with his friends.  Waiting for a new permanent home.  Now his wait is over and he is ready to go.  My brother's grand-daughter had a baby last month and  the bear is on his way to his new home.
He'll have new friends, I see.  There is a giraffe already there.  Young Tyler Jet will have his hands full with the menagerie!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Feather in the Sky

More beautiful skies can be found at Sky Watch Friday,
hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Watery Wednesday with Sunday Reflection

I caught this shot by one of our ponds.  I like the heart shape made by the reflection of the dried leaf.  The shot works well as either a Watery Wednesday hosted by 2sweetnsaxy or Sunday Reflections hosted by James at Newton Area Photo.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Building our World

I write a lot about our cabin.  Today it is real and a very important part of our world.  Back in 1983 it was just an audacious dream.
We had no experience, we were not skilled tradesmen.  We had a friend who was quite handy but had never taken on a project quite like this.  Our friend, Jim Greer, spurred us on, assured us we could do it and along with Hubby took six weeks of vacation to help.
The first thing he did was cut little pieces of wood into scale 2x6s and told me to take the plans and make a model.  It proved to be invaluable.

The building codes required us to build to a 220# snow load.  That meant big heavy headers over the door and windows on the load bearing walls.  It took my dad, son Mark, me, Hubby and Jim to lift this wall.  To lift the front wall we had to get some neighbors since it was long and had 2 six foot headers.  Beams and rafters were also large and heavy, Jim rigged a block and tackle to help lift them.  We got it framed and enclosed that summer and have done most of the wiring, plumbing, dry wall and finish work in the years since.  Most of it we have done ourselves with help from family and friends.
Projects like this are never truly finished.  For one thing, maintenance in this harsh environment is an ongoing problem.  There is no one here in the winter to shovel off the snow.  Gaskets become hard and brittle causing plumbing leaks.  Rodents find their way in and chew wires and get into things I'd prefer they didn't. 
We are 5 miles from the nearest power line or cell phone tower with lots of obstacles between us and the tower.  We've found ways around these problems.  Solar cells give us power, an antennae hooks into the cell phone to give us cell service and we have Direct TV to keep us informed (The Weather Channel and a  few news programs)
We went up over the weekend.  There is finally water running in the pipes and as expected there were some leaks to be repaired.  The deck railing is now back up and a neighbor came up with an idea that should make it easier to put up and take down each year.
It's a lot of work but it's worth it.
This meadow at a nearby lake has traded the snow for buttercups.  Soon it will be filled with wild iris.  What more could I ask for a summer get-a-way? 
The north facing slopes are still covered with snow. 
We gave a ride into town to a through hiker on the Pacific Crest Trail.  He said that there is still so much snow in the back country that many hikers have halted their journey.  This will be a problem for them later as their final destination is the Canadian border and they have a long walk yet ahead of them before the snow flies in the fall.

There are more worlds to see at That's my World!  Hosted for us by
Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Three for One

I don't usually post a three for one but here it is.
Shadow shot Sunday
Mellow Yellow Monday
Ruby Tuesday
I usually post only one meme at a time but these just seem to go together, the red bike rack with its shadow.
While out capturing the above image I saw this and just had to share.  I thought it a good one for Mellow Yellow Monday.

To see more shadow shots go to Hey Harriet, hosted by Tracy in Brisbane.
For more things yellow go to Mellow Yellow Monday.
For more things red, go to Ruby Tuesday, hosted by Mary at Work of the Poet.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Above the Falls--A Sky Shot

At Yosemite Falls a group of people were looking up.  That's not unusual, it is a beautiful sight.  It wasn't the majestic fall that had caught there eye, though.
Someone was walking a slack line above the fall!
Here is a closer look.  The walker has a safety line that keeps him or her from plunnging over the fall in case of a loss of balance.
Later after the sun had set the clouds above the fall blazed with gold and orange.

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

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Window on the High Country

The window offers views to a world few will ever know.
The door beckons, come explore the world beyond the window.
Come and see what lies beyond.

Check out the view at Window Views...and doors too!  Hosted for us by Mary the Teach.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Yosemite Spring--Watery Wednesday

Ceanothus blooms
Cascade Creek with garland blue
Gushes from granite

More watery sights can be found at Watery Wednesday, hosted for us by 2sweetnsaxy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Yosemite, again--My World

Last month, when we went to Yosemite, we were unable to get to Glacier Point, the road was closed.  We made a quick return visit last week and it was well worth the trip.  
The sky was clear and there was still plenty of snow in the high country, the view from Glacier point spectacular!
A ranger had a spotting scope trained on Half Dome where a group of climbers was heading towards the summit.  I was barely able to pick them out with my camera.
Vernal Fall
Yosemite was experiencing the highest river flows in 25 years.  Compare this shot with one I took at a similar location last fall.
Nevada Fall
Run off peaked the day we arrived. 
Staircase Falls
This gem cascades down the cliff below Glacier Point, I haven't seen it in years.
Woe to the careless person who falls into these raging waters below Vernal Fall.
Down near the Lodge the water was calmer but flooding was evident.
My favorite viewpoint is "Valley View".  Here, looking east,  you can see both El Capitan and Bridal Veil Fall with the Merced River flowing in the foreground.  You can only reach this spot on the way out of the valley, which for us is usually in the morning.   I got Hubby to make a detour one afternoon so that we could get photographs with the sun behind us.

See more views of the world at That's my World!  hosted for us each week by
Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mirror Lake

Pollen on water
Mighty granite reflected
Mirrored in water

More reflections are to be found at Newtown Area Photo,  Hosted for us by James

Shadows in a Sculpture Garden

It was mid-day when we spotted these cairns and other constructs near Mirror Lake in Yosemite last week.
It wasn't the best time of day for shadows but I did manage to find a few.
I have no idea who made them or why; everyone who spotted them seem to enjoy them.
There are more shadows to be found at Hey Harriet, sponsored for us by Tracy in Brisbane.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Before the Sun Sets

As the sun falls towards its rendezvous with the Pacific, before it turns the clouds to gold and fiery orange, it brightens the western edge while turning the far side to quicksilver.  A play of light and shadow in the sky.
There are more skies to see at Sky Watch Friday, hosted for us each week by Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My World Says Farewell to Spring

The mild days of spring are rapidly giving way to the heat of summer.
The little goldfinch is gone, the nest abandoned.
The grasses are turning dry and golden, their seeds mature, awaiting next years rains so they can turn the hills green again.
The grasses make way for the Harvest Brodiaea (Brodiaea Elegans) to have its place in the sun.
Then it is time for Clarkia Amoena to bloom.  Here in the gold country it is the flower we call "Farewell to Spring". 
While not as hot as the desert southwest, summers in the Sacramento Valley are hot enough.  Most days will be in the 90s and and temperatures over 100 are common.  Many plants will go dormant in the summer heat, waiting for fall to give one more burst of bloom before winter.

You can see more views of the world at That's My World, Tuesday, hosted for us each week by Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lizard's shadow

This guy was camera shy and climbed up the wall trying to avoid getting his picture taken.

More shadows can be found at Hey Harriet, hosted for us by Tracy in Brisbane.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thundering Skies

We had some wonderful clouds last week. I didn't see the lightening but I sure heard the thunder.
I sure do enjoy the view of the sky from my patio!

More skies from around the world are to be found at Sky Watch Friday, hosted for us each week by
Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Water Conservation

Water, we take it for granted.  Turn the spigot and out it flows.
At our cabin the water is supplied by a mutual water company run by volunteers. The system is drained in the fall and awaits the melting of snow to be turned back on. This year the snow is slow to melt.

I have a back-up plan.  I left six gallons of drinking water and a five gallon Igloo container filled with water.  For non-potable water uses I have this 120 quart stock pot in which we melt snow.  By being very careful with my use, I can get by for three or four days.

Our time at the cabin without running water and our travels in the Roadtrek make me very aware of water usage.  I find myself at home using the same strategies to conserve.

Here in California water is always an issue.  There isn't enough and there are arguments as to who should get this valuable resource.  Farmer's put up signs along the highway proclaiming a "government mandated dust bowl".  Environmentalists point to diminished habitat and a reduction in fish populations due to water diversions.  Home owners in one county are told to water their lawns only once or twice a week while other counties say they have no problem.

We take it for granted, turn the spigot and out it flows, maybe.