Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Alpine marsh

One of my favorite sights in spring is the "marsh marigold" Caltha leptosepala.
Quick to bloom when the snow melts and the meadows are marshy.
It will soon be gone.

For more watery sites and sights, click here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

My World--Virginia Lakes

On our most recent visit to the cabin we put up the deck railing. For over 15 years we had a fixed railing but after we had a new metal roof installed the winter snow removed it. Now we take the railing down each fall and replace it in the spring. Once that chore was done we could go hiking, the first real hike of the season.
After wandering through the woods, the trail crosses a scree slope above Blue Lake. Often you can hear a pika call and if you are really lucky you might see one. They look so soft and sweet you wish you could pet them.

The first stream crossing is this little seasonal stream. It flows through a meadow that will soon fill with the blooms of wild onion, lupin, larkspur and Columbine. The bloom will be brief and then the meadow will dry with the stream.
The trail then passes this old cabin. The forest service keeps trying to prop it up but I suspect it will eventually collapse as many such cabins have in the past.
This meadow will have some tiger lily. I'll need to be there at just the right time, they don't last long.
On this day the most prolific blooms were on the dagger pod (Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides).
Here the trail comes around a bend to Cooney Lake. I call this spot "hurricane bend". It is one of the loveliest spots on the trail but there is often a strong wind blowing here making it too cold to linger. You can see that this day was no exception by the chop on the water.
Here the trail crosses the creek, right into the snowbank. We'll turn around, we've come 2 1/2 miles and climbed 600 feet. Today we will settle for the 5 mile round trip.
That's my world in the summer months.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fort Ross Shadows

The previous post shows the exterior of Fort Ross and tells a little of its history. Here are some interior photos which show how they lived at the time. They also have some interesting shadows.
Inside the buildings of Fort Ross there is little light.
This lantern casts an interesting shadow.
Most of the rooms are lit only by the light coming through the windows, casting shadows inside even on this overcast day.
This candelabra hangs in the chapel.
The tool room has interesting shadows.
This room has a desk and items that would be found there in the early 1800s.
The Russian's at Fort Ross used this laboratory to study the flora and fauna of the area.
I like the look of this storeroom, lit only by the window.

To find more shadows, go to Hey Harriet .

Fort Ross State Historic Park

One of California's many wonderful state parks is Fort Ross. Fort Ross was built in 1812 by the Russian American Company. It was hoped that the settlement would be able to raise enough food to supply their settlements farther north in what is now Alaska. When we visited there was a group of school children having a living history experience. It looked like they were planning to spend the night.
The Russian's venture was not as successful as hoped. They were not able to produce enough food to supply the colonies in Alaska. The native Alaskans they employed were more successful at their task. They were such good hunters that they almost managed to hunt the sea otters to extinction.
The cove below the fort was the site of a small shipbuilding operation.

The fort was eventually sold to John Sutter who removed anything of value to Sutter's Fort in Sacramento. There followed a series of owners and the state acquired the property in 1906, just before the San Francisco earthquake. The fort was heavily damaged in the quake and most of the buildings had to be rebuilt.
It is a beautiful spot, well worth the visit even for those not interested in the history.
More information on Ft Ross can be found here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Alabama Hills and Mt. Whitney

Morning and the clouds were already building over the Sierra Nevada.
If the boulder strewn Alabama Hills look familiar it may be because they were used as a location for many movies.
Mt. Whitney seen from the Alabama hills. Not sure which peak it is?
Here is a close up. Mt. Whitney is the triangular peak in the center.

To see more skies, click here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

MacKerricher SP Beach

My Watery Wednesday
Twilight at the beach

For more watery sites and sights, click here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bird Box update

I thought I'd give an update on the bird box. The bluebirds left. Two young successfully fledged an a third one died. I cleaned out the box an there was soon a couple of swallows checking it out.

The swallows are not as tolerant of my working nearby as were the bluebirds. Sometimes they will fly at me or sit on the fence glaring at me.
But I have a project. I am removing the water hungry lawn to replace it with a flagstone patio and some more raised beds for vegetable and more borders for flowers.
Fortunately, the lawn is not too big. I'm working at it slowly, 3 or 4 strips of sod a day.
We're at the cabin for a week, we left on Friday, the swallows are glad, I'm sure. I have half of it done and I'll finish when I return.

Where's my Hubby? Well, he knows I enjoy hard work and is willing to let me do it. After all, I'm the one who came up with the idea.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009


We've gone to the mountains, out of the heat. Before we left I checked to see what the garden had to offer. Not much.

The last of the lettuce and spring onions (they will bolt in the heat if not picked now) and the first tomato. Salad for dinner tonight! I also dug some new potatoes. There was one last peach from our small harvest of 10 but Hubby already ate it.
The tomatoes and onions are coming along well. I should have a good crop of each. I hope the nectarines ripen when we are around to enjoy them. Last to ripen will be the late apricot until the mandarins in late fall and winter.
Drip irrigation allows me to have a garden and travel as well.
We are fortunate to live in a place where we can grow citrus as well as fruit the requires winter chilling. Sometimes we need to cover the citrus when a heavy frost is forecast.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sonoma Coast Sky Shots

A flock of brown pelicans fly over the dunes on their way to bath in the Russian River.
An osprey over Bodega Bay.

For more sky shots, click here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Green Heron

We got a treat tonight when we went for our walk.
I took my camera with the telephoto lens expecting that I would see the Green Heron.
What I didn't expect were these two balls of fluff hiding in the shadows.

Newly fledged green herons.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sonoma Coast Pelicans

My Watery Wednesday offering this week is a flock of brown pelicans.

While they are graceful in flight,
landing is something else.
They seem to use their head as a break, plunging it into the water as they land.
Here they are at the mouth of the Russian River, splashing and grooming. They seemed to be washing off the salt in the fresher river water. The gulls splash and groomed as well.
Did you notice the seal in the second photo?

Check out more watery sights here.

Point Reyes National Seashore

As a native Californian the San Andreas Fault has always been a part of My World. I've showed you evidence of the fault at Carrizo Plain and at Pinnacles. We see it again at Point Reyes.
The fault runs along the west side of the long and narrow Tomales Bay.
Moody on this day it is a place I would like to explore more thoughly in the future.
At the visitor center a short trail takes you to a fence that was offset 20 feet in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The blue post indicates the location of the fault.
A road leads to the old lighthouse, closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. The lighthouse visitor center is .4 mile from the parking area and the lighthouse is another .1 mile and 300 feet down. From road's end there are great views of the coastal prairie and beach.
In spring the yellow bush lupine is in bloom. Its color makes it stand out far better than the more usual blue.

There are several other varieties of wildflower here as well.

Water was in short supply at the lighthouse and great quantities were required to operate the fog horn. This catch basin collected rain water and stored it in a cistern below the dome.
Unfortunately we were there on a Wednesday so this was as close as we got to the lighthouse. It was located below the top of the point to put it below the fog so as to be more visible to ships.

To see more worlds, click here.