Thursday, July 30, 2009

Skies of Mt. Rainier

The sky here is so blue and the scenery so beautiful that it was hard to choose a few favorite images.
A snag in a field of flowers against a few high clouds.
A meadow of yellow glacier lilies and white anemones below Mt Rainer.
No wonder this place is called "Paradise"
To see more beautiful skies, click here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Home Again

New friends, old friends,
New places,
Relatives we hadn't seen in several years.
All of this in two weeks plus record heat in Washington and Oregon.
It was a great trip and now I must sort through several hundred pictures and see what I've got. Hopefully enough for a few good posts.
I also need to check in with all of you and see what you've been up to while I've been gone.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pond Life

Walking by this pond at MacKerricher State Park, some thing caught my eye.

Hard to see at first, a frog.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens II

This garden begins as a neatly manicured garden with grass pathways.

It features a variety of sculptures by regional artists.

Further along, as the pathways lead to the sea one finds specialized collections. I enjoyed the varies colors and textures in the heather garden.

There were several beds that featured succulents.

The garden continued to become ever more natural until I reached the headland.

Here things were left in there natural state or were in the process of being returned to a natural state.

We sat for a whaile and gazed out at the sea before heading back on a different path.

Back near the entrance they had a little food stand where we got one of the best malts ever.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens I

I am gone again but since I have been collecting material faster than I can post, I've left a few this week.
While in Fort Bragg we visited the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden.
In additon to the plants, we saw some interesting shadows. I'll have more pictures of this garden later in the week.

You can find more shadows at Hey Harriet. Go to the site and click on "Mr. Linky". You'll have to scroll down aways.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bodie Sky

Clear skies a few weeks ago when we went to Bodie State Historic Park. On our way home, clouds started to build.
Home is on the left slope of the tall double peak in the center, Dunderberg Peak. This meadow is filled with iris but the blue doesn't show up well.
To see more skies, click here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Watery Lundy

I thought I would show you what lies beyond the place I turned back on my Lundy Canyon hike.

These are from last year.
We hike to these cascades and have lunch
The roar of the water is so loud that you can hardly hear each other speak.
If one is brave, it is possible to hike up a steep scree slope to Twenty Lakes Basin. I have done it in the past but the trail is now in such poor condition that I would only attempt it if I had a ride at the top so I wouldn't have to come down again. I find up is easier in such conditions.

We are off to Washington for a couple of weeks. I left a few posts for next week. Some might find Mendocino Botanical Gardens of interest next Tuesday.

For more watery sites and sights, check here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My World--Lundy Canyon

Enough politics, let's get back to the fun stuff.

This is one of my favorite hikes, especially in the early Summer.
The Lundy Resort is at the end of the paved road. I've never actually been inside and never would have gone beyond if it had not been for our good friend, the late Gary Morgan.
The road beyond the resort is one lane dirt with turn outs. Go slow and all will be well.
The parking is limited so we try to avoid it on the weekends. There is a herd of mountain sheep in the area but I have never seen them. A researcher told me they are often above the resort but hard to see.
The trail is rocky, steep in some places and offers little shade. Why do I like it. The water falls for one thing.
The diversity of flora for another.
The beginning of the hike offers a variety of dry land flowers.
When you reach this stream, flowing across the trail (a bit of a challenge) you encounter a new group of flowers.
I call it "God's Garden"
This is just a sampling, I had a hard time limiting the number of photos so combined many.
One of my favorite flowers is the tiny rein orchid, about 1/4 inch each.
I turned back here. Some of the best scenery is beyond. I suppose if I scooted across the log on my butt I would be OK, but why bother. Next month this will be dry and I can walk across the stream bed. I suspect the water goes underground because the stream always has water downstream. Maybe someday I'll investigate but for now I am just glad it will be easier if I wait a month to cross.
You probably won't notice the Indian on your way to the trail head but you can't miss him on your return.
To see more worlds, click here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Whats Wrong with California

Howard Jarvis. That's what's wrong with California!
I know, Howard Jarvis is dead but unfortunately his legacy lives on. Jarvis and his followers managed to convince the good citizens of California that taxes are bad and government is evil. Nothing could be further from the truth. I will admit that in the days of the infamous “prop 13” property taxes had gotten out of hand. The solution was extreme and they continue with the “no new taxes” litany oblivious to the consequences.
We need government.
We need it to build roads and patrol them. We need it to supervise industry and yes even our financial institutions, to protect our water, our air, our food.
We need good schools we can’t all afford to send our children to private schools.
We need a social safety net in case we lose our jobs and health insurance (hard to believe that that could happen). We need Medi-Cal to care for the indigent elderly who have lost their life savings or never earned enough to provide for their old age.
We need CalOSHSA to protect our safety at work.
We need government to license drivers to make sure they are competent and insured.
We need courts to protect our person, our rights and even our wealth and our ability to see it passed to those we choose after our death.
Californians are a caring and generous people who have passed many initiatives for what the majority has believed to be worthwhile programs. Unfortunately, a minority blocks the ability of the state to pay for these programs. No one likes to pay taxes but the alternative is disaster. We are not selfish, we are not greedy, but we have been sold a “bill of goods” by those who are. It is time to tell those who worship at the altar of Howard Jarvis to go away. They are not looking out for the interests of California.
It was never my intention that this be a political blog. I would rather show what is wonderful and beautiful about my home state and even occasionally other parts of this great county. But I am getting increasingly frustrated and I wanted to vent.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sierra Skies

Clear blue skies again this week in our Sierra hide-a-way
This rugged tree stands above the Lundy Canyon trail. If you don't look up you'll miss it.
Well, maybe the skies weren't completely clear. There must have been a fire somewhere to leave this haze in the east. I rather like the effect it gives, though.
For more skies, click here.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Clear, Blue Skies

When last we were at the cabin, the skies were crystal clear. No spectacular clouds to show you.
We could look down canyon, past the valley in which Mono Lake lies and far into Nevada to the east.
We could look west, where the trail crests over the ridge. A couple of miles beyond lies the Yosemite back country. We have hiked to the park boundary in the past but I am not sure we will again. It is a long way down to Summit Lake at the boundary and, of course, a long way back up.
To see more skies, click here.