Monday, August 29, 2011

More Flowers Along My Way

The Flowers in bloom change as elevation changes and the season progresses.

Platanthera leucostachys

Two months ago the bog orchid was blooming near Mono Lake, at around 6500 feet.

Last week I found this example in a marshy area at 10,000 feet.

It is a tiny flower, each bloom less than 1/2 inch 
 with many on a stalk about a foot high.

Pedicularis Attollens

Smaller still are the flowers of another bog plant, little elephant's head.

Elephant's head is a larger but similar plant whose elephant shape is easy to see with the eye, this little flower needs the macro lens to appreciate the shape.

Dodecatheon alpinum

Yet another plant of the alpine bog is the aptly named "Shooting star".

My timing was off to get a picture, I was only able to find one example when I went out with my macro lens.

Lilium parvum

Yet another wetland flower blooming last week was the "Sierra Tiger Lily".
Though Calflora says it grows between 4000' and 8000' I found it at 10,000'.

Symphyotrichum spathulatum

 Other flowers, like this mountain aster, bloomed on the dryer slopes.  This semi-double bloom was a particularly attractive specimen.

Aquilegia formosa

Columbine is not fussy, it can be found in wet or dry areas.

Calochortus leichtlinii

The "Mariposa Lily" seems well adapted to dry slopes for that is where I usually find it.

These are a few of the flowers I saw last week in my world.  Find other views of our wonderful world at
Our World Tuesday

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Morning Sky

I love waking to this view in the morning, as the first light hits the mountains across from our cabin.  Yesterday the sky sported a mackerel sky adding some interest to the sky.

Find more skies from around the world at SkyWatch, Friday, hosted by Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In case you're wondering

Our little town has been in the news today.  Some of you may be aware that I live in Lincoln, California, the little town with the burning LP tanker car.

We live about as far from the rail car as is possible and still be in Lincoln so there is no danger to us.  The area surrounding the fire has been evacuated and the city has brought in some hot shots from Texas who are experts in handling such fires.  Things seem to be under control and we are hoping that there will be no loss of lives or property.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Traffic Jam!

I call Tioga Pass the "back door" to Yosemite.  It is the only entrance from the east.  Since it is only about 30 miles from our cabin, we thought we would pack a picnic and go looking for some scenic images.
Three quarters of a mile from the entrance, this is what we found.  While most of California's population lies to the west, most of the country is east of the park and many coming from other parts of the country choose this entrance.  We've seen lines before, 10 or 12 cars, but never anything like this!
All was not lost, though.  The traffic was stopped at Tioga Lake, a fine place for a picnic and a few photos.

Find more views of this amazing world of ours at That's My World, Tuesday, hosted for us by Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.  We all mourn the loss of our fourth host, Klaus, a wonderful photographer, who passed away last week.  He is missed.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mono Inn

I rarely post about commercial establishments but on occasion I see fit to break my own rule.  This is one of those occasions.
The Mono Inn sits on Highway 395 a few miles north of Lee Vining, California.  It was built in 1922 as a health resort.  When we built our cabin 25 years ago it was a family run restaurant with good food.
 Later the Inn was purchased by the Ansel Adams family and managed by his granddaughter, Sarah.  It was filled with prints of Adam's photos as well as other photographers.
For some reason, the Adams family closed the restaurant a few years ago and it sat empty until being reopened last May.

The site has a history dating back far earlier than the resort, though.  Next to the inn is this monument to Kit Carson's daughter whose grave is near by.  
Mark Twain visited the area and wrote about it.

But it is not the history that draws us, or the connection to Ansel Adams or even the food, though it is still quite good.

No, the attraction is the view.  
I sits on a bluff to the west of Mono Lake and the view is spectacular.  If one is lucky enough to be there when the moon is near full the location offers an additional bonus, a view of the rising moon.

See more views of the world at That's My World, Tuesday, hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren an Sylvia.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Few Shadows

It's been awhile since I've seen any good shadows to share but last week there were several that caught my eye.
First I noticed this shadow of Hubby's feet as the morning sun came through the window by his chair at the cabin.
Later, out on the deck, I liked the shadow of the glass topped table.  (I know, the deck needs painting, again.)
Later, while taking a stroll near the Tioga Road, we saw the results of a winter avalanche.  The snow had broken off this little tree but the tree was shielding its assassin from the sun leaving a  mound of snow underneath. 

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

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Yurok Village

Patrick's Point State Park has a reconstructed Yurok  Village.  The tribe uses it to teach both their own young people and the public about their traditions.

They had several dwellings and I found the construction to be very interesting.  They were built the traditional way, using planks from trees in the state parks that had fallen due to natural forces.  The round hole on the left side of the dwelling is the doorway.

It is hard to see from this shot but you enter onto a platform that runs around the edge of this sunken room.  The platform is used for storage and the people are below ground level.  
It seems a good way to avoid drafts in a cold and rainy climate.  In the center is a fire pit.

What about smoke?  Well they had a smoke hole, covered with planks to keep the rain out.

They had no nails so they lashed the buildings together using plant ties.  I found the construction to be very ingenious.

As with many cultures, the sweat lodge is important an important part of the culture.

The Yurok made dugout canoes and believed them to be living beings.
At the stern of the craft are two foot rests, these are the kidneys.  Towards the bow is a nob, this is the heart.

In front of the heart is carved a pair of lungs.

The canoes were used by both men and women.  They provided transportation on the rivers and larger ones were used to hunt in the ocean.

I find it interesting to see how people adapt their cultures to use what is at hand.  Plains Indians made homes from hides which were abundant.  In areas where birch was abundant that was used for making canoes and shelters.  Acorns are toxic but where they are abundant, native Americans learned to leach out the toxins.  Humans are amazingly resourceful.
See more of our amazing world at That's My World, Tuesday; hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Flowers Along My Way

It's my birthday and to celebrate, let's take a hike.

We'll walk from the cabin in search of wildflowers.  Spring came late to my mountains and when the snow finally left the plants seemed to say "look how long the days are, we better all bloom at once before winter sets in".

Up by the lake the meadow was filled with wild iris.

Leaving the lake we pick up the trail on a more arid section.  Here we find mule ears, paint brush, lupine and pennyroyal.


Have you ever had the pleasure of walking along a  trail with 
pennyroyal?  No?  Oh how I wish I could share the aroma through the internet.  It has a wonderful minty fragrance.  On a warm day it freely perfumes the air.  If it is being stingy with its scent, just rub your hand across its leaves.

There were several varieties of lupine.  I find these hard to identify but the most likely candidate seems to be spurred lupine

Dagger pod--Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides
Dagger pod is one of several species in the mustard family.  More common along the trail was its cousin, the yellow wallflower.

Copeland's Owl Clover--orthocarpus coplandii

The snapdragon family was well represented.  This lovely owl clover is one of my favorites but I saw several other paintbrush type flowers, in scarlet, orange and gold.

Davidson's Penstemon--penstemon davidsonii

There were two different penstemons in bloom

Elephants Head--pedicularis groenlandica

It's hard not to smile when encountering this member of the snapdragon family.

Another aromatic, this in the Amaryllis family, the wild onion.   I think this is a Swamp Onion as it was growing in a marshy area.
The snow has not entirely left my mountains.  These two were enjoying a little play in the snow below Cooney Lake.  I lingered a while at the lake.  I watched a gull watching a fisherman.  The bird kept flying over the fisherman's line.  I think the gull was hoping to make the fisherman's catch its own.
On my return to the cabin, I paused to enjoy the view.  I could see all the way to Nevada but Mono Lake is hidden from view.  It is behind the mountains on the right.

I hope that you enjoyed this view of my world, see more of our wonderful world at That's My World, Tuesday, hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.