Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Crow Blogging

Early morning in the Texas Springs Campground. The silence so profound that you could hear the beating of the crows’ wings as they flew past.

Photo: Crow—Death Valley, 2001

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Bounty of America

. . . as exemplified by this overhead shot taken from the mezzanine level of the Market of Choice’s high end store in Eugene.

Actually a three-shot panorama.

Photo: Market of Choice—Eugene, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009


A second take on an earlier-seen subject.

Photo: Sunflowers—Marin County, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Vacant Field

Mike found this anonymous field in Eugene, Oregon.

Photos: No Trespassing—Eugene, 2009; No Dumping—Eugene, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009


The fennel is blooming in Marin. When cut or crushed, the air is filled with the scent of licorice.

Photos: Fennel #1—Marin County, 2009; Fennel #2—Marin County, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dry River

Out in the dry riverbed I wander through corridors of corroding rocky soil. Randomly halting, I gaze at the clean colored stones under my feet. Pale-shaded, ochre, vermilion and mauve―what was the poet’s phrase? Ah yes, "The infinite sum of particular things."

Just a few simple elements: sky, rocks, mountains, the steaming cup in my hand. Can moments like these ever be fully realized? I pause . . . I hesitate. A revelation is just at the edge of things, borne on that dry breeze caressing my skin. I smile and dismiss the half-formed notion of a desert satori.

And yet. The slanting sunbeams pick out discrete objects; boulders and plants glow in the desert splendor. The wind shakes a dried shrub, creating a slight, subliminal rattle.

And yet . . .

—Rebecca Saito

Photo: Dry River—Death Valley, 2002

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fine Dining in Corning

Heading north on Highway 5 Hali & Mike reached Corning at 8:15 PM after wrestling with a hideous traffic situation leaving Marin.

Luckily, Bartels is open until 9.

Luckily, Mike still had enough presence of mind to take an evening shot of the freeway-visible Bartels sign.

Hamburgers were great, although they mistakenly didn’t order the Giant Burger, which is apparently the way to go at Bartels.

Photo: Bartels—Corning, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Nutria Blogging

Hali & I pulled into our Eugene motel parking lot in the late afternoon to observe two very odd creatures nibbling on the grass.

The larger one scurried away upon my approach, but the smaller one continued munching unconcernedly. I upped the ISO on my Canon G9 to the max and took a few snaps. (Yes, awful noise.) Another motel guest opined that maybe they were muskrats.

But no. They were nutrias (confirmed by the motel staff) . . . my first sighting!

Photo: Nutria—Oregon, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

. . . from the archives #51: Sunrise, Mahogany Flats—Death Valley, 1977

During this visit to Death Valley I was camping with my brother utilizing my father’s old Ford van. I used a medium-format camera, but I don’t know which one. I think maybe a Mamiya RB67.

James Linden and I used this photo in a limited edition featuring the poem "Shine, Perishing Republic" by Robinson Jeffers.

Photo: Sunrise, Mahogany Flats—Death Valley, 1977

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Waiting At A Red Light In Sausalito

'Nuff said.

Photo: Maserati—Marin County, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

More Filming

Low budget filming taking place, with fortune teller in the background.

Photo: Filming—New York, 2006

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Shoot

There were a lot of movie shoots going on in New York, certainly more than I’ve seen taking place in Los Angeles. We didn’t pay that much attention to them (to foster the illusion that we were cool) but I liked the incredible messiness of this scene.

Photo: Shoot—New York, 2006

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Repackaging Freeze-Dried Food

During last year’s backpack I took along a selection of Mountain House’s "one-man" meals. Open them up, pour boiling water in, stir and seal, wait 8 minutes and then . . . ummmmm, good.

The problem was the quantity: as it says on the package, "Makes 16 ounce serving." Yikes! That’s a pound of food! Too much food . . . too much for me, anyway, especially in the appetite-diminishing mountain altitude.

So I’m experimenting with opening the package up and dividing the contents in half. The main question remaining is whether a vacuum-sealing device should be used or whether I could just go with quart freezer bags.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fire Escape

The old fire-escape-pattern-with-shadows routine.

Photo: Fire Escape—New York, 2006

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Quail Blogging

Quail on fence outside the Visitors’ Center at Point Reyes.

Photo: Quail—Point Reyes, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Death Valley Clouds—4

Clouds in Death Valley can be quite spectacular.

Hard to get to, though. From the Bay Area, it’s highway 5 down to Bakersfield, then over the Tehachapis to Mojave, then north through Trona.

Once there, favorite campgrounds are the Texas Springs Campground perimeter (right near the Visitor Center, Zabriskie Point, etc.) and Mesquite Springs Campground (higher elevation, not as hot.)

At Mesquite Springs Campground one can walk out into the dry riverbed, the crunch of desert rocks beneath your feet.

Photo: Clouds—Death Valley, 2001

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ogden Tree Update

The latest on the Ogden Carob tree.

Joe Grant reports that "Stump gone, sidewalk still cracked."

Photos by J. Grant.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Coast Camp

Mike spent the night at Coast Camp at a site adjacent to the wilderness. He fussed with the tent’s location, having to move it after noticing some overlooked small patches of poison oak.

Tent set up, he walked down towards the ocean. The beach was virtually deserted: a man, woman and little girl . . . and Mike. The view stretched southwards to the horizon. Walking back to camp he passed by some reeds waving in the wind.

Once back, it was easily observed that the sun had definitely passed the yardarm: time to break out the plastic liter bottle of syrah!

During the night the fitful ocean breeze kept flapping the tent fabric; when the wind paused the booming of the surf could be heard. Actually very restful.

Photos: Ocean from Coast Camp, Point Reyes—Marin County, 2009; Reeds & Clouds—Marin County, 2009; Tent at Coast Camp, Point Reyes—Marin County, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sky Trail

Sky Trail in Point Reyes National Seashore winds through a Douglas Fir forest, with colorful scatterings of Montbretia (South African lily) here and there along the trail. An import, as I guess the name would suggest.

Turning onto the Woodward Valley Trail, one eventually comes to the Coast Trail, with panoramic vistas of the Pacific.

Photos: Montbretia, Point Reyes—Marin County, 2009; Grass & Ocean, Point Reyes—Marin County, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Point Reyes Backpack

Mike did a short two-day backpack last week, hiking 6 miles to Coast Camp from the Bear Valley trailhead and 6 miles back the next day. He was trying out a new backpack (the Osprey "Atmos 65." )

The verdict is still out on the backpack: Mike needs to consult with the experts at REI on a few points, and then we’ll see.

He carried the Olympus E-510 with the 12-60 lens over his shoulder. It didn’t seem so heavy going out, but coming back . . . too much! From now on, he’ll be taking the much smaller and lighter 14-42 kit lens.

Talk about your aches and pains! But the scenery was nice.

Photos: Ocean & Clouds, Point Reyes—Marin County, 2009; Backpack, Point Reyes—Marin County, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Death Valley Clouds—3

Clouds in Death Valley can be quite spectacular.

Hard to get to, though. From the Bay Area, it’s highway 5 down to Bakersfield, then over the Tehachapis to Mojave, then north through Trona.

Once there, favorite campgrounds are the Texas Springs Campground perimeter (right near the Visitor Center, Zabriskie Point, etc.) and Mesquite Springs Campground (higher elevation, not as hot.)

Photo: Clouds—Death Valley, 2001

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Crow Blogging

Crows in front of the barn at the stable, doing that crow wary thing as I approach the garbage can.

Some took flight, but the bolder (or smarter) ones stayed put. Hopefully there will soon be negotiations leading to crow-human d├ętente .

Photo: Crows & Barn—Marin County, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Plant Pix

First, evening sun hitting an isolated nandina branch in our backyard.

Second, backlit sunflower with bee at the stable.

Photos: Nandina Branch—Marin County, 2009; Sunflower with Bee—Marin County, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bing vs Google

When it comes to the extremely important task of searching for the "mikereport" Bing fails miserably.

Whereas Google, at least, has the mikereport listed at the top. Google persists, however, in its infuriating habit of asking, "did you mean mike report?" without giving you the option of saying, um, no, I DIDN’T mean " mike report." I meant mikereport!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Death Valley Clouds—2

Clouds in Death Valley can be quite spectacular.

Hard to get to, though. From the Bay Area, it’s highway 5 down to Bakersfield, then over the Tehachapis to Mojave, then north through Trona.

Photo: Clouds—Death Valley, 2001

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Death Valley Clouds—1

Clouds in Death Valley can be quite spectacular.

Photo: Clouds—Death Valley, 2001

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ogden Tree

This tree sat in front of my parents’ house on Ogden Drive in Los Angeles for quite a number of years, from the 1940’s until a few years ago when one morning they awoke to find the branches of the tree in their front yard.

I can’t remember, or never knew, what kind of tree it was. Now there's a big stump and some severely cracked sidewalk.

Photo: Ogden Tree (Carob)—Los Angeles, 1997

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Robertson Boulevard

We had lunch a few weeks ago on Robertson Boulevard—an extremely trendy street—in Los Angeles. A few, but not too many, vacant storefronts. Can’t remember the name of the place, just that the service was very problematical.

Up the street there was a line of cars waiting for the valet service at The Ivy, a hypertrendy L.A. restaurant. My daughter and I had breakfast there a few years back. We showed up all unawares and were promptly seated at the patio in front. (!???!!—I mean, yes of course we always look trendy, but still . . . )

The memory of the grossly inflated prices on the menu is still fresh. After a hasty whispered conference we decided to stay: after all, how many times were we going to come back? I remember polishing up the complimentary scones while the scones on the tables around us were going untouched. As we left, I wandered over to the roses growing against the wall and took a commemorative photo.

Photos: Robertson—Los Angeles, 2009; Roses (The Ivy)—Los Angeles, 1998

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday Horse Blogging

Two horsey close-ups with clever self-portraits in the images.

Top, Tuffy (Mr. Tuffy to you) seen before, and bottom, Chula, also seen before.

Photos: Tuffy—Marin County, 2009; Chula—Marin County, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

. . . from the archives #50: Little Bighorn Battlefield—Montana, 1987


First stop was the Custer Battlefield. This place has a strange kind of mystical intensity. (The long-ago battle. The scattered tombstones. The unchanged landscape.)

Taken during a trip to South Dakota with my parents in 1987. I used a Mamiya twin-lens medium format camera.

Photo: Little Bighorn Battlefield—Montana, 1987

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Blog-skipping day at the offices of the mikereport.

However, feel free to check out this earlier post on the Olympus C-8080 and the "digital look."