Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bodie #2: Wheelbarrow, Outhouse

Wheelbarrow, Buildings - Bodie  2013

Outhouse - Bodie  2013

Outhouse wasn't operational.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bodie #1: Buildings

Buildings - Bodie  2013

Wandering around the arrested-decay buildings in Bodie, under a high overcast cloud cover. Nice light for photos.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Road to Bodie 2013

Road to Bodie - Mono County  2013

Nice enough, but I like the conditions for the 2001 photo better. Snow in the Sierra is of course more dramatic.

On the other hand, though . . . those are nice clouds. And, no film grain. How pleasant it would be if there was a Time Machine Mail Box that I could use to send my 2001 self my current Olympus digital camera.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Stellar Jay Blogging

Stellar Jay - Sierra Nevada  2013

Once he saw that he wasn't getting any handouts he quickly took off.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mono Lake

Mono Lake - Sierra Nevada  2013

Mike decided that he had had enough of day hiking. Now, for some roaming around in the truck. On today's schedule: Mono Lake and Bodie. After his usual cinnamon roll from the June Lake junction cafe he drove through Lee Vining to the Mono Lake Vistor Center.

Although it was early, it wasn't as early as in Mike's 1994 photo. He was pleased to see clouds start to materialize over Mono Lake: too often the basin is cloudless and hazy. Not today.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Campers Next Door

Tent Outhouse - Sierra Nevada  2013

The setup at the next camping site was pretty elaborate, including what appeared to be a little tent outhouse.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Little Lakes Trail #5: Morgan Pass

Morgan Pass - Sierra Nevada  2013

Photographer - Sierra Nevada  2013

The trail became more road-like as it approached Morgan Pass: wide with long, elongated switchbacks. Lots of granite boulders at the top . . . a little bit unexciting.

However, the view to the rear was more spectacular. Also, a fellow photographer was there adding a little color to the scene.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Little Lakes Trail #4: Details

Plants, Granite Wall - Sierra Nevada  2013

Pine Tree, Granite - Sierra Nevada  2013

Mike has always been partial to these smaller-type shots seen while hiking.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Little Lakes Trail #3: Lakes

Lake, Ripples - Sierra Nevada  2013

Lake, Ripples, Grass - Sierra Nevada  2013

So in fact Mike did pass by a number of lakes on this hike. "Little lakes" maybe.  But each lake remains anonymous: although he had a map in his daypack he rarely got it out since there was never any question about the route. So that therefore these photos are titled simply, "Lake, Sierra Nevada."

And ripples: the wind was picking up during the day creating nice ripples on the lakes' surfaces.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Little Lakes Trail #2: Rock Creek

Rock Creek - Sierra Nevada  2013

Actually Mike only guesses that this is Rock Creek. It's the little creek that connects a number of lakes in the valley. Very nice, and a welcome sight given the dry nature of his previous hike.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Bumblebee Blogging

Bumblebee - Marin County  2013

Mexican Sage - Marin County  2013

Bumblebee and Mexican Sage in our front yard.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Little Lakes Trail #1: Aspens

Aspens - Sierra Nevada  2013

Aspens, Little Lakes Trail - Sierra Nevada  2013

The trail starting at the Mosquito Flats trailhead follows an old mining road, with wide, level parts and narrow, Sierra-trail parts. The beginning of the trail went past some aspens turning colors.

As Scooter Libby once wrote: "Out west, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them." OK.

The aspens were very nice! But not as spectacular as the aspens in Utah.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fritos & Beer

Fritos & Beer - Sierra Nevada  2013

Mike drove to the Tom's Place turnoff and then took the road to the Mosquito Flats trailhead at the end. After passing Rock Creek Stables it turns into a one-lane road with turnouts. His goal was to hike the Little Lakes Valley, maybe making it to Morgan Pass.

But that's not what this post is about. This post is about Mike's traditional Fritos & Beer high country lunch. Mike has found that Fritos taste better the higher you are. Yes, "Extra Good in Altitude." (TM)

Also, in a first for a Fritos & Beer photo, this is a merge made up of two horizontal photos, needed to capture the grandeur of the scene.

Earliest Fritos & Beer photo was taken in 1994.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Convict Lake

Convict Lake - Sierra Nevada  2013

Early morning view of Convict Lake. Since it's a very short distance off of Highway 395 it's really necessary to at least go take a look when passing by.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Moonset, Minarets

Moon, Minarets - Sierra Nevada  2013

Moon, Minarets, Self Portrait - Sierra Nevada  2013

During the night the tent's interior was fully illuminated: it was obvious that there was a full moon in the night sky.

Since Mike had decided that his next day hike was going to be in the Little Lakes Valley, just south of Mammoth, he needed to get up early and drive the truck back to Highway 395. As he passed the Minaret Outlook on his way out he looked back to see the full moon directly over the peaks, which, seriously, he hadn't expected. There was no one in the parking lot at that time, of course. A pretty flat scene, so a little contrast has been added in a black and white version. Photos taken with an Olympus E-PL5 using a 14-150 zoom lens.

Here are two earlier shots from the same spot posted in 2009.

And, a moonset seen in Pismo Beach last year.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Back At Camp

IPA - Sierra Nevada  2013

Well, the Beck Lakes trail was nice enough, I guess. Quite a long slog back though.

When Mike got back to camp he realized it was beer o'clock.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Beck Lakes Trail #3

Viewpoint, Beck Lakes Trail - Sierra Nevada  2013

Tree, Unknown Mountain - Sierra Nevada  2013

Over 4 hours of hiking and not yet to the junction to the lakes! Yikes!

Mike opted to backtrack and regain some altitude, stopping at a nice viewpoint for lunch. Views in all directions, with a particularly impressive unknown peak to the south looming through the haze.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Horse Blogging

Tuffy - Marin County  2013

Tuffy . . . coming to an abrupt stop and ruffling his mane.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Beck Lakes Trail #2

Pine Tree Backlit - Sierra Nevada  2013

Tree Trunk - Sierra Nevada  2013

OK, to be honest, Mike never actually reached the Beck Lakes during his hike. Just a little too far. The trail itself went through a heavily forested area with hardly any water features, so maybe not to be fully recommended.

Opportunities for tree pix though!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Beck Lakes Trail #1

San Joaquin River (A. M.) - Sierra Nevada  2013

Mike wanted to try a different trail out of the Devils Postpile trailhead this time, so he spent a day hiking the Beck Lakes trail. Other trails go to Minaret Lake and Lake Ediza.

So he drove to the trailhead parking lot early in the morning, parked the truck (only vehicle in the place) and wandered down to the San Joaquin River to get this before-sunrise shot.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Minaret Falls Campground

Campground - Sierra Nevada  2013

Campfire, Self-Portrait - Sierra Nevada  2013

One of Mike's favorites . . . he first camped here in 1960. Several choices available, since it was getting towards the end of the season. He picked a nice secluded spot at the base of a hill to pitch his aging Coleman tent.

Also, the bear box was quite roomy.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rim Fire

Rim Fire #1 - Sierra Nevada  2013

Rim Fire #2 - Sierra Nevada  2013

I've posted earlier photos of wildfires before, for example, the Angora Fire and the Mount Vision Fire.

Here are two photos taken at the "Rim of the World" overlook outside the entrance to Yosemite. Individual images aren't really able to convey the scope of this fire, however. What's different in this case is that the Rim Fire is extremely attention-getting since it's omnipresent for a long distance while driving on Highway 120, the main road from the Bay Area to Yosemite.

The air started to clear once I was inside Yosemite headed towards Tioga Pass.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Smoke in the Foothills

Smoke (Rim Fire) - Sierra Nevada  2013

Taken at the beginning of a recent trip to the Sierra Nevada. When I left the Bay Area the Rim Fire was not yet completely contained, but they were allowing traffic through the burned sections of Highway 120 and Tioga Road. Lower down, approaching the Old Priest Grade before Groveland, the air became dense with smoke.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Fogbow - Marin County  2013

Hiking up towards the top of Loma Alta, I became enveloped by fog wreaths. As I rounded a bend in the trail the sun was positioned directly in back of me; as its rays fell on the fog this fogbow was created just as an airplane above the bow made its final approach into SFO.

Oh the fogbow surface takes its stand
Oh, the fogbow surface is in dazzling command

(Joan of Arc, Fogbow)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday Jellyfish Blogging

Jellyfish #1 - Monterey  2013

Jellyfish #2 - Monterey  2013

Taken at the jellyfish exhibit at the Monterey Aquarium.

Also, earlier 2011 jellyfish photo.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Two Trees

Madrone - Marin County  2013

Oak, Mt. Tamalpais - Marin County  2013

A young madrone seen on a recent hike up Loma Alta. A.M. sunlight filtered through fog-like overcast.

An oak (favorite subject), with Mt. Tamalpais in the distance.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Jelly Belly Store

Mr. Jelly Belly - Gilroy  2013

Jelly Belly Store - Gilroy  2013

At the "Outlets" in Gilroy, on our way back from Monterey. We're talking licorice jellybellies and candy corn.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Monterey Bay, Evening

Monterey Bay - Monterey County  2013

It was getting to be very dark, but I wanted to try a few photos anyway.

I just looked up the camera data for this shot in Photoshop. Interesting: I used an Olympus E-PL5 with a Panasonic Lumix 20mm lens (40mm equiv.). Exposure was 1/60th sec, f/1.7, ISO 250.

I'm surprised that the camera kept the shutter speed that slow, but the image seems to be sharp enough. (The camera has in-body image stabilization.)

I tried to take some "merge" photos, but they didn't work out.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Monterey Aquarium

Monterey Aquarium & Bay - Monterey County  2013

Not as large as Atlanta's perhaps. However, no comparison as to the setting.

There were some sea otters hanging around in the distance. Maybe they've gotten used to the kayaks?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Museum Mountain Lion

Museum Mountain Lion - Pacific Grove  2013
In Pacific Grove. Probably not appropriate to use the mountain lion for a Monday Blogging post.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pacific Grove Mural

Pacific Grove Mural - Pacific Grove  2013

Mural Explanatory Note - Pacific Grove  2013
Very nice.