Saturday, November 30, 2013

Transamerica Pyramid

Transamerica - San Francisco  2013

Transamerica - San Francisco  2013

Two views.

Yes. Still called the Transamerica Pyramid.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Woman, Horse, Phone - Alameda County  2013

Man, Phone (Haight Street) - San Francisco  2013

Woman, Phone (Rincon Center) - San Francisco  2013

Seen here and there.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving . . . and Hanukah!

Pumpkins - Marin County  2012

Menorah at Drake Terrace - Marin County  2008


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sausalito Flowers

Roses - Sausalito  2013

Flowers - Sausalito  2013

Back in Marin! These are from last quarter: an elegant arrangement in Jane's Salon des Artistes, and a nice grouping seen outside.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Return Over Tioga Pass

Tioga Lake, Mt. Dana - Yosemite  2013

Lembert Dome - Yosemite  2013

After the retrieval of the ice chest the rest of Mike's trip home was uneventful. The snow hadn't quite melted, however, so he was able to get some nice views going over Tioga Pass and through Tuolumne Meadows.

Particularly nice: Tioga Lake with Mt. Dana in the background, and a meadow view of Lembert Dome. (We'll pause to recall Mike's Lembert Dome adventure last year.)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Horse Blogging

White Horse - Marin County  2013

White Horse - Marin County  2013

Photos of Joe, across the road from Tuffy. Top: July 4th. Going to be hot. Bottom: Early AM in autumn. Chilly.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bear Stories

Bear Mess, Early A.M. - Sierra Nevada  2013

Ice Chest, Bear Mess - Sierra Nevada  2013

Haven't we heard this story before? Seems like we have.

Mike left his motel room in the early morning darkness, finding his way downstairs using his flashlight since there was no overhead light provided by the motel. Of course, upon seeing the mess in back of the truck, there was the first moment of incomprehension, followed by the, "Oh, right. A bear." (Also of course, Mike should have known better, even in a motel parking lot. Maybe the motel could have put up a warning sign? Whatever.)

He scooped up the mess as best he could (unable to get all the crunched-up pistachio shells), dumped the food box in the back of the truck, and left. Stopped off at Schaat's Bakery for coffee and a pastry, started off down the road. As he was driving he thought to himself, "At least he didn't get the ice chest. Whoa, wait a minute . . . the ice chest!" Pull over, peer into the truck: right, no ice chest. Turn the truck around and go back to the motel. By that time, it was light enough for Mike to perform a search, spiraling around the motel, finally locating the ice chest down in a gulley. So now there's two ice chests in the garage with bear claw puncture marks. Wow!

Of additional interest: in neither bear incident was there any truck damage. They obviously know how to open the rear camper shell door.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Back to Camp

Tree, Falling Snow - Sierra Nevada  2013

After waiting around at the entry station, observing sunlit snow falling off trees, the road down from Minaret Summit was finally opened in the afternoon.

Mike drove down and methodically broke camp and stored everything in the back of the truck. Then, up to Mammoth Lakes and the local EconoLodge and an early pizza 'n beer dinner.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Twin Lakes

Twin Lakes - Sierra Nevada  2013

Because they had closed the road down to his campground, Mike found it necessary to occupy himself in and around the town of Mammoth Lakes. He drove over to the Twin Lakes viewpoint, took some pix and spent some time at the local Starbucks, sitting opposite the Lakanuki Restaurant.

Lakanuki - Sierra Nevada  2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Mountain - Sierra Nevada  2013

Mammoth Mountain, Snow - Sierra Nevada  2013
Two views of Mammoth Mountain from Minaret Summit, without and with snow.

After Mike finished taking his photos, he discovered that the road going back down to his campsite (the road he had just come up) had been closed! Yikes!

Road Closed - Sierra Nevada  2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

MInarets, Snow, Moon, White Mountains

Minarets, Snow, Moon - Sierra Nevada  2013
White Mountains from Minaret Summit - Sierra Nevada  2013

Mike felt it necessary to get a view of the snow from Minaret Summit, so he headed up the road, encountering a few icy patches here and there. Up towards the top there was a longer patch of snow, but the truck (in four-wheel drive) made it through without any issues.

And there they were, the Minarets, with snow and a moon a few days past full. Almost too much contrast, to be honest. The view out towards the White Mountains dialed it down a bit.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Snow on Trees

Road, Trees, Snow - Sierra Nevada  2013

Trees, Snow - Sierra Nevada  2013

After leaving Red's Meadows, Mike started to head back to the campground. But at the last minute he decided to continue exploring the snowy scene, heading up the road to higher elevations.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Blackbird Blogging

Coffee, Red's Meadows - Sierra Nevada  2013

The cafe at Red's Meadows was open! Mike parked, got out, went in and emerged with a nice hot coffee, then wandered around the blackbird-studded grounds.

And yes, back in 2010 he had a hamburger at the cafe, after a backpack trip.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sotcher Lake

Sotcher Lake - Sierra Nevada  2013

Trout Ripple, Sotcher Lake - Sierra Nevada  2013

As Mike left the Devils Postpile parking area he turned right and drove towards Reds Meadows, first passing by a mist-enshrouded Sotcher Lake. He hiked up a hill to get a view from above; as he was leaving he heard a plop, and turned to see ripples left by a jumping trout. A nice little haiku moment.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Grass, Snow

Grass, Snow - Sierra Nevada  2013

Light snow near Devils Postpile.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Devils Postpile Meadow

San Joaquin River, Meadow, Snow - Sierra Nevada  2013

Footbridge, Snow - Sierra Nevada  2013

A short detour from the main Devils Postpile trail brings one to a footbridge (covered with icy frozen snow in this photo) leading over the San Joaquin River.

Mike attempted to take some HDR shots using the bridge as a tripod, but the HDR didn't work. However, this one shot, the "medium" shot in one of the HDR sequences, came out OK.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Devils Postpile

Devils Postpile - Sierra Nevada  2013

Bummer! No snow on the Postpile! Lower elevation plus dark heat-retaining rocks, Mike guesses.

Nobody else there.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Frozen Campsite

Truck, Snow (Minaret Falls Campground) - Sierra Nevada  2013

Truck, Snow - Sierra Nevada  2013

Mike decided that he should take advantage of the weather for some photo ops. However, although the campground wasn't high enough to get that much snow, the combination of rain, snow and falling temperatures was enough to freeze the truck doors shut. After some pouring of water he managed to enter through the passenger door and squirm over to the driver's side, eventually opening that door from the inside.

Frying Pan, Snow, Ice - Sierra Nevada  2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Camp Table, Snow

Camp Table, Snow - Sierra Nevada  2013

So, not a lot of snow, no. But still . . .

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Deer Blogging

Deer in Snow - Sierra Nevada  2013

Rain kept hitting the tent, gradually decreasing as the night went on. Wind gusts dislodged water from the tree above at random intervals. Then, silence. To be honest, Mike didn't get that much sleep; as soon as some outside light began to permeate the tent he scooted over to the tent door in his sleeping bag, peeked outside and saw the snow that he had hoped might come had fallen during the night.

What to wear? Hm. First, Travelsmith Everywhere pants, then REI fleece pants, then long sleeve REI shirt, then Marmot Driclime jacket, then a North Face down jacket. Then socks and Gore-Tex hiking shoes. Gloves. Then out into the chill morning air.

Mike was joined by this deer as they both wandered around the frosty early morning campground.

View from Tent (Minaret Falls Campground) - Sierra Nevada  2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Tailgating - Sierra Nevada  2013

Sitting at the camp table during pouring rain: maybe not the best dinner option. Mike considered the alternatives, then decided that heating his pork 'n beans would be best accomplished utilizing the truck's tailgate. So we see, above, Mike's rain meal consisting of pork 'n beans, Fritos and Trader Joe's Cabernet Sauvignon. Yum!

Interesting: the whole Red's Meadows area has cell phone reception. This meant that Mike was able, at all times, to maintain contact with the outside world, much like the Everest mountaineers in 1996.



Mike: Rain. Not heavy. Sitting in driver's seat, reading.

Hali: Might be a long night.

Mike: Yup. Glad I didn't backpack.

Mike: Small hail.

Mike: Lightning, thunder.

Hali: Wow, that is neat.

Hali: Snow in Tahoe elevations.

Mike: Close my eyes, I'm John Muir.

Mike: Wow! More lightning. Hope it doesn't hit me while I'm eating pork 'n beans.

Hali: Me too.


Mike's dinner went unhindered by any lightning strikes, but they were quite bright, and the ensuing thunder quite loud.

When it was time to go to bed - very early - Mike made his way over to the tent and discovered that it was now sitting on top of a heretofore unnoticed puddle. Cautiously getting inside he discovered that a) the bottom of the tent was rippling back and forth like a waterbed, and b) the tent was still dry. He crept cautiously over to his sleeping bag (already on top of a Thermarest) got in and turned out the lantern.

Darkness, rain.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Rain, Trees - Sierra Nevada  2013

Rain started to come down in earnest, first dampening the ground, then forming puddles. Mike didn't notice it at the time, but a puddle was starting to form under his tent.

Campground, Puddles - Sierra Nevada  2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate, Making - Sierra Nevada  2013

Gloomier and gloomier. Drops started pattering down. So it was clearly time for some hot chocolate.

Heat the water, stir a little into the cup to make a paste, then add the rest of the water. Then sip, staring vacantly at the increasing rain.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Approaching Storm

Sierra Storm 0913 Video from Mike Mundy on Vimeo.

Taken with Mike's older Canon G12.

Mike almost felt that he should climb one of the trees, as a homage to John Muir. But he didn't.

Being accustomed to climb trees in making botanical studies, I experienced no difficulty in reaching the top of this one, and never before did I enjoy so noble an exhilaration of motion. The slender tops fairly flapped and swished in the passionate torrent, bending and swirling backward and forward, round and round, tracing indescribable combinations of vertical and horizontal curves, while I clung with muscles firm braced, like a bobo-link on a reed.

In its widest sweeps my tree-top described an arc of from twenty to thirty degrees, but I felt sure of its elastic temper, having seen others of the same species still more severely tried--bent almost to the ground indeed, in heavy snows--without breaking a fiber. I was therefore safe, and free to take the wind into my pulses and enjoy the excited forest from my superb outlook.

--John Muir, The Mountains of California

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Storm Clouds

Storm Clouds from Minaret Summit - Sierra Nevada  2013

Storm Clouds, Trees (Minaret Falls Campground) - Sierra Nevada  2013

Clouds had been gathering nicely throughout the day and by the time Mike got to the Minaret Summit they were in a fine threatening mode. Down at the campground the wind increased, gloom and sunlight alternated, and clouds eventually covered the sky.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mono Lake

Mono Lake, Highway 395 - Sierra Nevada  2013

Another highway 395 overlook. Mountains to the right (west) and desert heading off into the distance.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday Deer Blogging

Deer Grazing - Sierra Nevada  2013

There was a family of deer that kept wandering around the campground, paying very little attention to photographers. Some attention, of course.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Conway Summit

Aspens, Fence (Conway Summit) - Sierra Nevada  2013

Taken from a pullout off of highway 395. Interesting: Mike seemed to be the only person wanting to stop there.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Bodie #4: Self Portrait

Self Portrait - Bodie  2013

No trip to Bodie would be complete without a cryptic self portrait. See, for example, this 2000 photo.

And for extra credit, check out Meagan Day's Intellectual Analysis of Bodie.

Sample sentence: "Bodie troubles a false dichotomy between normative space and ruin space, suggesting that the ruin, too, is vulnerable to regulation, sterilization, and corrective intervention."

That's just what I was going to say!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Bodie #3: Staircase, Post

Posts, Staircase - Bodie,  2013

Post - Bodie  1992

Top: 2013. Olympus digital camera.

Bottom: 1992. Mamiya twin-lens film camera.