Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Blackberry Blossom, Leaves

Blackberry Blossom - Marin County  2015

Blackberry Leaves in Rain - Marin County  2015
Yes, there was some rain this June. Not all that uncommon!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Cow Blogging

Cows, Spirit Rock - Marin County  2015

Cows coming around from behind Spirit Rock in the San Geronimo Valley.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

We Just Get It Done!

We Just Get It Done! - San Francisco  2015
Construction site in San Francisco. At times it seems as if all of San Francisco is one gigantic construction site.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Ferrari Logo - Marin County  2015

For a long time I was admiring Maserati, but now I think I've switched my allegiance to Ferrari.

Because of the horse logo, you know.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fairfax Sightems

Booth - Marin County  2015

Door - Marin County  2015

From this month's Fairfax Festival: my booth in the midst of redwoods, and a door seen as I was leaving to go get my truck. Both photos taken with an iPhone.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Storm Clouds - Merced

Storm Clouds - Merced  2015

Storm Clouds, Highway 99 - Central California  2015

No rain in the town of Merced, but continuing on Highway 99 north Mike ran into several extreme downpours, and some lightning.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Yosemite Rain - 3

Half Dome, Storm Clouds - Yosemite  2015

Cliffs, Rain - Yosemite  2015

Mike had to resort to the old camera-under-the-parka routine. It was at this point that the viewfinder for the E-PL5 went missing.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday Merganser Blogging

Merganser - El Portal  2015

Mike had seen this fellow out of the corner of his eye several times. Finally he splashed into the river just opposite Mike's camp.

There has been an earlier merganser post, in 2009, on the mikereport. That photo was taken with a Canon G9, this photo with an Olympus E-M10, its larger sensor providing a better picture.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Yosemite Rain - 2

Pine Needles, Rain - Yosemite  2015

Rain, Merced River - Yosemite  2015

Two photos taken during a little walk in the forest. Top photo taken using ISO 5000! Bottom one taken at the more usual one of 200.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Yosemite Rain - 1

Merced River, Dogwood - Yosemite  2015

Sandbar, Merced River - Yosemite  2015
The rain was intermittent, at one moment quite heavy, then letting up and disappearing. Snow was beginning to stick to the cliffs.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Rock Wall, Rain

Rock Wall - El Portal  2015

Mike woke up at 4:45 AM to the sound of rain on the tent.

He had been planning an excursion into the Sierra foothill area, but the weather changed his plans. He resolved to head up into Yosemite Valley to check out the atmospheric conditions. His first stop was across the Foresta Bridge to take a tripod shot of this rock wall.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Merced River, El Portal

Merced River - El Portal  2015

Taken from the Foresta Bridge. Mike's campground was a few miles down the road seen on the right side of the river.

Similar view from last year: Yosemite Camping.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

South Fork, Merced River

Merced River, Hite's Cove Trail - Sierra Nevada  2015

Reflections, Merced River - Sierra Nevada  2015

The trail climbs at the beginning, only to drop precipitously downwards towards the water's edge. Once there, very nice. Digger pines in evidence.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hite's Cove Trail Sightems

Flowers, Hite's Cove Trail - Sierra Nevada  2015

Granite Boulder, Young Tree - Sierra Nevada  2015

Some nice flowers, even though it was a little late in the season. Very peaceful with the sound of the river in the background.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Limestone Salamander Blogging

Limestone Salamander - Sierra Nevada  2015

A rare Limestone Salamander seen on the Hite's Cove trail.

"The limestone salamander (Hydromantes brunus) is a member of the lungless salamander family, Plethodontidae, found in a portion of the Merced River Canyon in Mariposa County, California.

The total population of this rare species is estimated at less than 2000 individuals."

- Wikipedia

However, hiking on the trail one would not have suspected that these creatures were all that particularly rare. Mike had to be constantly on the alert in order to avoid stepping on them; they were obviously using the trail for their own purposes.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hite's Cove Trail

Hite's Cove Trail - Sierra Nevada  2015

The trailhead is west down the canyon from El Portal. Mike knew that he was going to be late for truly spectacular wildflower displays, but wanted to go anyway.

He had hiked here some years ago, but had somehow managed to forget how narrow the trail actually was.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Campground Sightems

BBQ - El Portal  2015

Kindle, iPhone, Bluetooth Keyboard, Olympus Cameras - El Portal  2015
BBQ getting ready for a ribeye.

Olympus cameras: E-M10 (top), E-PL5 (bottom). Note the viewfinder sitting atop the E-PL5: somehow it got detached during some rough weather and is now missing. I like this particular camera combo because they both take the same size battery and are relatively minimalist.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Glacier Point Wide Angle

Manzanita, Half Dome - Yosemite  2015

Bark, Manzanita Leaves - Yosemite  2015

Two photos taken with the Olympus 9-18mm wide-angle lens.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Yosemite Waterfalls

Nevada & Vernal Falls, Clouds - Yosemite  2015
Yes, the waterfalls were running pretty low this year. But Nevada and Vernal Falls seemed to be doing OK in spite of the drought. Below, a closeup of Nevada Fall taken with the Olympus 14-150 zoom lens and cropped; one can just make out a footbridge over the creek. (Also, an earlier shot taken at the top of Nevada Fall. And in this instance, "earlier" means 1961.)

Nevada Fall - Yosemite  2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Posing #1 (Glacier Point) - Yosemite  2015

Posing #2 (Glacier Point) - Yosemite  2015

. . . up at Glacier Point, a favorite pastime.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Afternoon at Glacier Point

Clouds from Glacier Point - Yosemite  2015

Mike is a morning person, so he found it a little odd to be driving up to Glacier Point somewhat late in the afternoon. But it was worth it . . . look at those clouds!

Also, on his way up, Mike stopped at the famous Tunnel View outlook for a postcard shot of Yosemite Valley:

Valley - Yosemite  2015

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday Butterfly Blogging

Butterfly - El Portal  2015
This butterfly was seen hanging around Mike's campground, appearing, vanishing, reappearing, then finally posing on a nearby lichen-encrusted granite rock. Alas, no identification can be made, despite the wonders of Google.

We all recall Vladimir Nabokov's use of the butterfly image (a Vanessa atalanta) in his novel Pale Fire. And Mike would have liked to put this butterfly to a similar symbolic use, but the creature proved to be too elusive for that.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Merced River

Sun, Shade, Merced River - Yosemite  2015

Tree Branch, Pine Needles, Merced River - Yosemite  2015

After the morning dogwood hike Mike stopped for coffee and pastry at the Yosemite Lodge cafeteria.

On the way back to camp he stopped at the Cascade Creek picnic area for some photos.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Early Morning Wide Angle

Boulder, Trail - Yosemite  2015

Nobody around. Mike set up his tripod and took this photo using the Olympus 9-18mm lens at its widest range (9mm = 18mm equiv.). The camera was pointed slightly upwards accounting for the bent tree look.

Friday, June 5, 2015


Dogwood, Merced River - Yosemite  2015

Dogwood, Forest - Yosemite  2015

Mike drove into Yosemite Valley early in the morning, looking for dogwood. First stop: just past the Pohono Bridge over the Merced River.

Then a chill hike at the other end of the valley, more dogwood found at the expense of frozen hands.

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Buckeye, Overcast Sky - El Portal  2015

Buckeye Leaves - El Portal  2015

Aesculus californica.

It's interesting that this tree grows in our Bay Area neighborhood as well as in the Sierra foothills.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Vetch - El Portal  2015

Vetch - El Portal  2015

A patch of vetch near Mike's campground, seen last year as well. Top photo taken with a telephoto zoom lens, bottom one with a 45mm prime. Please notice the bug in that photo, enlarged below.

Bug & Vetch - El Portal  2015

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Yosemite Camping

Old Highway - Central California  2015

Campsite - El Portal  2015

Mike went on his annual Yosemite Spring Trip last month, through Merced and Mariposa to El Portal. Back to his usual walk-in campsite and sandwiches from the El Portal Market.

El Portal Market - El Portal  2015

Monday, June 1, 2015

Monday Porpoise Blogging

Porpoises - Sausalito  2015

Mike was wandering around the Sausalito shoreline (near where he had taken some earlier pelican photos) when he noticed these very - to him - large animals spouting and jumping out of the water.

Turns out they're harbor porpoises. Wow.

Mike tried to send out mental vibrations to get them to come closer, but, alas, he hasn't that particular talent.