Saturday, June 15, 2019

Dominican University - 2

Ivy, Entrance (Dominican University) - Marin County  2019

Dogwood Tree (Dominican University) - Marin County  2019

There's an interesting link between Ansel Adams and the university:

"Adams began working for Dominican in 1932, only two years after he had decided on a career in photography. He was 30 years old, had just started a family; it was the depth of the Depression and the work must have been welcome.

"He continued to work on commission for the college until 1952.

"His Dominican pictures show a vanished world -- Dominican was a women's college then, and he photographed it as it wanted to see itself, 'a serene, almost sheltered environment for the intellectual development of women,' Roby said."

SF Chronicle

Friday, June 14, 2019

Dominican University - 1

Footbridge (Dominican University) - Marin County  2019

Benches (Dominican University) - Marin County  2019

For some reason I've never explored the grounds of the Dominican University here in Marin County.

Very pretty.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Marin Flowers

Rose - Marin County  2019

Rhododendrons - Marin County  2019

Top: an iPhone shot, using "Portrait Mode."

Bottom: San Geronimo Valley, taken with an Olympus E-M1II, 14-150mm lens.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Marin Scenic

Mt. Tamalpais, Clouds - Marin County  2019

Fence, Roses - Marin County  2019

Top: from the pedestrian bridge at the Larkspur Ferry terminal.

Bottom: San Geronimo Valley.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Convict Lake / Minarets - 2007

Convict Lake - Sierra Nevada  2007

Minarets - Sierra Nevada  2007


6:45 AM—Up.

7:15—Attempt to find fishermen’s lodge for breakfast. Couldn’t find one. Went therefore to Jack’s in Bishop. Bacon, eggs, and toast . . . wow . . .

10:00—Leave camp. Travel to Galen Rowell gallery in Bishop.
Very sanitized views of wilderness . . . everything perfect: composition (no fallen logs, extraneous undergrowth etc), lighting (the perfect sunrise/sunset etc.) etc etc. Employee states that 16x20 is most popular size sold.

Major clouds developing. Photos of Infiniti & Convict Lake.

Pizza for lunch in Mammoth.

Drive to Minaret Summit. Thunder, lightning, hail. Wow.

3:15—EconoLodge & shower! Slightly cheesy, older place, but I can see the gondola structure on Mammoth Mountain from my window!


For some reason, there's no photos of the EconoLodge to be found in the contact sheets. Nor any mention of the drive home in the notes. Oh well.


So, for this trip I used an Olympus E-510, my first DSLR. The camera had 10 megapixels (my current Olympus E-M1II has 20). A somewhat low megapixel count, combined with all-jpg files, means that in practice there's a limited amount of Photoshop manipulation / enlarging that can be done. One interesting thing was that as I was hiking the camera kept bumping up against the buckle on my pack's waist belt, scratching the LCD screen. After that I made sure to affix a protective screen thingie to all my cameras.

Olympus E-510 - Marin County  2019

Monday, June 10, 2019

Monday Cat Blogging

Cat on Porch - Marin County  2019

Cat Flopped on Sidewalk - Marin County  2019

iPhone photos. Our neighbor's cat. There are actually two cats, but so far no photos of them together.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Hike Out 2 - 2007

Bishop Pass Sign - Sierra Nevada  2007

Backpacker - Sierra Nevada  2007
Lake, Storm Clouds - Sierra Nevada  2007

I reached the Bishop Pass sign and then headed down the many switchbacks of the trail.

(BTW, I'm liking the top two photos: for the sign in one, and the backpacker and the faint, meandering trail in the other. Also, nice muted colors. May try to print on the Epson.)

From the notes:

7:30—Leave camp. 51º.
“Fog” over the Inconsolable Range . . . low monsoonal clouds?

9:30—Back at first campsite. Breakfast. Overcast: making good time.

10:40—Bishop Pass.

12:00 PM—Saddlerock Lake outlet bridge. (Site of 1st day’s lunch.) Lunch.

2:30—Trailhead. Thunder on the way down. 9-mile hike out . . . helped by overcast. A personal best, I think.


After a beer at the trailhead I camped overnight at one of the campgrounds in the vicinity.

Mike & Beer, Post Backpack - Sierra Nevada  2007

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Mount Agassiz

Mt. Agassiz, Pond - Sierra Nevada  2007

A looming presence over the Bishop Pass trail, 13,899 feet elevation.

I've climbed Mt Agassiz twice, both times in 1974. First time was with the Sierra Club, just after I had taken their mountaineering class. Later that year my brother Joe and I repeated the trip. I remember us reaching Bishop Pass, then cutting over to the left among the boulders and picking a chute at random. Once up at the top I managed to get a nice heroic photo of Joe, but somehow there's no photo of me.

Mt. Agassiz, Pond - Sierra Nevada  1974

Joe, Mt. Agassiz Summit - Sierra Nevada  1974

Friday, June 7, 2019

The Hike Out 1 - 2007

Sunrise (Dusy Basin) - Sierra Nevada  2007
Lichen, Granite (Bishop Pass) - Sierra Nevada  2007

Ominous. You know what they say: "Red skies at dawn, sailors mow their lawn." OK, maybe they don't say that.

Slightly overcast, for a change.

From the notes:

5:45 AM—Get up. 49º. Overcast. Using my head lamp to pack up sleeping bag and Thermarest inside tent. Two grouse in tree during the night.

6:20—Nice sunrise.
Low battery warning on camera.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Moonrise, Dusy Basin - 2007

Moonrise (Dusy Basin) - Sierra Nevada  2007

Campsite (Dusy Basin) - Sierra Nevada  2007

As I said, lots of other backpackers in the vicinity. You can see some in the top photo.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Dusy Basin Lakes - 2007

Pond (Dusy Basin) - Sierra Nevada  2007

Lake (Dusy Basin) - Sierra Nevada  2007

Afternoon light, postcard views.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Rock Art - 2007

Rocks (Dusy Basin) - Sierra Nevada  2007

Granite (Dusy Basin) - Sierra Nevada  2007

High altitude Sierra details. Taken while wandering around my Dusy Basin campsite with an Olympus E-510 DSLR.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Monday Deer Blogging

Deer - Sierra Nevada  2014

OK, so this isn't a 2007 shot. My deer photo from that trip was shot at 1/8th second and alas, it's somewhat blurry.

So this deer shot is from a 2014 backpack up near Minaret Lake, taken as I was boiling water for my freeze-dried meal.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Hike Up to Dusy Basin - 2007

Backpack - Sierra Nevada  2007

Mike, Dusy  Basin Summit - Sierra Nevada  2007

from the notes:


5:45 AM—Up early. 50º.

7:25—Leave camp.

7:45—JMT/Bishop Pass trail junction. Put on sunscreen.



10:00—10,000’ sign.

10:45—Bridge, cascade. Change sox, replenish water etc.

12:20—Top of canyon, beginning of Dusy Basin.

12:45—Campsite, overlooking Lake 10742.

5:20—62º. Large clouds in the area. Nice light for rock photos. Sunset will be much later here than in the canyon.

Far too many people camping in this area. Probably because it’s the first stop coming up from the canyon, and the last stop before heading down.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Moonrise, Breakfast (Little Pete Meadow) - 2007

Moonrise - Sierra Nevada  2007

Breakfast, Packing Up (Little Pete Meadow) - Sierra Nevada  2007

Getting ready to enter my tent when the moon came up behind the mountains. Not quite full yet but still very bright!

Next morning: packing up, having some cocoa. Photo of the kitchen area above,

Friday, May 31, 2019

False Hellebore - 2007

False Hellebore, Kings River (Little Pete Meadow) - Sierra Nevada  2007

This is an alternative shot. Final image has been shown before on the blog. To quote from that post:

"Mike had hiked over Bishop Pass, camped overnight in Dusy Basin, and then hiked down, down, down the formidable LeConte Canyon, finally, exhaustingly, arriving at Little Pete Meadow. This is such a great spot! The Kings River rippling by, a late-season Sierra meadow, and the thin dusty track of the John Muir Trail. What he should have done, of course, was to hang out there for a layover day. Instead, he used his free day to do a day hike heading south towards (but not coming remotely close to) Muir Pass.

"By the time he got back to camp the sun was already dangerously close to setting. In fact, by the time he'd wandered down to the river’s edge, the sun had disappeared behind the canyon walls. The false hellebores in the meadow were fading fast: it was the end of the brief Sierra growing season. He took several photos of these photogenic plants (utilized also by Edward Weston); this one is his favorite."

Below, a rather nice-looking false hellebore print:

False Hellebore Print - Marin County  2019

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Little Pete Meadow Afternoon - 2007

Kings River (Little Pete Meadow) - Sierra Nevada  2007

Grass (Little Pete Meadow) - Sierra Nevada  2007

After resting up I wandered down towards the river for some photos.

From the notes:

2:45—76º. I must say that in reality, this campsite is great. Location just as I like it, the trail between here and the river (Middle Fork, Kings River). On a rise overlooking Little Pete Meadow and the river.

Enjoyment is somewhat lessened by my too strenuous schedule . . . but on the other hand I don’t think I could have predicted the heat at this altitude.

I’ve complained about this (overscheduling problem) before, I know. But in the past I had “successful” day hikes to compensate. Not this time. Back to the drawing board. 

Mike, Campsite (Little Pete Meadow) - Sierra Nevada  2007

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Day Hike - 2007

Granite Peaks - Sierra Nevada  2007

Meadow from Above - Sierra Nevada  2007

I had mapped out in advance a projected dayhike that would take me from Little Pete Meadow to Muir Pass. I had known in advance that the goal was problematic since the distance involved was over 12 miles. But in the end it wasn't the distance that was the issue, it was the heat.

From the notes:


6:30 AM—Get up. Warm—51º.

8:00—Leave for dayhike after cutting moleskin for toes. Sun not up yet. Heading north on the JMT.

8:40—Sun. Warm!

8:50—Big Pete Meadow.

9:00—Breakfast. Refill hydration unit.

10:00—M&M break. Really tough trail . . . don’t want to knock myself  out.

10:15—10,000-foot sign.

10:50—Top of canyon. Meadow, scenic.

11:15—2nd meadow. Will have lunch here and return. 70º in shade.

12:00 PM—Pills and start back. (Change of sox—great!)


2:10—Back at camp. For not even coming near Muir Pass, a very difficult hike! Sun bouncing off granite, the heat penetrating my boots. Not pleasant.

Le Conte Canyon View - Sierra Nevada  2007

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Little Pete Meadow 2 - 2007

Mountains (Afternoon) - Sierra Nevada  2007

Grass, Pond - Sierra Nevada  2007

So, who was this "Pete" who managed to get some nice meadows named after him?  (Just to the north is Big Pete Meadow.) Alas, Google is silent on the issue.

There was enough light left in the day for some exploratory walks around. One benefit of having a camera is that it focuses your attention on elements in your surroundings that you might otherwise miss.

My camp was actually pretty close to the trail. Backpackers passing by didn't really notice me, however.

Backpackers (Little Pete Meadow) - Sierra Nevada  2007

Monday, May 27, 2019

Monday Grouse Blogging

Grouse - Sierra Nevada  2007

Don't remember taking this photo, but here it is.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Little Pete Meadow 1 - 2007

Campsite (Little Pete Meadow) - Sierra Nevada  2019

My plan was to find a campsite as soon as I reached the JMT intersection, but I spent some time looking for a suitable location without any success. Some backpackers who were passing by were nice enough to direct me to a spot just north in Little Pete Meadow, a few minutes away. Nice!

From the notes:

2:20 PM—Finally at camp! Had to do some searching . . . tiring.
Nice site (at Little Pete Meadow) but sunset will be very early: I'm directly under Langille Peak. A difficult ascent yesterday, today a difficult descent. Remains to be seen how much of a dayhike I’ll do.

4:35—Sunset. 71º.

6:00—Dinner. My appetite is much diminished. This is a problem with the 1-serving freeze-dried entrees. 


Below, topo map for reference:

Le Conte Canyon Topo Map

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Down Le Conte Canyon - 2007

Le Conte Canyon - Sierra Nevada  2007

Stream, Granite - Sierra Nevada  2007

Just as the trail to Bishop Pass had zigged and zagged up, so the trail to Le Conte Canyon zigged and zagged down toward an intersection with the John Muir Trail. A stream splashed through a downsloping granite slab off to the side.

From the notes:

8:15—Leave camp to hike though  Dusy Basin.

9:40—Breakfast at Lake 10742.

10:15—View into Le Conte Canyon: a major drop-off.

11:00—Footbridge, cascades. Stop for moleskin.

11:30—Descend past the 10,000-foot mark. Enter forest cover.

Trail Intersection - Sierra Nevada  2007