The test of an adventure is that when you are in the middle of it, you say to yourself, "Oh, now I've got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home." And the sign that something is wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure. -Thornton Wilder

The nice thing about being confused is you get a chance to notice things a lot better than if you knew where you were going.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Friday, December 19, 2014

It's in the Details

Just consider as you look at these photos, all of this is probably buried in snow as the altitude there at Ebbet's Pass is 6300 feet (1920 meters). 

Maybe this swallow nest isn't snowed under.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Old Ghost Camp

It didn't appear to be a working camp but it had a this great old weathered fence.

No cows or people were around.

There was an old bed, table and chairs inside but really didn't look to have been used in many a year.

If you cannot make out the sign made from beer bottle caps it reads SCOSSA BROS. COW CAMP

This is linked to TexWisGirl's GOOD FENCES
There is another Good Fence shot on yesterday's post also.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Going Over the Sierras

 After my morning stroll through the grove of sequoias we left camp heading eastward up over the mountain range for our ultimate destination, the Alabama Hills.

These pictures are straight out of the camera. 
You just can't go wrong with your pictures when you're up in good clean air. 

We came upon a real nice photo opportunity once we began our descent which I will show more of in the next two posts.  Here is a little teaser in the meantime.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Calaveras Big Trees

Filmed from our campsite at Calaveras Big Trees.
This one was easier to produce having done that time lapse video last week.
I didn't need the help of a little ten year old girl on YouTube this time.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Another Stupid Idea

 See that branch sticking out at about ten o'clock?  
That is all that is alive on this once great tree.
After cutting the tunnel it killed the rest of the tree.

I somehow missed "Big Stump" referred to in that sign so I pulled these from the internet to show.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Three Scenes

This cone wasn't quite as big as a loaf of bread as that other pine cone was but be sure, you wouldn't want this come crashing down on your head.  It'd probably bring you to your knees.

There was not that much fall forest color in this grove of sequoias.

And another little chickaree.

There probably is several feet of snow there now, 
a whole different scene but don't expect me to go see and photograph it...ever.
I wonder what the chickarees do about that snow?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Chickaree, Douglas Squirrel, Pine Squirrel...

...these little guys have a lot of names.  They are smaller than our grey squirrel, much cuter and probably no less annoying raiding bird feeders if there were any available in their territory.

But since they weren't in my backyard I was able to enjoy watching them.

Fast, zippy little fellows they were chattering noisily as I entered their space.  

 Thinking I was hearing a new bird to me, I searched all over until I finally realized it was these little buggers making all that racket.

There's not much meat on them bones so I left them alone.  Sinbad would have fun with one of them but I doubt he'd know what to do.  Poor little guy, been an indoor cat all his life and never had a mother to teach him how to hunt.

Friday, December 12, 2014

He Wins

Everyday it is an issue with my chair.  

Too precious to move.

I always end up on the floor.
No complaints. 

Mother of the Forest

One can only imagine what this tree looked like 150 plus years ago.

Taken from Wikipedia:
The tree was said to stretch 321 feet (98 m) into the air (which is unlikely, as this would make it 35 feet taller than the tallest tree on the list of largest giant sequoias), with a girth of 90 feet (27 m) at ground level. It was the largest of 92 giant sequoias growing in the valley in 1852 when a man named George Gale discovered the massive tree. In 1854 he had the bark stripped from the trunk. Gale named the massive tree the "Mother of the Forest" before he sent men to strip the tree of its bark. Once the bark was removed, the tree did not survive for long. In 1908, a fire that swept through the area burned away much of what was left of the tree. The massive tree had thick bark, 2 feet (0.61 m) thick in some spots, which Gale had stripped. Gale toured with the bark, showing it off to crowds.
To this day, what is left of Mother of the Forest stands as a large fire-blackened snag along the loop trail through the North Grove, at the far end of the loop. Saw marks made when the bark was cut away are still visible on the trunk, which stands over 100 feet tall. Gale sent samples of the tree to foresters in the east where it was discovered to be 2,520 years old.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Calaveras Big Trees

We began our trip with an overnight at Calaveras Big Trees State Park in the Sierra Mountains.  This state park preserves two groves of giant sequoia trees.  Some of these trees are over a thousand years old, over twenty feet in diameter at their base and over two hundred feet tall.

It was neat to walk through this grove for I had it all to myself. 
No one else was there to get in the way of my picture taking.

 That is a lot of wood.  Even when you are there it is difficult to comprehend the mass of tree standing before you.

They don't get much skinnier the higher you look up either.

It gets hard on the neck after awhile looking up all the time and the park service took that into consideration when they made these benches to gaze upon the trees by.

Our coastal redwoods are taller and sometimes close to the same size at the base as these sequoias but their pine cones are very small.  Not so the sequoia.
This one was nearly the size of a loaf of bread. 

Big difference from all that desert stuff I've been showing you the past few weeks, huh?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Two of Us

The day before we left the Alabama Hills, Sinbad had one last roll in the dirt.  Little did we know what was lying ahead for us in the following weeks.  Today he continues on doing well on his special diet for his kidneys.  He has his good days and not so good but overall he seems fine.  
I'm just so happy to still have him by my side.

I have a few pictures yet to share of other places before and after the Alabama Hills so enjoy them because after that you will be subjected to mushroom pictures for quite a while.  This season has produced more mushrooms of many varieties than I have ever seen on my hikes in years.  

Just warning ya.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

More of the Unusual

Some colorful lichen

and probably the most unusual rock formation I came across at the Alabama Hills.

Yep, I too thought it looked like an old brick wall mortared to the rock.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Alabama Hills Time Lapse

This is a time lapse video of a sunrise, sunset and another sunrise done from camp.  I have no idea how much time through trial and error I have logged in just to capture a time lapse, then go through the steps of downloading and processing especially when you don't know what you are doing.  Hours upon hours, believe me.  It is really disheartening when you are forced to watch some tutorial on YouTube on how to do something and find yourself listening to a ten year old walking you through each step, but finally I did it!  Thank you little girl whoever you are.

Click on the expander brackets in the lower right corner if you want the full-on cinema view.

I think the next time lapse video I have will go a little easier to produce...hopefully.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

73 Years Ago

Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.
2,403 Americans lost their lives.
Lest we forget.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Plant Life

Why it is named rabbitbrush when rabbits don't particularly like to eat it is anyone's guess.

I don't know what this plant is but the leaves look like they are covered in frost don't they?

And the flowers were like fake flowers made from paper.

Grass, but you already knew that.

Another unknown to me.  Botany is not my forte.