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.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Finally!


The correct parts have arrived, repairs been made and we're on our way!  Yippee!!
I doubt I will be able to post anything on the blog as it is so remote in the Mojave Desert.
We'll see.

This picture is of dropping down into Death Valley on a road trip 5 years ago.
We'll be south of Death Valley on this trip in the Mojave National Preserve.





Friday, March 25, 2016

Not a Desert Flower


Just a Rhododendron in my yard.


Meanwhile, Sinbad sleeps.

Still waiting for the correct parts to arrive before we can leave.



Thursday, March 24, 2016

Another Delay


The parts arrived that I needed to make the repairs on the Little House on the Highway and of course

they sent the wrong parts.

And so we patiently wait.



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I Hope to Find


little beauties like these.  
You can tell by the size of the small pebbles and grains of sand I was literally
 lying on the ground in order to take these photos.

Wildflowers do not grow very big in the desert which would require a lot of effort

and energy on their part, something they cannot afford to give up so easily.



Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ocotillo


The ocotillo should be in bloom but the part of the desert in California we are planning on going to may not have ocotillo.  I don't remember from previous visits to this area.

As you can see the flowers are way up there on the end of their stalks.

It is almost impossible to use a macro lens for a close-up picture of the flower.



Monday, March 21, 2016

Not Quite Yet


I've been busy trying to get ready for a trip down to the desert for the spring bloom.  The Little House on the Highway needed a good cleaning after the long winter and I found a few issues that needed attending to and repaired. Sinbad is doing well and its been way too long since our last road trip but we cannot leave quite yet.  I am just waiting for some parts to arrive.  Meanwhile I show pictures from previous road trips to the desert as I haven't been out hiking all this past week.


Monday, March 14, 2016

How to Photograph Lizards


Step 1.  You see the lizard, you stop!  Very slowly get your camera out and take a picture from where you are standing.  Don't move to a better position.  Take the picture from where you are.

Step 2.  Now slowly move in closer watching for an nervousness on the part of the lizard.
 If it appears he is getting ready to dart, stop and take your next picture.

Step 3.  Now you can slowly move to a better position and maybe get down to his level and get the really good shot and zip.........













 ...he's gone.  Well at least you have two in shots the camera.  Better than nothing.




Saturday, March 12, 2016

Woodpecker Caverns


These are not just plain old holes made by woodpeckers, that is why the post is entitled like it is.
This is the work of a Pileated Woodpecker which is a large bird more like the size of a crow.

That is my iPhone 4 in there to give you a size reference.
What on earth could have been so deep within the tree to warrant all that work?

The upper most hole in the same tree.  
Poor tree.

 A picture of the culprit taken from the Internet.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Free by the Sea


A lot of you liked my recent post Old Man on Bench so I searched and finally found a photo done many years ago.  I remember taking quite a few images before finally getting myself into position in time after scrambling over the rocks.  In the end I was pleased with the result and capturing the gulls circling about was pure dumb luck as was too the sun rays.

The real significance of this photo for me is the fact I had recently retired. I rode my motorcycle out to the coast one weekday.  You can see my Jetboil stove which I had just brewed a cup of tea.  
I wanted to capture the moment of feeling truly free for the first time in my life. 
I was going to entitle this post Old Man by the Sea but changed it for I didn't feel old then.
Taken at Bodega Bay, California






Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Early Start


Not that many wildflowers have bloomed in the park yet but this one got started early.

We've had a fair amount of rain the last few days so that may help get things going.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Ghost Coyote


In getting the movie ready for the previous post 
I forgot about the two stills I shot before I began filming the coyote.  


I wondered how much I could crop the above image before it got all weird looking then saw that weird looked sort of neat.  Changing it to black & white then made him look ghostly.
They are such cool looking animals.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Another Coyote Sighting and Loud Talkers


This is starting to get too easy now as I am seeing coyotes quite often.  They are no doubt the same individuals and rodent hunting must be good in these meadows.  I could have probably got more footage of him except for these two women coming up from behind on the trail.  I could hear them yakin' away from a long distance away.  By the time they reached me the coyote was gone.  I said to them "Oh, you just missed a coyote.  He was right over there then he heard you coming and left  (hint, hint).  If you continue on along the lake you might be able to see him."  
They thanked me and continued on with their walkin' and talkin'.
Listen closely at the end and you can hear the women coming.
There is a Hiker's Group in the adult community I live in.  Early on when we moved here I joined the club and went on a hike thinking this would be a nice group to get involved in among the dozens of clubs and groups the village has.  Off we went and off they went yakkity yaking, the entire time.  Add to that the chorus of walking sticks clic-clacking along and I knew this wasn't for me.  How on earth are they ever going to enjoy Nature scaring away every living thing long before they arrive?  
I never went on a hike with the club again.
I hike alone.



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

False Lake Meadow Update


Yesterday I showcased one of my favorite areas in Annadel State Park.  Well yesterday morning I was jogging that same trail when I saw another coyote, then nearby a second one...perhaps its mate.  Wow I thought as I stood there admiring them. I've never seen two together. After a few minutes here comes a third coyote out from the Live Oak trees to my left! Three! I think it may have been an offspring almost fully grown. And of course since I was running (I should say jogging at my advanced age) I had NO camera with me. So you'll just have to take my word for it. 
It was a good morning.