A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2 Door

It began to rain last night. That is good as we need it.
These doors do not though.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

622 Blue

Saturday's I'm Off post turned out...well... not as I expected. I didn't take a single photo during the entire two hour hike. A situation developed midway into the hike which put me into a bit of a funk and so I just tromped along my secret little trail through the forest, lost in my thoughts. Yesterday I made some changes all for the better as it turned out, so my spirits are up once again. (I'll not go into it and whine on the blog) Rain is forecasted for Wednesday and Lord knows we need rain badly. The Sierras are void of snow and if there is no snow pack before spring arrives there will be anarchy in California this summer and I don't own a gun. I hope to get out that day and try for some rain pictures, something I've yet tried to do. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Monday Mural - South Park

Another mural in the same part of town as last week's mural Running Free.
It is located in a nice little park that seems respected and well cared for by the neighborhood locals which is nice.
 Moved in for some closer shots to admire the talent of the artists involved.
I think maybe they are honoring some of the locals responsible for bettering their community.
Sure hope these aren't famous people I should have known of.

This is linked to Oakland Daily Photo Monday Mural

I'm Off

this morning to look for more of these.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Two Girls For Every Boy

 A tip of the hat to the Beach Boys for the title of this post.

Deer & Ticks

I see deer most every time I venture into Annadel State Park, and usually do not take their photo. This time I did for no other reason than to just snap the shutter. Back home reviewing my photos I really took notice of all the ticks these poor beasts are plagued with. This must be extremely irritating for them.
Can you imagine how engorged with blood these ticks are to cause the fur on the deer to stick out so?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Creature Feature

When I finished photographing the white fungi (previous post) I turned and spotted this fellow.
Here you may be able to judge his size, around 5" in length.
This is the Pacific Banana Slug, the spotted variety. There is another that is as yellow as a banana.
I moved in for a close-up very carefully so as to not scare him away.
Saute' with a little garlic in olive oil..yum!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Still More Mushrooms and Fungi

Just before I recorded the bird sounds of the previous post I had come across a whole, new to me, spread of mushrooms. A different area, a different mushroom, that's all I can say.
I don't like to disturb them but I did find one uprooted perhaps by the hoof of a deer. This gave me an opportunity to photograph the underside.
 Yes I picked it up and posed it for this photo so my fingers were probably tainted with a most deadly toxin. What I won't do for my followers in getting a good picture.

I continued on through the forest, recorded the bird sounds and pressed on. Soon I found myself in a familiar canyon then finally once again where I had located my first Witches Butter. It was still there but now something new had formed nearby. You can click here and here if you missed the pictures of Witches Butter.
Further on I found this and am not sure if it is the same fungus or not. This was not as leaf-like looking and a much purer white. You can judge by the leaves that this fungus is quite small.

By now, after a several hikes looking for mushrooms and fungus I am beginning to get confused. Have I seen this species before or not? I don't know but here you are.

This is linked to Lisa's Macro Monday


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Distant Sounds in the Forest

I was hiking through the woods yesterday and the birds were really at it. This video is more in just capturing the sounds than anything else. The first part are jays squawking to no end then the last 30 seconds...well, I think you'll find it familiar. There is nothing to see though, just trees.
You probably will have to crank the sound up on your computer and the video.

Sound familiar? The latter sound is a Red-Shouldered Hawk. I may get corrected on this to a Red-Tailed Hawk. One or the other. The funny thing is the film industry likes to use this sound as they depict a Bald Eagle soaring the skies high above whatever in their movies. That is not correct. Bald Eagles have a weak harsh chatter of a sound, not as dramatic, so the hawk is brought in for voice-overs.
Now you know.

Linked to Springman's World Bird Wednesday


Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Mural - Running Free

This mural on a fence in a sketchy part of town is quite unique and colorful. I have to hand it to the locals too that they respect it enough to not have tagged it...so far.
Could not get it all in one shot so the first image is the left portion and the second is to the right.

closer in on the horses

The nearby county fairgrounds where there is a horse racing track may have inspired the painting of horses.

This linked to Oakland Daily Photo's Monday Mural

Saturday, February 18, 2012

hot. hot, hot!

I am longing for the desert and was looking through photos of desert trips from years gone by.
I thought this little fellow should be featured on Straight Out of the Camera Sunday.

Death Valley in 2006 and yes, the ground was hot. That is why he is holding his feet up.

Birds Who Will Pose For You

There are not too many but you can always count on the Cormorant.

Or a gull.

This is linked to Weekend Reflections

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Public Service Annoucement

Blogger has changed things. For those bloggers who have word verification on their comment page, we viewers are now faced with a two-word input, coupled with deciphering some gobblygook letters in order to leave a comment on your blog. So what was once a minor annoyance has now become a major irritation. To better explain the situation we are faced with and the easy remedy for it, I cannot say it any better than TexWisGirl does in her post Word Verification Woes.

So this post is to inform those bloggers that I follow that have word verification added to their comments page, more than likely I will not be leaving any comments from now on. It is just too time consuming when you add up a fair number of blogs followed notwithstanding the frustration of having typed in the goofy blurred-out word incorrectly. Be assured I will still be viewing your posts as you make them so know I am still here but just silent. As for the other blogs I follow that do not have word verification on their comments, I will continue to leave comments of praise and the occasional silliness to your posts.

I thank you for your understanding in this matter and I now return you to my regularly scheduled blogging.

John &  >^..^<

Indians and Idgets

This is my usual first stop riding into Annadel State Park. It is after a long hard slog uphill for 1.5 miles and a nice place to rest and get a drink of water. Notice the large rock to the left.

I have stopped here dozens of times and never really paid any attention to this rock before. But being filled with rainwater I finally noticed for the first time, seed grinding holes left behind by Native Americans hundreds of years ago. Pretty neat.

A few hundred yards further is a rock pile left behind by the park service for trail maintenance.
Someone put the rocks to an artistic use. Pretty neat again.

I knew this wouldn't last for long. Some nincompoop will come by and knock it down. As I continued on my way I saw three nimrods coming up the road, shirtless, hats on backwards (there is a sure sign), no helmets, pushing their BMX bikes (a first for me to see BMX bikes here) up the hill. I knew then the rock sclupture was doomed.
On my way back after I made my loop I was surprised to find only the top rock missing. Perhaps one of the morons had a wee bit of sense and told his dimwitted buddy to leave it alone for others to enjoy.
We can only hope.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Kiss

The modern art piece is a stone sculpture of nothing. But from this angle and with the lighting it appears as two figures kissing, so let's imagine it so.
Thank you to everyone who wished us a happy anniversary yesterday.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Our Valentine Anniversary

The cat yesterday was sitting in front of the doors at 4:30am and it was cold..
He ran off when I moved in for this photo.

The dancing figures beneath the street lamp in the early morning hour symblozies the celebration of our 44th wedding anniversary today. On the blog this year I'll not rant on how commercialized Valentines Day has become over the years and we won't allow big business and greed dampen
Our Day.
<3 Happy Anniversary Sweetheart! <3

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Red Door

This is linked to Jan's Straight Out of the Camera Sunday

I know it isn't a mural in the true sense but it is art and I had Monday Mural in mind when I shot it.

Not a Place You'd Want to Be During a Storm

I hadn't been out on Two Quarry Trail in a couple of years and was surprised to find recent tree falls.
This tree had just fallen a couple weeks ago from the right side edge of the trail and then slid across.
Looking down into the creek ravine.
Notice the shallow root system these big conifers have and you can understand how easily it is for them to come down during a big storm.
Looking back up the trail.
A few feet further looking up the steep hill where a trio fell together.
This whole mountainside is at 45 degrees or more.
A few feet further on and these two trees blocked the trail completely.
This happened in the fall of 2010.
Another fallen soldier taken out when his buddies next to him went down..
I don't understand why go through the bother cutting up two of the trees spanning the ravine.
Why not leave them like the one that is still there in one piece?

Just as I was riding off the thought of a video crossed my mind. Stopped again, took off my gloves and slowly walked back through the snapshots with the video going. At 30 seconds we gaze skyward at some Redwoods which could be terminal if another big blow comes through. Just as we view the little trickle of a creek I notice the battery in the camera petering out on me so the last 30 seconds is a bit rushed. I think too this may be why the video is a little herky jerky. Those are misty rain specks on the lens at the end. Time to get out of there.