A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

Not a Theory

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
- Albert Einstein

Thursday, November 28, 2013

No Turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans.  Happy regular day to everyone else. 

I never did find any wild turkeys for today's post so I present to you Turkey Tail Fungi

and Turkey Vultures.

The real turkeys will now come out from hiding.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Meaning of Life

If you reconnect with nature and the wilderness you will not only find the meaning of life, but you will experience what it means to be truly alive.
- Sylvia Dolson

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Wish Come True?

On a blog I follow, Mt. Tam Blog (which has outstanding photography) I saw a photo of what John called Lion's Mane fungi.  I had never heard or seen such a fungi.  I commented on how I would love to find one someday.  The very next day I was out tromping through the woods as I like to do and could not believe what was staring at me at eye level.  Could this be the very same fungi?  His example is pure white where mine has a salmon color to it.  His is 14 pictures down from his November 24 entry.  At any rate, this here is a first for me.

Here you can see where the fungi is halfway up the tree to the right.  I am always looking down for subjects to photograph and could very easily have missed this.  I had the tripod extended to the max and still was not level to it for the picture.

The recent high winds knocked down a lot of branches from redwood and fir trees alike in this area.  Normally the forest floor would be all brown with dirt and leaves, more so like the photo above.  All the green on the ground stretching far into the distance should not be there.  Can you imagine what it must have been like here during the windstorm?  This is not an established trail so rarely does anyone pass through here.

I'll be away for the rest of the week at our daughter's for the Thanksgiving event.  I've set up some posts to come on through the scheduling setting.  It will be interesting to see how it works out.
A nice week to all.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Too Late by Mere Seconds

At the flea market yesterday I came upon a man asking the seller what he wanted for the item in his hand.  $3 said the seller.  The buyer offered him $2 and the seller said okay.  I've been just sick over this all day long.  Even if it didn't work or some parts were missing, I don't care.  It would look marvelous sitting in my collectibles cabinet, the brass polished up to a high sheen.  
This is the true classic in backpacker's stoves.

The Primus Stove

Yes, it looked exactly like this, same condition minus the holders to rest your pot on.
Maybe I wouldn't even have cleaned it up.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


I saw these at the flea market last week.  I thought they were wonderful and for only $5 each they could be mine.  But I just could not think what I would do with them so I walked on.

These were made to hang around your neck.

These here, well maybe just to look at.

That is where I am at today, the flea market searching for more wonderful items
 but without the slightest idea what to do with them if I had them.
At least I don't buy everything I like.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

High Winds

We've had high winds all day Thursday and on through the night gusting up to 45 miles per hour (72 kph) at times.  There are many trees down and several power outages in the area.  Years ago we had a large elm tree come down on our house.  Something like that changes you forever.  Ever since then the winds scare us.  My wife didn't sleep well last night.  Today the winds continued with less force and frequency.  I went for a run in my Annadel Park just to see if there were any trees down.  There were.  Some areas of the fire road were so covered with small branches from the fir trees that the dirt and rock of the road could not be seen.  I had just climbed over one large broken limb blocking the road when another wind gust whipped through the canopy.  I stopped and looked up watching the tall slender Douglas Firs sway back and forth.  It was thrilling to see.  While standing there wondering if something may come crashing down upon me I recalled reading John Muir's account of his time in the High Sierra where he climbed to the top of one such tree during a storm and remained there throughout the night as the tree rocked back and forth.  It was a wild ride he wrote.  He was one crazy dude and we were lucky to have him. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

50 Years Ago Today

There are but a few events in our living history that most people will always remember where they were and what they were doing at that moment in time.  For those of us old enough to remember, today I suspect ranks number one on that list, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

I was in my 10th grade English class when the principal of our high school came on the intercom system saying he had an important announcement.  "The president and governor of Texas have been shot in Dallas, Texas this afternoon."  While the principal went on with his message I sat there thinking Gee, I didn't know Texas had a president.  It was beyond my comprehension he meant the president of the United States.

I spent that weekend with my grandparents.  We were sitting in front of the television watching the transport of Lee Harvey Oswald when Jack Ruby broke through the crowd and shot Oswald.  My immediate response was "Good for him" or something along that line.  My grandfather calmly sat there and said to me "That wasn't a good thing.  Now we will never know the truth."

50 years later and his words still ring true.

Where were you and what were you doing at that moment in history?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Good Enough to Eat

This fungi growing on the side of a downed tree (most I find are that way) looked to me like a pumpkin filled pastry. It was about the size of a hockey puck, not that I have ever seen or held a hockey puck.

And notice how that sugar syrup is oozing out from that sugary coating.  Yum!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Turkey Hunting

I see wild turkeys all the time when up in Annadel State Park.  I thought I would try to get some real nice turkey photos for my Thanksgiving Day post.  Ya think I could find any?  Huh?  None at all.  I tromped around in the woods for miles...nothing but a few stray feathers.  
My wife says they are all hiding because of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

So feeling pretty bummed with nothing in my camera for the effort, I remembered a quote from a wildlife photography program I watch on PBS every once in awhile "It's not just the photograph, it is the outdoor experience".  I looked around and thought Yes, this is nice.  How fortunate I am to be free to wander around in the woods exploring as I did today  then took a few pictures of the colors across the meadow.

Last week I did a post on the unfortunate victims in nature, Forest Crime Scenes.  On this day I came across a dead skunk.  Now what forest predator in his right mind would take on and kill a skunk?  He would have to be quite desperate I'd think.  This is the business end of the skunk that is left.  You can see the forward portion of the spinal column with head still attached, although turned around in relation to the body.  I didn't mess with it.  It kind of stunk.

I found this 5 inch long feather.  I cannot think of a bird in our area with orange in it's feathers.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Velveteen Fungi

This may be the first time I've seen this species of fungi.  It could be the same as the one awhile back that looked like something fresh from the oven but this had the look of velvet to it.
It is difficult to tell but this grouping grew on the slope of a very steep ravine 
so it was shall I say fun to get at.

The twigs are firmly in the grasp of the fungi having grown around them.

Off to the side of the group stood this one, home to a spider or two it appears.

Dropping down to an edge on view you can see how the silk web has completely enclosed the spaces between each shelf or bracket.  Cottonmouth comes to mind.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Flea Market Follow-up

So you many recall last's post about the German radio.  You can see that post here.  Yesterday at the flea market the guy was there without his radio.  I said "Where's the radio?" thinking someone bought it knowing he really didn't want to sell it.  He was all to eager to tell me the story.  He had some welding equipment there last week and a gentleman was really interested in it.  He also mentioned that he too had a radio just like the one that was playing.  Radio guy said he would be interested in it if he ever wanted to sell it.  The gentleman left long enough to think about it.  He came back and offered radio guy a deal for the welding equipment - $130 plus the radio.  Radio guy said okay and drove down to his home after the end of last week's market to deliver the welding equipment and pick up the radio.  He told me the radio was exactly the same, same year model and all.  The condition was nearly equal.  There is a slight hum to the sound which he'll track down and fix and it had been sitting in a place where the sun beat down on one side of it so the finish is a bit bleached out on that end.  He plans to refinish the unit to match.  "So now I have two of them.  I would never have thought at the end of the day I would be owning a second one of those radios."  He then told me he had originally paid only $60 for the welding equipment.  This time I asked his price on those bookcases which he had with him at the meet yesterday - $600 each.
I'm glad I have no room.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Monday Mural - The Really Big One

Dothan, Alabama

This mural was the last one I found that afternoon in Dothan, Alabama.  All the murals in this town lie in the downtown area and are within walking distance to each other.  One can go from building to building, block to block and keep finding more murals every time you turn around.  I tried to research as to how many murals there are and came up with 16 or 17 "Wiregrass Murals" described on the town's websites, which by the way it appears I missed two.  Yet I've shown other murals I found in town so I guess they are unofficial ones and the exact number is unknown, at least to me.

This one here though was the most massive at 222 feet long.  Here it is looking from left to right.  If I can remember correctly I could not get back far enough to get it in it's entirety as the building across the way was too close.  You can see the shadow of that building and a railing in the second photo.  For the third photo I was able to get back behind that building down into the vacant lot for the picture.  Nevertheless, can you believe my good fortune in having only two cars in the way and that they were at the far end?

By now it was a couple of hours into my tea time and I was parched.  It had  already been a long day's drive as it was since we were trying to outrun some severe weather rolling in mid-state.  We ended up at an Indian Casino parking lot south of town for the night tired, but glad we dodged the worst of the storms.  Even still, Sinbad did not like the thunder at all.  How do you explain to a cat thunder won't hurt you?

For more murals on Monday Mural go to Oakland Daily Photo

Another Bobcat Sighting

Not the kind of bobcat I want to see.  The golf course is having their entire irrigation system redone and the work crews have been at it for a couple of months now.  This is the finishing stages where they have to connect the system at places where the course crosses a couple of streets.  One unfortunately is right next door to us.  The bad part is the city had just repaved the street a month earlier and now there will be a nasty scar across the road. "Ba-bump bump."  Maybe they will do a real nice job seamlessly blending in the road.  We will see.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Broken Tree

 This large fir tree split away near the base tumbling down a steep slope.  Just a small sliver of its former massive self was left standing leaving the interior structure of the trunk exposed.

Close by off to the side was a nice collection of bracket fungi.
That is a silk web in the right corner.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Forest Crime Scenes

"The future is uncertain but the end is always near"
                                                    - Jim Morrison