A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Big Trees

In the forest where I hike often there are these two trees that are different from all the rest of the trees in the forest.  And they are huge.  I don't know exactly what kind of tree they are.  Maybe they are just really old while all the others are younger by comparison.  You cannot tell by these pictures but the limbs of these two trees are as big as the main trunks of most the other trees in the forest.

Tree number one.

The striking feature is how the branches begin so close to the ground.

Looking up tree number two.
 Even way up there the branches are big.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Just Passin' Through

The deer are always in the backyard but I've not seen this big buck before.
This was a hurry-up grab shot not realizing the camera had focused on the plant.

Moving on to another window they had already turned and were heading away.
He stopped at those low hanging branches in the distance to rub his antlers in them.
I had hiked six miles in the woodlands yesterday and saw no animals.  
I come home and see more in my backyard.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

I couldn't help myself

On one of my hikes I came across this unusual looking rock with this strange coloration.  That and it was nearly perfectly square looking as if it came out from an 8 inch baking pan.  I brought it home.
Poor rock.  Sitting there minding its own business then I came along.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

More Madrone

The busy background disrupts from the main subject.  Not much can be done about that. 
But they are very photogenic nonetheless.

The Madrone grows only along the western coast of North America from British Columbia down to San Francisco Bay with a smattering of spots south of, then becoming very rare nearer Santa Barbara.  As the tree matures the bark peels away like sunburned skin.  The greenish under layer is very cool to the touch in comparison to the air temperature.  That is why they are sometimes referred to as the refrigerator tree.  Why these trees are scarred as they are I couldn't find a reason.  They do survive fires and this could be fire scars.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Old Madrone

I thought this old Madrone tree had some pretty good texture going for it.

You may recall my playing with my camera testing some of the settings it had.  
At the time I wasn't much impressed with several of them including the "vivid" setting.  
But here vivid did seem to have its merits.  Maybe you must choose when to use it and when not to.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Unsafe Water

There is a natural spring here, Hunter Springs, which is channeled into a barrel for horses to drink from not to mention the natural wildlife in the area.  There are tiny fish swimming in it, no doubt placed there on purpose to keep mosquito larvae in check.   I often wonder what with all the precautions needed today - filters and chemical tablets - in order to safely drink from creeks and rivers in the wilderness, just how did cowboys and Indians of the Wild West manage without getting sick? 

Friday, November 13, 2015

A Porker on a Post

Someone has a good imagination in seeing a pig on this post and using the branch knot for a nose.

I should have taken a side view shot so you could better see the nose sticks out a couple inches.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


I was playing with my new camera yesterday, trying some of the different settings on it 
and there are quite a lot of different settings to play around with too.

This is the HDR, high dynamic resolution image.

Black and white naturally.

Super vivid. Why would anyone even consider using this?
Although I do like the bluer sky giving more contrast to the clouds.

And just old plain normal.  Looks a lot like the HDR one to me.  
But scrolling back and forth I can see a little difference in the dirt and grass.
I think just plain normal is fine by me.  I have no need for all those other settings.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Little Cactus in the Window

I brought this feller inside and he seems to like the indoors.  Flowers popped out.
Its flowered before.  I think it was more just the timing when I brought it inside than anything else.
I was planning to be in the desert at this time, but I don't feel Sinbad is up to any road trips now.
His traveling days may be over.  Time will tell.
So I will enjoy my cactus here at home.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


You may recall my plea awhile back for any information as to why all of a sudden I wasn't able to insert video onto a blog post directly from my YouTube videos.  The only solution to my problem was a around-about way which I didn't really care for.  After all, I knew how things should be and it just bugged me that it wasn't so anymore.  I even posted my problem on Blogger Help last night but haven't received any replies as of yet.  That's understandable for in short order my post was relegated to the bottom of the page.  Goes to show how many people have problems with Blogger.

Well this morning I was at it again and finally found something posted over two years ago on the Help Forum:

PeggyK said:

Hi Kimberley May:

SInce your YouTube channel is connected to a Google+ Page, you probably have to set your channel as the default in your YouTube settings before you can use the insert video option on Blogger to add videos from your channel.

To do that:

- sign into YouTube

- make sure you are switched to your personal Google+ Profile identity. You can do that at www.youtube.com/channel_switcher

- go to the advanced settings (www.youtube.com/account_advanced)

- under "Signing in to older apps" select your main YouTube channel

- click the Save button

Now you should be able to go back to Blogger and find your channel's videos to insert.

It worked!!  All is right once again.  So you may want to save this information if for someday you too find No Videos Found  when you go to insert a video using the My YouTube Videos selection in the drop-down box.  I might add is that I have two YouTube video accounts (don't ask me why, I don't know how that happened) and Blogger was accessing the one I never use which was empty.  I switched it to my regular channel.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Long Ago Fire

Going back to the scene of the chicken and the rock, notice how the redwoods behind are fire scarred.

It is the redwoods alone that are fire damaged.  All the rest of the forest including oaks, bay trees, madrone, everything is all untouched.  I am unable to find any history of fire in the park so my guess is it is ancient history occurring before the area was settled. 

A tree party!  
A grouping like this is when the mother tree has long since died and new growth has sprung from the root system left behind.  You can just barely make out what is left from the original tree inside the circle of its offspring.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

I'd be Rich...

...if I knew how to make a tracking chip that could be stuck onto your eyeglasses.  Then create an app to download into your smartphone.  Then every time I can't find my glasses, I check the app on my iPhone and follow the tracking beacon to my glasses.  Hey, it could be used for my car keys too!
I waste so much time looking for things!