Monday, September 14, 2009

Kingfisher and Mergansers





video
Woke up early before sunrise, with no plan for the day, but geared up for a start, and paddled back to the Creek....Blue Jays were making a ruckus by the Twin Fallen Cedars...but couldn't locate their concern...hopeful it was Hawk or Owl, but no luck...glimpsed Deer across by the Deer House...crossed over, and got a really neat clip of young Buck nibbling grass and Oak leaves in front of the Deer House...for sometime....heard Kingfisher at the Merced, and hopeful that from Creek's End, Kingfisher might come by...once there...that's what happened!...kept Kingfisher in sight all the way to Half Stump, where Kingfisher perched!...I had the digi with...and inspite of all thumbs, managed to get faraway pic and clip of Kingfisher...clip up...tried to work my way along the River to get closer, and did get some closer pics with the new camera...but Kingfisher's head is tucked under one wing...Kingfisher went to sleep on Half Stump!...drat...anyway, by the time I got good and close, Kingfisher went off somewhere on the other side of Half Stump Island...picked up, and cut through Owl Woods to Last Chance..no hoo hoos, but just enough time to catch the Hiker's Bus...a plan!!...only five people on the bus, and not a word from anyone all the way up, not even the driver...no narration!...got a neat clip of the burned area...for sometime...the fire took away all the new growth since the 1990 fire....kinda thought that was a possibility...mountain side looked thick with foliage like the hillsides in southern cal....but the rest of the burn area, old forest, has the look of a control burn...fire kept low to the ground....there's really not that much flammable stuff on the ground of the old forests...just duff, and then granite soil...and it burns so quick that the fire just travels past full grown Tree trunks.. scorching the bark low down...not all is well though...a lot of the Trees' upper branches' pine needles are scorched from the heat...in the Valley by the Moraine hump, there are a lot of Trees scorched in past burns in this manner, and they haven't survived....but all in all, it's not the disaster one might expect....the fire didn't get up into the Tree tops...credit the hard work of the fire crews for that...and also earlier work done on the Road's sides near Crane Flat in past years...clearing and control burns...was really sleepy, but didn't snooze on the Bus...maybe I need the narration!...but then, the ride was knockdown scenic!...clouds moving through after the little rain....had Breakfast at the Grill...checked everything, and headed out Soda Springs Road...where the Marmots play...and they were about..pics and clips for sometime...took blurry pic of large Bird on snag....learned in review tonight it was Hawk...wasn't sure...and faraway at time...visited 1915 Bridge..sat awhile...then went out to the little granite and Lodgepole island in the Meadow where I took the Bluebird pics....set up the digi, hopeful...and was skygazing when Hawk came swooping low right towards me...thought to raise a camera...none really ready...so just watched...Hawk went by...oh!..what a clip it would have been!...and soared up and banked...and I did manage to get a short clip...Cathedral in background..but Hawk tinytiny....alert and awake for sure...I skygazed intent....and after a short while...saw two Hawks chasing one another high against the clouds..tried for clips and pics...one up....I skygazed some more, more intent...but quiet...picked up and thought to walk out to the Road...Hawk seems to like to soar along the Road....and another Hawk came low swooping past me...tinytiny pic with Lembert Dome for background...pursuing Hawk took me back to 1915 Bridge....and thereabout I glimpsed what looked to be Merganser furiously fishing....there were eleven Mergansers furiously fishing!!!...I spent the next forty five minutes taking clips and pics of Mama Merganer with her ten almost grown up Merganserlings!!!..much fun...kept looking at the pocket watch...and time came...so picked up, pic and clip up the last of the Merganser ones...and paddled back to the Store across the Meadow...the usual route...pic of Picket Pin in the Path..for sometime...always nostalgic the last Hiker's Bus pic of the Meadow for the Summer...quiet ride down to the Valley...some more burn pics...hopped off at the Post Office...new pants and prints came...I keep wearing the bottoms out...and dont know why Levi pants aren't what they used to be...something to do with being made in China...hmmph!....anyway...squared away at the Cabin...and hopped on the Shuttle to Siberia, with binocs and 20x along....on hopping off at Siberia, heard report of another rock fall at the A Rooms...'four minutes ago'....'that for after dinner', I thought...was hungry..missed lunch...after dinner, paddled over to Sugar Pine Bridge to looksee...and loaned my binocs to small group gathered there...Ranger was there with barrier tape...but said it wasn't very bad...I got a neat clip with talk in background...rumour climbers were up there somewhere...we all looked and looked...but I think it's just rumour....dont know what to do with clip...the backtalk is hilarious...pic of the trouble spot...it looks like the peak of a roof..a gable...actually there's many of these chevrons...small and giant...if one looks from Indian Canyon over to Washington Column, there's a real contrast in the color of the Wall...from dark lichen streaked black to much lighter and more thinly streaked...it helps when I draw to understand why the Walls look the way they do...each coloration actually has a very distinct story to it...was almost dark when I left off from Sugar Pine...a cloudy cool day after the brief rain in the Valley...clouds and cooler in Tuolumne...didn't look like it rained there, and no snow...report yesterday of four Mergansers on the Pony Path near Happy Isles...and a wished I'd been there report:...'Bus was on Wee Bridge..stopped to watch Bear walking across the new fallen Pine in the Creek'....a pure gold day....and expect to find transport to Tuolumne for walkabouts before the Snow comes...can always just walk there!!...Ouzel came along in the Merganser clip...singing....

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