Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hairy Woodpecker









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Skipped Breakfast, but had a banana and chocolate croissant to take with, and made the Big Outside Loop clockwise....pic of Falls at Cottonwood Beach...walked over the Snow through Chapel Meadow along the Merced and past the Cottonwood Grove...some of the slender Cottonwoods fallen...all towards the East...lots of tourists at Swinging Bridge...a popular day trip destination...paddled out to the Broken Cottonwood...and ate Brunch....Hairy Woodpecker was about, but flew all the way across Two Top Pine Meadow to the Scorched Forest....a pleasant walk, and sit, and...quietquiet....picked up, and as I neared the Path, Woodpecker came back, chattering, and went to work on a Cottonwood Hollow...digi pics and clips...only pics today , save for the scenic!...sunny blueblue and warm...the Snow is like a white crunchy pavement and walkable...oh!...there were clouds in the sky like 'confectioners sugar'....dont know but I was compelled to think that out!...the evening light is back...this to say the days are staying light long enough that I can go out from work for the Lunch Sit and Walkabout...didn't sit much, Log was wet, but walked over to the Cattails to see the fallen Black Oaks...the Oaks have multiple trunks a lot of times, and are more branch like than trunk like, and a good many have fallen....walk was quiet, though I maybe heard one call maybe...hard to tell over traffic noises...oh!..in morning, at Lower Falls, heard Pileated Woodpecker call loudly, then Pileated flew into the Delta talking..... only a glimpse of the flight... no pics...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Grey Squirrel Acrobat
















Stepped outside geared up, and friend with car was out front....caught a ride over to the Post Office....not much time for the walk, and I wanted to collect some more Tree Grain pics...paddled over to Sentinel Bridge for the fallen Ponderosa near there....another friend was in the Sentinel Parking Lot, and chuckled at the sight of the little waterproof atop the tripod....I get that a lot...'Wait a minute...' I said, and put the scope up....and showed them the Falls through the scope, and took a clip...they were duly impressed!...not much time left at all for the walk..and hurried back to the Cabin....one pic...Grey Squirrel on Broadleaf Maple Branch....and three more Tree Grains...the Bus Oak...Rooms Cedar, and Sentinel Bridge Ponderosa....dont know what to make of the Grains, but they have my interest!....sunny with puff clouds and warm...month and a half old report of Hawk crashing into the Big Windows at the A Rooms and perishing...
Link of the Day: (a Dendrochronology enthusiast!)
well, it wont past the url...here's title:
Dan Griffin's Biosphere 2 Blog
Dendrochronology
see 'Laboratory of Tree Ring Research' too!
and the 'Ultimate Tree Ring site'
I dont know what's happened to my 'paste'...had this problem before and fixed it, but can't recall how!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Deer House Blue Heron























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Geared up with everything, and paddled out to Bobcat Meadow....sighted Blue Heron perched in the Tall Ponderosa in front of the Deer House...first pics from behind....Heron was snoozing, so I was able to go back around from the Dirt Road to the Path and sight Heron from in front...lots of pics and clips....Hawk started to call from over by the Road and Oak Grove...picked up, and just one short glimpse of Hawk over by the Oak With The Branch That Arcs Over Half Dome....sunny hazy clouds warm....Heron has coloration like Kingfisher....friend saw Hawk too, Coop, flying low across the Road at Sentinel Bridge....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Grey Squirrel And Hawk







After Breakfast, walked along the Bike Path a bit...Grey Squirrel pic....then paddled over to the Post Office...toy paracopter came!....box light but bulky, and almost hopped on the Shuttle for return, but wanted to look at one of the Fallen Trees, and started back along the Road...and heard Hawk, Coop, calling far ahead form the Black Oaks...took some pics as I approached...and then Indian Walked to under a Pine to below Coop...and just as I sighted Coop through the branches of the Pine, Coop flew off...some hurried shutter clicks...and the one pic!.....tried to follow, but no luck...crossed Chapel Bridge...quiet...and back to Lower Falls and the Cabin...sunny blueblue, a few small clouds, warm...report of lots of Trees down in Wawona... report of Mountain Lion tracks on Trail to the Rim...and report of 'small varmint' poking it's head up at the Train Wreck...likely Ringtail Cat...Grey Squirrel's coloration, like Kingfisher's, looks best designed for concealment on leafless snow covered branches....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Frontyard Hawk






























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On the way back to the Cabin after Breakfast, my neighbor drove by in the work truck, and pointed from out the window to the Ravens flying over 'chasing a Hawk' he said...I couldn't sight Hawk, though the Ravens were scolding.... but then before I opened the Cabin door, I looked back to the Sky, and the Ravens were circling and diving...and there was Hawk, Redtail, high atop a Pine...I went all thumbs....stumbling in and out of the Cabin to get gear, and put the waterproof on the digi bracket backwards twice!...Hawk's chest feathers look too dark to be Zeke, and maybe it is a 'dark morph' Redtail that I've read about...and I think it is the same Redtail that was atop Two Top Pine...that guess from the white feathers on top Hawk's head....anyway..lots of farfar away clips and pics...I changed positions three times....I wanted to get a clip with the Falls right behind Hawk, but the Two Tall Pines at the Bus Port were in the way...did take one new camera pic through the Two Pines, just to know where to sight the digi...but I couldn't relocate the hole in the branches!!...lots of people came by and took a looksee at the waterproof's lcd screen....lots of voices too on the clips, even the local Author who passed by and said 'Hi', and I thought to enlist from them some narration...they have a great voice...but I didn't want to delay their attendance at the River Plan scope meeting...lots of officialdom about...dont know how that went, but snagged beforehand some literature after Breakfast....sunny blueblue, a few clouds, warm...reallyreally wanted to stay out and skip work!...after a long while Hawk flew off...somewhere, didn't see lift off...and I paddled out to Two Top Pine Meadow with remaining time....pics of Hariy Woodpecker..and Junco clip...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bobcat Meadow Hawk























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Bobcat pic is from last Winter...and Bobcat was on the North Bank of the Merced upstream from Sentinel Bridge...but earlier had been all over Bobcat Meadow...hence the Meadow's nickname!...at Breakfast, request to come in to work...shift needed coverage...volunteered to come in at five, so today's Walk limited to early afternoon....paddled out to Bobcat Meadow to the Woodpecker Tree...took a seat on the Split Rail Fence...thought to try for flight pics, and the Acorn Woodpeckers were active....looking way across the Meadow to Flicker Grove, noticed some Orange amongst the Cedars...checked with the binocs....Hawk....Coop!... set up the digiscope in the Snow by the Tree...pics and clips....Coop farfar away...picked up and moved forward to the frozen Lilypad Pond....Coop far away...pics and clips...just happened to be taking a reference pic with the 20x, and Coop flew to the Elms...clip(watch left lower corner).... sighted the digi, and some more pics and clips of Coop perched in a young Elm...Coop flew to the Oak With Branch That Arcs Over Half Dome...tried to follow, but I think Coop went Tree to Tree along the Road as before times....continued to the Post Office, and paddled back through the Oak Grove....Mama Doe and One Fawn, two Young Bucks, and Two Fawns and One Doe, or Two Does and One Fawn...couldn't tell...pics...Antlered Buck earlier beside the Road across from the Club House...pic...overcast cloudy sometimes sunny patches of blue sky cool...and cool to see Coop after the storms....look for Cedar and Zeke tomorrow!!....the Elm has lost a large Branch...nearly everywhere one looks there are scattered Branches and Trees fallen...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rainy Day Pileated Woodpecker





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Out and about after noon!....bowl of cereal and coffee, then caught the Shuttle and made the Shuttle Loop...thought to see what Trees came down...and thought to hop off at the Stables for pics, but steady Rain wet Snow looked uninviting....hopped off at the Village...checked mail...back on the Shuttle, and hopped off at Lower Falls...Mama Doe and One Fawn, Antlered Buck and Four Point Buck, at the Oak Grove..pics and clips...was geared up for Rain, so continued out to Chapel Bridge and made the Outside Loop ....Rain stopped a bit at Swinging Bridge, and I was part way across the Bridge when I heard Pileated Woodpecker talking back across the Road...took a bit of lookinglistening, but Pileated talked and flew to a High Snag....pics and clips...Pileated flew off with loud call deeper into the Woods....Rain began again, and I finished up the Walk with daylight left...just too Rainy!!...after a Snack at Last Chance...tomato soup and rolls...Shuttled one more time back and forth to the Village for laundry soap....Doe at Visitor Shuttle Stop....didn't have camera with!..but friend took pic...overcast rain cloudsfog moving through cool....heard Blue Jay, and Kinglets...and saw Ravens two by two perched in the leafless Cottonwoods...Urban Hawks posted up a report of Pale Male, and a web search 'Pale Male' will bring up the tale of a Red Tail Hawk in New York's Central Park, and here's one link:
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/pale-male/introduction/2422/
very cool

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Coyote Snow












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A leaning dangerously Ponderosa Tree was brought down behind the Rooms, right near the Lunch Sit Log, in fact, maybe the same Tree I have a pic of Cedar perched in...pic of Log's grain...passed it on my way on the Path to Two Top Pine Meadow....near the Old Bridge Foundations, sighted Coyote on the other side of the Merced...pics and clips with the 20x...pics with the new camera too, but the 20x took clearer pics with the digital magnification....Coyote farfar away....watched Coyote a long while, and crossed the Bridge to stay in sight, but was left behind when Coyote crossed the Road and passed everyone in the Parking Lot...was kind of left out of the tourist photogs' good luck!...had thought to make the Outside Loop, but no time, and so back to the Cabin way I came...overcast cool....110 tree ring years or so...brb...here's link to 'unprecedent tree ring growth' in Bristle Cone Pines: http://www.pnas.org/content/106/48/20348.abstract

In the pic, the two dark rings near the bark looked to be about ten years ago or so, and maybe indicate the flood year of 1997....here's link about the age of the famous Sequoias: http://www.werc.usgs.gov/news/2000-12-06.html

wiki's: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dendrochronology

a new word..Dendrochronology!!

a link to Jeffery Pine lore..and Ponderosa...and mention of 'Smokey Jack':http://www.conifers.org/pi/pin/jeffreyi.htm

list of big trees:
http://landmarktrees.net/largest%20pines.html

Well, a wet year will make a wide ring, and dry narrow, and warm seasons too will cause width...I think!...and in the Spring the ring will be light, and in the Fall, dark. I'm curious as to why the rings are blotchy, and will save that for another evening! Lot's of Trees about recently sawn in half, and I'll collect some more pics!!

link to Tree Rings Lessons (requires software download for some pages): http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/content/investigations/es2905/es2905page01.cfm

oh, one more!
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/01/a-tree-ring-study-estimating-past-rainfall-and-drought-shows-the-southeast-usa-drought-was-mild-compared-to-past-events/

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Snowshoe Walk






































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Put the Snowshoes on and paddled back to the Creek...Black Oaks down at Duck Harbor....checked Creek's End...Leaning Cedars okay...continued around on the Inside Loop...usually this walk takes about fifteen minutes....Snow deep enough that it took near an hour and a half!...went slow, muscles not used to wading in Snow...I have a pair of the plastic rectangular Snowshoes, and I'm thinking they are just not big enough for my weight...anyway...took some scenics along the way...heard Ouzel and Kinglets and Blue Jay...saw Ravens....quiet otherwise...cloudy during the walk, sunny in the aftenoon while at work...cool...

Here's a link to the story of Snowshoe Thompson, who was known to have ski like snowshoes ten feet long!...which would explain how he got through the deep Snow across the Sierra delivering mail: http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=12028

Hi Kimberly! Glad you got the pics.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fallen Trees




Well, the simplest description is to say, 'a Black Oak fell across the parked VW Bus', which is somewhat less ominous than 'a Ponderosa fell on our Tent and landed between us'....two tent mates over in the Stables have a tale for all time!...it was no small Tree either, neighbors report an earthshaking thump, and things bouncing....needless to say, the Stables were evacuated, and Huff too, and the YIs sent down the Hill, and more than a few guests leaving in PS caravans!...it really hasn't been that heavy a snow fall, but it is very wet snow, and heavy, so lots of Trees have come down, though not so many as the Storm last year, I'm thinking....I only walked as far as the Village...tall Ponderosa fell across the Road at Sentinel Bridge...and the crews cleared the Road quickly...another on the Road to the A Rooms...and a Black Oak toppled near the Post Office...took pics and clips of crew clearing fallen Oak branch that got caught in the Canopy by Lower Falls...a Damocles that I had reported....dont know but looking up so much at the Trees, I notice right away things amiss...the Woodpecker Tree is okay, and the Elm, and the Oak Branch That Arks Over Half Dome...tomorrow I have to check the Leaning Cedars at Creek's End, and else ware....snowed during the walk, but clear the rest of the afternoon, and warm enough to melt the Snow from the Branches in a hurry......the Bus, as it's said, is History.....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Snowy Day Mallards





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Middle pic from yesterday....rest from today....both days, short walks out to the Deer House and a little bit into Bobcat Meadow...Mallard clip from Chapel Bridge...and heardheard hoo hoos both days too, but couldn't locate....light snow fall in the morning...and moderate all afternoon....light again tonight...and very wet snow....cool....mesmerizing to watch the fluffy snow come down while on the back dock at work ...like the gods above were having a pillow fight!
quote
A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
James Joyce
The Dead
unquote
I send token donations and recieve token memberships from a few groups that have at heart the conservation of Nature. I sent over another token to Doctors Without Borders for the Haiti relief effort. Dont know but the best effort everyone can make is to be prepared for similar circumstance nearer home, always. So donate a bit to your own piggy bank, I'm thinking. No one knows quite what to do with a disaster this large. I sure dont, and can only furrow my brow. I like the 'without borders' bit.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

no pics today

Well, I did take one pic of the Deer House on short walk to the Deer House Woods to looksee and listen... heard one hoo hooo....  and it was during the heaviest part of the snowfall...bit foolish to stand under the Black Oaks!....  but very cool to look up into the Ponderosas and the Muir Redwood with the snow falling....snowy in the early part of the day...drizzle snow rain in the afternoon...not enough snow on ground to cross country ski yet...a very typical Valley floor snowfall....

Last two nites..all the clips have gone dark....blogger has a bb  for problems...problem is being worked on...and it's a curio how bloggers sorta go into shock when things go south on their blogs!...dont know if this link will work outside sign-in to blogger...well, the ulr  wont paste in...so the notion is moot...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Snow Deer


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After early Breakfast, paddled about the Woods...Mallards at the Merced...one male four females....thin layer of new Snow overnight....a few Deer tracks.....then back to the Cabin and a nap.....Coyote tracks all around the Cabin...looked to have been made while I was out and about!..hmmph...after the nap, out and about again in the late afternoon....all the gear...thought Snow or Rain wouldn't be falling...but just when I started, it began to Snow heavy...Deer clip at the Creek Footbridge...two more Does and Buck on way to Post Office...checked mail, and got a tuna, chips, and cran grape for lunch...two Black Birds hopped up on the Picnic Bench with interest....clip for the Lunch Sit Visitors collection....paddled back along the Road through the Oak Grove....Snow fall light....got cold sitting outside for lunch, but warmed up walking...at Lower Falls, turned to the Path and across Chapel Bridge...small flock of Blue Birds settled in the Oak by the Boardwalks...set up the digi, but too slow...then Hawk came flying over, flying slow, but I was slower taking out the new camera..and no luck...Hawk flew way over to the Wall by the Four Mile Trail....Coyote tracks across Swinging Bridge...followed out into Two Top Pine Meadow as far as the Broken Cottonwood....and glimpsed Coyote way across the Meadow near the North Road...getting dark and late, and getting tired and cold....so paddled along the Merced and through Owl Woods to Creek's End and took a seat on Owl Log....two Ouzels came by flying furously and low over the River chasing and singing....picked up, and almost at the Swath heard Sentinel over in the Deer House Woods...went to the Creek's edge, looked into the darkening Trees, and listenedlistened....first Sentinel, and then Ponderosa was answering....very cool....got new boots yesterday, and was reluctant to cross the Creek...too dark for pics...so just listened...Sentinel came to my side of the Creek, and I went past the Twin Fallen Cedars...but Sentinel left off calling, but I got a good sound location on Ponderosa....not many pics on the walk...mostly scenics....sometimes Snow, sometimes Rain...sometimes something between-- RainSnowRain...but I think tomorrow there will be enough Snow on the Ground for cross country skis...yesterday, I walked all the way over to Siberia in first of the Snow fall...about midday...and looked for boots there...no luck...Shuttled to the Village...and finally found some good winter boots my size (big feet!)....and on sale!...inspection today, so most of yesterday taken up with Cabin cleaning and re-arranging...a slushysnow rainy day....during cleaning, was looking at my watercolor sketches and pre Valley Valley sketchbook with nostalgia...that will explain itself when I post them up in another blog with my art!...which I have to return to and include somehow with the taking pics and clips diversion!....happy to hear the hoo hoos!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Woods Hawk And Hairy Woodpecker Flight





































After Breakfast (cheerios), leaving the Cabin geared up with just the new camera and binocs, I heard Hawk back in the Woods....had thought to go back to Chapel Bridge, where I was yesterday taking flight pics of Hairy Woodpecker...but, diverted to the Woods...saw Hawk, Cedar, first perched low on a Ponderosa Snag Branch....Hawk flew over to the Cattails and perched higher...kept up...and took a seat on an old log and watched Cedar for like twenty minutes with camera at the ready...I've figured out how to set the shutter speed in the Tv dial setting...it goes up to 3000!...I was just at 1000 for Cedar because of low light, but 2000 for Hairy Woodpecker yesterday...I waitedwaited for Cedar to fly...but finally stood up, and a step at time, moved closer...I was getting a sore neck!...Cedar finally scratched hisOrher head, feather shook, and flew...I got just the one complete flight pic...and one partial...but, the pics are encouraging as the motion is frozen with the fast shutter...now I just have to get the focus right!...rain began to sprinkle while I was waiting...and later in the afternoon some drizzle...but rain has stopped this evening...wait to see if these storms live up to the hype!....oh!...there was a second Hawk calling somewhere over by the Creek the whole while...and Cedar was calling too...don't know if they were calling to one another...Cedar's call is getting stronger...oh, and the other Hawk's call was quieter!... I wish to have been in two places at once to learn who was the second Hawk!!..and wish I'd taken all the gear for clip and digi!!...oh!...the Woodpeckers like to hop and fall from Branch to Branch as much as open their wings to fly!