Tuesday, November 30, 2010

White Tailed Kite







video


Didn't get much sleep...strange surroundings do that...and anxious to get to Merced Wildlife Refuge at daybreak, which I did, standing on the Platform at the entrance watching first light, and hearing lots and lots of first calls!...a few Cows' mooos mixed in...too dark for Bird pics, except Birds overhead (for sometime), and so took Sunrise pics and clips--yet another collection!....scenic, and cold....before Sun was up over the Horizon, heard Owl, Great Horned, back in the Cottonwoods...went to looksee...no luck...returned, and Sun came up...clips...but Sun didn't warm things up much....paddled back along Two Trails thereabout, named Meadowlark and Kestrel....and sighted Two Great Horned Owls on the far side of the Cottonwoods...one blurry pic...missed a good pic, hesitated to check what I was seeing with the binocs, and in that moment Little Bird buzzed Owl, and Owl flew off...Both Owls were back and forth in the Trees, but I couldn't follow--one has to stay on the Trails...rolled along in Silver to Bitten Marsh...again, Water Birds take off from the movement and noise...and more Hawk sightings...Redtail, Harrier, Redshoulder on way to Marsh...had thought to sit on the Picnic Bench and snack, but Bench was wet with dew...so gathered the gear, and thought to go for a walk on the One Way Road. all the way around!...halfway to the Cottonwoods by the Cows, sighted Kestrel in Snag...digi pic and clips for sometime....a bit further on, sighted White Tailed Kite perched on Area Closed Post (see Redtail pic), and eating Gopher or Mole...digi pics and clips....further along, the Cows were all looking at me...pic for sometime...and sighted a House Cat waiting in the Grasses for Gopher...pic....along the way, Crows, more Redtails, another Kestrel, Black Phoebe, some Sparrow Like Birds..pic for sometime...past the Entrance, another Redtail....and up ahead, a maintenance worker in a pick up sighted me, turned about, and came down the Road to looksee..."How come you're not in your car?"....I'd seen that rule on the sign just a bit back when I walked past the Entrance..."Stay in you car"...what could I say..."It was dark, I didn't see the sign."....worker remembered my Jeep parked at Daybreak...and was a bit incredulous that I had walked all the way around from Bitten Marsh!.... courtesy and kindness prevailed, and I got a lift back to Silver...on the way, Redtail flew up with Gopher Snake...quick enough to get pics, but blurry, in the hurry bumped the selection from tV to aV..hmmmph..."oh, if I had only been on foot!"...whole circumstance reminded me of Lost World movie when the paleontologist unbuckles and hops out of the safari jeeps on tracks!!...it had been a charming walk, but back at Silver, Picnic Bench was occupied, and felt it was time...on the way out, one last pic of Blue Heron posing, unlike earlier when Herons kept flying off at my approach, like most the other Birds!...Birds at MWR are very skittish....rolled along to Moss Landing, a long ride, and arrived in time for Sunset...pics...oh.. Otters were about as expected...pics...One Otter was out in the Ocean and paddled around the Breakwater into the Harbor, all this during the Sunset...pics...lots of Sunset pics and clips...it was knockdown.....locals were even impressed by how calm the Bay was...cold to cool, hazy cloudy.... got a room, same motel as before....shopped in Marina for gloves and warm headgear...hot dog and nachos...that and tuna sandwich all I had all day!...oh...some pastries brought along from Last Chance for a late snack...and a banana...tv doesn't get cbs, so missed my Tuesday shows...hmmph...but has free wifi!...cool...tomorrow, sunrise at Elkhorn Slough....Birds stir about at Dawn, Owls hoo hooo...midday, they're resting I suspect, and hard to find...oh...the Red Shoulder at Bitten Marsh..pic up...looks to be the same Red Shoulder I saw last visit, and perched in the same Cottonwood Snags...a guess is that the Redtails soar about in open areas, Harriers over the Marsh (Harriers are called 'Marsh Hawks' too), and Red Shoulders perch and wait...driver reported Bald Eagle about around Thanksgiving....at MWR, it is not only hard to take pics because of the lighting, and distances, but hard just to see and id Birds...so many are new to me, and I dont know calls well enough...one can hear Birds just fine thereabout, except when local farm machinery is roaring like a tree branch chipper, like all morning!...oh, I walked out to the Photo Blind (there are a few places to walk--too few), and thereabout are two cement pipes in the ground, each with a little padded stool, where one sits, eyes level with the ground...I guess that works, when the Birds are about...not nearly so many as last visit...but still a lot, and for sometime the Waterbirds...oh...and Rabbits and Ground Squirrels about....

Monday, November 29, 2010

Down The Hill



Well, at Last Chance I'm always being asked for 'mochas' when Coffee Corner is closed, so looking at the Menu hereabout, Merced Barnes and Noble, I ordered a 'mocha', and a cream puff...and then I've sat and fiddled until I clicked on the right clickables, and so 'am online through wifi (inside something called 'airport')....this after going to the giant hardware store for two 10/32 bolts with knobs....lost them again for the digi bracket...and this after getting a motel room after the long drive down the hill, and the longer time trying to pack and think through what to take, and a nap...and the Road from the Valley as far as the Drive Through Boulder was 20 mph all the way icy with ranger danger right behind me all the way!...signs said 'chains', but I was rolling, and put Silver in four wheel drive, which I think makes an exception to the chains requirement, and nonetheless I didn't go over twenty, which some unfortunates must have ignored, the chains and going slow, by Gates of the Valley...no injuries, just confused looks and 'now what' expressions--cars stuck in the snowy banks....anyway, tomorrowmorrow, Merced Wildlife Refuge at Dawn...friend happened to be at Happy Burger, going up hill, and we laughed over Road Tales...and I've brought along the newer computer to see if I can post while on the Road....only took two pics this morning...so not much to report...saw Coyote just down hill from Mariposa, which looks pretty with Xmas decorations....oh....maybe I can't upload pics...trying that now, and okay...Snowman looks a bit the way I feel!....note the Snow Cone at the bottom of Upper Falls...this is only November!...oh...for awhile on the down hill, I entertained the thought of driving all night and going hereabout: Crescent City...for sometime...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Falls From Cottonwood Beach





After Breakfast, took some time to do Snow removal on Silver, with hands, broom, and buckets of water--a new experience!...took precaution too to park out away from under the Cedars and Black Oaks....with time remaining, paddled out to Bobcat Meadow....quiet...scenics....Little Birds across the Road from the Cabin...Blue Jays across the Merced from Cottonwood Beach...one Deer track thereabout....report of Coyote near the Path...feel a little desperate to find Critters!....back of the Cabin after work in the dark, Buck Chasing Doe...I had heard Buck bleating, but that call was Buck's didn't come to mind...sunny blueblue with a few clouds, cold...five degrees on the East Side?....15 in the Village!....(weather news on).....at Lunch: studied the drawing book...progress pic is yesterday's...tomorrow begins for me a two week vacation...post ups will likely be scattered....and at the moment, I am unsure where I'll go, if anywhere....hereabout is always a main attraction!....ice on the roads hereabout makes me hesitate going down the hill before dawn, and fogs in the Central Valley make me hesitate being down the hill!....but I'd like to spend a Dawn to Dusk day at the Merced Wildlife Reservation, and same at Point Lobos, and too at Elkhorn Slough...once down the hill, I could stay on the Road for the whole time, but I have a new digi bracket on order, nikon has a new one that has cable release...too expensive, but it has a cable release!...have lost many digi pics waiting for the timer...anyway, that should arrive Friday, or next Monday, hopefully, so need to be here for mail...tomorrow I have so many chores to do, and some photo paper should come in the mail....oh, and a day at the Pinnacles looking for Condors, and a friend recommended Ft. Bragg.....another, Eureka...and I'd like to get a Puffin pic!....looking about for where and when Puffins are about, I found this, Grinnell's books...



Call from Dark Forest
Snow and Cold everywhere
Doe! Buck following!

DolphinWords

Saturday, November 27, 2010

SnowyDay





On the way to Late Breakfast, it began to Snow, a light Snow, and it's still a light Snow tonight after work--weather report says storm watch until 4 am....four to six inches have fallen, I'd say...snow is very wet and compressing...anyway, with a little time, I walked about...took the waterproof and the old 12x..some Raven clips by the Cabin ...Ravens digging in the snow...mostly finding garbage...paddled out the Path, and sat awhile on Ozone Boulder..pic and clip up....Little Birds in the Willow...Mountain Chickadees?, Kinglets?....Blue Jays calling in Cedars by the Rooms, almost scolding...went to looksee, but no luck...had heard Hawk, or Blue Jay mimic of Hawk, thereabout...Flicker call back by the Creek....pic and clip there too...quiet....two Snowman in the Backyard...pics for sometime...atLunch: studied the drawing book...progress pic for sometime... video

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cottonwood Leaves









After Breakfast, paddled over to the Village...picked up mail, extra camera battery and three more memory cards...paddled back through Bobcat Meadow...Acorn Woodpecker Pair at the Woodpecker Tree...Snowman too...pic for the Snowman collection, for sometime!....Deer and Pronging Fawn track going out Lodgepole Point...pic...Cottonwood Leaves thereabout...pics....at Creek's End, Bear Track out in the Creek...pic...time..returned to Lower Falls and around to the Cabin...quiet..lots of photogs about!...and snow scenic....sunny blueblue and cold, coldcold tonight!...atLunch: studied the drawing book just a bit, and diverted a bit by talkabouts!...it is an unusual November of the Novembers in the Valley since I've been here, and looking about I found a page with weather record of past Valley Novembers back to 1905....some are NR, including 2010, but a guess is that this November is so far right up there with cold and snowfall, and more snow maybe tomorrow!...'there is snow everywhere...everywhere!...yes, we have chains...and it's cold...everywhere!...we're coming home tomorrow morning!' (overheard cell phone talk)

Ghost Wind just over
One Cottonwood Leaf's imprint
Taken by the Snow

DolphinWords

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Varied Thrush And Dogwood Berries









Late Breakfast snack, mini donuts and orange juice, and paddled around the Outside Loop counterclockwise, beginning at Rocky Slope...quiet...Nuthatch call, Kinglet..blurry pics......Ravens...maybe Redheaded Sapsucker, pic too blurry, and maybe Pileated Woodpecker call by the Merced between Chapel and Sentinel Bridge...couldn't locate...Blue Jay pic thereabout....Thrush pics from Morning after Snow Fall..scenic pics on the walk...just three... souvenirs of Turkey Day hereabout!...sunny blueblue cold, paths and roads frozen...atLunch: studied drawing book...

Three Does And Three Fawns




video

HD youTube clip


After Breakfast, worked with the computer a bit making a cd copy of ArtShow for friend...some time left, and paddled out to the Backyard....Does and Fawns about...pic and clips...dont know what startled Deer....went to looksee all the way back to the Creek...quiet...Flicker in the Dogwoods when I returned, and Deer settled down...Deer pics...Flicker flew off....Dogwood Seeds pretty much gone...sunny blueblue cool to cloudy cold at night....at Lunch: studied the drawing book...oh...One Junco took One Dogwood Seed yesterday, and flew to the Snow to snack...

Blue Sky and white Snow
Beneath Tall Pines and Cedars
Three Does and Three Fawns

DolphinWords

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snowy Day


video
After Breakfast, Shuttled over to the Village...checked mail, and Shuttled Back...and, took a nap....had thought to put the cross country skis on, even found the ski wax, but was too sleepy...when I woke, around four!, snow a bit too deep for skis, so put on the mickey mouse boots, and paddled back to Creek's End...quiet...Acorn Woodpecker call, and Mallard flyby from out of the Creek and down the Merced...snow began early morning and fell through midday, cool...on another note: thinking of mickey...oh...clips from last Tuesday at MWR....


HD youTube clip

Monday, November 22, 2010

Be Bear Aware




video

video note: see Does and Fawns post update, uploading the hd videos to youTube is tricky!)

After Breakfast, paddled over to the Village--mail and a last looksee at the Art Show....returned through Bobcat Meadow...quiet...when I reached the Boardwalk over the Lily Pad Pond (frozen over), sighted Bear back by the Azaleas..faraway pics and clip....trotted back, thinking I could follow Bear all day, what with Bear's Track in the Snow, but realized when I reached Sentinel Parking, that there would be a few others with same thought!--Bear Jam...arrived late, but in time to see Bear run across the Road in traffic safely...Poor Bear!....left off, but circled around to the Road on the opposite side of the Merced--maybe Bear would show, but no luck...continued to Houskeeping, crossed Bridge thereabout, and returned to where I started!....a long tiring detour, stepping through Snow!....at Flicker Grove, Three Does and Four Fawns..pic and clip....at Backyard, Flickers and Varied Thrush Flock in the Three Dogwoods...faraway pics and clips...returned to the Dogwoods after Lunch....lens fogged with condensation...pics and clips kinda softened...this is the first time I've had this problem, but it is always a caution in cold (or tropical!) weather when going from cold outside to warm inside....lens looks okay tonight, but I dented the filter a long while back, which I cant unscrew: the moisture was under the filter, not the lens itself, and hopefully none in the newer camera!....sunny blue and broken clouds moving along the rims, warm, almost a foot of snow, but melting quick...oh...while looking for Bear, Two Mallard Pairs splash landed on the River...and a glimpse of Hawk flight on far shore....

Buck, Does And Fawns






video


Hd youTube clip

Only a few steps on the way to Breakfast, sighted Doe and Fawns in the Backyard...thought a moment...Breakfast can always wait, and returned to gather the gear.... circled around from the other side of the Cabin, which took me by the Three Dogwoods, and Varied Thrush Flock was about, and Robins, and Flickers....pics and clips....and back and forth in the Backyard between Dogwoods!....sighted Mama Doe resting under Ponderosa, and Fawn walking in the Old Clearing....circled around, and sighted Papa Buck under another Ponderosa...pics...and a very cool clip when Three Fawns and Doe walked by Buck...and pics and clip of Deer all together...very cool...left off, and went to Breakfast....returned, and Thrushes, Robins, Flickers were about again..pics and clips until time...snow everywhere, cloudy, almost clear sometime, sometime small snowflakes drifting down...at Lunch: studied the drawing book and drew another Deer...oh!...and a report of emergent Rain Beetles in the Foothills...

Three Fawns stepping by
On New Snow, Buck rests, enthroned
Under the Tall Pine


DolphinWords

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Does And Fawns



video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Hj21JTxi88

(HD youTube clip...this clip took about an hour to upload, and for while I couldn't find it, which was due to having the 'private viewing' set....one has a choice, private or public, when uploading to youTube, and if one wants to change this afterwards, one open the video edit inside account at youTube....found my missing ouzel clip too!....both were set to private at sometime, but are now public...this is a nice feature youTube has, and one can now review comments thereabout too, like hereabout in blogger....just how one manages a private video, limit fifty viewers, I'm not sure, as I totally lost sevendeer and ouzel)


It snowed before Sunup, and I thought to go out and about, but expected more, so snoozed a bit more, and when I did get out and about, it was blueblue sunny, and the Snow melted from the Trees...anyway...after Breakfast, paddled back to the Three Dogwoods...Light terrific, and still a few patches of Snow on the Leaves...waitedwaited....and a small Varied Thrush Flock came about...Flicker too, and Robins...pics and clips, most too faraway...group of YIs congregated....Backyard looks to have become a regular rest stop for the YI patrols!...Dogwoods became quiet, so left off, and paddled back to Creek's End....took note of Doe in the Woods, and when I got to the Merced, looked back up the Diversion Channel, and Doe and One Fawn appeared...pics and clip..then Doe, and Doe and Two Fawns, and then Fawn...by my count, all accounted for!--Two Top Pine Fawns (both Bucks), Last Chance Fawn, and Cabin Fawn...pics and clips...very cool...Deer looked to be headed for Creek's End...positioned myself, and was ready, I thought, but didn't consider the memory card, and I got 'card full' message twice, and lostlost a continuous clip...sigh..but clips still cool...mp4 here, will try tonight to upload hd to youTube....report of Coyote hop at Swinging Bridge...reporter got pic...and report of Two Owls flying across Road near El Cap Meadow...clear all afternoon into the Night...but lots of snow on the way, news weather says...at Lunch: studied the drawing book, and another Deer drawing attempt...oh..almost forgot the haiku:

First Snowfall Today
Four Fawns with Three Mama Does
Crossing at Creek's End

DolphinWords

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cedar Chickaree








After Breakfast, took a Folding Chair, along with the gear, and sat in the Backyard by the Dogwoods....quiet sometimes, sometimes Robins, Varied Thrush, and Nothern Flicker, and sometimes I could get a pic or clip or two!...oh...Chickaree was scurrying about when I arrived..,pics...haven't seen Chickaree in the Backyard for awhile....there are Seeds and Leaves left on the Lower Branches of the Middle Dogwood, but Birds stayed high, or visited the Dogwood at the other side of the Backyard...I would go there, then come back, then go there...I did get one short clip of both Thrush and Flicker together...unfortunately, the sound track has sirens blaring...and the other clips have street sweeper growling...it can be noisy hereabout!...grey overcast cool, sprinkles tonight....at Lunch: studied the drawing book...second effort at Deer...on way to work, Two Antlered Bucks by the Path.....

First Snow tomorrow
Robins today on Dogwoods
Leaves drop from their wings

DolphinWords

Thursday, November 18, 2010

MWR Ducks




Slept in a bit too long...checked the Three Dogwoods...quiet and tourists in the Backyard too...gathered the gear and paddled over to the Village through the Oak Grove...took care of errand...and Breakfast snack, danish and hot chocolate...and paddled back through the Oak Grove to the Cabin...checked Dogwoods...quiet...Storm said to come late afternoon tomorrow, so will check Dogwoods tomorrow morning...pic is from Tuesday at Merced Wildlife Refuge...didn't take as many pics as I thought, most were of Hawk...and I'm not sure what Ducks are....Northern Shovelnose may be one....sunny blueblue, cool...at Lunch: studied my Drawing Book: The Art of Animal Drawing by Ken Hultgren...a favorite, and a daydream to be able to draw like the drawings in the book!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Varied Thrush




Before Breakfast, heard Flicker by the Three Dogwoods...gathered the tripod, and Robins were about, and Flicker way high on a Pine...Robins too high too, but One Robin, I thought, was collecting Dogwood Seeds lower down, and I focused the newer camera, and was surprised to see, not Robin, but New Bird I have been trying to get a pic of for the last two weeks or so!...New Bird is Male Varied Thrush...it's same Bird as on the cover of Sibley's Field Guide...didn't have to thumb the pages doing id this time!...very cool bird...far away pics and clips...clips for sometime with the other Dogwood clips....tomorrow might be the last day for Dogwood pics...Storm coming Friday, reporters say!...make an all out effort tomorrow....left off when Birds left the Dogwoods, and to Breakfast...Shuttled to the Village, and paddled back along the Road through the Oak Grove...tried for Little Bird pics near the Cabin...Mixed Flock on a Young Broadleaf Maple--Nuthatch, Kinglet, Mountain Chickadee....napped a bit before work....sunny blue blue warm...at Lunch: started a tiny pastel drawing, which is an impossibility, but I have a set of pastel pencils I haven't ever tried before..so curious how small and detailed I can make a pastel with them...oh...wait..I just realized I was using three color conte sticks...well, I think I have some conte pencils somewhere too...I'll try them!

Bitten Marsh Hawk



video

Gathered all the gear well before Sunup, and lay back on the bunk to wait a bit for Breakfast time at Last Chance, and..fell asleep...woke around ten thirty, still time for eggs and such, and, after Breakfast, hopped in Silver and rolled down the Hill...thought was to either go to Twenty Hill Hollow, if I could find it, or Merced Wildlife Refuge...passing through Catheys Valley, didn't see Road Signs expected, thought there was one to Snelling, so, kept going...stopped for lunch in Town....at the Refuge, thought to go straight to Bitten Marsh, but there were Birds all over, and lots of Water...would have stopped right away, but at the noise of Silver on the Gravel Road, the Waterfowl would all fly up, and move!....did make a couple stops for Hawks, first Hawk perched on Road Sign, then Hawk flew to Wires above...pics and clips for sometime...another Hawk in flight...pic...and still another Hawk flying, but no pics...the Road goes East to West in a large rectangle...with the late start, there wasn't much time, but I got there for the best Afternoon Sun's Setting Light, and West End Road looked the best place to be...there's even a Photo Blind in place thereabout--just big enough for two!, so a sign says...lots of direction signs, dos and donts...anyway, Bitten Marsh is pretty much at the South West Side, so I parked thereabout, and walked about....oh, sat awhile at first on the Platform next to the Picnic Bench...so many New Birds, Water Birds mostly, and too far away for good pics, but could see okay with binocs....thought to sit and make a start at learning which Birds were there, but wanted to walk, so made a small loop on the Road....there's a Tall Observation Platform out to the South a bit, but I couldn't find a way to it, and no water about near it, so began to return...this the same place I saw the Redshoulder Adult Hawk last visit, and coming around a turn in the Road, I sighted Hawk, silhouetted and back lit by the Setting Sun...some pics, and a digi clip...I was able to get close, and thought to take a chance and try to get to the other side of Hawk...I looked down, hoping the bill of my cap would hide me, and walked slow, and made it!...when I turned and saw Hawk in good light, I realized my luck was because Hawk was Redshoulder, Juvenile, Cedar's cousin!...Cedar often stays still while I'm right below....twice I saw Hawk dive to the ground...clips...and Tree to Tree to Tree to Tree to Tree to Tree, six times I think, in an area no larger than the Backyard, or a Basketball Court!...Trees were Cottonwoods and Willows...was happy to find one Hawk, one Bird, just, to photograph...so many Birds about was overwhelming...left off...Sun too low to light up Hawk's Feathers and Amber Eyes, and rolled off trying to the beat the Gate, which closes automatically a half hour past Sunset, I think, and not to delay taking more pics...did take the Sunset pic up....and I have pics of the Many Brids, and clips..faraways and blurries, but okay, and for sometime soon...a really nice afternoon...stopped in Town for some canvases, and rolled back up the Hill!....sunny blue blue, though the horizon was silver hazy when I first reached the Refuge, and it must have rained a little as Road wet in spots on return....report of Hawk from climbing friend while on the Wall near Washington's Column...Bishop's something?...friend says to make 'chk chk chk' sound, and Hawk will come about...a long day!...