March 23, 2017 Lake Kaweah, California

Redbud Bloom
Redbud Bloom

Patiently Waiting on the Weather

Horse Creek Campground on Lake Kaweah, California
Horse Creek Campground on Lake Kaweah, California

Two days ago, I made the short move from Lake Success to Kaweah Lake and the Army Corps of Engineers Horsecreek Campground. I settled in on a fairly level campsite all but on the campground loop road. Fortunately, there are very few other campers here right now so I really haven’t been bothered by any traffic. I took this particular site because there are no other sites anywhere near it and it is fairly level … and level sites are pretty scarce in this campground. All the sites are primitive but there is a dump station on site, though I have yet to find any drinking water source here. Camping fee is $20/ night with a 50% senior discount making it $10. This place is probably very popular in the summer months, but with the roads up in the National Parks still intermittently closed by snow, most sites are empty right now.

Despite the very steep surrounding foothills I was able to get my rooftop satellite to lock on and surprisingly, there is a very strong Verizon signal here for some decent internet connectivity, something I have been lacking for the last several weeks.

Collapsing Arch
Collapsing Arch

Directly across the loop road from my site is a collapsing stone arch with a rubble pile of boulders below it, tumbling right down to the road’s edge.

Rock Rabbits
Rock Rabbits

And the rubble pile is home to several cottontail rabbits that are constantly hopping all over the rocks and ducking down under them every time they see the shadow of a black vulture or raven flying overhead.

Rock Rabbits
Rock Rabbits
Rock Rabbits
Rock Rabbits

Their antics are kind of fun to watch when I am stuck in the RV during the rainy days.

And speaking of rain … there has been plenty of it lately and more is forecast. I have made a couple of forays up into Sequoia National Park but can only venture in a dozen miles or so before encountering rain … or sleet … or snow … and always running into clouds ( literally ) once I get up to 3000′ elevation, and that makes any kind of photography impossible.

Spring in the Foothills of the Sierras
Spring in the Foothills of the Sierras

The entrance into the park is at about 800′ elevation and the sequoias grow at an elevation of 6000′-7000′. The morning I took the beautiful spring shots  ( above and below ) I ran into snow and ice just 12 miles into the park, probably no more than 15 miles from where these two shots were taken.

Spring in the Foothills of the Sierras
Spring in the Foothills of the Sierras

In the distance of just 15 miles of serpentine road climbing up into the park, probably no more than 8 or 10 miles as the crow flies, you go from beautiful sunny weather in the low 60’s to snow and ice and freezing temperatures … pretty amazing contrasts in weather here right now.

Kaweah River Rapids
Kaweah River Rapids

The Kaweah River runs next to the park road and there are some wonderful overlooks along the road. This is all snow melt runoff from the first good snow year in the Sierras in quite a few years.

Kaweah River
Kaweah River
Redbud Bloom
Redbud Bloom

Redbuds are in bloom from 2000′ to 4000′ elevation along the park road and when the clouds allow, they are something to see.

Redbud Bloom
Redbud Bloom
Redbud Bloom
Redbud Bloom
Redbud Bloom
Redbud Bloom
Redbud Bloom
Redbud Bloom

I have only made it up to the elevation where the sequoias grow one time so far and everything was enveloped in a very thick fog, actually a cloud I suppose, so I didn’t bother taking any shoots. But there are supposed to be a couple decent days coming this week and I am sure I will eventually make it all the way up the mountains and into the sequoia groves, so stay tuned.

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August 7, 2014 South Beach Campground, Washington

Beach bunny
Beach bunny

Still Just Goofing Off at the Beach

Just doing this post to let people know I am still alive, but have adapted only too well to my new life as a beach bum. While the weather inland has been a constant stream of 90 degree days with bright blue skies, here along the beach we have alternating days of temps in the low 60’s when enveloped in day long fog, or temps in the mid 70’s when the fog burns off. When the foggy days get to you, all you have to do is drive inland a couple of miles and you are always under bright blue skies. When I was planning this summer trip to Washington, I was under the impression that i would have to be prepared to handle long days of dreary, rainy weather, but it has been anything but! In the 90 days or so that I have been in western Washington, there have been only two days when it rained at all, and then it was only a brief shower or two.

Beach bunny
Beach bunny

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

I spend most days reading or doing light work on the motorhome, a little cleaning here and there, maybe wax a small portion when I feel real ambitious ( so, of course, I haven’t really gotten much of this monster waxed ). I also have started on another method of staving off my alzhiemers, attempting to learn programming, become a coder. Both Stanford and MIT offer a lot of their regular computer sciences courses online, for free, for anyone to partake, and, since they are free, I am partaking …  slowly. With a little online searching, I have been able, so far at least, to find the accompanying course textbooks also, and have downloaded them as free PDF’s and then transferred them to my Kindle for ease of reading ( that way I don’t have to have my computer on, running down my RV batteries when I want to study ).

I haven’t done much of any photography for the past few weeks since I rarely leave the beach. The rather cute little bunny is a regular visitor to my campsite, along with many of his peers. This particular one will let me get within a few feet of him before he hops into the berry bushes just 6 feet from my door. When the dogs hop down the steps, the rabbit freezes, sometimes only 5 feet from them, and most of the time they never know he is even there. I don’t know if he is a native cottontail or an introduced eastern cottontail, but I have noticed that every one of the dozen or so rabbits I see here every day have the same small white blaze on their forehead.

Bald eagle on the beach
Bald eagle on the beach
Eagle on the beach
Walking the beach
eagle flying away
And off he goes

About the only other time I got the camera out was last night when I saw this eagle circling over the beach right outside my window. I grabbed the camera and headed to the top of the my site’s path to the beach, just as he landed on some driftwood near the bottom of the path. I slowly crept down toward the beach, keeping myself concealed by the bushes along the path, and as I did so, the eagle hopped down from his perch and, rather than flying away, started rapidly striding toward me. When he was just 30 feet away or so, some idiot also saw him and came running down the beach toward him so he could get a shot with his phone. That of course scared the bird away, just when I thought I was going to get some neat shots. Never did find what it was that had him so interested in this section of beach, maybe a rabbit had wandered out on the edge of the sand?

 

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