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~March 11, 2007~
Turkey Vultures
Posted by: zhakee

Two evenings ago I happened to be outside, and the sky was covered with hundreds of large, dark birds, all soaring south. For 5 minutes there was an endless sky of birds. Some looked like Turkey Vultures, some like ravens, and an occasional raven-like caw was heard. I stood in awe as this flight of large birds just continued. The birds didn't go much farther, and broke up into smaller groups that began circling above the river.

I hopped into my car and drove down that way, hoping to see where they were settling. A number of tall pines were covered with birds. In the failing light I wasn't certain if I was seeing ravens or turkey vultures,...   (more)    

0 comments >> Link  

~February 28, 2007~
pretty in white
Posted by: zhakee

It snowed last night and the mountains here were dusted with snow. Took a drive and was oohing and awing everywhere I looked. Thought you all might enjoy a taste of what I got to see.

Last comment by: zhakee @ 3/1/07, 5:48am4 comments >> Link  

~February 25, 2007~
giant sequoias in the rain
Posted by: zhakee

Walked through Giant Forest in the rain, with snow all around, and the forest as beautiful as could be, getting soaked and trying to keep my camera dry but still taking photos.... what a day! Discovered the jackets I brought along (expecting snow, not rain) were not waterproof, and wished I had some sort of umbrella attachment for the camera.

It was one of those spur of the moment ideas I got a couple of weeks ago, when I decided I simply had to go for a mountain drive amidst giant sequoia trees, come rain, snow or clear skies. Where I live, the road up into the southernmost sequoia groves gets closed during winter so to find accessible sequoias meant a trip...   (more)    

Last comment by: zhakee @ 3/11/07, 6:56am4 comments >> Link  

~February 24, 2007~
Ravens and Moro Rock
Posted by: zhakee

Sequoia National Park, one of the prettiest places in California! Took a drive a couple of weeks ago, on a gray, drizzly day and the scenery was phenomenol. The foothills were barely greening up, and the overcast skies gave everything a subtle glow. The above image was taken from the southern road that winds through the foothills. The dome rock in the distance is Moro Rock, a huge, granitic dome that has hundreds of stairs carved into it and makes for an interesting walk during summer months.

A pair of ravens sat in the top of an oak tree, right at the Hospital Rock day use area, and seemed very content to just sit in the drizzle. Ravens can be found in...   (more)    

Last comment by: saundrabeach @ 2/25/07, 12:44pm4 comments >> Link  

~January 31, 2007~
Creatures in the trees
Posted by: zhakee

This tree top is one of the coolest animal shapes I've encountered while out walking in the woods! Looks like one of those Dr. Seuss characters to me. We were on top of a knoll that got a lot of wind, and when I glanced up, I saw this wolflike tree top creature.

Last comment by: saundrabeach @ 2/4/07, 4:05pm11 comments >> Link  

~January 20, 2007~
Icy Stalagtites
Posted by: zhakee

Cold air has settled and night time temperatures have been in the twenties all week long. After a month of being stuck indoors due to illness, I just had to get outside, into the sunshine, and find something scenic and eye-catching, something pretty enough to take photos of and write about. A drive along the Kern River was just the kind of outing my poor, ailing body could handle.

Massive ice stalagtites and stalagmites cover this seeping limestone wall with beautiful icy structures that change shape with the outside temperatures.

Cattail fluff was blowing in the gentle breeze, backlit with the icy reflections. The year-round water provides these cattails with a moist habitat, far removed from any...   (more)    

Last comment by: saundrabeach @ 2/6/07, 11:05am12 comments >> Link