Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sierra Natural History Holiday

I upset this mother Douglas Squirrel and she unleashed a vocabulary of wrath upon me.

"You probably don't know how lucky you are!" I heard from Semper Fi guy with Marine cap and banner flying. 

I didn't think he meant the squirrel, so I came to attention and turned my head to meet the human neighbor. 

"Tried getting a spot here for nine years straight and this is the first time I managed."

He watched as I backed the truck with camper into the one open site, exactly to our liking with full view of the meadow. I'm often a little anxious the first night without reservations, but haven't failed in years to find a spot, no, a good site! This campground had 11 sites with the music of the creek and tall trees bordering a green meadow. Nice change from dry San Marcos Pass. My new Marine buddy walked away shaking his head.

Swish, swish, the fly rod and lines sailed through the dappled sun over the creek. Trout sprinted from rock to broken tree trunk avoiding all the hooks overhead.
"I've never seen so many fishing," said Carole. 

Hauling chairs, coolers and multiple rods, people made their way to water's edge on creeks, rivers and pools everywhere we looked. The fishing industry is where to put your investment dollar! The sun glistened off new reels while fancy vests sprouted ties and gear in high variety. The game was on!

I kept to the dry side, hunting birds, bugs, and plants while taking in the view. The house wren presented a twofer with a bug in beak. I followed the evasive flight through the trees till I got dizzy. The meal went uneaten and I guessed I was impeding an urgent delivery! I stepped back and watched where the order belonged. The nest behind the bark of the dead tree so carefully camouflaged, was clearly the target.

At the bottom left of the bark photo a few twigs poke out where the small house is hidden.

The chiding call was close and not lost on me and I retreated before losing an earlobe. Moms of the woods were intent on keeping bigfoot at bay.

The columbine in the meadow bounced minutely from the troupe of clowns and acrobats performing a three petal circus complete with tight rope. I keep learning  to dig a little deeper to find more interest in what's happening outside. The spider circled to make it's entrance, a deadly finale to the first act.

On a larger, vegetarian stage, the still dainty blue seeks out nectar from the wild onion. From the insect-arachnid world, I heard no warning voices nor was I swatting biters neither by the stream or in the meadow. I'm happy to donate blood, but better at the silver mobile lab than out among the trees.

My camera lens danced through the shadows following the stellars jay. So close, but that dark plumage absorbed all the light so shot after shot failed to find a face. I don't spare the electrons when I shoot digital, and this photo would never have emerged with my film Canon.

Humboldt lilies at home this year seemed small due to drought, but they are still double the size of the tiger lilies I saw in the Sierra. What they lack in size they redouble in saturation with those stunning colors!

The first days at altitude, I walked slowly and breathed hard. Sleep came with bonus wake ups and puzzling dreams at Big Meadow on Rock Creek in the Eastern Sierra.

Join me @paddledoc for miniblogging & more pics!


Ralph said...

Great shot of the squirrel!

Richard Sherman said...

I agree, great photos as usual! Being trailer-challenged, I'm in awe that you backed that rig into what sounds like a very tight space!

What was the altitude of the campground?

half sane, maybe said...

as usual,nice pictures. good write up. too. keep clicking and typing.