"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bears, Bears, and Even More Bears, Live and in Living Color

You have got to check this out!  It's live cameras at Brooks Falls, with lots of bears fishing for salmon.  Great place to visit if you have the $$$$ to get there.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Those #&%@^# Visitors

You know how they are.  They overstay their welcome, eat everything in sight, and don't help out.

The salmon are in the streams, but do you think they'd catch one, and bring it home for dinner?  Not on your life.  Getting to where they won't even get their own meals--want you to prepare them

And then!  Just when you're at your wits end and about to get out the .12 gauge shotgun with the really big slugs in it, they toodle off and leave you with a big mess.  Ingrates. 

Hope's visitor tipped over her BBQ grill and didn't pick it up.  Lou and Monica"s visitor tried to make off with their smoked salmon--didn't even ask.

Erin's visitor had her so freaked she didn't dare leave the house to hang laundry outside.

But Jeff's visitor?   OMG!  The visitor from hell epitomized.

I have proof.  In living color.  Ta dah!!!

This is Jeff's car.  Jeff's a nice guy.  If anyone had asked, Jeff would have loaned out the car willingly.

So, imagine his surprise when one morning his wife asked what was wrong with his car and when Jeff went out to look, this is what he saw.

Not only was the window broken, but the door had been wrenched open.  Jeff was able to get it closed but the window frame is all catawampus and definitely not weathertight.

But that's nothing compared to the inside.

 Look at that.  He totally destroyed the rear seat.  Didn't even have the courtesy to open the trunk to get whatever it was it wanted in there.

 Then it took a big chunk out of the driver's seat.

But the scary part was what it did to the passenger seat.  Now anything that could literally bend and  break a seat like this has to be as big as ...    As big as....    Well, as big as a brown bear.

And that's exactly what it was.

It left forensic evidence.

 And then, after destroying Jeff's car for the bag of garbage that Jeff was going to take to the dumpster site the next morning, it left behind another mess for him to clean up.  Other than his car, that is.

Humph.  Well, you know what those visitors are like.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Birthday Baby

I recently went to a birthday party for Quinn, who turned a year old.  As is the custom in his daddy's family, there was a birthday cake just for Quinn.

The idea of a cake, full of sugar, for her baby was deeply disturbing to Anti-Sugar Mommy.  His only taste of sugar previously had been a wee bit of ice cream.

Quinn was taken outside so Gramma's house would survive the birthday.  He was seated on a cloth on the lawn.

For me?
His cake was set before him and we all watched.

He quickly went for the chocolate peanut butter  cup "wheels,"  which just as quickly disappeared from his hands.

Mmmm...  Mom's been holding out on me.

There was a moment when the sugar hit baby's taste buds for the first time.  Notice the curled toes.

Oh, yeah!
Then he really got into it.


Ah, well.  Now Quinn knows what sugar is.

All right!
Good thing they haven't made me start using a spoon.

Oh, man, is this ever good.
Here, sister, try some of this stuff!

What?  What're you doing with my cake???
You can take away my cake and my shirt, but you forgot about my hands.

Yes, Quinn's mommy was darn near having a heart attack watching her son eating all that sugar, but that didn't stop her from taking pictures.  And she got the best shot of all--Quinn's happy face:

Photo by Quinn's mommy

Friday, July 20, 2012

Evening at Tern Lake

Perfect weather, perfect temperature, little breeze.  The blue kayak almost jumped into the back of the truck and the truck almost drove itself to the lake.

I managed to launch without dunking myself.  Actually, launching is ever so much safer than getting myself out of the kayak, which I attempt to do by driving the bow as far as I can into a grassy spot on the bank that "somewhat" anchors the craft and helps prevent it from tipping over.

Not to worry about that now.  Off I went to check on the loons and beavers.  Rounding a grassy island, I saw both loons in front of me.  I rested the paddle across the kayak and drifted to about 20 feet from the large birds.  They didn't seem to mind, though they have no young to protect this year.

I lingered, taking photos, while the loons dove and came up, dove and came up, apparently feeding on small fish.  Then they started playing games with me as I suspect they were swimming under the kayak to come up on the other side.

I moved on, paddling towards the beaver lodges.  I checked all three lodges, and saw no signs of beaver activity.  I hope someone didn't trap them all last winter.

I did see this Goldeneye family.  In a far quiet corner, cottonwood seed collected like snow against the grasses.

 I was watching the Arctic terns fishing for food, trying to get in position to capture a shot of them, but they move so quickly, it's a miracle to do that.  Finally, I found one resting.


Another tern was perched on a dead tree.  It decided to buzz me just for fun.

I paddled back across the lake just as the sun was disappearing behind a mountain.  In the last rays to strike the water, another family of ducklings headed for safety.

I found the perfect spot to cram my kayak onto the bank, a place where the tall grass almost held the kayak steady as I tried to get out.  Here's the problem:  I sit almost on the floor on the craft so when I ram it onto the bank, I have to attempt to stand up from a position where I am leaning backward.  In other words, my feet are higher than my butt.

I have the sense to have my cameras in a sealed plastic bag, which I place on shore before I try getting out.  That night was successful.

Just as I was getting ready to leave, the setting sun turned the bark of the paper birch mauve.  One last photo, one perfect evening at Tern Lake.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Yosemite Journals, Chapter Twelve, the Final Chapter

Yosemite, speaking for itself:

Yosemite Falls

Half Dome from Glacier Point

Half Dome from Glacier Point

Half Dome and the Merced River at dusk.

Half Dome and the Merced River.


Seen outside a tent.


Sally and the swallowtail butterfly.

Climbers on El Capitan.

Climbers on El Capitan.

Yosemite Falls.

Half Dome.

The chapel at Yosemite.

Floating the Merced River.

Mule deer.


Climbers on El Capital shining lights after dark.

The face of Half Dome at sunset.