Whiskey flats

Posted in Events, Photography, Travel with tags , , , , , on March 22, 2014 by thecaptainnemo

Whiskey Flats days

Whiskey Flats days

Since Kernville is just a short drive from Bakersfield I was happy to head over for a day of ole west entertainment.

 

Whiskey Flats

Whiskey Flats

After a few hours of wandering around checking out the vendor booths and watching the occasional gunfight in the street we headed into a cafe where I bought some delicious chicken wings and a cold drink.

Then it was back out to watch the frog race, the costume contest and a little more gun-play before heading home.

Even this little guy got dressed up for the occasion

Even this little guy got dressed up for the occasion

Now that's a serious look!

Now that’s a serious look!

In front of the saloon

In front of the saloon

Frog number 5 makes a break for it!

Frog number 5 makes a break for it!

 

 

hot rod

hot rod

costumes

costumes

 

Kings and Queens of flight

Posted in family, outdoors, Photography, Travel, wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2014 by thecaptainnemo

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

When my aunt suggested a family trip over to the coast to check out the Monarch butterflies that make their annual migration their I realized that although I had driven past numerous times I had never stopped to witness this for myself. The grove we visited in Pismo is easy enough to find, clearly marked by signs with docents to show you all about the butterflies.

At first I only saw a few butterflies landing on nearby trees, then I spotted several spotting scopes pointing upward towards the higher branches. Looking up I saw a lot of dead leaves hanging from an evergreen tree?

out of place leaves

out of place leaves

I went back to the car for my telephoto lens and lo and behold, here was what we had come to see.

 

Monarch butterflies

Monarch butterflies

Next we headed north along the coast to check out the elephant seals and along the way spotted a hawk.

Hawk taking flight

Hawk taking flight

Then we stopped to see the elephant seals, in January they have pups so there were lots of little ones on the beach.

young pup scratches

young pup scratches

Angela on top of the world

Angela on top of the world

 

Nearby Heron keeping an eye on me

Nearby Heron keeping an eye on me

We stopped for dinner at the Mexican restaurant we’d eaten at the last time we visited  the elephant seals and I was able to get some more great humming bird pics.

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Joshua wanted clam chowder though so after dinner we headed into Cambria for second dinner. The Old Stone station(used to be a gas station) had great reviews of their clam chowder and we were not disappointed.

 

old stone station

old stone station

We also drove up the hill to take a look at the historic Nit Wit ridge house.

Dad at nit wit ridge

Dad at nit wit ridge

It was a beautiful day at the coast but eventually we headed home to the valley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indian Wells Valley

Posted in outdoors, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 26, 2014 by thecaptainnemo

Indian Wells Valley

Indian Wells Valley

Since its been a surprisingly warm and dry winter,

last month I headed out to join a group hiking up to Owens peak.

Now this would be no simple task as Owens peak is the highest point in the southern Sierra Madre Mountains at more than 8,400 feet. Also the trail starts fairly far up in Indian Wells Valley at the end of a jeep trail so this called for the bug to do a little trail driving. As it was I totally underestimated the drive time and arrived a good half hour after the rest of the group had already left. I headed up the trail anyway hoping Id see them near the top. Somewhere around 7600′ of elevation (according to my gps) I lost the trail though. It was not well marked at higher elevations and as I scrambled over weathered granite and piles of loose scree I realized I was following what was probably a mule deer trail. I reached the rocks just below the peak (approx 8000′ elevation) and decided that the crumbly nature of these rocks didn’t lend themselves to a safe ascent  so I began making my way back down. A little disappointment I didn’t reach the peak, but that’ll give me a reason to come back and enjoy the wonderful views on a different day. Once back at the trail head I waited around till others from the group came down and i found out that several others had missed the upper part of the trail as well. apparently it veers off to the left even though the peak is to your right as you go up, then follows a ridge around to the top. So now I know for next time.

 

slope of loose decomposed granite

slope of loose decomposed granite

Snow along the trail

Snow along the trail – not much for January though!

Prickly pear (opuntia)

Something got hungry! Prickly pear (opuntia)

 

the peak is just on the other side of those rocks

the peak is just on the other side of those rocks

view

view

 

Rocks back by the trail head

Rocks back by the trail head

Baja bug along the jeep trail

Baja bug along the jeep trail

 

Windmills on the way home

Windmills on the way home

Joshua tree, sunset

Joshua tree, sunset

 

 

 

 

 

Huntington Gardens

Posted in outdoors, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized with tags , , on February 9, 2014 by thecaptainnemo

Huntington Gardens

Huntington Gardens

I’m still behind on posting but I’m catching up. This should be the last pics from 2013 so now I can hurry up and post about the ones Ive started taking this year.

Anyway this was a short trip to L.A. before I flew to Europe and I got to wander around Huntington garden and take a few pics so here’s some of them.

Hello, Koi checks me out.

Hello, Koi checks me out.

Huntington Gardens

Huntington Gardens

koi

koi

waterfall

waterfall

water lillies

water lilies

Zzenn...

Zzenn…

not a water lilly :)

not a water lilly :)

Visiting the Ancients, Bristlecone pine forest

Posted in outdoors, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , , , , on January 19, 2014 by thecaptainnemo

Bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva)

Bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva)

After leaving Greenville and the run with the bears adventure we took the eastern route south along 395 because my dad had expressed a desire to visit the ancient bristle cone pine forest. Since this was a great spot for some pictures I was enthusiastic about taking this route. We drove down towards Bishop where we spent the night, but on the way we made a couple of stops. First up we attempted to go to Bodie, but a huge fire in the area thwarted our attempt.

smoke on the horizon

smoke on the horizon

So we continued on to Mono lake where we watched a storm heading our way

mono lake

mono lake

and saw a couple deer

fawn

fawn

Incoming rain storm

Incoming rain storm

So after stopping for the night it was up early in the morning to head up to the Bristlecone forest.

road up to the Bristlecone forest

road up to the Bristlecone forest

After a brief stop at the visitor center I spotted a sign pointing to a trail to the Methusela tree so off I went. I probably should have read the trail description first. It was a 5 mile hike and at 11,000 feet that was quiet a hike! My Dad followed me and by the time we got back to the car we were both a little out of breath.

Dad at the top

Dad at the top

bristlecone forest

bristlecone forest

bristlecone forest

bristlecone forest

After the mornings hike we stopped for lunch then it was on to Manzanar. I already wrote about this important site of a sad part of U.S history earlier but my Mom and Dad hadn’t been there so it was worth another visit.

old koi pond, Manzanar

old koi pond, Manzanar

view from Manzanar

view from Manzanar

Next up was a quick stop to walk around the other worldly landscape formed by lava flows at fossil falls.

lava at Fossil falls

lava at Fossil falls

Then it was time to head home, another great trip.

sunset on the high desert

sunset on the high desert

Demon Babies in the land of the North, Helsinki

Posted in Photography, Travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 11, 2014 by thecaptainnemo

Demon Baby

Demon Baby

Last year when purchasing airline tickets to attend the International congress of speleology in Brno I found the cheapest fare was with Finaire this involved a lengthy layover in Helsinki on the way home, but why not? It was an opportunity to visit another country and city before heading home.
It turned out to be a pricey option as a single day of site seeing cost me almost as much as a week in Budapest but it was still worth it.

Two out of three giraffes approved of this message

2 out of three giraffes approved of this message

Where else would I find such a wonderful collection  of art, history  and bicycles?  There were loads of bikes. Not sure what they do with them all in the winter, maybe they put skis on them ?

Anyway with so many friendly people and good food, Helsinki was a great place to visit.

Bicycles

Bicycles

Lady in red

Lady in red

More bikes!

More bikes!

 

 

Guess some things are universal

Guess some things are universal

 

 

So that's where Elvis went?

So that’s where Elvis went?

 

Leave your worries

Leave your worries

Running with the bears

Posted in Events, family, Photography, Travel with tags , , , , , on December 15, 2013 by thecaptainnemo

Racing Pigs

Racing Pigs

This summer my brother and his wife announced they’d be participating in “running with the bears” a half marathon and 10k run that would be taking place in Plumas county. This was a good excuse as any to head out for awhile so we went to watch the race.

finish line

finish line

It was a fun day watching the racing, with lots of things like face painting and paning for gold to keep the kids busy. Michael enjoyed the gold panning but mathew entertained himself by climbing underneath the tables.

beneath the tables

beneath the tables

 

The US Air Force even put in an appearance with a fly over of several planes

USAF

USAF

The fair was going on that week as well so we stopped in to watch the racing pigs, and check out the Swann bros. circus act.

Zippy the clown spotted my camera and threw his juggling act in for a close up!

Zippy the clown

Zippy the clown

A fun weekend in Plumas county.

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