Toy Run

Posted in Events, motorcycle, Photography, Travel with tags , , , , , on December 14, 2014 by thecaptainnemo

Early morning motorcycles, Toy run

Early morning motorcycles, Bakersfield Toy run

I dragged myself out of bed this cold foggy morning to join in with (what one tv station reported at least) 6000 other bikers for the ride over to the fairgrounds to deliver toys and donations to the Salvation army.

Did I mention it was foggy?

Did I mention it was foggy?

I was glad I got up early as I got a nice spot up near the front of the lineup and enjoyed a cup of coffee provided by wonderful volunteers while I checked out some of the bikes.

 

Santa!

Santa!

 

 

Snowman in Bakersfield?

Snowman in Bakersfield?

People went all out and there were all sorts of decorations and everything from huge cruisers to little trail bikes. Even some very cool custom cars. Cruising through town while folks cheered and police held the intersections was fun. The food and festivities at the fair were great too. Look forward to next year, hope to do it again.

Arriving at the fairgrounds

Arriving at the fairgrounds

Bikes

Bikes

Lots more pictures at http://captnemo.smugmug.com/Events/Cars-shows-and-events/2014-Toy-Run/

FOXY

Posted in outdoors, Photography, wildlife with tags , , , , , , on December 2, 2014 by thecaptainnemo

 Santa Cruz Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis ssp. santacruzae)

Channel Island Fox – Santa Cruz Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis ssp. santacruzae)

My apology for the lack of posts lately- it’s been a busy semester at school- homework takes precedence but I should have plenty to post about once schools out. In the meanwhile I was pleasantly surprised to receive this e-mail :

Thanks for agreeing to share your photo! Your photo will be highlighted as National Geographic’s Great Nature Project Pic of the Day on December 3rd. You will be able to view your picture on the Great Nature Project website (http://greatnature.education.nationalgeographic.com), as well as on the NG Education Facebook page.

Afterwards, you’ll be able to see your photo for about a month in the Pic of the Day Collection (http://greatnature.education.nationalgeographic.com/collections/12). We are excited to share your beautiful work! Thanks again for contributing to The Great Nature Project!

 

This in regards to the pictures of a Channel Island Fox I had posted on Inaturalist.org. You can see the posting on inaturalist at http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/766586 or view all my photos of the trip here http://captnemo.smugmug.com/Places/California/Channel-Islands/

 

 

California Dreaming

Posted in motorcycle, outdoors, Photography, Travel with tags , , , , on September 20, 2014 by thecaptainnemo

California Dreams

California Dreams

Well schools back in full swing so between class, work and homework I’m keeping pretty busy. Before the semester started though I managed yet another trip to the coast to escape the heat and hang out at the beach for awhile. It was lovely riding the motorcycle with a cool breeze for a change.

surfs up

surfs up

Pismo

Pismo

Beach

Beach

 

I spotted this neat old bike in a window when I stopped to grab something to eat.

Thor

Thor

Beautiful Sunset

Beautiful Sunset

 

Woof

Woof

A great day at the beach.

Surfer at the Beach sunset

Beach sunset

 

What excitement?

Posted in Uncategorized on August 30, 2014 by thecaptainnemo

thecaptainnemo:

I’ve started a new blog to repost some of my old cartoons (and maybe some new ones) about working offshore as a commercial diver:

Originally posted on The Depth Defying Adventures of Captain Nemo:

TheDepthDefyingAdventuresofCaptNemo

View original

Good to be underground again

Posted in Caving, motorcycle, outdoors, Photography, reptiles, Travel, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , , , , , , on August 22, 2014 by thecaptainnemo

Leigh in the Cave

Leigh in the Cave

Not so windy weekend wandering around wonderful winding passages.

This cave has long been  high on my list of places I wanted to visit but somehow my schedule never coincided with a trip. This year I was happy to see that the trip would take place during summer break when I would be able to go.

I was also excited as I haven’t had an opportunity to go caving as much as I’d like since moving down to Bakersfield. It was a bit of a ride on my motorcycle to the meeting spot in Columbia but I made it easy by spending the night in Ceres so it was just a short ride in the morning. There I was happy to see Kip pull up as I always enjoy going caving with him. right behind him pulled in Ben and Leigh who I had previously caved with at Millerton and our fearless leader Martin.

 

Martin poses beneath some formations

Martin poses beneath some formations

We all climbed into two vehicles for the drive up to the cave. After a short hike we reached the cave. Martin gave us a rundown on the history of the cave. It was interesting to hear it had been re-opened as recently as the 70’s then sealed closed and re-opened again in the late 90’s. Hopefully the current restrictions on visitation will continue to keep the cave in it’s beautiful condition. Speaking of which I had a horrible time deciding where to take pictures as there was enough formations and decorated passageways to keep me busy for a day or two but Martin had said we would be spending 6 or seven hours in the cave and had a couple of projects to complete while there.  Once we had the gate open I rigged the rope while Martin got the supplies ready for these projects. Kip climbed down to open the lower gate and we were ready to go caving.  Right near the bottom of the drop Ben and Kip spotted a newt (probably Taricha torosa sierrae – Sierra Newt

Correction thanks to inaturalist.org I now know it was a Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii) both are salmanders but then newts and ensatinas branch from there.

Not a newt- Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii)

Not a newt- Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii)

 

I took a couple of pictures then shooed him off to the side of the passage so we would be sure not to step on him upon our return. The next main room we entered had lots of nice stalactites and soda straws so I happily set about taking pictures. Martin had brought along string and flags which we used to mark some of the more sensitive areas of the cave so hopefully future trips will not disturb them.  We continued to the area of the cave where the lions tales formations are located and I was excited to photograph them. Of course my flashes promptly ceased to function. After a few minutes of fiddling with them I discovered that the batteries in one had leaked, possibly due to overheating on the motorcycle trip up. A quick change of batteries and they still weren’t working. I was puzzled till Martin suggested checking the settings and sure enough during the battery change a flash had switched to an auto mode instead of manual. Yeah I was back in business. I finished taking a couple pictures of the lions tails and then carefully proceeded to a sensitive area where we took off our helmets in order to protect the fragile formations. Returning to the main junction we had a break for lunch then I opted to stick around and take pictures of helectites while the others checked out the rest of the cave. On the way out we stopped and Martin had a final project to complete- the lower ladder had become a little shaky as its bottom support had cracked. He successfully drilled a hole in the ladder and support then connected them securely with a bolt.

Lions tail

Lions tail

Kip admiring stalactites

Kip admiring stalactites

helectites

helectites

After exiting the cave, securing the gate and returning to Colombia we realized it was too late too make it to the restaurant for dinner and as both Martin and I had lengthy drives ahead of us we all loaded up in our respective vehicles and headed for home. Another great trip  in the Motherlode.

Arriving at Columbia on my Motorcycle

Arriving at Columbia on my Motorcycle

 

Southern China(town)

Posted in motorcycle, Photography, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on August 17, 2014 by thecaptainnemo

It's a dogs life

It’s a dogs life

Reading this post http://waterfallsandcaribous.com/2014/06/02/a-north-point-tour-of-hong-kong-eating-styles-roast-meat-edition/ reminded me how much I missed going to China Town In San  Francisco when I lived in Sacramento and the wonderful roast duck. A little thought on the matter made me realize it would only be a couple of hours ride on the motorcycle and I could be in Southern California’s China town next to downtown L.A and surely I’d fine delicious roast duck there. Besides it was miserably hot in Bakersfield and the coast promised to be at least a couple of degrees cooler. First I had to suffer through the heat of the valley and a horrible amount of dust in the air, but once I crossed the grapevine it was notably cooler which felt wonderful as I drove through L.A on my motorcycle. I wasn’t in a rush so I drove around the long way returning back through the garment district to finally arrive at my destination. I was pretty sure I was in the right nieghborhood when I parked across the street from this building.

Los Angeles China Town

Los Angeles China Town

I was not to be disappointed either as there were several shops with delicious bbq, noodles and dim sum, the biggest problem was choosing one.

While I wondered around and pondered my choices I had plenty of time to admire the crosswalks

China Town Crosswalk

China Town Crosswalk

and spotted some neat art on a building

Street art, LA China Town

Street art, LA China Town

and to wonder about this sign?

New High herbs Tea and imaging

New High herbs Tea and imaging

I figured out its on ‘New high street’ but does the tea make you see images or???

Someone seemed to have a warning for bears and rabbits to stay away!

bear, La China Town

bear, La China Town

Rabbit, LA China Town

Rabbit, LA China Town

This place claimed superior chicken but I was in search of roast duck so the search continues

Superior Chicken

Superior Chicken

LA, China town, in case there was any doubt I was in the wrong neighborhood

LA, China town, in case there was any doubt I was in the wrong neighborhood

Ah ha surely a place that goes by the name Hong Kong BBQ was what I was looking for.

Hong Kong BBQ

Hong Kong BBQ

and success, mMMmmm delicious.

Roast duck

Roast duck

While I’m not a huge fan of the tea eggs the baby bok choy was a delicious accompaniment.

I had a nice ride home which made for a very satisfying day out and away from the valley heat.

LA China Town

LA China Town

 

Continuing in Africa

Posted in Caving, family, outdoors, Photography, reptiles, Travel, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , , , , , , , on August 14, 2014 by thecaptainnemo

The Three Dikgosi Monument

The Three Dikgosi Monument the three Chiefs monument Khama III of the Bangwato, Sebele I of the Bakwena, and Bathoen I of the Bangwaketse.

Continuing my reminiscing from 2006 here’s part 2…

While I was sad to see most of the group departing I was glad my visit with my Parents in Botswana wasn’t over yet. Rolf was able to stay a few days longer and had expressed an interest in seeing some more animals so we headed out to the nearby Gaborone game preserve.  While not as lavish as our trip to Mokolodi with its wonderful restaurant the Gaborone game preserve   did allow us some wonderful animal watching especially the vervet Monkeys that made me laugh at their antics. I was especially excited to spot a monitor lizard by the side of the road as I have plenty of childhood memories of looking for these in Malawi. – I still remember my friends little sister screaming when one approached her in the water. We laughed since we had told her not to take our little boat out and she had anyway, but in all fairness it was a big monitor (over six foot) and she could have been seriously injured so we should have been more worried. We also visited the Botanical gardens again and went to see the Three Dikgosi Monument (three Chiefs monument).

Vervet Monkey

Vervet Monkey

 

Monitor Lizard

Monitor Lizard

warthog

warthog

This way to the caves

This way to the caves

After Rolf finally had to leave we were considering various things to do when I mentioned I had seen an advertisement for a cave near Sterkfontein, in South Africa, was that close enough for a visit. My parents said that wouldn’t be a problem but since it was a bit of a drive and we wanted to avoid driving home late at night we’d just plan on spending the night. As it turned out a visit to Sterkfontein was an awesome idea as it is a world heritage site due to it being the location where some of the earliest hominoid remains have been found. Hence its other name “the cradle of Mankind”.

They had a very nice museum on site so we got a chance to browse the exhibits while we waited to tour the cave.

Museum display

Museum display

 

Sterkfontein cave

Sterkfontein cave

Now most of the interest here was in the archeology and history the cave itself is not a particularly decorated one though it did have a few stalactites and stalagmites. Luckily though the nearby “wonder cave” has that all covered. My parents had had enough of stairs climbing in and out of Sterkfontein but since wonder cave boasted access via elevator they happily came along. The brochure forgot to mention the two hundred or so steps you have to climb to reach the elevator.

 

Wonder cave

Wonder cave

This cave was also well worth a visit for despite previous limestone miners having removed a lot of formations from the cave there were still tons of beautiful formations. It also happens to be at the site of the lion and Rhino preserve a private game reserve so after spending the night at the nearby Big five lodge. We returned to check out the animals.

Inquisitive Ostrich

Inquisitive Ostrich

I think this ostrich wanted me to roll down the window so he could see if we had any food in the car. I wasn’t obliging.

While we did see the rhino’s they managed to keep their distance in the tall grass so I didn’t get any good pictures, the lions and some crested cranes were much more cooperative.

crested crane

crested crane

lioness

lioness

Oh and Zebras lots of zebras!

zebra

zebra

Guinea fowl

Guinea fowl

 

All to soon it was time to begin the long drive back to Botswana but we had one more treat in store for us a lovely rainbow!

rainbow

rainbow

 

 

 

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