Last year I managed a visit up to Packsaddle cave but it was mid summer and I headed up a bit late in the day which made for a too warm trip. Well honestly it was hot but I survived. This year I joined a local hiking group and they wisely headed up early in the morning and picked a weekend when the weather was really very pleasant. I managed to pack extra water and even had some ice left in one of the bottles upon returning to the motorcycle for the ride home.
As evidenced in the photos there was more water present then last year which in turn meant more wildflowers and unfortunately more poison oak but I think we managed to avoid it all.
Hiking across the ridge
Hiking up the hill, if you look real careful there’s people up near the top 🙂
It was a surprisingly large group, close to 30 people but everyone seemed to enjoy the hike and no one complained that I took my time coming up the hill as I stopped to take just one or two more pictures.
Finally we reached the cave. Here I was disappointed to find my flashes weren’t triggering from the radio transmitters but I did have optical slave as an option so I took a couple shots with that and found that my dive light made a fairly good substitute as well.
flash using optical slave in the cave
So at least I got a few in cave pics then it was time to hike back down the hill.
There were still plenty of flowers to photograph on the way back
and I got back to the motorcycle early enough to enjoy a pleasant ride through the canyon before heading down to the valley where it was getting pretty warm again.
More wild flowers
After the previous days Whale watching trip I was a little worried that the ocean conditions would be less then ideal for diving. The weather was warm and sunny but there was still enough wind that the waves were choppy crossing the channel. Several people were looking rather green by the time the dive boat found a suitable sheltered spot to anchor. Everyone manged to stay in good spirits though and the diving was a lot of fun. I was enjoying the warm temps(57F that’s approx. 13C) since its considerably warmer then Monterey or salt point were the last time I dove those water temps were 51 to 52F. Some people said they were cold anyway but I presume they were used to tropical waters.
We were greeted with the usual critters, Garibaldi, sea hares, anemones, urchins various rock fish and numerous fish darting in and out of the kelp. Due to the conditions we stayed anchored in relatively shallow waters so I didn’t see any of the large sheepshead fish and groupers I’ve spotted on other trips.
chiton and purple urchins
Fish amongst the kelp
Sadly there appears to be a lot more of the Invasive species that are preventing the normal kelp forests from growing as abundantly as it usually does and which hides the rocky bottom where so many interesting critters live. I also noticed a lot more brittle stars then I have in previous years.
After the first couple of dives we enjoyed a delicious lunch back on the boat and a short rest before the final dive of the day. this time I spotted some tube anemones and had to stop and take pictures.
All to soon it was time to head back after a final stop to say bye to the dolphins jumping in the channel. We arrived back to Ventura where I loaded the motorcycle up for the ride home.
As mentioned , I’ve been playing around with programing this summer and completed one project, still got a couple of others I’m working on. Anyway, the one I finished is a simple card game I wrote in C# using visual studio for windows pc’s. Requires .net 4.0. I’ve tested it on windows 7, 8.1 and 10 and seems to work fine let me know if you enjoy it or run into any problems running it.
Since this is my first windows program any feedback is appreciated and I expect there will be some problems, but hopefully nothing major.
The cards are all custom, original designs I created.
Got an eye on you?
My Aunt suggested a trip out of town to check out an Ostrich farm. This turned out to be a marvelous idea.
While it was chilly in Tehachapi, it was a beautiful sunny day making for some great scenery on our way there.
We started out with feeding the ostriches and that was fun for the kids, especially when the greedy birds tried to snatch the bowls away.
Feed the birds
After a short walk around the farm we stopped at a pen to meet the ostrich celebrities.
This bird has starred in music videos!
After our tour we visited the gift shop where they had loads of ostrich related products, feathers, eggs, even ostrich oil which is described as having all sorts of benefits when used on your skin.
finally we headed into town for lunch at the ‘Burger spot’. A great wind up to a fun outing!
Still playing catch-up on my posts. So this is from Christmas. A bunch of the family headed out to C.A.L.M – California Living Museum for their annual fundraiser/ Christmas light show. I think C.A.L.M is great here’s a quick quote from their website-
Founded in 1980 and opened to the public in 1983, CALM displays and interprets native California animals, plants, fossils, and artifacts to teach a respect for all living things through education, recreation, conservation, and research.
And I love going out there to see the animals but the Christmas lights are fun too and make for some interesting photos.
Bright lights in the woods!
There was plenty of hot cocoa and kettle-corn and the kids really enjoyed the train and merry go round. It made for a very fun outing.
Michael on merry go round