Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Yosemite rocks

 Hey, there, fine people:

1) Hope you are well and hanging in there as best as one might hope. xoxoxo

2) Blogger is NOT letting me reply to your LOVELY comments, so please forgive my apparent lack of response to your reaching out. I've TRIED (many times). It doesn't even know who I am? Even tho' I've signed in 40,000 times. Annnnnyhow .... <virtual hugs to you!>

3) [redacted]👇

Experiencing computer, camera, software & sundry device-compatibility issues that are making a return to blogging an uphill battle, shall we say. XD  erf!

Wild rose (Rosa californica) hips shining @ a National Wildlife Refuge south of Sacramento in Feb

Good news:

  • Successfully backed up all photos & docs on this old computer (this is MAJOR and was plaguing me for months)
  • DH ordered me a new computer (woo-hooo!)
  • I am right now backing up my iphone pics onto Google pictures (or whatever it's called, JUST installed that app moments ago), so hopefully that means they'll be easy to pop up onto this blog, soon (as well as backed up)
  • Will be mailing my camera to the recently re-opened Nikon repair facility in L.A.
  • All the computer frustration I've experienced today may mean I'll ACTUALLY do yoga today to get through this. XD So, that's healthy, right?

Therefore: Pics on THIS post will likely NOT be relevant to what I write 'cause I'm still in the trenches. I HAVE figured out how to get SOME pics up, though. =D So, nice, irrelevant decor, commence!

 Our ever-charming kitty, Ginger, making this shot of dried rose petals
in a jar sooooo much better. As is her wont. =)

DH & I have two trips planned, one in July (westward), one in August (eastward). We MAY not do them, as rates of infection continue to climb in CA. We currently live in a low risk area (v low population), so driving through higher risk areas to stay in higher risk areas (like near the beach!) for 5 days is giving us pause. 😷

Beautiful sand dollar & perfect holes on the beach at Morro Bay, last winter.

We DID get back toYosemite, recently, now that it's reopened (via a new reservation system). DH's been working from home since this all started, and tho' he's a park employee, we were not supposed to go there to recreate, so we did NOT--but now it's open. The return was heavenly. Hiked the Panorama Trail from Glacier Point to Illilouette Fall, one of my favorite hikes of ALL time.

We are SO fortunate to live nearby, but living nearby (less than 10 miles as a crow flies, over an hour by car) and NOT GOING for months and months of hunkering down suuuuucked. However, what we DID do, after a while, was hike in the nearby Sierra National Forest!

Baby American alligators we got to see at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
back when flying to Florida was an option. SO, so thrilling! =D

DH & I USED to hike in the Sierra NF pretty regularly, but that faded out as illegal marijuana growing increased, rendering it dangerous (way more than the alligators). THEN marijuana was legalized, so that risk was reduced (@ least in theory?). THEN we got hit by the Ferguson Fire, and that blazed (& closed for a year) a good bit of the forest which is near (including allowing us to see it torch trees FROM OUR BACK YARD), so if anyone THOUGHT of going back into the forest to grow weed, they'd find all the dense cover they need GONE. Woot!

Consequently, we have lately been exploring and really enjoying this beautiful forest all over again. And the fire opened up the forest, so there's LOTS more views and more sunshine for the now very happy & abundant wildflowers!

Seriously, it's been GREAT. We have our forest back! It'd been over 5 years since we went at all regularly, so I'm soooooo grateful for this.

But, there's no place like Yosemite.

North Dome (left) and Basket Dome (right), resting beneath Mt. Hoffman (snow-covered).

Ya gotta love that rock.

xoxoxoxo bb

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

It's BEEN a while... =D

Hey, there!

(Yosemite Valley cliffs)

I have been thinking about this blog, lately.

I have been wanting to WRITE, lately.

Thinking about that a lot.

Not doing it.

SO, even though I kinda thought that blogs were a "was,"
I DO go to them for some things,
and the point of all this in the first place was to write, so... I'm back.

Seeing if I have any muscle memory for this. XD

This also means I will check on the blogs I had connected to and check THEM out.

See how many are still there.

(Snow play fun at El Cap on Black Friday. =D)

Feel like I've cracked open a long-locked door into a room
& am coughing on dust & looking around to see what's there.

(Cook's Meadow, looking west, after a November snowfall)

"Helloooo.... "



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Lazuli Bunting, Yosemite water craze & obligatory Monty Python reference

 Hey, there peeps!

"I'm not dead! Think I'll go for a walk!" 'nuf said? =D

Lazuli Lifer

Lazuli Bunting appeared on the feeder (Sunday) &
I freaked out SO HARD my hands were shaking.
I'd NEVER seen one EVER & had to look up among the SHOWY birds 
I've never seen to even figure out what it was. WOW!!! =D

Then it took off & I jumped up and down
& DH & I high-fived. 

The Iris Time

A furled purple iris. I love how moody they look.

Polka dots! =D
Those tiny specks make me CRAZY happy.

Just sitting there, looking (& smelling) glorious...

The carpenter bee has returned to its annual haunt of the iris bed outside our window:
Love this giant, territorial creature: it flies laps & dispels other bees
and I'm grateful it's been cutting me slack, so far, as I walk past... =D

I will always adore these flowers & am so glad they like our Mediterranean climate. =D

Yosemite Flow

Have been going to the park (Yosemite) more than usual this spring,
partly for work (poor, poor me) and partly 'cause there was SO much rain this winter.

The waterfalls are CRANKING like MAD and the Merced River
is WAY up so marvelous reflections abound. Fabulous! =D
Yosemite Falls

North Dome & wetlands & a TINY piece
of Clouds Rest & Half Dome. =D
This was just inches south of Southside Drive,
just west of the chapel. Water!!! =D

Speaking of, I tweeted & Instagram-ed videos of Yosemite Falls
that I took with my iPad  &
it got picked up by SFgate & GrindTV ,
the latter in an article called,
"7 incredible videos of the historic Sierra snowpack melt at Yosemite Falls."
Turns out TWO of those 7 are MINE?!? Crazy.
And I only know 'cause the Tweeple alerted me to it.

Hooray, you guys!! =D

Anyhow, that was bizarre & fun. It's totally DH's fault:
he alerted me re: when the river would peak (high flow)
so recommended I drive up, so I did & it was HEAVENLY.


Got a few new hummingbird feeders, including this orange one
which just ADDS to the Anna's hummingbird's amazing pink shimmer. Phew!
Color not enhanced AT all. =D

This is DH photographing a small bear we startled on the Valley Loop Trail in Yosemite:
As you can tell, I'm respecting the bear's privacy,
NOT totally being a bear-scaredy-cat. =D
The bear had been ear-tagged but was doing good wild bear stuff,
shredding a downed log for delicious grubs.

With all this winter rain, the grass at our place is OUT OF CONTROL!!
There's ENTIRE DEER there...

And here's the view from my back porch, looking across the grass sea... *sigh*
Some of the grass is nearly as tall as I am (6'). I THINK there's a few
planted plants in the garden amid the crashing waves of weeds... 😁

So, I will be in the valley MOAR this summer since due to my 1st gig this spring,
and the kind woman who hired me, I get ANOTHER gig in early summer! =D

Which means numerous required visits to the park to plan where we'll
meet & stop & walk & what I'll blab about.

Which ALSO means I get lots of steps hiking for research.
In Yosemite Valley.

Which means I get happy.



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Photo phling: 2 ambushed, 2 Bs & 1 hoverfly.

Hey, there. Am presently in panicked photo printing mode (co. fair deadline)
but owe you photos from July, so here's 5 lovelies for you.

 Lookit! I found an ambush bug on the mint plant again this year. Hurrah!! =D
They look SO tough, but are SO tiny. =)

Turns out, there's TWO on this plant.
 This second one was darker.

If ambush bugs found, then biobabbler is happy.

A very yellow bee on a native, BIG ol' aster. SO very fuzzy! =D

Honey bee putting her left foot in (hokey-pokey style),
showing off that off-white pollen. =D

Hoverfly on mustard at the work site. 

Little beauty. =D

So, hope you enjoyed this glimpse into July bugginess,
next post will be August charmers.

If you'd like to share your summer bug posts via links in the comments, feel free! =D


Friday, June 17, 2016

The county fair & photo exhibit + 3 bonus photos just 4 u. =)

 So, 1st: apologies for NOT POSTING in MAY. Wow.
(Throws biodegradable glitter to distract you.)

Fair Foto Fun

I entered some of my photos in a nearby county fair at the end of May.

Very exciting & less totally nerve-wracking than last time.
Perhaps experience breeds calm? Or, at least lack-of-total-freakout. =D

The fair itself was last weekend, and that's when I learned how I did.

Which is pretty well! =)
Got 1st & 2nd in 8/9 photos.

I'll take it! =D

I ALSO got to ogle other's lovely & inspiring work.
Which is MOST enjoyable.

One professional/advanced photographer's work I LOVED was Christopher Viney.
His 1st place photo in landscape:

And his 1st place agriculture photo:
How surprising & abstract is that for "agriculture?" Too cool.

So, I got curious & googled his name.
Apparently, when he's not being a rockin' great photographer,
he is teaching physics at UC Merced.

Clearly, not much goin' on, there. =D

Here's another shot I LOVED (flower)
but unfortunately didn't get the photographer's name in the shot.

Crazy good.
DH's party shirt (white horseshoes on red background)
& me & my Trader Joe's bad made some weird reflections, therein.

Also ogled sundry gorgeous cows.

 Mama & junior looking coy (typo was "cow"). =)

DH in his happy place: Part I
 Petting the cute little goats.

DH in his happy place: Part II
 Look out, honey, your Midwestern heritage is showing!

They have a pretty nice range of old tractors there so we took in the tractor parade.

Fun was had by all.


Bonus Pics

And just for fun, the elegant sphinx moth (Sphinx perelegans) I found on our garden gate
(species ID confirmed by my moth-y expert friend, Dr. Dan Rubinoff)
"Don't see my eyes!"

This is a LARGE moth. From ~3.5" to 4.25."
Made my DAY.
And it blended in PERFECTLY with the faded grey wood. =)

Dr. Dan said they raise their young on manzanita (among other things),
so this pup could have grown up right here. =)

Last, this flower went into a windstorm with wet hair,
and now looks AMAZING! =D

And when open, this bee was VERY happy to be there.

Note the white pollen coating its legs. =)

Thassit! I hope your summer (or winter) is starting out well.
It's been AMAZINGLY mild & wonderful this last week, 
but is on schedule to fling itself into the 100s soon, 
so I'll have to start taking Stop Whining pills then.

For now, I will simply bask in the glory that is our world right NOW.



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I love spring

On the road

My commute home from work site--skirting the storm.
 It's so great to see the hills all green after years of drought.
Check out how the rainbow is doubling itself (at the bottom).

One of the cutest things I've EVER seen: baby killdeer
with its siblings and very busy parents at Merced National Wildlife Refuge.
Check out that TINY wing! =)

Snow goose, also at the Merced NWR.
That beak makes me think of a sock puppet, for some reason... =)

This native phlox was SO frothy & pink (on highway 166) we HAD to pull over
during our drive to Carrizo Plain NM.

The Carrizo Plain NM: a fascinating place.
Heaven for a minimalist, and I was anxious to visit, since
the last time we saw it, it was 4 years into a drought.
 Soda Lake stirred by wind.

Carrizo Plain had greened up nicely, thanks to El Niño.

Desert candle (Caulanthus inflatus), a species I'd never seen before, at Carrizo Plain NM.
Another thing we saw from the car & stopped to investigate. =)

We drove up elevation from Carrizo & found purple puddles of Phacelia. So great!

Closer shot of Phacelia--love those flamboyant anthers. =)

More wildflower puddles, north and uphill of the Carrizo Plain.

Back home

Band-tailed pigeons appeared under our bird feeder—that was a first!
They are SO much bigger than mourning doves (upper left corner).
Love their bright beaks & feet.

Ladybird beetle upon lilac. Ah, spring! =)

 The new climbing rose we just bought is making me swoon.
 I have a thing for anthers...

Wavyleaf soap plant (Chlorogalum pomeridianum) beading water beautifully. =)

Lovely variegated miner's lettuce (Claytonia spp.) on our property that caught my eye.
So stylish! =)

Last, a wild hyacinth (Dichelostemma capitatum) on our property.
What an elegant beauty.

I hope you all are having a marvelous spring (or fall).
It's a pretty amazing thing.