Trailside Meadow in the Sierras

Trailside Meadow

Trailside Meadow on the way to Outpost Camp

I’ve been nominated by my friends, Kathy Bauman and Laura Better-Henry, to participate in a seven day nature photography challenge. I will post one nature video/photograph every day for seven days.

Day Two Above:  I took this shot on the Mt. Whitney trail on the way to Outpost Camp for a water break.

I had a great time hiking with my good friend Greg Jobe.  Here’s a decent shot of Greg cooking us some good eats!

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Well, I was having a great time until I was hit with altitude sickness at about 12,000 feet.  But, that is a story for another day.  What is ironic is that I started feeling really bad just about the time that our trail grub was ready.  See below…LOL

Dale at 12,000 feet I feel worse than I look

Dale at 12,000 feet I feel worse than I look

Other than getting sick…I had a great time hiking on the Mt. Whitney trail!  Let’s go back to a happier picture:

Trailside Meadow

Trailside Meadow

So, where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

Reminder of Spring

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In the midst of a wet winter here in California a reminder of Spring.

I took this shot after hiking to the top of Mission Peak in the Mission Peak Regional Preserve.

This was a challenging hike with about a 2,000 foot gain in a little over 3 miles.  Tough hike but, great views!

Where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

 

 

The Thursday Picture – Fluorescent Forest

 

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken on the Alec Canyon Trail at Uvas Canyon County Park in Santa Clara County.

No photoshop tricks were done to this image.  These are the colors that caught my eye as my daughter and I hiked back down this steep trail after visiting the Triple Falls about an hour earlier.

One part dead oak tree.  One part fungi.  One part moss.  Wham!  Nature supplies a great photo opportunity.  I just did a little adjusting of my Nikon D3300 for the existing light and pressed the shutter button.

Now, I just need to get a little better at being able to identify different types of fungi and moss!

Where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

 

 

 

The Thursday Picture – Stay on the Trail!

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken at the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve in the foothills above San Jose/Silicon Valley.

I hike a lot.  Before this year is over, I will have gone on over 50 hikes.  Many of my hikes are up Harwood Hill in the Sierra Azul Mountains above my neighborhood.  I’ve also hiked this year on trails in National Parks, California State Parks, Santa Clara County Parks, Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space Authority.  All of these agencies struggle with maintenance budgets that just barely allow them to maintain our trails and the natural environments around them.  When hikers venture off marked trails, like these clowns above, bad things can happen to our trails, parks, and open spaces:

  • Surface vegetation, animal habitat, fragile soils, and/or entire communities of life can be trampled beyond recovery.
  • Organic matter, such as leaves and even the soil itself, helps protect land from the erosive forces of rainfall and wind. Walking, biking, or riding your horse off trail disturbs the protective cover and can accelerate erosion. Do not use shortcuts.
  • Damage to surface vegetation can disrupt natural processes and may destroy a food source or otherwise harm wildlife habitat. Be careful where you step.
  • In some areas, disturbing rocks can leave a visible impact for hundreds of years. Lichen-coated and time-varnished rocks are irreplaceable. Leave rocks where they lay.

If you look closely at this picture, you can see how these hikers….uh….er….those look like black tailed deer.

Never mind.

Where are you hiking this weekend?  Wherever you go, Please do stay on the marked trails!  See the California State Parks information about staying on the trail above and here!

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

 

 

 

 

The Thursday Picture – Nikon Roo

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken on my hike at Long Ridge Open Space Preserve on a very rainy and blustery Sunday.

Normally, being a very good Boy Scout (Troop 210 – Troop of the Eagle!), I am prepared for the rainy weather.  Heck, as you can see here…I am typically ready for any threat on the trail.

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However, I had to drop off my Volvo XC 70 (again) at the shop to get yet another thing fixed!  Of course, I left my Columbia rain jacket in the back of the Volvo.  So, that’s how I ended up on the trail on a very rainy and blustery Sunday without my rain jacket.  Unfortunately, I also haven’t been able to find my red cowboy hat for quite some time either…

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Being rather stubborn, I was determined to get my hike in while also trying to protect my trusty Nikon D40 from the weather.  I didn’t realize how silly – but effective – my “Kangaroo Pouch” was until another hiker passed me on the trail and said, “Nice Pouch!”

Yes, my Nikon Roo worked just great.  I was able to keep hiking and to keep taking shots.  My Nikon D40 survived this rainy and blustery day on the trail.  That’s my Nikon Roo story…how do you protect your camera on the trail?

Where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

The Thursday Picture – Sometimes you just get lucky

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Sometimes, when I’m out hiking, I have problems with the light, with the sun being in the “wrong place,” or with the really interesting shot being just beyond the range of my lens.

And sometimes, when I’m out hiking, I just lift up my trusty Nikon D40, frame my picture, and press down on the shutter with very little adjustment.

Today’s Thursday Picture courtesy of the North Ridge Trail at the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains above San Jose/Silicon Valley.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

The Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Close Up.”

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I don’t normally do much Macro Photography…unless, it is a shot of flowers along the trail.  Truthfully, I was hiking in the Russian Ridge OSP back in March and stopped to take some pictures of the field of wildflowers.  This bee was focused on the job at hand…collecting pollen.  It looks like this bee had been collecting pollen for quite a while.  Notice the “pollen basket” on his leg – it’s looks kind of like a goldish football shape.

Anyway, this bee photo bombed my flower shot.  What do you think?

If you are interested in bees, I was able to find some interesting information on the U.C. Berkley Urban Bee Lab web site.

I’m going to be looking for more opportunities to practice my macro photography skills the rest of the summer.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up