Saturday, February 1, 2014

Feelin' the Drought

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(Click photo to view it larger.)

Since I'm only going to do this blog for one year, I can't help wishing it was more of a normal rain year. I can't believe I won't be able to post any decent mushroom photos, and I don't imagine the spring wildflowers will put on much of a show either.



As I drove up to the mountain today I wondered whether I'd find anything at all that I'd want to photograph. I took a walk out on the ridge to look for bobcats but didn't see any. It was such a clear day, though, I decided to snap a couple of pictures. Looking west over the nearly summer-brown hillsides, you could see the horizon beyond the Farallon Islands. Looking east -- well, I'll get to that in a minute.



The cobweb thistle (Cirsium occidentale) is just getting started.



I liked the look of this patch of forest on the edge of Bolinas Ridge and shot a panorama with the 300mm.



I spotted a pair of snoozing coyotes high up a hill as I scouted the possibilities along Bolinas Ridge. I parked and hiked toward them, and although they did get up and move to a new location, they didn't go far.



This spot was safer since it was close to the woods.



The coyotes spent so much time snoozing that I looked for other things to photograph (with a 500mm lens) from my sit-spot, including last year's mugwort plants. Mugwort likes water, and the ground was surprisingly damp in this spot. A few tiny green plants were just getting started.



The biggest surprise wasn't right at my feet, but way off in the distance -- the snow-covered Sierra Nevada. I seem to recall that I'd seen them before, but this is the first time I've seen the mountains clear enough to be sure they weren't just clouds, and to actually photograph them. They are about 130 miles away as the crow flies. 



The coyotes weren't impressed.

I'd love to know the name of the cone-shaped peak toward the right side of the frame. I'll bet in the old days of Google I could have found the answer in no time. Seems like it keeps getting harder to find information you actually want.



That's the female snoozing in the front while the male scratches his back in the background. He actually slid quite a ways down the hill, wriggling like a snake the whole way.



When he was done, he strolled back up to roust the wife so they could move on to a new location. They ambled downhill toward the east; the female pooped; the male sniffed; and they disappeared into the woods.

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6 comments:

  1. I always enjoy your coyote photos and it is fun seeing them enjoying life so much. Really impressed with seeing the Sierra from your vantage point. Pretty cool.

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    1. It was good to see coyotes again. If I hadn't seen them, I wouldn't have seen the Sierras either, and I probably wouldn't have posted anything. I'm tempted to go up today -- just to see some actual rain!

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  2. I find searching for names of peaks from a particular vantage point always very difficult. Why do you think it used to be easier on google? If you're looking slightly south, maybe this would help: http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1039371?

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    1. As for google, I feel I'm a lot more likely to get the results someone's SEO work wants to deal me than what I actually want. There's probably a more sophisticated way to search that I need to learn. When all the results on the page refer to something other than what I'm actually searching for, that's no good. SEO is some kind of kin to net neutrality. The triumph of commercialization over information. Come to think of it, I wonder if google can't sell ads on my search result, does it give me something it *can* sell ads on?

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  3. Found your blog today through your comments on John's blog - love the shots of the coyotes. They seemed to be enjoying their afternoon on the mountain just like you.

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    1. Thanks for dropping in. I wish the coyotes would be as glad to see me as I am to see them.

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