Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Waiting for Rain

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What sounded like rain in the woods was just the pitter-patter of fog 
dripping from the canopy onto a carpet of dry leaves.

Sometimes a Douglas fir's rat tails show loud and proud. 
Sticky patches of sap pool among the cone's scales.

Hardly a drop of water in this little arroyo seco off the Benstein Trail.

Spotted this crime scene at my feet as I knelt 
to explore a small pool of water in the ravine.

A California Giant Salamander, here a juvenile sporting about three inches 
of length, chills in the bottom of a pool.

An excited mob of acorn woodpeckers and steller's jays called out 
from the vicinity of this coast live oak bristling with nuts, 
stopping only when a cooper's hawk swooped in.

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Friday, October 16, 2015


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All images made on Cataract Creek at Laurel Dell.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


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Drove up the mountain this morning to check on the game camera, 
and picked up a few trinkets presented by the sunrise while I was at it.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Smoky Sunrise

I went up to check on the trail camera, which I recently placed in a new and untried location, and was surprised to see a colorful sunrise unfolding. Glad I brought my camera. 

It's been downright chilly in San Francisco the past couple of days, so I brought some extra clothes -- a pair of jeans, a longjohn top, a flannel shirt -- just in case. But the second surprise of the morning was stepping out of the car into extremely warm air and catching such a strong scent of burning fire that I looked upwind -- north -- for smoke. I felt sure the fire must be close, and I was poised to jump back in the car and git. It was only after I got home that Pam told me a huge new fire (the Valley Fire) had erupted in Lake and Napa counties, that hundreds of homes had already been lost, evacuations were being ordered, and a state of emergency had been declared.

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Tam Cam - August 2015

Tam Cam - August 2015 from John W. Wall on Vimeo.

The only critters I got all month were deer. The camera was pointing a little too high to capture the actual water hole, so small critters might have gone in to drink without setting off the camera, but I doubt it. In any event, this water hole had also dried up by the end of the month, so I moved the camera once again, this time to a spot near the water hole, but pointing toward an area that might be a little more photogenic as well as better able to snag critters shorter than deer.

The morning I stopped by to check on the camera, a full moon was dropping in the west. It was very windy, with a bit of a marine layer.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Glory Hound

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I don't expect to have much of a trail camera video this month. The water hole dried up at my old location, and I haven't snagged much of interest in my new one, which I checked for the first time today, but which will continue to run for the rest of the month. I'll probably move it again for September. This morning I hiked out of Rock Spring to Barth's Retreat, then Potrero Meadow to Rifle Camp, down to Azalea Meadow and High Marsh (dry as a bone) and back via High Marsh Trail to Cataract Trail, all the while scouting potential trail camera locations.

But before I started the hike I did a little glory-hounding.

Nice birthday present. Thanks, Mt. Tam.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Tam Cam - July 2015

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Mt. Tam Trail Cam - July 2015 from John W. Wall on Vimeo.

The water hole is drying up, and the saw-whet owl no longer visits here to bathe. A fox still came for a drink, but only once. A raccoon -- the first in a long time -- passed through twice, the second time to scratch its butt on the deer antler to leave its scent. The fawns are still coming and even appear to be digging a bit with their hooves to deepen the water hole. A big buck and a new buck play through, and a coyote comes for a drink -- and of course marks the deer antler quite voluminously. This will be the last installment from this water hole. I'll need to find a new spot for August.