Friday, April 30, 2010

The White Propeller Flower of Mt.Diablo

This beautiful white wildflower grows in Donner Canyon and it is not in any of the wildflower listings that I have checked ... I am sure someone out there must know the correct name for this pretty little wildflower but I haven't been able to find it anywhere ... If it has no name  then I will call it the White Propeller Flower of Mt. Diablo as it resembles a boat prop ...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Islands @ Salmon Lake Ca.


Salmon Lake is located  in the high sierras up above Sierra City in the Gold Lakes Basin area and can be accessed off of Gold Lake road which is off of Hiway 49 at Bassetts Station... This is a lake that I have had the good fortune of enjoying all my life ...It is surrounded by shear granite walls and Alpine terrain that reminds me of the Swiss Alps ...

Each Summer my family would go up to this area and camp at Salmon Creek Campground when I was a kid ... Nowadays we have grown  a bit soft and have kids of our own so we tend to get a cabin which is really relaxing in the mornings as well as the evenings ... Here is a shot of the Salmon Lake Lodge which is only accessible by a barge that will come across and get you and all your stuff if you use the call box that is mounted on a large pine tree at the dock ...
Salmon Lake has a small island in the middle that has a picnic table with a  fire pit and BBQ as well as some large granite rocks rising out of the water surrounding the island  that are great for jumping off of ...Here are some shots taken from different vantage points on the island ...

My Dog Bear has also been enjoying Salmon Lake all of his life as well and as you can see he thinks he is the Captain of the island ...
Fishing at Salmon Lake is always promising ... There are delicious native Brook Trout   here as well as the German brown and Rainbow Trout ... Once while fishing here in the sunset hours I was alone in a small boat with an electric trolling motor using a fly that my brother tied when I noticed a couple of  brown  Beavers swimming right beside my boat and at that same moment I also noticed a big ole Buck with a huge rack standing close by  in the shallow waters of the cove...As I sat quietly just then a very nice Brook Trout  struck my fly and began to fight ...
One of those outdoor experiences you just never forget ...What a great place to see the wilderness of California !

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Very Young Fawn Reunited with its Mother

Now is the time to watch for fawns. Deer have learned to adapt to small patches of open space in urban areas and are common in many of our neighborhoods.  Black-tailed deer, a subspecies of the mule deer, are common throughout the northern and central California coastal ranges. While they prefer open chaparral, they will adjust to almost any open space they can find... I received this E-mail from the folks over at Alexander Lindsay this week with the following story as well as this  picture of the actual fawn ...
Last week during our most recent storm, a concerned citizen was awakened by a crying sound. After some investigation, he found a three day old fawn curled up and cold from the rain outside his window.The fawn was brought to the wildlife hospital in the morning where it was warmed and given fluids. Soon the fawn was on its feet and alert. When it appeared that the fawn was doing well, the rescuer took the fawn back to his home and placed it back where it was found.
A few hours later, the rescuer called the wildlife hospital to share that he and his wife had seen the same fawn suckling on its mother and full of life!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On The Trail @ Green Lake in New Zeland !

 
I have a cousin named Steven who is currently employed in the country of New Zeland as a youth pastor... Recently he had the opportunity to do  some backpacking in a beautiful area called Green Lake ...  Steven used to work for me as a kid starting when he was very young and he was a good helper to me for many years ... Many of my oldest customers still ask me about him ...Hiking in the New Zeland outback with the youth group is a very cool part of his new  job  ...  Here he is below   having the time of his life leading a group of kids on an eight  hour all day hike over large mountains on the trail to the cabin at a  place called Green Lake  ...
Here are some shots of this beautiful lake taken by my cousin Steven...

Now when I am out working and someone asks me what ever happen to that kid that used to work with me I tell them he is all grown up now and I get a picture in my head like this one below here as I smile...
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Jammin In The Canyon On The Way To The Falls !

Yesterday was awesome ! I haven't been out on the trail alone in quite some time now ... Last month my uncle gave me a really nice twelve string acoustic guitar with a soft shell back packing case ...The guitar is very nice and I enjoy it a lot however the backpack guitar case is why I mention the guitar ... You see it has a lot of room for other items when I replace the jumbo twelve string with my Epiphone  Les Paul and a little Rock Man with headphones ... Basically it becomes a guitar shaped backpack with plenty of room for lunch ,bottled water and other stuff  ...The little Rock Man with the headphones has a great sound too and multiple effects as well allowing for some cool tones ... So off I went up into Donner Canyon with my guitar on my back ... This is something new to me ... I have never backpacked with an electric guitar before let alone as far as I was intending to hike ... You see I decided I was gonna go all the way up to the falls and sit on the cliff and jam a little ... Which is exactly what I did , but only after a pretty good  walk which does turn into a climb in parts that took me all of  three hours ...
. The hike down the mountain was much faster ... I got down in about half the time it took me to get up because on the way up I stopped at a couple of   really cool smaller waterfalls off the trail and jammed a bit ... This was a great hike  ... Much different from when I was here in the Winter under a freshly dusted Eagle Peak with the stream flowing like a river ... Although the peaks were  freshly dusted this time too you can see below here that this was only a Spring dusting   and nothing like the Diablo snows of Winter ... This was a beautiful Spring day in the canyon ... The once raging waters of  Diablo Creek  now flow as a Spring brook winding its way down the  canyon to the bright green valley floor ...  This is the best time of the year to see this canyon ... The colors are spectacular with the wild flowers all in bloom and the birds of spring arriving back from the south ...  Donner Canyon is truly an incredibly beautiful  place to hike ... Spring wild flowers vary in shape size and color so much along the trails all the way up to the falls that to show you each one would be very difficult so here are just a few... After about two hours of walking and climbing this trail I came across a fellow hiker who told me that the trail to the falls was about a hundred yards or so up and around the corner ... From this point on it was all steep up hill hiking ...The views of our area from up here on the mountain were spectacular ... You can see the entire delta from the  Carquinez straights all the way to Discoverybay...  Finally  I reached the Falls trail ... It was a foot trail that went along some pretty steep grades and even some high cliffs eventually  winding around over to the top of the falls ...
Along the way though the views down into this canyon from up here on the falls trail are Awesome !   Then you come around the corner and you get your first view of the falls ... This was the big pay off for me ... Wow I made it ! I told myself I wasn't gonna eat my Campbells chicken noodle soup till I reached the falls ... I also took a wrong turn along the way  that made me even hungrier so I was glad to be looking across the ravine at what turned out to be just the first set of falls to view  ... As I hiked on around the corner of the ravine I found the two main waterfalls ... One just above the other falling down the rocks into the canyon ... What a beautiful sight  to see and how cool is that to have all this beautiful nature right here in our own backyard ... I sat out over  the top of the waterfalls on the edge of the cliff there, enjoyed my lunch, fixed my head and played my guitar ...I do love being alone on this mountain and in the words of the greatest explorer ever, " Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."   John Muir  ...