Bighorn sheep on Highway 74 October 2014

Bighorn sheep on Highway 74 October 2014
This big guy crossed the highway, October 2014.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A peek at Yosemite

Okay. No peek. I am unable to post photos. I HATE BLOGGER! Apparently quite a few bloggers are having the same issue and I've tried to post from two different laptops...????

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mammoth Lakes~That's My World~062811

We just returned from a 9 day trip to the Sierra. We spent 3 nights near the Mammoth Lakes, at an elevation of over 8,000 feet. What a different world from the one I live in here in the desert. In the desert, I know how to walk softly and listen for snakes in the sand. I know how to smell the sage and listen for the cry of the raven and blue jay. Here in the desert I know how to sit in the shade when I am hot and to carry water with me. But, the mountain world is also one I love. I love to see the footprints in the snow. I love to see the blue jays, with their crest and loud voices. I love to hear the whisper of the wind in the pines. I love to see the first light of alpenglow in the morning against the peaks. It is a completely different world from the one which I know and live in every day, but one which I am learning to explore. We'll be heading back to the Sierra and Mammoth Lakes this week. Both hubby and I decided instead of heading to Arizona, we would return to the Sierra. There is something there which calls us and we must heed that call. That's My World for June 28, 2011. The bottom photo shows how much snow was still at Mammoth Village on June 13th. The road was closed from that point on. There's a photo of one of the campgrounds~ha~ no campers there! That's the little general store by the Twin Lakes. Its entrance was completely covered by snow and ice and the owners were trying to get it open when we were there. By now, it should be open for business. The round looking structure is a yurt. A fellow blogger in New Mexico lives in one and I'm intrigued by them. This one lodged the ski rentals and is now closed for the summer. The top two show the beautiful Twin Lakes. In the second one, you can see the water which spills out of a higher lake, Lake Mamie, which was still completely frozen when we were there. To see other worlds, please visit: **all photos show in manual mode***(applause, please!)

Sonora Pass

Yesterday I did a post about the Sonora Pass and our trip going over it for the first time a couple of weeks ago. You can see that post over at I thought I'd share other photos of the Sonora Pass here. If you haven't been on that road, it is VERY curvy and very steep. We stopped along the way several times to take photos. There was plenty of snow and lots of waterfalls and the Stanislaus River was really flowing! Even with the closure of the Tioga Pass, there weren't many cars on this road (SR 108). There were some spectacular views along the way and there was plenty of snow also (see the photo of the national forest sign). It comes down on the eastern Sierra slightly above Bridgeport, so if you ever need to take an alternate route over the Sierras, this is one option. HOWEVER, I don't believe huge RV's are allowed on it (I could be mistaken), and it would be a very difficult road for a travel trailer. That's because it has some very sharp curves on a very narrow two lane road and some grades are 25%. Personally, I was GLAD when we hit Bridgeport! Oh, and gasoline in Bridgeport was $4.97 A GALLON! That's almost $5.00 a gallon. GOOD GRIEF! Good thing we filled up on the western side of the Sierra! And, once you are on the eastern Sierra side, gasoline is VERY EXPENSIVE!!!! Lee Vining was $4.91 and June Lake was also expensive, but once we got to Bishop, it was about $4.19...which is still very high for the national average (gasoline here in the desert is $3.87 a gallon), so consider that if you are planning a trip to the Sierra. Honestly, I don't know how the folks who rent those travel RV's can afford to pay for their gas!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Yosemite meadow~Weekend Reflections~062611

Yosemite valley was full of water and out in the main meadow there was a lot of standing water. I've never seen that much water out in the meadow, or in the waterfalls. It was very soothing just to see all the water out in the meadow and to hear the waterfalls, even if we couldn't find a parking space! Weekend Reflections for June 26, 2011. To see other weekend reflections, please visit:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

His and hers photos tall trees Yosemite

Last post I talked about how I FINALLY began to use the manual settings on my camera and how I set them. In this post I wanted to show you the difference between hubby's camera and lens and mine. I have a Nikon D40x ( a relatively old and inexpensive model), with a Tamron 18-200 mm lens which also has the MACRO (close-up) feature. He has a newer Canon Rebel with a 50 mm wide angle lens, which I believe is a Zeiss lens. I can take macro shots that he can't, but he can get those beautiful, wide angle shots that I can't. So, I figure we complement each other pretty well. The bottom 3 photos are some that he took at the Mariposa grove, which is right inside the west entrance to Yosemite. The top 3 are mine that I took at the same location. See the difference? And, yes, that's me walking toward the fallen tree. I really just wanted to show you all the difference between our two lenses. His lets MUCH more light in, since it is wider than mine. However, I can zoom in and focus on things far away, but he can't. I do like the effect of the wide angle lens and someday I'd love to have one, but for now, I'm happy with what I have!

Experimenting with camera settings

This last trip to the Sierra was my first opportunity to really experiment with the manual settings on my Nikon. First, I'd always just put it on "landscape mode" and clicked away. But, I didn't like the way the sky was coming out on my photos. It was too...blah! And, sometimes the photos themselves were overexposed. So, this trip, I REALLY tried to use the manual settings. I'm pretty comfortable with my camera now and I rarely take landscape mode photos after this trip! YEAH~! (applause, please!)...I thought I'd show you the difference between photos taken on a manual setting and those not, so here goes...Okay, let me explain. The darker ones are the photos taken on "M", the manual setting on my Nikon. First, I would point at the subject with "A", which is the aperature priority setting. Those are the lighter photos. Then, I would mentally adjust the manual setting and take the photo. I usually either went up on the shutter speed, or I adjusted the F stop. On my laptop, here at home, if I adjust the screen by tilting it either forward or backward, I can clearly see the manual setting photos. If you have a desktop, they may be unusually dark, BUT...I've found with Picnik (Picasa), I can adjust the exposure on them. I'm using my husband's laptop because my wireless card has gone completely out on mine and he doesn't have Picasa or Picnik (he DOES, however, have Photoshop, but I don't know how to use that!) you are viewing them SOOC (straight out of the camera). Personally, I like the darker (manual) setting ones. To me, they give a truer representation of what I actually saw. I believe that I took the sunset ones all on "A" (aperature priority) with a tripod because of the low light and my long lens (200 mm). At the end of our 9 day trip, I was completely at ease adjusting my manual settings and my photos came out much better than these first ones, which is why I shot 3 of EVERYTHING!~one on "A" (aperature priority), another one (YES...I went back to landscape mode), and one on "M" (manual). I took nearly 900 photos on this trip and we'll be heading back to the Sierra for the weekend. I hope this little explanation will help those of you who are just beginning to use your camera's manual settings. BELIEVE ME, it was a huge step for me! Something else I should mention is that once you have your manual setting set, and you stay in the same lighting situation, you don't need to change it. You will, however, have to change it if you are outside in bright light and then focus on a subject in the shade! (lesson learned the hard way...) or vice versa. But, try your manual settings. You can always change them. I remember when I went out in my front yard, focused on my blooming bougenvilla, and manually went through EVERY f-stop and shutter speed, documented each one, and then finally kind of figured out what to do. There are some excellent YouTube videos by Bryan Patterson and I watched them over and over and over. Here's a link to his YouTube site: He has 25 different videos and there is a link to his website. Additionally, he has several excellent books (a few of which I bought used on that further explain aperature, shutter speed, and other topics. I would recommend you browse Amazon under his name and see which books are available and buy a used one. I got several for just a few dollars and they really helped me. I still have a LONG way to go, but I've taken my first steps!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sunset over Yosemite~SkyWatch Friday~062311

We arrived at Yosemite late afternoon and hubby wanted to drive around and see the falls in the valley, right after the tunnel. However, we stopped to take some photos of the sunset. We made it down to the overlook just in time to take some photos of the nearly-full moon and you can see those photos at two of my other blogs: and at
SkyWatch Friday for June 23, 2011. To see other views of our skies, please go to:

Tehachapi Train Loop

On our way to the western side of the Sierras, we drove up through Tehachapi. Another blogger had posted some photos of the Tehachapi train loop and I wanted to stop by and see it. I watched for the sign and we took a very narrow road down to it. I spotted a train slowly chugging up the hill and we arrived at the loop, along with several other cars. I've lived in Southern California my whole life and I'd never seen the loop! So, when the train finally made it up to the loop, hubby and I were ready with our cameras. What an amazing sight! The loop is one of the 7 wonders of the railroad world and since hubby's father and grandfather were both railroad men in Pennsylvania. The trains actually do a loop around a hill and then make their way up the Tehachapi grade. I'm not an engineer, but I think I get the point of it...kind of like the slingshot move that rockets take around the moon, right? Anyway, you can see an entire train, from front engines (3) to middle ones (another 3) and then 3 at the end...that's 9 engines in all! And, this was a LONG train! It was amazing to watch and if you ever go through Tehachapi, stop at the train loop. Just watch for the sign along the road.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"W" is for...ABC Wednesday 062211 (Bridelveil Falls)

"W" is for waterfall and this was Bridel Veil Falls in Yosemite National Park last week. We've been to Yosemite about half a dozen times and I've never seen so much water as this trip. There were waterfalls everywhere. We were there before the NPS opened up the Tioga Pass, so we drove to the eastern side over Sonora Pass and saw lots of waterfalls there, too. ABC Wednesday for June 22, 2011. To see other participants, please visit:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sierra flowers~Today's Flowers~061911

Yesterday hubby and I stopped by the Piute-Shoshone Museum in Bishop, CA. Unfortunately the museum was closed for renovations, so I wandered around and took some photos of their flowers. A few families were there and they invited us to an outdoor dinner celebration that night. I would like to return there when they are open and tour the museum. I don't know the names of these flowers (some kind of lupine?), but they sure were beautiful! Today's Flowers for June 19, 2011.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sunset and desert flowers

Yesterday afternoon hubby and I drove up near South Lake, above Bishop, CA to shoot some afternoon pics. All the streams and creeks are FULL of water on the eastern and western Sierra. And, I found some pretty wildflowers to photograph along the way! All of these are SOOC, no adjustments.