Mother Nature is the artist. I just collect the memories…

Mammals

Incredibly Rare Rodent

Aplodontia rufa, commonly known as Mountain Beaver, only occurs in the northwestern Pacific Coast of Oregon and Washington, and in a very narrow belt in the northeastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  We got one that was hit by a car into the center the other day.

These animals are very rare.  In fact, as far as we can tell, this is the first one registered in any rehabilitation center in the state of California.  They are a “living fossil” with traits and characteristics that place them as one of the oldest living rodent species in existence.  Really interesting creatures.  Checkout this Wikipedia article for more information on this fascinating creature…

So far, I’ve only managed to get one decent photo of this guy, but I will be bringing my camera to work again tomorrow in search of a few more…

Aplodontia rufa californica--Sierra Nevada Mountain Beaver

Thanks for stopping by!!

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I Love My Backyard

It’s not quite a year since I moved into this new place.  By the time we got here in May last year, the flowers and trees had already been too neglected to recover by much.  They did OK, but this year, with ready tending, watering, and cleaning, they are blooming like crazy.  With that comes the insects…

Yellow Swallowtail

Yellow Swallowtail 2

There is also several acres of empty, rolling scrub land behind the house that usually has birds flitting about.  This afternoon, I saw a cute little chipmunk…

Li'l Chipmunk

It’s nice to live in an area that has so many varied wildlife opportunities close at hand.

Thanks for lookin!


Backyard Birding

When you haven’t got a lot of time, you work with what you got.  I got a nice, big, empty desert loaded with songbirds and blossoming brush as a backyard…

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Rock Creek Lake

I went with the kids and Annette to Rock Creek Lake last night, and snapped a few pics I’d like to share…

Chipmunk Sitting1

Chipmunk Standing1

Cute little Chipmunk hanging out at our picnic area…

Lake and Bluffs

Lake and Bluffs

Upper Rock Creek

Upper Rock Creek

Granite cove with natural(and intentional) lens flare

Granite cove with natural(and intentional) lens flare

TreeScape

TreeScape

And the shot of the night, in my opinion…

Peace in the Valley

Peace in the Valley

All of these were shot in monotone…except the chipmunk (duuh)…

Thanks for looking!


Kern Valley

Went for a drive down around the Kern Valley the other day…

Frozen Fall

Frozen Fall

Annette in Torrent

The water in the North Fork of the Kern River were spectacular.   There are ALWAYS rapids on the Mighty Kern, but believe it or not…the flows were perfect for swimming and fishing.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t prepared for either one…so I just took some pictures.

While sitting alongside a small pool on a feeder creek higher in elevation than the Kern Valley…we were surprised by the sudden intrusion of a VERY unexpected guest:

Bat1

Bat2

This cute little bat fell down out of a nearby tree and struggled his way up and down several logs.  He kept jumping into the water, and then climbing back out.  I’m not real familiar with bat behavior, but it didn’t appear to enjoy it’s time in the water, and certainly was not what I would consider a “reasonable swimmer”.  It was more like flopping and flailing.  I helped it get up onto a stick, and moved it back away from the water’s edge, and it just laid there…wet and visibly exhausted.  We watched him for about 20 minutes, and then moved on.  The reality is…it didn’t look healthy.  Something was wrong.  I have no idea what was wrong, but…something was.  I would not be surprised if it died shortly after we left…

Finally…coming back across the mountains to the Eastern Slope…I couldn’t resist this shot of a HUGE Joshua Tree field.  It was very neat, having the mountains with the J-Trees in the distance and the small feeder creek lined with Oak and Aspen in the foreground.  So I asked Annette to pull over so I could get the shot…

Desert and Oasis

Desert and Oasis

And that’s about it.  I didn’t find any snakes, which was, as I’m sure you assumed, my ultimate goal in the trip.  But I got to hang out with my friend Annette in a gorgeous river valley on the Western Slope of my beloved mountains.  All in all…no snakes, but…still a wonderful way to spend a Sunday.

Thanks for coming along!