Alabama Hills

Mt Whitney through Mobius Arch
Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA; OCT 2020

The Alabama Hill in Lone Pine, Ca, is a geologically unique rock field from the same period as but separate from the Sierra Nevada mountains. It is formed by large rock formations that have eroded into rounded shapes and arches. The trip on the Arches Loop Trail is magnificent. These hills are set below Mt Whitney and sunrises there are beautiful.

This rugged terrain has been used as a set for many movies, particularly westerns from the 1920’s through 1960’s. It was even used in a Star Trek film. As you drive or hike through the hills you can envision the bad guys “holed up” in the rocks shooting down on the good guys.

According to Wikipedia, the hills were named for the CSS Alabama, a Confederate warship. Confederate sympathizers named their mines in the area after the ship and the hills derived its name from the mines.

Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution.

Break of Day in the Alabama Hills
Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA; OCT 2020
Pathway to the Heart; Heart Arch
Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA; OCT 2020
Dens
Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA; OCT 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Scenes From Big Pine – Death Valley Road

Sunrise From Death Valley Road
Death Valley-Big Pine Rd, Big Pine, CA; OCT 2020

We spent some time exploring Big Pine – Death Valley Road. Along the way, we found some interesting things: A beautiful forest of Joshua Trees, and a wonderful White-tailed Antelope Squirrel. All of this set against the scenery of desert mountains. It was beautiful trip.

Be aware though, if you decide to explore this road, we have read that is one of the most dangerous roads in the country. We found the route to be in good shape but there are some things to consider. We found a lot of tire shredding rocks. There are numerous washes that cross the route so it could be flooded, or the road surface washed out. With photography stops, it took us 7 hours to get from Big Pine to Stovepipe Wells.

This post shares some images from the section between Big Pine, CA and the entrance to Death Valley National Park. I’ll share images from Eureka Valley and Death Valley in a future post.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

A Fan of Joshua Trees
Death Valley-Big Pine Rd, Big Pine, CA; OCT 2020
White-tailed Antelope Squirrel
Death Valley-Big Pine Rd, Big Pine, CA; OCT 2020
Joshua Trees at an Outcrop
Death Valley-Big Pine Rd, Big Pine, CA; OCT 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Smoke over the Sierra Nevada Mountains

Smoke Over Sierra Nevada Mountains from Big Pine, CA
Death Valley-Big Pine Rd, Big Pine, CA

We made a trip to the Eastern California. We had planned the trip about 2 months earlier; before the wildfires. As we waited for the trip, we saw it threatened by the smoky conditions. We even pushed it back a week. As we traveled on Sunday, OCT 11 and even as we visited the Alabama Hills Monday morning, we enjoyed great skies and clear air. But, as we were leaving the Alabama Hills, we could see the smoke beginning to drift over the mountains. By Monday evening smoke from the Creek Fire had filled the mountains and the valleys. Returning to Mammoth Lakes on Monday, we often could not see the Inyo Mountains on our right; they rise tall and steeply just a few miles from the highway. Approaching Mammoth Lakes that evening, the surrounding forests were covered in a thick bank of smoke that looked like a blanket of fog in the late evening light. Tuesday morning the crescent moon and Venus were visible, but both were colored orange. Venus looked like a bright Mars.

We had planned several separate photo shoots, much of which we had to abandon. We salvaged Monday afternoon and Tuesday by travelling south into Death Valley. We left Wednesday cutting a day from our trip.

Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution.

Smoke Over the Sierra Nevada from Bishop, CA
Route 168, Bishop, CA; OCT 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Giant Sequoia

A Path Through the Really Big Trees
Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Arnold, CA; OCT 2020

This past week we visited Calaveras Big Trees State Park. It is one of several groves of the Giant Sequoia trees in California. It is a wonderful place to saunter through a forest which includes about 20 of these precious giants as well as large pines and cedars.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Shepard of the Really Big Trees
Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Arnold, CA; OCT 2020
A Path Through the Really Big Trees – P3
Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Arnold, CA; OCT 2020
A Path Through the Really Big Trees – P2
Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Arnold, CA; OCT 2020
Morning in the Forest of Giants
Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Arnold, CA; OCT 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Some Recent Bird Sightings

Turkey Vulture, American Crow
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; SEP 2020

These are images I captured of the past several weeks.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Western Tanager; Nimbus Fish Hatchery
American River Parkway, Rancho Cordova, CA; SEP 2020
White-crowned Sparrow; Nimbus Fish Hatchery, American River Parkway, Rancho Cordova, CA; SEP 2020
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Arnold, CA; OCT 2020 #Photography
Female Belted Kingfisher
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, Folsom, CA; SEP 2020
Acorn Woodpecker
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, Folsom, CA; SEP 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Photographing a Burn Scar

A Mountain Woodland
Rt 89 above Topaz, CA; SEP 2020

On our day trip to the mountains, we decided to visit and photograph a burn scar; a section of burned forest from a fire a few years ago. The burned trees were intriguing with their swirls of white wood and black charred wood. The grasses had repopulated the area and the Rabbit Brush was blooming. It was a fun time.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Scene from an Old Burn Scar
Rt 89 above Topaz, CA; SEP 2020
Scene from an Old Burn Scar
Rt 89 above Topaz, CA; SEP 2020
Scene from an Old Burn Scar
Rt 89 above Topaz, CA; SEP 2020
Scene from an Old Burn Scar
Rt 89 above Topaz, CA; SEP 2020
Scene from an Old Burn Scar
Rt 89 above Topaz, CA; SEP 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

A Day Trip to the Mountains

Sunrise Tinted by Wildfire Smoke
Peddler Hill Scenic Overlook, Pioneer, CA; SEP 2020

Last week we took a day trip into the mountains. We travelled along RT 88 from Jackson, CA to Rt 89 and followed it over Monitor Pass and down to Topaz then returned. It is a beautiful trip through the Sierra Nevada. While we enjoyed clear skies, at places we could see smoke hanging over distant mountain valleys.

Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution.

A Sunrise in the Sierra
Carson Spur Vista Point, Rt 88, Pioneer, CA; SEP 2020
A Sunrise in the Sierra – P2
Carson Spur Vista Point, Rt 88, Pioneer, CA; SEP 2020
Looking Out at a Smoke Filled Valley
Rt 89 above Topaz, CA; SEP 2020
Looking Out at a Smoke Filled Valley – Infrared Edition
Rt 89 above Topaz, CA; SEP 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Birds and a Palm in Infrared

Female House Finch and Female Lesser Goldfinch in False Color Infrared
Orangevale, CA; SEP 2020

I’ve produced my first set of images in false color infrared. Most infrared pictures I see are in black and white. But my camera can also capture some visible light; not all, just some. So, I can get some interesting effects. I still haven’t fully grasped what it means to shoot heat as well as light. A goldfinch facing the sun will give me some yellow in its breast but facing away from the sun, I lose the yellow.  A red car became bright orange. A blue car became darker. So, still much to learn.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Female House Finch in False Color Infrared
Orangevale, CA; SEP 2020
Female House Finch in False Color Infrared
Orangevale, CA; SEP 2020
Palm in False Color Infrared
Orangevale, CA; SEP 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Not Just A Duck

Four images of various specise of ducks.
Female Mallard Duck
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; SEP 2019

In a blog I follow and enjoy, Peace of Life Today, the author shared the post “Just A Duck” which contained some beautiful photos of a female Mallard. Until a few years ago, that is what they were to me. I could identify a white domestic duck and a male Mallard. I have heard people talk about a variety of ducks, but they were just some abstract concept. Then I met some new friends who were wildlife photographers. They taught me that we live in the Pacific Flyway, a migration route and wintering ground for many species of waterfowl. They, along with other birding friends, taught me about Mergansers, Golden Eye’s, Teals, and many more. The diversity and beauty of these creatures is astounding. For me, there is no such thing as just a duck anymore and I am better for it.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Wood Duck Inspecting Possible Nest
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2019
Common Merganser
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JUL 2020 #Photography
Female and 2 Male Barrows Goldeneyes
Lake Natomas, American River Parkway, Gold River, CA; NOV 2019

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Errata: In my original post, I misidentified the Goldeneyes. They are Barrows Goldeneyes, not Common Goldeneyes.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA; AUG 2020

I am sharing some images of Great Blue Herons (Ardea Herodias) that I’ve taken over this summer.

The heron in a tree looks out of place. I normally see them foraging along the water’s edge. But they are comfortable in trees. In fact, they nest high up in trees.

Great Blue Heron and Canada Geese
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JUN 2020
Great Blue Heron with Prey
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Orangevale, CA; JUL 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.