Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Road Song: On the Road Again

Canned Heat: On The Road Again (lyrics)
Album: Boogie with Canned Heat, 1968

I haven't updated my road song list for quite sometime, in fact my post list by "road songs" indicates that I added the last new one in August, 2015, more than two years ago!! One The Road Again, not to be confused with the song with the same title by Willie Nelson, is an oldie from the Woodstock days, one I had pretty much forgotten about until MOH reminded me of it last week. In my mind this is old time hippie music to go along with Tupelo Honey (Van Morrison), Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead), and Creole Belle (Jesse Colin Young).

Sorry I can't guarantee that music videos I post will remain online. Enjoy while you can! 😊

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Wandering Amongst the Granite Knobs in the Northern Sierra

Granitic knobs in the northern (way northern) Sierra.
It's been a busy summer, such that I really haven't had time to get much blogging done—and I had so many good posts planned! But it's been really difficult for me to do much of anything while working essentially twelve to fourteen hour days (depending), and on days off I've been working around the house, gardening, and attending to other things besides writing.

Nevertheless, MOH and I have found time to get out and about a couple times; these photos were all taken on a particular jaunt of ours back in early July. While traversing from west to east across the Great Basin Divide, we unexpectedly drove by some lovely exposures of granite—well, probably it's technically granodiorite.
It was just barely past spring at our elevation of 5500 feet.
Pinemat (Ceanothus prostratus) takes over a stump.
From our parking area beneath tall pines next to a spring, we wandered up to the the closest knobs.
The view southward from our "Granite Hill."
From this perspective, it's easy to get a feeling for the magnitude of several wildfires that have burned through this area in fairly recent years. At least two, maybe three, fires were evidenced by different tree heights.
Upward we climb.
I think exposures of granite and other granitic rock are fascinating, and it's hard not to stop and stay all day, even when the day is a scorcher.
A wildflower has taken hold along a fracture or joint.
This bouldery countenance reminds me of the tufa formation "Old Woman with Basket," also known as Stone Mother, on the east shore of Pyramid Lake.
Looking off to the north, as the last photo does, it's easy to see at least two plantings of Ponderosa Pine, which followed two or more forest fires. As the trees grow, forest managers come along and thin the trees.
This tree was five to nine years old when cut, depending on how one should count the rings.
Here are a few of the great mafic inclusions we saw while wandering around.
Some vertical joints within the granite.
A cobble got stuck in one of the vertical joints.
A swarm of inclusions!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

High Water Across the West: Not at West Gate!

I was surprised when driving through central Nevada back in early May that things didn't really look all that green or wet, at least as compared to what I'd already seen in northern Nevada along the Truckee River, at Rye Patch Dam and the Humboldt Sink, at the Pitt-Taylor Reservoir and in Winnemucca, in Carlin Canyon, and at Honey Lake. Still, I expected Eastgate Wash to be running, because it does so often, at least in my memory. I didn't have a chance to check the wash out at Eastgate, where I expect it was running, but here it is at West Gate...dry on May 3rd.
At least the nearby West Gate windmill was pumping, so there was plenty of water for any blue bellies that might happen by.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Update from the Lake: It's Been a Green Spring

It all started with the squirrel, who was out in the side yard chomping on some seed we'd thrown out, or maybe it was a peanut. Somehow it inspired me to grab my camera and wander through the yard.
I walked around toward the front, and grabbed this shot of our wild patch of clover, growing along the fence protecting the Carolina allspice.
The clover isn't anything we actually planted, but it's kind of pretty.
An iris.
When I got around to the backyard, I made sure to get a photo of the ripest lemon on our small, two-year-old (to us) lemon tree. The tree arrived with green lemons, and it's only this year that it's really started growing.
Iris budding out near "the island."
I'm not really sure which of our fruit trees this is, but I'm thinking it's the plum. If not, it's the cherry, the peach, the almond, or the apple.
We planted peas randomly throughout last year's garden area, mostly to fix some nitrogen, but we'll also harvest seeds for eating and reseeding.
Last but not least, the raspberries were starting to go to town.

All pictures were taken in early June.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

High Water Across the West: The Truckee River

Returning once again to my spring mini-series about all the rivers and lakes that are at higher levels than I've seen in quite awhile (most recent post), I decided this time to show a few pics of the Truckee River, which I drive by quite frequently. Actually, I drive by four times a month unless I happen to bypass Reno by taking another route: 1) across the Black Rock Desert, 2) via Wadsworth to Pyramid Lake and northward (this route is currently impassable because spring floods washed out the road), or 3) over the mountains from the Pyramid Lake highway to Highway 395 (when having to turn around because the preferred road was washed out north of Sutcliffe).

The first photo was taken at a scenic overlook near Patrick along I-80, looking to the southeast. The river is high between us and the dark brown mass of intrusive dacite that forms a synform known as Giant's Throne (a little more detail about this feature can be read here).
Here (above), from the same location, I zoomed in on the river just south of I-80. The trees were just getting their spring leaves and were bright yellowish green.
After a bit, I pulled off at the westernmost Fernley exit and drove south into Wadsworth, a small town along old highway 40 (which is not signed 40 anywhere in Nevada, afaik). These photos, above and below, were taken at a bridge over the Truckee in the eastern part of Wadsworth.
I zoomed in on the water roiling downstream from a cottonwood tree sitting farther out in the water than usual.
I couldn't resist a photo of this old church. Once upon a time, while in high school or early college, I painted a watercolor of a similar church located back east in northern Virginia. I'm still fascinated by the style — not sure why.
Unlike some other rivers in the west, the Truckee was nowhere near impacting the old highway 40 bridge from below.
The railroad bridge spans the Truckee less than 50 meters away from the highway bridge.
For some reason, this view looking downstream reminded me of swamps in southeast. Maybe it's just the way the trees were sitting out in the river.
While down on the river between the two bridges, I grabbed one more shot of trees out in the river. And after standing there for a few minutes, I remembered I had to get back on the freeway. 😢

All photos were taken on 14May2017. The river is still high.