5th Day in the CA Sierra: Hiking Vernal and Nevada Falls

Vernal and Nevada Falls from Washburn Point

Yosemite is a huge natural park that it abounds with outdoor opportunities. Tourists can have so many ways of enjoying its natural wonders. Whether it be rock climbing, river rafting, biking, hiking, para-gliding, base jumping, fishing, swimming, skiing, horse back riding, and what else is there that man could think of. But for me, the best way to experience a natural park is by foot. Yosemite offers more than 800 miles of trails, from very easy to extremely strenuous. For this day, we decided to experience the power of the waterfalls. Since Yosemite is a waterfall country, there are too plenty of choices to choose from. At first, I considered hiking to Upper Yosemite Falls ( http://www.yosemitehikes.com/yosemite-valley/upper-yosemite-falls/upper-yosemite-falls.htm ), but decided instead to hike the friendlier and more shaded hike to Vernal and Nevada Falls (http://www.yosemitehikes.com/yosemite-valley/mist-trail/mist-trail.htm ). The total combined hiking distance for Vernal and Nevada falls is 7 miles round trip with 2000 ft elevation gain.

Vernal Fall

 

Mist Spray from Vernal Fall

Nevada Fall 

Nevada Fall

Please click hiking Vernal and Nevada Fall for more information and details about the hike.

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June 18, 2008 at 9:41 pm 4 comments

4th day in the Sierra: Exploring Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Falls from Cook’s Meadow

Exploring Yosemite at the Valley Floor was not in our plan at all, having the impression that it is too crowded in the summer. Gladly, we were wrong. Except probably for the Lower Yosemite Fall trail, the other parts of the valley floor are very peaceful and has that inspiring beauty really worth exploring. Anyway, what changed our mind to drop what was in our itinerary and explore the valley floor instead? My husband’s diligent reading of the Yosemite Guide’s June- July issue. On page 9 of Yosemite Guide was Yosemite Secrets, it is about the park ranger’s favorite Yosemite spot. One of those spots is Cook’s Meadow. The paper described that many people make pilgrimages to Lower Yosemite Fall, yet only a few crosses the street to take a stroll around the lush meadow. Since we could not find the Cook’s Meadow in the map, we all decided to take a walk to the Lower Yosemite Falls first, then after that, check out the Valley Visitor Center for directions to Cook’s Meadow and what else not to miss in the valley floor, and before the clock ticks at 5:00 pm, we should be at the horse stable to check out the availability of rides.

From Curry Village, we took the free shuttle bus to Lower Yosemite Fall trail head, which is at stop 6. The trail is through the woods and adorned by alpine wildflowers. One can either go back in same direction after reaching the base of Lower Yosemite Fall or they can continue on the trail to complete the one mile loop.

Alpine Wildflower Along the Trail to Lower Yosemite Falls

I am so glad for the presence of these wildflowers and woods, they provide a touch of serenity to the place since this is a trail with a lot of people! After all, who does not want to experience the 2,425 ft tall Yosemite Falls? It is the tallest waterfall in North America and the 5th tallest in the world.

Yosemite Fall from the Lower Yosemite Fall trail

I am just glad that most of those people had their eyes focused on the waterfalls only, thus, whenever we see wildflowers, birds, butterflies, nice wood and rock formation, we had them to ourselves. When we reached the base of Lower Yosemite Fall, the mist was very strong and again blowing in all direction. If we stayed longer at the base, probably, it would be like taking a shower. After enjoying the Lower Yosemite Fall at the base, we proceeded to walk back to the trail head by completing the loop. On our way to the trail head, we saw a sign “picnic”, thus we decided to follow the sign for our much needed lunch break. Surprisingly, the picnic place was not at all crowded, and we have the roaring Yosemite Falls for our view. Nice to feel that with all those people walking to Lower Yosemite Fall, there we were, having the Yosemite Falls all to ourselves, with the cute blue birds, Steller’s Jay.

Steller’s Jay Spotted at Picnic Area

But maybe our presence in the picnic area invited others to come, that slowly it gained quite a number of people. Thankfully, we were done with our lunch and on our way to explore the other parts of the valley.

After lunch, we proceeded to the Valley Visitor Center, and asked a park ranger for directions to Cook’s Meadow, which surprisingly for us, Cook’s meadow was just across the street of the Valley Visitor Center. But the park ranger did not only give us direction to Cook’s Meadow, but to the other parts of the valley he believed worth for us to explore. According to him, if we are up to a much longer walk, after Cook’s Meadow, we can continue walking South and then West of the valley, for it is “B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L”!

Half Dome from Cook’s Meadow

I was a little skeptical at first about the valley floor walk for I had this impression that the walk will be like the walk to Lower Yosemite Falls, crowded. Maybe, I read too much while preparing for the trip. But to my surprise, walking at the meadows of Yosemite Valley actually was very quiet, it seemed that most of the people may not be aware about this piece of beauty.

What more can be rewarding in a walk but the presence of swaying wildflowers,

Wildflower at Yosemite Valley (Visitor Center to Cook’s Meadow)

bees and butterflies surrounded by tall granite cliffs?

 

Wildflower, Insects and Butterfly, Visitor Center to Cook’s Meadow

From here, I will let the pictures speak of the beauty and serenity we found in our Yosemite Valley Floor walk.

At Sentinel Bridge

Half Dome from Sentinel Bridge

At Cook’s Meadow

 Cook’s Meadow (1)

 

Cook’s Meadow (2)

 

Cook’s Meadow (3)

 

Cook’s Meadow (4)

 

Wildflower and the Loving Bees, Cook’s Meadow

At Sentinel Meadow and Beach

 

Sentinel Meadow

 

Enjoying the Meadows

 

Wildflowers

 

Yosemite Falls

 

Enjoying the Crisp Clear Water of Merced River, Sentinel Beach

 

Rafting on Merced River

 

Yosemite Falls and Merced River

 

Tranquility at the Bank of Merced River

At El Capitan Meadow

El Capitan, standing at 3,000 ft, the largest granite monolith in the world

 

Cathedral Rocks from El Capitan Meadow

This walk is quite long, actually, very long according to one of us, but then, because the valley is flat and with all those rewarding views, the walk is not that much tiring. The complete valley floor hike is 13 miles, but we did not really complete the entire loop. The peacefulness of the place and the tranquil beauty are very rewarding and truly inspiring. I am really glad that we did not go anywhere this day but just walked in the Valley Floor. Contrary to what the popular notion about Yosemite Valley being too crowded in the summer, again, there were only a few lucky people who chose to experience Yosemite’s beauty and tranquility here at the meadows of the valley floor. If I may add, while I was browsing the National Geographic website on National Parks just now, the Valley Floor Loop Trail is a must do secret ( http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/national-parks/yosemite.html ) in Yosemite. I have not really been to a lot of the hiking trails in Yosemite to agree or disagree, but to me, the Yosemite Valley Floor is a very beautiful natural garden must see. Where else can you find a garden so beautifully adorned with green grasses and wildflowers inviting a lot of wildlife, surrounded by lush green trees, naturally adorned by majestic granite rocks with North America’s tallest waterfall and the crystal clear waters of Merced River running through it? Only here, at Yosemite Valley. I am very glad we found and experience this exquisite beauty.

TO MIRROR LAKE

As planned, before the clock ticked at 5:00 pm, we were at the Horse Stable. From the Valley, we took the free shuttle to bring us to stop 18. We were able to book for a 2-hr ride for the next day. From the Horse Stable, we decided we still have energy left to take another walk to Mirror Lake, and maybe get a dip into the water. Mirror Lake is about 1.25 miles from the Horse Stable. On our way to Mirror Lake, we were greeted by the cute Steller’s Jay again.

 

Steller’s Jay, trail to Mirror Lake

When we reached Mirror Lake, we could not get nice reflections because there were several people swimming that were making ripples on the water. Also, it was not the best time of day probably to catch reflections at the lake. We were told that nice reflections there is in early morning. But anyway, to reward us of our walk to Mirror Lake, we still took some pictures of Mirror Lake and the nearby mountains, and reflections of Half Dome which graces the Lake.

 

Mirror Lake and Mountain

 

Half Dome Reflected at Mirror Lake

 

Swimming Hole Below Mirror Lake and Half Dome

Before leaving Mirror Lake, we took a half- dip in the water as we promised to ourselves. The water at first felt cold, really cold. But after our long walk almost the entire day at the Valley Floor, taking a dip in the water was so relaxing. The cold water seemed to relax our feet, that later we did not complain about being cold anymore. There were a group of kids who would climb up that rock where we were sitting, and then jump down to the water. When we had enough playful moments at the water, we started heading back to the Shuttle Stop, and on our way, we were greeted by another deer.

 

Deer Relaxing at Mirror Lake Trail

We ended our day watching moonbow at Yosemite Falls, however, since we (or I) forgot to bring tripod, taking picture at night was so much challenge. We could not hold the camera long enough without shaking. I tried finding a post or a bench to help me with support, but I could not find any. Bringing a tripod always is one area of taking pictures that I have to develop. Anyway, here is one picture I managed to take without a tripod that somehow has a little bit of definition, I do not know if you can find the moonbow 🙂 , it is very small, but that was all I managed to take 😦 .

 

Yosemite Falls at Night

Instead of getting frustrated about our inability to take pictures at night without a tripod, we happily munched on the Potato Chips we brought with us and continued enjoying that priceless gift of family togetherness under the full moon and the stars, with the moonbow, the Yosemite Falls and the tall granite cliffs. Love it, but now, I can only look at the pictures and dream about being there again! I love Yosemite, am sure you will too, so come, take a hike at Yosemite National Park!

June 17, 2008 at 1:09 pm 2 comments

2nd Day in the CA Sierra

Waking up in the Sierra was very refreshing. We were greeted by the grazing deers that we could see from our room’s window. At first we saw one, then two, then three, and then four. Their party was such a pretty sight. I noticed that these wild deers are very lean, maybe from too much roaming in the field.

Our first activity for the day was taking the easy 3.4 miles round trip hike to Tokopah Falls. I would have wanted to do the Lakes trail ( http://blog.burnerphotography.com/2008/02/travel-recomendation-sequoi-np-lakes.html ), but maybe we have to do that in our next trip.

 After lunch at Lodgepole Market, we drove to Kings Canyon National Park. The drive in Highway 180 to Kings Canyon is filled with amazing sights, truly spectacular. Vegetation changes, and so the type of rocks. By the river gorge, the rocks become shiny, jagged and metamorphic, very different from the smooth granite that is seen in most of the park.

 

Enjoying the Metamorphic Rocks by the River Gorge, Kings Canyon National Park

We made a stop at Boyden Cavern on our way to Kings Canyon. Outside the cave is already so pretty, that I wonder if the cave would be prettier than the sight outside. But then, I love getting inside caves too, I like seeing the intersting formation of stalactites, stalagmites and yes, more marbles.

 

Stalactites, Boyden Cavern

The trail to Boyden Cavern is along the scenic Kings River Canyon, the trail is short but climbs up on 30 degree slope.

 

Trail to Boyden Cavern and the Kings River Canyon

The cool breeze from the river and the roaring sound of the flowing water, make the short hike up Boyden Cave very relaxing. But once inside the cave, we no longer hear the river, but instead the joyful sound of the tour guide and some kids throwing the guide a lot of questions. It is always inspiring to see kids showing a thirst for learning. Here are some more formations from Boyden Cave.

 

Drapery Looking Stalagmite (taken by my cousin)

 

Drapery Up Close (taken by my cousin)

 

Wedding Cake Looking Stalagmite

Christmas Tree Stalagmite

After Boyden Cavern, we went to Kings Canyon Road’s End, where the road stops since it can not cross the Sierra anymore. The end is a narrow U-shaped canyon with towering granites, the floor of the canyon is covered with forest. We were standing in the middle of a glacial gorge with towering granite cliffs thousands of feet high. Unfortunately, we only have very little time to explore this place where the beauty lies behind the towering granite cliffs.

 

South Fork of the Kings River by Zumwalt Meadow, Kings Canyon National Park

After Road’s End, we head back to the hotel, but stopping at Grizzly Falls along the way. Grizzly Falls is probably the easiest access waterfalls in my whole life :). We did not have to hike to see the waterfalls, it is just a few steps from the parking lot and the picnic area.

 

Grizzly Falls, Cedar Grove, Kings Canyon

Grizzly Falls is only 70 ft tall, yet because we are so close to it, and the water falls straight down, the 70 ft drop seemed to be about the same height than the 1200 ft drop in Tokopah Falls.

 

Grizzly Falls, Cedar Grove, Kings Canyon

Though small compared to the other famous Sierra Nevada Falls, Grizlly falls is really pretty.

After enjoying Grizzly Falls for some time, we went back on the road to head back to the hotel, hopefully, before it gets dark because I did not want to catch darkness on a road that narrowly meanders in between sheer rocky walls of the Kings Canyon and the exposed ridges where we could fall several thousands feet below.

We were lucky this day that when the sun set, the road  has small turn-out for us to enjoy sunset. It is called MgGee View.

 

Sunset, Kings Canyon National Park

The sunset was so pretty, the sky slowly turning pink, purple, really lovely.

 

Sunset, Kings Canyon National Park

As the sun was setting over layers of mountains and pines, the full moon was rising on the opposite side. What a lovely night to end our very beautiful day at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. Two great National Parks worth visiting, worth enjoying, and worth exploring!

June 15, 2008 at 1:15 pm 1 comment

1st day in the California Sierra

We left San Diego in the morning of June 14, 2008, for a 7 day trip to the California Sierra. We hoped to get to Sequoia National Park before 1:00 pm so that we can make it to Crystal Cave. Unfortunately, we met very heavy traffic at Highway 5 North of Los Angeles that we did not get to the Foothills Visitor Center before 2:00 pm, and tickets to the last Crystal Cave tour were already sold out.

Coming from the South, we made the South Sierra as our first major stop.

The Great Western Divide, from the top of Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park

The South Sierra is home to two neighboring National Parks, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon. “These two National Parks testify to nature’s size, beauty, and diversity: immense mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, and the world’s largest trees!” – http://www.nps.gov/seki/

A very impressive scenery that unfolds while driving to Sequoia is the change in vegetation. The foothills are filled with dried grass, the beautiful yuccas, clusters of oaks, pines and low lying chaparrals.

Moro Rock from the Foothills’ Amphitheater Point, Sequoia National Park

Then, the vegetation slowly changes to Sequoia and other pines. Our first major glimpse of the giant sequoias was on a divided Highway 198 where it seemed the 4 giant trees were perfectly spaced from each other allowing the passage of a single lane highway from each direction.

Divided Highway 198 and the 4 Sequoia

After that short inspection of divided Highway 198, we continued moving up to Crescent Meadow- Moro Rock Road. In the higher elevation, Sequoias give way to slender but tall lodgepole pines, very impressive how vegetation changes in a few yards.

From the parking lot of Moro Rock, we took a short hike through a 400-steps stairway that snakes its way to the top of this granite dome.

Winding Staircase to the top of Moro Rock

The view at the top showcases layers and cascades of mountains. Looking to the East is the Great Western Divide (see first picture above), a series of 13000 ft plus mountain peaks that runs from North to South. To the west lies the Sierra foothills.

The Sierra Foothills from the top of Moro Rock looking West

From the parking lot of Moro Rock we continued on Crescent Meadow Rd, and saw from the road these interesting cluster of giant Sequoia, the Parker Group.

Parker Group, Sequoia National Park

 These groups of Sequoia looks so interesting, some of them are so close to each other their trunks form like a creepy cave.

Parker Group, Sequoia National Park

After enjoying these majestic giant trees, we continued on the road and saw an intersting drive through of the park, The Tunnel log.

 

Tunnel Log, Sequoia National Park

The Tunnel Log is made from an unnamed sequoia that fell in December 1937 from natural causes. Sequoia’s demise oftentimes is due to toppling from its weight, otherwise, this majestic tree can withstand diseases and natural fires due to its chemical make-up. John Muir wrote, “ Most of the Sierra trees die of disease, fungi, etc, but nothing hurts the Big Trees. Barring accidents, it seems to be immortal.” The chemical make-up of Sequoia helps them to survive for centuries, the oldest known Sequoia lived more than 3200 years, and they only grow in the Sierra, mostly in the Southern Sierra. Because they continue growing for centuries, from a tiny seed they mature slowly into giant trees! John Muir fought for the preservation of these Big Trees against logging, making Sequoia National Park the nation’s 2nd oldest National Park, after Yellowstone.

Leaving Crescent Meadow Road, we were blocked by several cars illegally parking on the streets. We thought there was accident since most people were on the road and seemed to be following something, but when we asked, we were told that “ there’s a bear”.  Since no one of us got out from the car to join the chaos, some of them realized that they needed to pull over their cars properly to give clearance for normal traffic flow. As we continued on the road, everybody inside our car except the one driving were zooming their cameras to take the bear a picture. Because of low lighting inside the forest, and we were taking picture from the inside of a running car, the pictures we took were of really poor quality, but enough to remind us that we should be very “bear aware”.

 

Bear Spotted along Crescent Meadow Rd, Sequoia National Park

For more information on how to properly manage your foods and beverages in bear habitat, please click  http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/bears.htm .

We then proceeded to General Sherman Tree trail. The General Sherman trail is paved that goes downhill but on very gentle slope. The walk was so lovely since the trail was surrounded by the giant trees. Walking in the midst of these giant trees gives a really special feeling of being able to be up close to the full glory and beauty of nature. The walk was further made special by the presence of several deers on the trail.

Deer Spotted at General Sherman Trail, Sequoia National Park

 And here is General Sherman,

 

General Sherman Tree, Sequoia National Park

the world’s largest living tree. General Sherman Tree is not the widest, nor the tallest, but it is the largest tree in terms of volume, having an estimated trunk volume of 52,500 cubic feet.

It may be hard to fathom how huge are these Sequoia trees. For its height, I can not take a full length picture of General Sherman, even though I really went down to shoot from the ground. But that is the beauty of Sequoia, you lie on the ground to look up at the heavens as you take a picture of the trunk of Sequoia towering to the sky.

 

General Sherman Tree, Sequoia National Park

It would have been nicer to continue walking amidst these big trees in Congress trail, however, we were already running out of light. Not wanting to get lost in the middle of darkness, we walked back to our car. On our way to Wuksachi Lodge, we saw a very beautiful sky. Really pretty, but unfortunately, there was no legal turn out for us to pull over to take pictures of that wonderful sky. We ended the day by hauling all our foods and beverages from the parking lot to our hotel room to be very “bear safe”. The sky was dotted with stars, really pretty to look at, if not for the very cold temperature outside, mosquito bites and the promise of a beautiful tomorrow, it would have been nice to just sit there and gaze at the star dotted sky.

The Sequoias, worth visiting, worth enjoying, worth preserving, worth the drive. Sequoia National Park, aside from the Big Trees, it offers majestic Sierra Nevada sights, that for now, I just have to dream about going back.  

June 14, 2008 at 3:51 pm 5 comments

Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Font’s Point, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, San Diego County, California

Perched on top of the cliff at Font’s Point overlooking the twisted badlands that runs as far as my eyes can see is one of the many wonderful gifts of nature that makes me almost in tears from awe and from amazement. 

Font’s Point, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, CA

” Four milion years of geologic and paleontologic history are exhibited across the stark desert landscape here at Font’s Point. This may be the best place in North America to view sediments of the Pliocene and Pleistocene Epochs.” –  http://www.desertusa.com/anza_borrego/du-abpbobad.html

Being up close to the magnificent power of nature, hard it may be to fathom, always brings me a positive feeling of gratitude and a yearning for understanding, so we all can live harmoniously in this beautiful but fragile world.

Multi-Hued Borrego Badlands, Anza Borrego Desert State Park

The desert, may look harsh and unforgiving and hosts one of the most fragile ecosystems on our planet, yet its sculpted formations is also one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Its unique sense of peacefulness, its exposed twisted layers of the earth so vast to fathom, and its surreal beauty are all there for us to look deeper to hopefully learn and understand more. Barren it may be, yet the desert ladscape becomes a paradise of colors in early spring after a wet winter.

Desert Valley turns into a Paradise of Color, Anza Borrego Desert State Park

The desert sand verbena and evening dune primrose brings a natural fragrance into the air.

Fragrance that fills the whole desert valley along Henderson Canyon. 

Wildflowers at the end of Di Giorgio Road

However, this display of wildflowers leaves as soon as it comes. The wildflower at the valley floor usually peaks first and lasts for about a month. After the valley floor, the higher elevation and the cacti follows the bloom.

Brittlebush, Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Blooming Ocotillo, Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Blooming Beavertail Cactus, Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Blooming Cacti, Anza Borrego Desert State Park

If you come to Anza Borrego to see this other desert located at the eastern side of San Diego County, do make a stop at their Visitor Center ( http://www.desertusa.com/anza_borrego/visitor_new.html ), which is located 2 miles West of downtown Borrego Springs. They have very interesting exhibits and videos about the geological forces that shaped the landscape, life forms and human stories of the Anza Borrego region, and features a small slot canyon entrance. The video will not only whet your appetite to see more of Anza Borrego at different seasons, but helps you learn more about the ecosystem of the park and gives an idea on interesting places to go. The park rangers are very helpful also in answering questions about the features of the park. Outside the visitor center is a nature trail that gives an overview of the plant habitat around the park.

For detailed hiking information and guide, we usually use Jerry Schad’s ” A Foot and a Field in San Diego County.” However, I do not see an on-line link to this wonderful hiking book, thus for some on-line informatioon about the hiking trails in Anza Borrego, please visit this site: http://www.desertusa.com/Thingstodo/du_absp_hike.html. A map of Anza Borrego Desert State Park is also provided in that link.

For more description of Anza Borrego Desert State Park and its Natural History, please visit this link: http://www.desertusa.com/anza_borrego/du_abp_desc.html

If you get a chance to visit San Diego, and have some interest in geology and the natural wonders in a desert landscape, do make some plans to visit Anza Borrego, and experience the unique plant and life habitat

The Cycle of Life, Anza Borrego Desert State Park

that exists in the midst of the rocky geography and corrugated badlands.

Green Bushes Amidst the Multi Hued Badlands, Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Come, and be amazed with the wonders of Anza Borrego, The Other Desert. And the other side of the more known coastal landscape of San Diego County, California.

April 20, 2008 at 2:03 pm 3 comments

Life Anew

img_1670.jpg

 Looking Up Tooth Rock, Rattlesnake Canyon, Poway, March 29, 2008

These hills took me by surprise 21 days ago, driving through Poway Road from Higway 67 were vibrant colors of gold and purple. Thankfully, my student showed me how to access these colorful hills and was able to enjoy this wonderful gift from nature. I was overwhelmed with the sight I saw last March 8, and shared that joy here the next day ( https://betchaitluc.wordpress.com/2008/03/09/hiking-tooth-rock-mountain/ ).  Since March 8, I had been hiking in this trail whenever I got a chance, for I knew these wildflowers will not last. Nine days ago, try as I might to capture field of poppies similar to those I posted in my March 9 post, but my beginner’s skill in photography did not let me :(. I had to be on my knees to create an impression of hills fully packed with poppies.

 img_1048.jpg

 Looking Up Tooth Rock, Rattlesnake Canyon, Poway March 20, 2008

But despite the wildflowers in the slopes of Tooth Rock about 90% gone, there are still some poppies that cover its northeastern slopes,

img_1794.jpg 

 Looking Up Tooth Rock by the Creek Side, March 29, 2008

and still carpeting poppies at the bottom of the hill that lines up the trail.  At the opposite side of the slopes of Tooth Rock,

 img_1846.jpg

 Still Blooming, the Slopes Opposites Tooth Rock Across Rattlesnake Creek, March 29, 2008

across Rattlesnake Creek, there are still a lot of poppies that cover the hills contrasting the burnt trees.

img_1777.jpg

Hills Opposite Tooth Rock Across Rattlesnake Creek, March 29, 2008

Cooling down by Rattlesnake Creek, you will be amazed with the wonders of life, and appreciate the sprouting of a new life after a scorching fire.   

 img_1854.jpg

 Black and Charred in the Middle of the Colors of Life, near Rattlesnake Creek, March 29, 2008

As the display of wildflowers waned, I see more bugs. I usually do not purposely wait for bugs to suck the nectar out of flowers (as I am scared), but strange, while I was attempting to take an up-close picture of a lupine, a bee suddenly appeared right in the lupine I was about to photograph.

img_1744.jpg

 Bee and Lupine, Rattlesnake Canyon, March 29, 2008

And as if I did not exist, the bee just proceeded nourishing himself to feed on the flowers.

 img_1745.jpg

 A Bee Feeding on Lupine, Rattlesnake Canyon, March 29, 2008

 But for whatever reason, as soon as the bee fed on that particular lupine, he flew away, jumping from one flower to another, as if he could not make a decision which one tasted better. It was such a sight to behold, despite being scary, another gift handed to me by nature on this beautiful day. Either the bees not getting enough of my path, or me not getting enough of them, while I was on the look-out for nice formation of poppy to photograph,

 img_1686.jpg

Poppy Formation that Caught My Eye,  Rattlesnake Canyon, March 29, 2008

lo and behold, there was another bee feeding on one of the poppies below.

img_1687.jpg 

Bee Feeding on California Poppy, Rattlesnake Canyon, March 29, 2008

What were these bees teaching me? That they will not sting me if I do not get so close to them or compete (avoid touching any flowers)? Or are they teaching me to remain focus while set on a goal? That was how I saw it as the bee just suddenly appeared in front of me, not minding me, and just jumped on to feed on the lupine. Or does it remind me to follow its way of life, that is to slow down, smell the lupines and poppies, to taste the sweetest nectar of life. There are just so many life’s reminders we will stumble upon outdoors, why stay indoors when the day is great and mother nature is out there waiting for us to teach us life’s lessons? Aside from the bees, I also saw and heard more birds in the area,

 img_1661.jpg

Celebrating Spring at Tooth Rock Mountain (Hill), March 29, 2008

(photo is cropped to focus the bird, no zoom lens :(, thus very low resolution)

too bad I do not have a zoom lens to capture their beauty while they frolic on the seeds that fall from the dried flowers. But nevertheless, the singing of the birds and seeing them perched on top of tree branches seemed like a celebration of life anew.

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 Celebrating Spring at Rattlesnake Creek, March 29, 2008

(photo is cropped to focus the bird, no zoom lens :(, thus very low resolution)

Spring is a celebration of life anew, just as these wildflowers suddenly woke up from their dormancy on the grounds. Calling all forms of life to share its glory. So, even if the display of wildflowers waned, life will surely move on, here at Rattlesake Canyon.

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Wonders of Nature, Life Anew After a Scorching Fire, Rattlesnake Canyon, March 29, 2008

March 29, 2008 at 9:17 pm 4 comments

Experiencing Southern California Desert Spring at Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark

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Amboy Crater at the height of wildflower bloom, March 17, 2008

For more about Amboy Crater, please click here

March 23, 2008 at 12:08 pm 2 comments

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