Friday, October 28, 2016

Sequoia National Forest

Up in the forest we trundled about. The large stump on the upper right was nearly as wide as the car. 

There were several small groves, but we never found any approaching the size of those in the northern section. Still, Smith was duly impressed. 

The road into Wishon campground continues out the back and, we were told, goes quite a ways. We only went about half a mile.

Temperatures are mild with warm days dipping into freezing only at the higher elevations.

When the rains came we went into Porterville. While there It cleared up so we went back. It was a few miles past Camp Nelson we found the forest road (top photo) to a nice campspot on the side of the hill. Just large enough for us to turn around, It seems we're destined to continue finding opportunities to be grateful for Phoebe (1996 Geo Tracker 4WD).

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Destination by Whim - A Mountain Lion

Destination by whim. For the last ten years or so I've been trying to get The Michellles (three els when referred to collectively) to move and had, somehow, gotten the notion that Tuscon would be good for wintering. It was time to go see.

By the time I got to Socorro (to the tune of that Glen Campbell song) it was already too hot. I camped at my spot on Caballo Lake where the braying of sandhill cranes competes with coyote howls. But if it was this hot here, it was gonna be WAY too hot in Tuscon. So I went to Silver City and took highway 180 north.

The Fall colors were hard at it and in Alma we took the road to Cooney's Tomb where, just beyond the "residential area," we crossed the creek (4WD!!!) and found a nice hidey-hole next to a tidy, well-built corral.

We, Smith and I, strolled back down to the creek where she clambered aboard a huge cottonwood and stroad its decks, practicing her Captain stances and yelling "Avast!" and "Ha'd tuh sta'bd matey!" 

After a while I started back, calling every 100 feet. I could see her moving between the crotches, ignoring my encouragements. (Whaddya expect? She IS a cat.) After waiting a bit, I returned and stood peering up into the mass and calling. It was so big I had to crane back and it wasn't until I paused to rest a moment that I noticed a cat, the very one I was interested in, nonchalantly sniffing an old limb lying on the ground a few feet in front of me. Cats!!!

I picked her up and carried her toward camp until, after about 300 feet, she started squirming and (silently) yelling, "Put me down! Put me down!" Assured she wasn't gonna go back to the tree, I wandered back to camp and she, enjoyed summiting the ones along the way.

Near on tuh dusk I heard a truck stop on the road and a door close. I waited at the trail and, sure enough, 'bout five minutes later a bean pole of a guy showed up. He said he'd heard there was a corral and he'd come to look at it. I was skeptical and thinking him a rancher investigating his new "neighbor" asked how long he'd lived here. Turned out he'd moved down from Aragon a couple of months ago. He was into photography and really had come to see the corral. 

I invited him up and led him through camp. Somehow the conversation drifted to some pictures he'd gotten of a mountain lion a few days earlier. He'd managed, with his little Cybershotesque happysnapper, to catch the lion in mid-stride as it, nearly 1,000 feet away, leaped for safety after it heard the click of his first "shot." I gave him my email but he doesn't use a computer so we'll only get to see it if his son follows through. But it's nice to know they haven't killed 'em all. And this one was a fine specimen!

Photos arrived (11/18/16)!! 

 As original......
                          The lion is almost dead center.

A bit left of and below center. 


...the upper image. One could mistake it for a bobcat. Its tail is hidden by the rock.

It's right rear leg is forward and its tail is above and parallel to the left rear leg. The white area is at the base of its tail. It moved approximately 200 feet between the time it heard the click of his first shot. (Youse might wanna consider carryin' some catnip when yer out hiking in the Alma area.)

Not having seen the sequoias in the Fall, I headed west. Somewhere east of Barstow this rabbit showed itself. 

                                                             Bunny behind Barrel (cactus).

Cactus growing out of rock!!!  

And that fine, crafted-with-enthusiasm and attention-to-detail roofrack tonied out our "overlander" look, don'tchewtink?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Smiths - Through the Ages

It was on the Smith River in the Jedediah Redwoods that Smith signed on. 

I'd recently read Patti Smith's 
latest literary effort M Train 
and was fantasizing about us 
traveling together and how I'd call her Smith. 

Then Ms. Cook got ahold of the idea. 

Thus, we have: 


                      Smith Brothers cough drops

Jedediah Smith - Outdoorsman nonpareil

Bessie Smith (April 15, 1894 – September 26, 1937) Nicknamed Empress of the Blues, she was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s.

                      Dr. Smith - Lost in Space


                                                    Patti - Singer, songwriter

 Maggie Smith - Actress

Celebrated British actress Maggie Smith starred opposite Sir Laurence Olivier in 'Othello' and won her first Oscar for 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.' She has since earned acclaim for her roles in the 'Harry Potter' films and 'Downton Abbey.'

The Smiths
The Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1982. The band consisted of vocalist Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce. Critics have called them the most important alternative rock band to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s.

                                                                       Smithsonian...Museum of Natural History


Smith...the Cat

in her splendid walking jacket from 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Kristen Mendenhall in Jemez Springs - Ends Oct 13

When in ABQ I sometimes stay at Ms. Cook's blue-collar hovel in the Northeast Frights. After over a year of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. barking from the dog two doors away I complained. The next door neighbor, a farm-raised bigot, took it upon himself to get revenge. Between his antics and the other three neighbors' dogs, not to mention the increased traffic noise over the last ten years, the place is, for me, almost unbearable. Ms. Cook's company makes it impossible to stay away, but it was time for some fresh air. 

We, Smith & I, drove to Jemez Springs, the valley of which is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Stopping for an art fix at the gallery, I was delighted to find Ms. Kristen Mendenhall's work. The individual pieces on this wall were priced at $245.00, but at a mere $2,205.00 for the "set," it seems a shame to break them up. 

(It's occassions such as this where my Sony Cybershot displays its weakness. If anyone has a Nikon D600 (or some such) just lying around I'd be happy to put it to use.)

Panel in lower right

Upper Right Panel. 

I enjoy the perspective and/or depth often seen in abstract and nonrepresentational paintings. Once, while gazing into the infinitude of a Jackson Pollock, I nearly fell over. The contrast in colors and triangular section at the bottom center of this panel offer easy access to the other dimensions. 

On my second visit

She also does photography. She explained they are one-inch closeups of rust, the texture of which she's captured without exposing the context. 

Her Artist's Statement is the best explanation I've read of the attraction of abstract and/or non-representational art. So hie thee hence...and the Fall colors are just getting going too.

Her show will be up through October 13th.

Here's her website.  This link is to her paintings. This one is her photographs. She also has work in gypsum.

Two and a half minutes about her work.

The Gallery is at the south end just before you get into "downtown." 

Highway 485 is 4 miles (6.4 km) north of Jemez Pueblo Visitors Center.

300 feet (0.9 km) across the bridge over the Jemez River on 485. 

I stopped to ask how late (into the year) Loma Linda C.G. was gonna be open. The HOST assured me All Year. I'm skeptical. Here's the number for the ranger station to check....575-829-3535. It's $5.00 per site. No hookups, pit toilets.