A fine day of fishing

We started fishing the reservoir at about noon.  After an hour or so we heard thunder and spotted lightning so we took shelter in the car and ate subs and chips and Skittles.  Before long the weather passed and we headed back to the water.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Close to 3:30 the fish started hitting.   Lost a few close to shore.  Lost a few on shore.  Lot’s of bites kept us busy.

KODAK Digital Still Camera


KODAK Digital Still Camera

Hardly a lull in the action

KODAK Digital Still Camera

And everyone put a fish or two on the stringer.

KODAK Digital Still Camera


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There’s a fox and the 4Runner.

‘Rained out’ the last couple weekends, so no prospecting to report.

Meanwhile I’m excited to get the 4Runner in the game (thanks Mel 🙂 )  Ordered and received parts for it last week and I guess it’ll be ready for prospecting by September.   4WD and all-terrain tires will be such a nice addition to these outings!


Anyway, here’s a few pics of a fox that wandered up under the blue spruce by the deck.  Sunday, July 24.   It was only 25 feet away and it didn’t run away when I walked outside to take a photograph.  Certainly the best view I’ve ever had of a fox in the wild.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

“I’m looking at you, buster”  (That’s what this fox says.)


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More nature? Yes, thanks.

Drove out to ‘the spot’ Saturday evening, just to get out, and hoping to see a thunderstorm pass over the peak.  Thought I might get a show as I approached the parking area but these dark clouds stayed north and within just one hour the sky was nearly clear.

Had to keep an eye out for deer on the drive home (8pm).  Saw a good 10 or 12 grazing by the side of the road:KODAK Digital Still Camera


Went back again this morning (Sunday), early, in case of rain in the afternoon.  Combed the ground for a couple hours.  Didn’t find any “valuables” but hey, this is prospecting.

Brought this home as a souvenir:  A sort of interesting cluster of granite and small white quartz crystals:


All this rain has been good for the flora.  Lots and lots of orange “Indian Paintbrush” and purple/yellow “Showy Daisy” throughout the aspen groves.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

These weren’t in bloom last weekend, and I only saw 3 or 4. “Mariposa-lily”

And this is the first wild raspberry I’ve seen.  I think there will be lots of these soon, but this is the first (and only) berry I’ve seen so far.


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Nature City

Had the house/property to myself for most of last week without internet, so I took advantage of the deck chair and the view from the porch.  Ain’t I ambitious.

All sorts of sparrows making noise in the trees last evening. The yellow and black and whites vs. something brown and gray.  Others just chirping.  One bird adding it’s own unique sound from somewhere in the shade of the bottom branches under a tall blue spruce.  No big bird bullies to be seen. Just the serious little ones all scattered through the trees. The big birds of spring are gone. This is little bird territory now.

The tall tall blue spruce

There’s been a hummingbird out here too. It’s been around longer than the big birds and the little birds combined. The hummingbird’s still busy in the woods hours after the little birds go quiet. The hummingbird is first to rise too.  

Went rock hunting a week ago Sunday, but after hiking nearly all the way in I heard thunder and turned tail.  Rained out, but I got to sweat plenty in the sun while it lasted.  

Saw a few “new” types flowers but I was lazy and shot them with the phone so the pics didn’t come out clear.  I’m planning to I.D ’em after I’m done with “High Country Coin Laundry” in Woodland Park.

Pineywood Geranium

Fairy Trumpet flower

Blanket Flower


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Operation: Don’t Get Zapped

Arrived at the parking spot and made ready my backpack and supplies for the 2 hour sweat-a-thon hike to the claim and back.  The weather said a 20% chance of lightning so I kept an eye out for rain clouds.  The clouds pop up suddenly from behind the top of the steep mountainside where the claim is.

It was sunny when I left the truck.  Immediately as I began walking I kept an eye out for people and bears.  Not another person or vehicle in sight, as is usually the case.  Then I began looking closely for new things to see and appreciate.  Early into the hike, in the grasses surrounding the familiar 2-track I noticed a couple flowers I’d not seen before.

Wild Iris

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera


“Mountain Golden Banner”

KODAK Digital Still Camera

After about a half-hour of clawing over boulders and pushing aside Aspen saplings. a cloud emerged over the top of the claim.  I still had another 30 minutes to hike and the cloud suggested to me that rain could be coming soon and with certainty.  I decided to continue to the claim because it seemed like the cloud was only letting off a very light rain and it was pushing off to the southwest so that it wouldn’t pass directly over me.  I also heard no thunder anywhere, and I was determined to take a quick look for rocks and retrieve the trail-cam I’d left set a month ago.

I ascended the final, steep, 100 yards scanning for treasure on the broken granite and found nothing noteworthy by the time I reached the location of the trail-cam.  I removed the cam from it’s perch and wandered around the area, taking in the view and looking for rocks, signs of wildlife, whatever.

After just a minute or two I heard a rumble of thunder coming from the valley next door where the clouds were passing -out of sight, but close.  “No more leisurely kicking of the dirt today.  This could get wet.”

Quickly decided it was time to head back to the truck.  45 minutes down the mountain and through the woods if I moved efficiently.  Soon after my decision, light rain began falling from the passing cloud I thought I’d dodged.   Not enough rain to warrant rain gear, but there was no telling what might be coming over the mountain peak I was evacuating.   The thunder was becoming more frequent in the adjacent valley.  I moved purposefully.

And…lucked out.  The entire hike back I could hear the storm passing over the mountains just a mile or two away.  45 minutes later, tired, but dry and uninjured I arrived at the truck.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Picked up this milky little white quartz crystal close to where I’d fetched the trail cam.  Not much, but lately I’ve found less than that when it comes to collectable rocks.

As I was getting ready to leave this beetle swooped in by me and landed in the grass next to the truck:  I assumed it was an Emerald Ash Borer and got ‘defensive’ because “that’s an invasive species!”  Turns out it’s a Blue Fungus Beetle.  Perfectly harmless, native, friendly, hey everybody likes them.  Go figure.



Got home an hour later and inspected the trail-cam pics.   I hoped to catch an image of a mule deer or bighorn in that spot, but…no.  Still, the cam took about 80 pics over a month and it’s always sort of interesting to watch the weather pass in front of it.  It’s also interesting to see how the lighting changes the look of the land.


Fog passing through the valley in the evening. Background dark, foreground sunlit.


Hail storm



Snow!  Came in overnight and was gone in a couple days.



Now this was a surprise. See the curious creature looking at the camera?


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Oh birds.

It was the warmest day since moving in here a week and a half ago.  Had the day off and the homeowners upstairs were away so it was nice and quiet.  I took to the green deck chair to relax and take in the scenery beyond the bathtub.KODAK Digital Still Camera

I sat there about 20 minutes listening to a hummingbird shoot back and forth through the trees over and over but never caught a glimpse of it in the air.   Then I heard rustling behind me and perched in an aspen not 20 feet from me was this fella.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

At first I thought it was a Spotted Towhee, but it’s actually a Black-Headed Grosbeak.  Sort of similar looking but the bird I was looking at had black eyes, not red, and the feathers are quite different upon closer inspection.  Here’s a pic of a Spotted Towhee pasted on a close up I took of the Grosbeak.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

And, this is where in America Black-Headed Grosbeak’s can be seen, in addition to the trees outside my rented porch.


And I found a use for the bathtub.


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Bear Sign

Back to the ‘apartment cave’ about 6P and the landlord says a black bear came around this morning shortly after I’d left for work at 6:30.  “Look at the prints behind your truck” he says, adding “Fortunately they’re not brown bears, so they won’t attack.”   On the other hand, back in 2010 the bushpeople of Alaska told me “Brown bears just maul you, but ‘Blackie’ – He just eat ya.  We always shoot them.”KODAK Digital Still Camera


KODAK Digital Still Camera

Won’t be sleeping with the sliding door open at night (as recommended)


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