Pacific Lupine

Pacific Lupine

In the southwest corner of Yosemite NP there is a small town named Wanona, CA.  I was doing a bit of exploring, which is a nice way of saying, “I was snooping around”.

In the back of this broken down abandoned cabin was a field of purple wild flowers.  I laid down to get a better perspective of the flowers, and was quickly overcome by the flowers’ sweet fragrance.

The tall soft grass and morning sun warming my back was inviting a nap, but the bugs won out and reclaimed their bucolic setting.

Thought for the Day:  Where flowers bloom so does hope.                                                                                                                                    Lady Bird Johnson


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Iris Bed


There is a new neighbor on the block.  He moved in last fall, and owns a schnauzer that he walks daily.  I know this because the schnauzer is frequently spotted relieving himself in my wife’s flower bed.

While annoying, I told myself, “Fuhgetta Bout It!”.  It’s just payback for the times my dog has relieved herself in someone else’s yard.  As long as it’s not the heavy stuff, don’t worry about it.

Now, it’s Memorial Day, the Iris are up, and people will be using spring flowers to decorate grave sites.  However, I noticed some weird cross-genetics going on our flower bed.

Thought for the Day:  The secret to humor is surprise.                                        Aristotle

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Crail, Scotland

Storm’s a Comin’

Crail, Scotland is a fishing village not far from St. Andrews on the east coast of Scotland.

Once an ancient fortress, the remaining guard tower still stands watch over Scotland’s rocky shoreline.  As the dark clouds blew in from the north, a ship on the horizon looks for safe harbor.

On days like this, one can appreciate the local’s romance with a fine single malt whiskey.

Thought for the Day:  Today’s rain is tomorrow’s whiskey.                       Scottish saying

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High Trestle Trail

High Trestle Trail

A 10′ wide concrete ribbon winds its way through central Iowa for over 25 miles.  What once was a Union Pacific railroad has been converted to the nicest bike trail I’ve ever seen.

Beginning in Ankeny, Iowa the High Trestle Trail goes through farmland, rolling hills and woodlands, ending up in Woodward, Iowa.  Before reaching Woodward, the trail crosses the Des Moines River on this half-mile long trestle standing 130′ above the river bed.  When the UP sold the property in 2003, they dismantled the bridge leaving the 22 concrete pillars, which was later dubbed, “Iowa’s Stonehenge”.

A gorgeous foot bridge and decorative steel work was built on the existing pillars as part of the bike trail.  The bridge is lit at night, so I’ve put it on my bucket list to return after dark.

Thought for the Day:  There is no distinctly American criminal class — except for Congress                                                                                                                    Mark Twain

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This is a decent bird photo for me.  I don’t have the right equipment or temperament to get good bird shots, especially song birds who never stop moving.

This photo won’t qualify for any photo contests with nature categories because it shows the “hand of man”.  This bird lit on the top of a bird feeder, just 10′ from where I was sitting, so I didn’t have to work too hard for this one, but it’s still a pretty good shot for me.

I’m told this is a catbird.  Kind of pretty, even with its drab gray-on-gray feathers, but I prefer calico.

Thought for the Day:  “I tawt I taw a puddy tat!”                                         Tweety Bird

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Northern England

Prior’s House – Northern England

We found a B&B close to Hadrian’s Wall in Northern England, but it was way out in the country.  The closest town was Brampton, about 6 miles.

The Abbey Bridge B&B (click here) was at a cross roads of supply routes used by the Romans to support their defense of the Hadrian Wall.  Across the road was a former prior’s house and abbey.   This idyllic scene was a no-brainer.

This was a reward for getting so far off the beaten path … you know, even a blind hog occasionally finds an acorn.

Thought for the Day:  Windmills are going to be the death of Scotland and even England if they don’t do something about them.  They are ruining the countryside.                                                                                                                                  Donald Trump

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I found this old Ford pickup in a field near Jackson, Wyoming,  just sitting there like it was put out to pasture.   Long past its prime, it was set aside to take it easy and reminisce about days of hard work and accomplishments earned with youthful energy.

Although rusted and weathered, the body looked pretty solid.  The “eyes” were bright, but I couldn’t tell if anything was going on “inside”.

Looks can be deceiving.

Thought for the Day:  All that glitters is not gold.                              William Shakespeare

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