Saturday, January 31, 2009

Another Bird Story

013109: I could hardly believe this when I saw it. I saw this fisherman from inside my home speeding from the South end of the lake. I could tell he wasn't trolling, obviously in a hurry. I grabbed my camera to snap his urgency to get to the other side as his boat cut through the mirrored water.

The moment I stepped outside, I knew immediately why he was in such a rush. He was on his way home to watch to the Superbowl for as he sped by he was yelling, "Go Cardinals!"

Friday, January 30, 2009


013009: Those pesky ducks, Mike and Squirt, definitely know the good life. As the sunrise begins to glow in a cloudless sky, they swim from out somewhere on the lake and patiently wait for their morning meal. You could set your watch by our punctual ducks.
I'm wondering how two guys can be so punctual without a woman in their lives?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just Her & I

012909: The Bald Eagle was out again tonight. I didn't hear her call, but I heard the coots. She didn't stay long and I saw her fly off to the South end of our beach.

I walked down to the shoreline and she tolerated my presence for about a minute then took off for safer grounds.

I've seen her more in the last week than all winter. I assume she has been sitting on a nest and we might see her "kids" soon, too.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Never Lose That New Car Feeling

012809: Have you ever bought a new car and drive around for weeks, maybe even months, and you always are aware of that new car feeling? But eventually that feeling just fades away and then your car becomes a part of your everyday life. Thereafter, you rarely give it a second glance.

I never want to take my life living on a lake for granted. Everyday I want to find, record, and share the beauty that exists at Topaz Lake. Long after we leave Topaz, I don't want to look back and not have taken the time in the midst of our busy lives to appreciate our view; our life here at Topaz Lake.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Eagle Out, Red-Tail Hawks In

012709: While out taking photos of our Bald Eagle I watched her fly off to the South end of the lake. Just then I hear the call of hawks. We hear hawks quite often but don't usually see them.

As I had my camera in hand, I looked around and saw them in flight above the West hills behind the Bug Station. To my surprise, they flew directly over the Park as I continued to take photos. This was the best of the photos in the early dusk, with only a few twigs from the trees in the photo.


I was having too much fun with family yesterday on the last day of my vacation and literally forgot about posting a photo. So, today, after traveling home (420 miles!) I was determined to post two photos.

012609: Not long after arriving home, I heard commotion on the shoreline and looked out to see the cause. One of our resident Eagles was on the hunt for dinner. I stepped out to catch a quick photo or two. She was swooping down upon the coots playing a good game of cat and mouse. She sensed me in the area and flew off to her nest, hungry I'm sure.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blended Family

012509: Many decades ago, my mother asked me to go and tie a red ribbon around each of the necks of the Canada Geese on our shoreline. She thought it would be pretty. I thought different.

Though now when the I see the geese, who join us every winter, I think of that story. The American Coot, a.k.a. "Mud Hen", show up every year, too. Hundreds and hundreds of geese, coot, mergansers, a few wood ducks and our mallards take refuge on our beaches.

Often when I step out on our patio overlooking the lake, the geese see me and start honking to me. You didn't know that the photos have an audio side to them, did you?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Peaceful Days

012409: While I'm away I am using photos taken earlier in this month. I wanted to stay true to my original goal of posting a photo taken that day, so instead of favorites from the past, these are from this year.
I love the trees in the winter. They sleep while we sleep and when finally all the leaves have fallen I can see across the entire Park. It is so peaceful here in the winter months.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Warm Meets Cold

012309: Today at Topaz Lake was a rainy day. Yeah!!! Here's a photo I took several days ago in the early morning. I love the winter mornings on the lake. The cold air of the night chills the lake waters so it is not uncommon to see steam rising from the water in the morning. What is the actual scientific term for this process? I have forgotten! And as always, our big cottonwood tree in site #7 adds some interest to the frame of the photo.


I got so busy yesterday I completely forgot to post. We decided to take last minute trip to see family for a few days and I planned ahead with pictures so that I could post photos while I was gone. However, I didn't foresee the amount of fun we would have which would cause my forgetfulness!! I will post yesterday's photo today, and today's photo later.

012209: The day started wet and rainy and ended wet and rainy. And it was great! We need the moisture, and I'll take rain any day over snow. This morning when I stepped out to snap a photo, I saw shades of gray. So I am surprised to see how blue the photo looks. Oh well, blue or gray I'm just glad it was raining!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Good Night Fishies

012109: With a hink of pink, silver and darkened earth in the dusk of another Topaz evening, the last fisherman puttered towards home.
Can you see him? On the left, above the blue streak on the water. Once you find the (small!) boat you can easily see the boat trail on the water.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lucky Ducks

012009: Another nice sunset on Topaz Lake and our ducks graced the photo with a swim-by. (See the dots on the shoreline?) Our friendly ducks stay with us through it all. The weather can be at it's extreme and they stick with us. I've got these ducks figured out though. They stay because they have the whole lake to themselves practically and get to see sunsets like this often. They are indeed lucky ducks.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Beauty Within

011909: How in the world can two people near the middle of nowhere be so busy in one day? The day sped by! Apparently it was Martin Luther King, Jr. day. But we did not take a holiday. By the end of the day we had plowed through alot of work and were tired. I started dinner and having not paid attention much to the outdoors today (it was cold), the outdoors decided to get my attention with a spectacular light shadow on the Eastern hills. I've taken a number of photos like this before, but different colors. The clouds in the Eastern sky darken the waters, and the sun setting behind us lights up the straw colored Eastern hills. And when we are blessed with smooth waters, well you can see why I think it is so pretty. There are many days on the lake that don't look different from the next, but even on the most spectacular days like today's sunset, we never forget that everyday we are blessed with the beauty within life here at Topaz Lake.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's All Fog and Mirrors

011809: I'm not inspired today so I have reverted to my comfort zone. This photo is of a tree. See how uninspired I am? I've taken a number of photos of this tree because as the sun rises in the Eastern sky, this tree often displays wonderful lights and shadow. Today the lake provided a nice mirror of the Wild Oat Hills in the background, and I thought it was more interesting in black and white. I have another photo of this tree that is one of my favorites posted to the right. This photo was taken in early 2007. The pogonip fog (aka "ice fog") clings to everything making for an especially frosty morning.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Funny Fisherman

011709: It was a beautiful Saturday fishing day on Topaz Lake. The fishing boats spotted the lake and the fish must have been closer to shore because I saw a number of boats troll maybe about 100 ft. off the shoreline. This fisherman cracked me up though. I picked up my camera about the same time he made a U-turn. At least I thought it was a U-turn. He went in a full circle, not once, but twice real slow. Why? I have no idea. But it was funny none-the-less.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Same Day, Different Attitude

011609: My BFF, Cheryl, gave me the idea for this photo. We were talking yesterday morning about finding the beauty in the middle of a mundane day. You know, the kind of day that is consumed with all the daily responsibilities we all have in our lives, and we don't see or forget to see the beauty in our lives. So today, I wake up, let the dogs outside, go make coffee, let the dogs back in and they smell like smoke! Bad! I look outside and see that the lake is covered in smoke. Someone was burning in the valley again and smoke was clinging to the hills and water under the inversion layer. I was irritated with no coffee on board yet. Then I thought of my "mundane" conversation with Cheryl and decided to find the beauty.... I caught this photo and converted it to B/W. With the sight and smell of heavy smoke in the air I think found some beauty.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bye, Bye Miss American Pie

Ten days ago I referenced that I wanted to post a picture, but an event needed to coincide with the picture. Today, that event occurred....

011509: This beauty is our 1950 Chevy dumptruck. She came to work and reside here in the late 1950's when "Topaz Trailer Park" was growing. Hauling sand, leaves and debris, she has endured through over 50 years of springs, summers, falls, and winters, and was a large part of the development of our little Park. She was eased into retirement about 7 years ago, and has stood watching over us and the highway she long ago traveled.

Recently we decided to give her a new lease on life and today she will retire to the warmer climates of So. Cal. where she will be restored to a former glory.

So, we bid you farewell our faithful friend....Thank you for the all the golden years you gave us.

"Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie. Drove my Chevy to the levy, but the levy was dry..."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Sign of Character

011409: Our welcome sign has been around for many years. Not sure exactly how many but I'm guessing close to 25 years now. And this sign replaced the original sign "Topaz Trailer Park". (Many of you still refer to us by that name!)

Over the years, much equipment in the Park has been replaced, upgraded as they wear out. And though this sign is worn, is it worn out? Not once has it failed, needed repair or even required a lightbulb change. It just keeps going and going.

A large part of me finds comfort in the era that this sign was installed. Nearly 25 years later we sincerely hope that when our customers come here that they feel like they are stepping back in time. And we try very hard to continue to provide that feeling the minute you enter the Park and drive past our worn, but welcome sign.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Neighbor

011309: This is not the clearest picture but can you see the bird sitting the pine tree? This little guy, or girl, was being quite noisy as I walked around our property the other day. I followed the sound and saw that it was a dove. We have seen quite a few Mourning Doves over the years. But this little beauty is a Eurasian Collared-Dove. Can you see the dark collar on the back of his neck? If my Sibley Guide to Birds is correct the Eurasian Collared-Dove is not common to anywhere near our area. Welcome to Topaz little guy, (or girl).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Vanilla Latte Vente, Please

Wow, today really got away from me! I nearly forgot that I had to post a photo!

011209: So I have been noticing for some time now that the morning sky is often is streaked in a cloudless or semi-cloudless sky. My best guess is that they are jet trails? Maybe the pilots go over the hill (Sierra Nevadas) for coffee every morning? I don't know, what do you think? I think it makes for an interesting photo though.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


011109: This morning was, again, a smoggy morning. I awoke before the sunrise (why?) and could smell the smoke in the air. As the sky lit up before the crest of the sun over the East hills I could now see the smoke hanging in dawn air.

What color would our sunrise be this morning? Red? Purple? Orange? or Pink?

As the sun rose and glowed behind the haze none of those colors presented. It was a yellow-golden sunrise. Stinky smoke and all, it was still beautiful!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Fat Lady Hadn't Sung

011009: Everyday I wake up and snap a few photos to make sure that I have something in the camera if the day gets in my way and I can't take more. This morning I had a chance to take a number of photos, but I wasn't terribly thrilled with any because somewhere in the valley someone was burning. To say the least there was haze, much like smog, hovering over the lake. I was gone all day long and this afternoon after returning home I was in our bedroom when I glanced out the window. The moon was just coming up over the hill. I ran out and snapped about 20 photos as I watched the moon rise. I walked back inside, and no sooner had I set my camera down I saw the moonrise was changing. The dusk of the evening was nearly complete and the moon was casting a beam across the lake, plus the moon looks as if it is resting on a small pillow. I thought you might like to see both photos.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Moon Over Topaz

010909: I had several other pictures to choose from but when I saw the nighttime moonrise this evening I snapped a quick photo and hoped it came out. Rarely do I get the chance to see a moonrise and I have even fewer pictures. The full moon is actually tomorrow night but I couldn't tell the difference. The bright light cast a moon beam across the wind rippled water. It was peaceful to watch.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Father & Son

010809: We have many birds that visit us every year, but none stay year 'round except our mallards. Meet Mike and Squirt. Mike is stretching and his son, Squirt, stands by. Mike must be at 7 or 8 years old now and Squirt is 4. Not a bad age for "wild" ducks. They are the remaining mallards of upwards of 9 ducks at times. Over the years, mallards have come and gone, but Mike and Squirt have remained. I think they are hopeful that a hen (girl-duck) or two will show up one year, but otherwise they are perfectly content to swim our shores.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


010709: From early this morning through right now the weather today has been beautiful. Calm, no winds, mirrored waters and warm today. There are many days at Topaz that this describes our typical day. Today, an occasional fisherman spotted the lake. Several trolled by so slowly they barely made a ripple on the water. Beautiful, peaceful, typical day at Topaz Lake.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

So Little Time

010609: Years ago I counted the number of trees we have in the Park. I've forgotten the exact number, but given the amount of leaves and debris we clean up every year I think it's around a thousand. No, just kidding, but the number 104 pops into my head. We have eight different kinds of trees, but the Poplars (Cottonwoods) out number the others by far.

This morning, looking out into the Park, I was struck with the amount of wood I saw. The trees were moist, so they were darkened in the bright light of the morning. I snapped a quick photo before I left to run errands. After returning I converted the photo to B/W to see if I liked it even better. Couldn't decide...what do you think?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Last Second Sunset

Okay, let me start by saying that this was not the original photo I had planned for today! Without an arm's length explanation, let me just say that original photo is going to have to wait for the right day because it has an event attached to it. And since the event didn't happened as planned the photo will have to wait.... Ah well, patience. But this taught me a lesson in my goal....always have a back-up!

010509: So it's near the end of the day (light) and I'm realizing I have no photo yet and want to stay true to my goal: The Daily Pix must be taken that day. I see the sun is beginning to set....Yes! Knowing that there are clouds in the East I am sure there will be pink in the sky. I grab my camera...then the phone rings. Two phone calls in a row and I'm watching the sunset start to peak in the middle of the 2nd call! So while on the phone, I went outside and snapped one photo. Usually I take more, but that would have been rude to the caller. Enjoy the last second sunset...

Sunday, January 4, 2009


010409: I had several pictures to choose from today, but Bling Dock won out.

Our docks are very, very important to us. We have a relationship with our docks! We lose sleep over them, we care for them, protect them, fix them when they need fixin' and worry about them when they are subjected to harsh climates. They are important to us in many ways, to say the least.

In the winter we pull them out of the water and let them rest!! They get the best view of the lake, and often you will see them in my photos. This morning I awoke to find our docks sparkling in the morning light of the sunrise. I don't think the photo does justice to the beauty I saw this morning. I took about 10 pictures trying to capture the shimmer of the frost clinging to the wood of the North Dock and chose this one, coverting it to black/white. Hopefully the focus of the photo is the Bling!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

He's Just Begging For It!

010309: Meet Frosty who brightens our days and lights up our nights. He joined us several years ago via the Costco lineage and he is our favorite outdoor winter decoration. Actually our only outdoor winter decoration.

While I write this I'm going to find another portrait of Frosty. Found it...

This is Frosty last year on 1/5/08. He was begging for it then, too. And he got 15 inches of snow dumped on top of him! He posed at the top of our driveway with his new snow hat and sparkly snow suit.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Free Range Geese

Before you think differently - No, we don't eat our visiting Canada Geese.

And, secondly, Ahhhhh. As much as I love the internet, I couldn't get yesterday's photo to upload. I took it yesterday, but it ended up being posted today!

010209: It rained most of the day today. I took a beautiful picture of the gray day - from the earth to the trees, to the lake and the sky above it was shades of gray. Too bad the picture is in my head since I was busy being the assistant to the shelf hanger, aka my hubby.

But I like this one too: It has the shades of a black and white, but it is actually a color picture. Our resident Geese were cruising the beach in the rain grazing for niblets only the geese would find appetizing, I'm sure. I saw them and the thought just popped into my head, "Free range geese."

1st Fisherman

I awoke this morning excited to start towards a goal that I have had for the past seven years. This little blog will be the 2009 album chronicled by a postings of at least one photo taken each and every day of the year.

010109: Opening day of fishing season at Topaz Lake. I rolled out of bed, grabbed my camera as the sun rose and captured the first fisherman. Welcome to day 1 of 2009. Can you see him?