Saturday, February 28, 2009
I awoke just before sunrise. David was already up and at 'em somewhere in the garages below. The house was chilly so I turned on the heater and ran back to bed to wait for the warmth. I turned on the TV and found myself watching Hugh Jackman on "Inside the Actor's Studio." Soon he was giving a brief performance from the stage play "Oklahoma!", singing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning." Do you know the words?
Just then the sun began to rise and the white wooden blinds on our bedroom window began to glow orange, brighter and brighter. I laughed outloud at the coincidence of hearing that song and seeing the sunrise together. Experience had taught me that if I wanted to catch a photo I had better hurry. The light changes with every passing moment.
I RAN into my closet, threw my comfy sweats on (I considered running out in my pj's, but the chill in the house nixed that thought.) I quickly stepped through the house, trying not to make a racket so David wouldn't think an earthquake was occurring as the dogs trotted along with me. Outside on our patio I turned on my camera, breathed in the beautiful morning and captured the Daily Topaz.
And I've still got that song stuck in my head.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
022609: The day started windy, ended windy, and oh - it was windy in between. It's a bit of a challenge to control leaves in the fickle direction of the wind. So, not wanting to waste the day, David decided to jump on Little Blue and groom the hayfield instead. I like this photo with the snow covered Sweet Water Mountain Range in the distance.
The water's edge is now only about 40 feet from hayfield's edge, which is last season's high water mark. The lake level is rising right now, and we couldn't be happier!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Today was all about further clean up in the Park. I took some pictures of the "before", and I will post the after pictures when the "after" has occurred. The leaves and twigs collect all winter long, and in a matter of a few solid weeks of work, we remove them from their winter resting place. Alot of work but quite satisfying work.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Not long before then, my parents were married. Today, they celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary.
I mention both Topaz and my parents, here, not just because of the commonality of "50", but because both are an integral part of my life and what it is today.
Picture: "Topaz Trailer Park" circa 1963.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
This, however, is some kind of cue to our cat, Mickey, who is a addicted to anything warm. Whether it be a lap, furnace vent or the warm morning sunshine reflecting off the lake, he will seek out warmth. And he doesn't care that he lays all over my paperwork!
Friday, February 20, 2009
022009: Gorgeous day today! Warm enough to work outside in t-shirts while cleaning up the bazillion leaves in our Park.
As the fishermen puttered around the lake today I couldn't help but notice this particular boat and its' two fishermen. At first I see the boat and the fishermen. At second glance, looking outside the box, they quite looked like an oddly shaped flying shark or something like that...
Thursday, February 19, 2009
When I started on this quest, this goal of mine, I didn't think about the cycle of the seasons and possibly your perspective of the seemingly unending nature photos at the start of the year. I did think literally about the 365 daily photos and stories. I knew I would be willing and wanting to take my quest a day at a time and enjoy the moment.
No worries, though, as soon we will be open for the 2009 season and the Park will wake up, warm up and "re-people". The photos will vary in the seasons to come and by the end of the year will we be back to the start again...more nature photos.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The Park was a bit mucky, consistency of wet cement. Colt, Gunner & I went for a long run in the Park. Well, they ran, I walked! I put Gunner's running shoes on to protect his sensitive feet. He doesn't like his shoes, but he tolerates them because he loves running and playing tug-o-war with his brother more.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
This afternoon we were working when suddenly we saw the eagles diving and dodging above us, followed by a screech of a Red Tailed Hawk. That little bugger was chasing those eagles!
All the birds of prey were on the hunt all day long. Earlier in the day I was on the phone and walked by our patio window. Just then I saw the coots gather into a tight group about 15 ft off the shoreline and I knew a large bird was nearby. I grabbed my camera & stepped outside just in time to see the eagles fly by high overhead. In the photo: (L - R): 2 ducks, about 10 coots, & 2 eared grebes (first siting since they left last fall...)
Monday, February 16, 2009
Around 1 pm we had a short tease of snow, but it quickly passed and all evidence melted.
It's snowing up in the hills (we call the Sierra Nevadas "hills") but not down here in the valley. Hwy 395 had chain controls 17 miles down the road, but our road were super clear here. There are actually avalanche warnings which I have never seen before, but no snow here.
The "Winter Storm Warning" is in effect until Tuesday 4 am PST. We'll just see how big this storm is when I wake up tomorrow.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I'm running low on my creative juices these days. So after seeing and photographing this morning's sunrise I knew which one (of the seven photos that I took) I wanted to post. But it truly was all so pretty, I thought I would try to load it into a short video. This pumped up my creativeness a little and you get to see the sunrise in action. My mom calls that a twofer! Oh, and what you see is what you get...I didn't crop or straighten these pictures - just downloaded them directly into my video program.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
The morning started with a thin layer of cloud in the East. Experience had taught me that the sunrise would be glowing and I wasn't disappointed. No pink for Valentine's Day, but the yellow/orange was beautiful. And it was cold outside!
Friday, February 13, 2009
I've been up and at 'em since before 5 am. That is not a typo. And about 10 minutes ago I almost went to bed before I remembered I had to post The Daily Topaz.
Fortunately, I took a few photos late this afternoon. It was actually a weird weather day today. Clouds, snow, sun, clouds, no clouds. And this afternoon the last remnants of clouds reminded me of pink cotton candy.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
021209: It was a sunny day today and with impending weather on the horizon I decided to get some fresh air today. Despite the semi-muck of the Park I took the dogs for a walk (run, tug-of-war, whatever....) and we ended up on the top row.
I managed to make them stay in place long enough to get a few photos of them. They ran around for awhile longer then back to the house....where I spent the next 15 minutes wiping the muck off the dogs. Ugh. But overall I would rather wipe mucky dogs than walk stupid ducks.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Though three winters ago I did wade out into the frozen lake to save our stupid ducks from the ice surrounding them and closing them in about a 1/4 mile down from our Park. You would think they would fly away. But NOooooo., they are just stupid ducks. So David & I hatched a plan to save those stupid ducks from becoming sitting ducks for the eagles. (Sorry, but it happens.) It made perfect sense that I went into the water (with leaky waders) and David stayed on the shoreline with our kayak paddles to herd the ducks into a dog kennel we brought along. I succeeded in getting them out of the water, but they would have nothing to do with the dog kennel so we walked our ducks home. I'm sure we were a sight to see: Two people with kayak paddles, one in waders, walking two ducks down the shoreline. They were quite happy to rejoin all of the smart birds who had taken refuge in the open water we had provided in front of our Park.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Why? Imagine this, if you have to: If you live in an area where eagles do not live, then you cannot imagine the beauty of these birds. Whether they are hunting, scouting or soaring the midday sky. They are captivating birds. They must be photographed!
Two years ago I was lucky (beyond lucky) to photograph an eagle sitting in a tree in our Park. She let me walk up to her and under her before she flew away. She was maybe 40 feet above me. I can appreciate now how special that moment was, because in the two years since every eagle I see keeps a safe distance.
Yesterday's photo was about scenes during the 5 o'clock hour. Today's "five" refers the feathers on the tip of her left wing.
Monday, February 9, 2009
020909pm: Later today as the sun was setting, I noticed the last of the day's light resting on the Sweetwater Mountain range to the Southeast.
It was quiet, the lake was calm, and still very cold outside! And the scene was pretty. If only cameras had peripheral vision like we see. Sorry to say that a wide angle lens is not the same as peripheral vision. Use your imagination as the entire sky, lake and hills were the same colors as far as I could see to the North, too.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Near the end of the day, as the sun began to set, I caught this photo. The clouds had darkened the sky and lake, but left just a strip of light on the East shore and on our shore. The shiny birds on our shoreline actually caught my eye. The Daily Topaz was chosen.
P.S. While taking this and other photos, a red-tailed swooped down about 25 feet in front of me. That little bugger scared the heck out of me!
Saturday, February 7, 2009
The day started cold and white with a dash of wind. The day warmed up turning the new white groundcover to muck. Let me rephrase that: M.U.C.K. But hey, it's water and I'll take it! The day is ending now cold, white, brown and no wind.
More wet weather expected Monday. Oh, and our eagles were out hunting on our shoreline again.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
I love winters as it represents a period of renewal on so many levels. And on the weather level, we welcome the rain and snow to literally renew the lake level!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Topaz Lake has been a part of my life for over 40 years and whether I'm traveling from the North or the South, each time the lake comes into view the beauty of it makes me smile. It's a peaceful and relaxing place to live.
We are expecting rain/snow this weekend. Maybe I will be able to get some photos of the valley covered in snow?
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
020309: The Daily Topaz is all about the everyday life we live at Topaz Lake RV Park. Meet our little cat, Ollie. He is a part of our life here.
He came to us years ago as a visitor and one day he stayed. Immediately we found out he was one sick little cat. He had a condition called hemobartonella (not contagious) and after months of care and medicine he recovered. Unfortunately he was left with chronic emphysema, but that does not stop this little guy from being a typical cat.
He lives to be outside cruising around the house and garages. Ollie is a spunky, funny, curious cat and clearly he is not daunted by a "....tall aluminum ladder."
Monday, February 2, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
That is until the Super Bowl game. Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but you wouldn't know that by all the hootin' & hollerin' going on in our house. We all agreed that the game was actually a super Super Bowl. The best we had seen in years. We rooted for the underdog, and they nearly won. Hats off to the "overdog." Good game. Super game, I mean.