Two shots of the lower deck here at Lake Almanor ... the 'clear' one was taken in May and the 'smoky' one was taken June 28th .. it hurts your throat to be outside for any length of time ...

800 fires caused by lightning in northern California .. smoke everywhere .. on the way up to Lake Almanor, I drove maybe 5 minutes with no smoke .. visibility on I-5 was maybe a mile and a half mostly. When I got onto Hwy 32, the firefighters were there in force .. we could see fires blazing in the canyons, among the crags and cliffs .. the highway was closed for a few miles, traffic had to park and wait ... in 90° heat .. traffic was piloted through, one lane at a time ... the firefighters were burning the
underbrush, right down to the road ...
When I arrived at the lake, it was still hazy but the lake was relatively clear. The next morning, the wind had changed and I couldn't even see the far shoreline of the lake, or the mountains on the far side. It was bright with filtered sun .. and it's supposed to be very hot today but perhaps the smoke will keep some of the heat at bay. Eventually, we'll have to close up the house and put the air conditioning on so we don't cough and sneeze too much ...



Just because it's a cute photo, I added my four-legged nephew Jack. He's a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and is still a pup ... because of his little legs, he's not awfully fond of the pool yet but at least he's buoyant!



* I took myself to a new orthopedic surgeon to get a second opinion on my hip/groin ever-increasing pain which has been plaguing me for five years .. Apparently, the osteoarthritis in my right hip is 'substantial' .. and the groin pain I've been experiencing is bone pain ... bone-on-bone. The variety of NSAIDs available isn't the greatest. I'm already taking prescription Ibuprofen. I can't walk more than a block without crippling pain .. so I'll have to consider hip replacement at some time. My dad had a hip replaced and my sister has similar problems to me so it's genetic .. why I couldn't inherit my mother's genes, I don't know .. but isn't that always the case.

* One of my friends from Brookings, OR died today .. Gerry Kesseler. He had moved to NC, then to MS to be close to his children. He was a character .. fought in Desert Storm .. an anglophile of sorts .. and died well before his time .. he wasn't even 60 years old!


I went up to Lake Almanor again at the end of May to have the permanent caps put on my teeth ... bit of a chore but the end result was great. The weather was unusually cool, breezy and cloudy but I managed to take some interesting shots around the area. I love cloud formations!

The shot here should have had the lake covering the sandy-colored bar, leaving the trees out of the water but the lake is pretty low. The power company owns the lake and they are promising to release three feet of water into it shortly, followed by a drawdown of three feet in a month, and another three feet in another month.

On the way home from Lake Almanor, we drive through Chico and then down some back roads southwesterly to join I-5 just north of the I-505 turnoff. The trip takes us through some very small townships and through many farms and rice paddies. This photo shows several egrets ... there were about ten of them together but when I stopped the car, they flew a little farther away so I didn't get the optimal photo.

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This is my newest grand-nephew, Will, who's just short of six months of age and there's no way he looks like it! I was a roly-poly baby as well so maybe he's got a little more of my genes.

My new smile is getting plenty of workouts ... thank goodness I finally have something to smile about ...