FLT. 93, Pennsylvania

A friend returning to Hawaii gave me a couple of photos taken at the Flight 93 crash site in PA. Thought I'd share them with you .. they're self-explanatory.



Here's one of the many resident Ospreys at Lake Almanor, returning to his nest with lunch. Watching them fish is such a thrill and seeing them succeed is AWESOME!


This is my favorite niece, Julie, with Jack the Corgi .. she 'shares' him with my brother-in-law. You can see he's very, very content!


Roads Closed Again

Yesterday, they closed the roads from Chester to Chico again ... I saw several smoldering areas and one extremely smoky patch when I drove through two days ago ... I was wondering what control there was in case the wind reignited the ashes ... and if their chainsaws were totally safe to use ...

I've been keeping an eye on this tree root each time I travel along Hwy 32, wondering how long it's going to be able to hang on ... the canyon area where it's situated is subject to multi-directional winds along with rain and snow in the winter ... but it looks like the root is winning the battle against erosion!



I returned home today from Lake Almanor and the two main southerly roads were just opened to controlled traffic! I got a good look at some of the damage done by the fires .. driving along I'd see burned out areas, then untouched patches ... burned ground down to the road on one side yet untouched on the other ... hillsides scorched down to the river, but not across it.
I took this when I was stopped at one of the control points. I had about an 8 minute wait while the pilot car brought traffic heading in the opposite direction ... the road was open in one lane for about 2 miles. I didn't see any firefighters anymore .. it was basically CalTrans crews and heavy equipment operators who were cleaning up much of the downed and damaged trees, etc.
I was pleased to see some "Thank You Firefighters" signs ... without their diligence, it could have been much, much worse. Their job is really a thankless one until disaster strikes, then all of a sudden we are grateful for them. I take a home-made specialty pie every 4 - 6 weeks to our local firehouse, just to let them know they're appreciated!
This area .. Highway 32 from Chester to Chico (NE California) is absolutely gorgeous .. the drive takes us alongside a meandering river ... steep cliffs and rugged terrain ... tall firs and dense undergrowth. Most of the trees I saw today look like they'll survive ... their trunks were black but the foliage wasn't totally burned so hopefully they'll make it.



Every evening I have a visit from a small, furry creature who moves so fast I can't get a good look at him. Tonight he stopped just long enough for me to take a photo but it's mostly a blurry outline. The body is about 5" long and the hairless tail is about the same length. I think he's too small for a rat and too large for a mouse. When I chased him, he jumped from the deck into a tree and took off. Can you shed some light on this little guy for me?

STUPID ... The Saga

I have to change his name ... what's denser than 'Stupid'? He visited the feeder again and got frustrated that he couldn't get the food so he chewed the deck railing!!! Feeling sorry for this cute little lamebrain, I took a wooden spatula and propped up the lid for him so he could easily eat to his heart's desire ... and this is what he did ... stood on his tippy-toes and tried to get one crumb at a time through the tiny drain holes in the bottom of the feeder ... WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO .. PUT A LADDER THERE???


California's Roasting!

Bad enough we have all the wildfires, but now we have a heatwave to boot! I'm back in San Carlos from the lake and I drove through Red Bluff at 113° and the temperature stayed high until I got to the east bay when it dropped to 77° ... of course, it went up again when I drove west across the San Mateo bridge ... it's been around 90° here for a couple of days ...

I was watching a large crow today, hopping around with its beak wide open for extra air and cooling ... even the squirrels are suffering. It wasn't long after I filled up the feeder, that my friends came around ... I have a pond on my deck and a bird bath ... I make sure it's kept filled ... but this little guy was just exhausted from the heat!!


Mt. Lassen

Took a trip up Mt. Lassen today .. was great to get away from the smoke at the lake. First stop (as always) is at the sulfur springs .. only three going this time of year ... they dry up in the hot weather .. but the three that were going were memorable! Every time I fix deviled eggs, I think of the sulfur springs ...

Aschley, here, is a student working for a couple of months at the lake. There are two sulfur springs right by the road .. one is completely yellow sulfur ...

the other is a hot spring being forced up by magma way below and it makes the grey dirt bubble and boil near the surface .. very interesting geology and don't forget the 'hard-boiled eggs' smell ... stays with you rather like a skunk.

Some of the views from the mountain are breath-taking ... this time of year, the meadows and hillsides are covered with wild flowers .. yellow, pink, purple, white.

There are lakes and creeks on the mountain and below it ... it's a great spot to visit and if you like to hike, there are a few interesting hikes too.
Most of the views were free of the smoke and we could see for miles ... and tourists were out en masse ...


My First July 4th as a U.S. Citizen

This is the Fire Camp in Chester .. near Lake Almanor .. these firefighters work in the worst conditions and come back to rest in a tent! What would we do without them?

My friend Michelle and I on the deck ... she came to the lake house for a week .. work and R&R ... fortunately, she was here on the one day the lake was 80% clear .. July 4th ... the weather was just right ... company was nice ... food was great ... We sat out on the deck and watched the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular ... with the local firework show on the lake in the background ... Earlier in the day, we attended the parade in the town of Chester ... a typical small-town event but quite enjoyable.