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Baltimore by the Sea

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

To Yosemite's Heights

Today we decided to start our day up at Glacier Point, so we headed up hill and on the way stopped at an overlook. I’d hardly parked when I heard Gene shouting at me there were chickens in the parking lot, wtf? Indeed! The chickens’ were a pair of beautiful Blue Grouse hens and they certainly did look like chickens and they were as naturally tame and approachable as any farm yard chicken. I didn’t even bother to use a long lens to get pictures of the two ‘girls’. I took at least 50 shots of the grouse hens and I lucked into this wonderful sequence as follows:

Only minutes up the road from the grouse hens we spotted several more grouse roadside, including a Blue Grouse Cock was strutting around with a few hens. No pictures worth showing of the cock, but Joann pointed out a curious bird call like a tin trumpet. Our guest appearance trumpeter was a Red-breasted Nuthatch and I got lovely pictures of the lively little beauty.

These shots we took up at Glacier Point when we finally made it there. Joann and Gene hiked to the overlook and I made do a little closer to the main overlook. The view was spectacular; great looks at Sentinel Point and Half Dome. Gene and Joann hiked out to the point and I whimped out staying at the overlook. The view was the one you see just below - Half Dome.

We headed down to Yosemite Valley and then straight back up to Tuolumne Meadows. Joann enjoyed the wicked thrill of horn honking in the tunnels we drove through on the way up - weeeeee! We briefly stopped at the outrageously blue Lake Tenaya.
Tuolumne meadow was out from under snow, broad and lush. We made several stops along the route to the Visitor Center both for scenery and bird ID and photo ops that included scenery and wildflowers.

The drive made for a lovely final day in Yosemite and we enjoyed the hell out of it.