|Bodie State Park at the end of the road|
|Sage Grouse I photographed in 2012|
Saturday morning started near Bodie State Park. A few years back I got some incredible shots of Sage Grouse - considering who was behind the camera - along the 13 mile road in to the park.No such luck this time, for one thing because it is hunting season and all the orange vested hunters packing shotguns seem to make the grouse a tad shy.
We loitered along the rough pebbled road into the park, paying scant attention to the scenery as we stared in hope of spotting interesting birds. Don saw one Sage Grouse high up on a ridge, unseen by too-slow-to-look-up, moi.
|Green-tailed Towhee on the road to Bodie|
|Can't evade me forever you rosy little treasure...|
Afterwards we gave another look-see and the Virginia Lakes Resort and enjoyed a nice breakfast at its restaurant. After exploring the area and again, not seeing any Gray-crowned Rosy Finches *bite the fist in exasperation*
Following breakfast we visited the County Park. Don has scope & will travel, so he hiked it down to the lake. I stayed uphill, visiting - possibly pestering - some folks visiting from the Netherlands.
Black-billed Magpie, strutting around. At home there are only Yellow-billed Magpies, just as vane actually.
Still, Black-bills are a treat as I don't necessarily see the species every year.
After a trot around Lucy Lake for Don, we headed south of Mono Lake ending up near the town of Bishop in the afternoon. Don wanted to try for Nighthawks, Owls and other denizens of the strange back country. We took a drive through Volcano Tableland a BLM property with weird pock-marked volcanic and igneous rocks.
|Quite a few profiles were everywhere you look|
|Don taking some close-ups of the hole strewn rocks|
|Not my Photo as I got none, but this is in the |
ballpark of what we saw scamper past
"Baby otter? Naw... too small"
"Long-tailed Weasel," I concluded, incorrectly.
No, too dark', said Don. Then inspiration hit, "It's a MINK!"
And of course, he was right. A Mink, in as dry as lizard farts, Inyo County! Who'd a thunk it?
That was as amazing a sight as I've seen in a while. MINK! I've seen them before but they're always exciting
Sunday was the last day at Mono. To get home, the fun way, you drive over Tioga Pass through Yosemite. Along the way there was much birding, though we didn't really see much birdie-wise but the scenery was grandiose.
|Most of my Yosemite shots were 'drive by' views|
We had lunch at a picnic table, alongside a small creek at the 'old entrance' of Yosemite.
After lunch there was a short hike up the trail, on the old Yosemite entrance way. It is considered a
|Don headed up the old road, which once hosted Model-Ts and the like|
|Fruit of the Western Dogwood|
|Some poly-pore fungi reclaiming a fallen tree|
After the short hike, I took the wheel and we headed back to Fair Oaks. Along the way we passed through Angel's Camp where I found out later in the day, my friend Jeannie was hard at work for the California Department of Forestry. While we were touring the countryside, much of it was being consumed by flames. I hope the winter rains come this year, we really need them.