Friday, December 26, 2014

Longing for the snow?

by Jim and Shirley White 

There was supposed to be snow in Hope Valley and along the West Fork of the Carson. Somebody was dreaming or maybe having a nightmare! There is more snow in our freezer that in that part of Alpine Co. But a big cold storm is coming! Not our idea of a good snow storm. But lots of wind and cold rain drove us down into Carson valley chasing hawks. Not many hawks and the wintering deer herd is not on the winter range this year! So we photographed barns.
So you can see the cold rain coming off of Freel Peak and when it got to us our barn got really grim.
The rain turned into ice when it hit me and the camera so lets go back up to 8000ft and see whats happening? Yep, it is snowing and blowing. Chain control did not faze the big truck ahead of us so as he started sliding sideways I passed and let the Subaru's computer take us over the hill. 25 mph going down Carson Pass with blowing and drifting snow put us below the snow in about 1 1/2 hr. Not to let this little chicken storm ruin our chances for some good snow pictures we are back after Christmas to check out the damage. Nice "mare's tails" blowing off of Round Top but no place to park and shoot. Nothing but the roadway has been plowed. Managed some photos of Round Top, but 6 keepers in two days? What's happened to our old time Sierra snow storms?
On the way home Round Top looks a little better.
Merry Christmas! And pray for a little snow for Shirley and I. We still hobble around on snowshoes.



Monday, December 8, 2014

Waterfowl Heaven

by Jim and Shirley White
Sullen skies NW of Lincoln this morning. Not a bird to be seen over the flooded rice fields. Off in the distance we saw a white flash in the sky. The white flash was huge and blinked on and off at slightly different places, Snow Geese I guessed? Or were they? And then another white flash, more to the north and closer to the ground. Maybe shore birds? We put the Jeep in high gear and ran down Brewer Rd. to the north. Thousands of Snow Geese to the east down Kempton Rd.! But there was something funny about the flooded plowed field straight ahead. I stopped and glassed the field. Those little brown dots were Dunlins by the thousands! As we watched the field, a milliom more flew in from somewhere and landed at the end of the birds we were watching. Hard to photograph these high speed bullets but we have to try. The birds sit so still I can not believe they are really birds. In a flash they fly and swirl and loop around the field all in absolute synchronization and when their bellies are toward us they flash white. What a sight! How do they keep from hitting each other at such speed?
 Later we go north down Kempton and there are Snow Geese by the tens of thousands! We work on the Swans. Our access to a 600 ac. rice ranch on this road provides the answer. After the shoot it is breakfast at Kathy's in Lincoln. Not a bad way to spend a morning. Can't wait to get back.