Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Chasing the Cranes

by Jim and Shirley White
My friend in Truckee, Tom, says the Sand Hill Cranes are back in Sierra Valley. Although it is still snowing lightly on Donner Summit, off we go. The last of the storm is just passing Castle Peak as we scoot over Donner.
It is the last day of business for our favorite breakfast place, the Sierraville Kitchen.

A motley crew of loggers, ranchers and other locals are having breakfast for the last time. It is a happy and a sad time for most. We say our goodbys and we are off to find the Cranes!
What we really want is a nesting Sand Hill Crane. We have never been able to get close enough in the past. The wily cranes always slip away before we can get near enough. But "Sharp Eyed Shirley" spots one right away. It is nesting right along the road!!! We cannot believe our eyes. The crane watches our every move. We shoot and move along. There are (maybe ) other birds to see. 
In all we see 10 cranes, only the bird along the road close enough to shoot. But other life is kind.

A Lesser Yellowlegs poses and and looks friendly. A Rough-leg hawk soars over and lets us shoot, and all in all, another nice day in the Sierra.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Ananda Gardens,in Nevada County. A Shangri- La? Remote, beautiful, not imaginary place where life approaches perfection? Maybe not. But it is a little bit of "heaven" in Northern California. Early yesterday, no one but Shirley and I were there, 10,000 tulips and other flowers, on the north side of a very steep Nevada county mountain-side. What a way to forget your troubles.
It was just after a little snow-storm and all the flowers were refreshed and pure.The sun was warm. We could see a thousand feet below,the Middle Fork of the Yuba river. A wild river with very large Brown Trout I sampled many years ago. We saw a Golden Eagle soaring high in the canyon to the north. A Stellar Jay called an alarm as a Grey Squirrel jumped from limb to limb on a route he seemed to know.
  The laughter of a small child above us on the hill, as others arrived to share our joy. Time to trudge back up the steep hill to our car,
and then lunch at the Village deli. Real lemon juice in a can? What kind of place is this really? Come visit! It is open to the public for a few more days, The residents are warm and friendly. Come share their joy.