Sunday, September 14, 2008

my sunny day

come along if you'd like!

i'm walking up the manzanita lookout road - it ends about eight miles up at at the fire lookout. this sign is at the beginning of the road... i passed it for years before i noticed that the letters are reversed in one of the words.

this tree is a powerful scent generator! it stops me in my tracks to breath in pine and lichen... the sky's smokey to the west.

i wander off a little ways to take a pic of this tree flag, which has been out in the elements for a year now. the smudgy black at the bottom is the stabilo water soluble pencil (what was i thinking?). the caran d'ache crayons and pigma marker outline have faded only a little, and neither have run.

back on the road, this bush was positively loaded with bees, butterflys, and miscellaneous flying insects. i could have taken 20 macro shots of cool insects but the wind was blowing too hard. this was the only pic i took, and somehow it turned out. one of the many beautiful creatures feasting on these flowers.

a couple of miles up, i get off the road and head for some shade to eat my lunch. almost immediately i see this big packrat house. i'm a huge fan of packrat architecture, so i go in for a closer look. if you click on the pic you can see it better-- it's very hard to photograph these as they don't show up against a backdrop of trees and ground. it's built against an uprooted tree stump.

their building materials are eclectic. a juniper sprig is tucked in amongst the sticks...

i sit down on the back side of the house -- in packrat terms, it's a mansion. the more i look, the more i marvel at it. if i were a packrat i'd love to live here. look at all of those perches! and there's a stone 'porch' in the lower left. i think those 'porch' rocks, held in place by tree roots, may be the nicest rocks i've ever seen.

i eat, have many brief conversations with a mulitude of bees and flys, then move in for a closer look.

boy, i'd love a stone porch like this... you can see where he comes out to have a look around...

sure enough, he, uh, sits here...

i pack up my stuff and head across the way to look at another packrat house. this one is humble in comparison. maybe a son or daughter moved out?

walking back toward the road, this culvert catches my attention. i think to myself that i've never walked through a culvert, so it seems like it's about time. at this point i stop at the entrance and take the pic in friday's post (actually, i took about 20 pics). then i walk through. pretty crazy walking under a big pile of earth with only an eighth of an inch of steel between it and you. this shot was taken once i got to the other side -- i put the pink line in to show you where the road is.

i keep walking downstream (another dry creek bed). walking slowly, looking around, i spot this...

good heavens! it's the biggest vertebra i've ever seen! i'm not sure what animal it belonged to... cow, horse? after googling cow and horse vertebra, i'm thinking that maybe it was once part of the neck...

the lovely, lovely lines of bones...

another scent generator, this one's a juniper...

i wander around some more and head back to the road. i'm going to walk towards home and look for a nice, shady spot to sit and paint, which i find near another big culvert.

they're so clean inside! does the forest service keep them this clean, or are they somehow self cleaning?! i wonder about this... i don't walk through this one -- just sit in the shade of big trees and paint...

now hanging not too far from the one above, in a stand of giant cedars... they deserve a lot of tree love...

i like that they formally tell you you're at the End. i'm almost home now...

i'll leave you with the sweet marvin gaye singing 'mercy, mercy me'.

i'll be out of town for a few days... thank you so much for coming along, and i'll see you when i get back!


  1. Lynne, I am amazed, I enjoyed your journey so very much. It is like diving into a book except that it is your very own story.
    I was asking Kate, too, how do you find bones? Is it that once you start looking you see?
    BEAUTIFUL, my full admiration!

  2. hi jo! thank you so much... as for finding bones, yes, i think it does have to do with consciously looking for them, but beyond that i really don't know. this has been an unusually good bone finding summer. actually, i've always wondered why there aren't more laying around considering all of the creatures there are out there. i ponder these mysteries. : ) but, back to the conscious looking thing... i know that when i was doing a lot of beach combing i would put in my mind what i was looking for -- beach marbles are a good example. i never even *saw* a beach marble until i knew they existed and started to look specifically for them, then i started to find them. they were good teachers in this way.

    now i must go pack!


  3. I'm giving you an award :-)
    found you through the Pulse.
    You can pick it up from my blog A year of Art...
    enjoying your blog,

  4. Thanks for the dose of nature and for the guided tour! Great way to spend my Sunday.

  5. Lynne! - my god! another! walk with you! I have learned more on your walks then I knew about nature for my whole adult life - pack rat homes? I had no idea. To me?, it looks like a bunch of woodsy stuff all bunched up together. You give it little stone porches and good building skills. And of course, more bones. And now you are hooked up with fellow bone people all over the world. I love these walks. And going through the culvert - oh my gosh - so casual. I guess we traverse different terrains. Give me a thrift store, vintage store, shoe store (all these have 'store' at the end of them) or a fabulous martini bar and I'm on solid ground! Keep the walks coming - love exploring the new terrain with you!

  6. Do you get a thrill when seeing our flag still there? I do! Thanks for telling us what you used.. I am off now for my favorite bush walk too.

  7. i can't believe how that flag has survived in such pristine condition - wow. It's nice to go for a walk through the eyes of someone else. thanks you - have nice break :o)

  8. HI Lynne,
    Gee, that was so great! I really appreciate seeing through your eyes and senses. I loved what Jeane wrote about pack rats! SO funny! Thank you for the inspiration.

  9. this is well, just amazing. I know the phrase pack rat, and didn't know it was so real. That first guy is an architect; stone front porch... and that you have the eyes to see, i love that.

    Scent in the woods, to stop us, I love that too--to just stop and breathe among the mulching mystery of recyclings. :)

    Thanks for being you!

  10. Pack rat house? Totally new to me and very intriguing. I love all the worn wood and roots etc. Great walk. Count me in on the next one.

  11. Thanks so much for taking us along again on another lovely walk. I learned a lot on this walk. I never knew packrats were actual animals. I thought it was just the term used for people who hoard things. Now I know where the term originated! And now that I know about packrats, I'd say that they could easily be the mascot animals of collectors like ourselves!

    Another thing. I knew your trees were large but when I saw the photo of the culvert next to the trees, with the knowledge that you walked upright through it, I realized the scale of those trees! Wow! Your tree flags are beautiful and fresh as always. They hold their vibrancy so well.

    And the curves of that bone...exquisite!

  12. We have to go on a hike together sometime! Judging solely on my appearance alone, folks often think I'm a city boy, but nope!

    Give me some woods to hike through, and I'm happier than a clam.

    (good thing I live in the sticks, eh?)

  13. I never realize just how much I am missing nature and taking walks in the woods until I stop by here...and then I feel better! Thanks, girl! I needed that!

  14. Hello Lynne,
    thanks for answering my question! I will be off on a hunt!
    Jo x


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