Click any photo to enlarge

Monday, April 25, 2016

Our swan song

My sister and I decided to make one last trip up the mountain. It was really grueling. Coming down was worse. What with my vertigo and failing knees, even two walking sticks weren't enough, but we made it. I had hoped to look for Lucifer nests once up there but we only heard one whiz by one time and I wasn't physically able to clamber around up there looking. I pretty much sat on a perch and photographed what I could see from there while Ann went up a bit farther. Here is a photo she snapped of me on the way up before we got around the cliff wall to the oak tree area. I wear the UV goggles to keep my over-lasiked eyes from drying out so fast. (I didn't have to resort to two sticks until the descent.)

After arriving at the oak tree location Ann went a short ways farther to the Fragrant Ash location. This is my view of it sticking out above the cliff top.

And here is Ann's view of it.

The Mexican Blue Oaks don't look so pretty right now as they're in the process of putting on new leaves.

We flushed an owl. I'm pretty sure it was too small to be a Great Horned, and I thought larger than an Elf Owl, but the oak tree it went to had some woodpecker holes in it like Elf Owls use, so maybe that's what it was. There's a second hole hidden behind the branch above this one.

Neither of us was able to get to a spot where we could locate the owl in the tree canopy. I could barely get a distant shot of one of the holes. I did see a Western Wood-Pewee up there, which surprised me. Or at least that's what I assume it was. The posture sure didn't seem pewee-like. In all the photos I took the tail was never in a downward position and I took about 50 of it from my perch. It never once vocalized, nor did it even once flick its tail. 

Amazing to me was a Flame Skimmer, so very far from water. I guess it's a young female, but not sure.

The view was spectacular as usual. That's Nine Point Mesa center right.

UPDATE:  We talked it over and decided to start building a trail to the oak site. It's too wonderful a place to be so inaccessible to us. It's probably a half mile total distance. Even a trail half that distance might make it doable for us. We'll see.


  1. Easy for you to say. I think we'll have to hire someone to build a trail up there. Too awesome to never see again.