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Linda JeffersIn a world of so many great photographers and writers, I am venturing into some unknown territories, leaving comfort zones, finally very willing to practice the art of seeing. By maintaining the practice of posting daily photos, I hope to continue learning about the possibilities that I trust are out there for the taking.

Come join me on my journey!

Change is uncomfortable.

Yesterday we had to move out of Cabin #18 where we had been staying for the last two weeks and had pretty good internet connection and great cell connection (I now see, I didn’t think so at the time). Poor Ray has to do so much work to pack us up and unpack us out of the car again into the new temporary cabin. Thank goodness Katy stayed to help us before she left for home. Part of the deal up here at Wood’s Lodge is that you have to clean the cabin when you leave it.

It’s difficult to get a cabin at Wood’s Lodge for long chunks of time. Due to indecision about where to vacation we hadn’t made our reservations until the last moment. Because we love the cabins at Lake George, we took the deal offered us when I called a couple of weeks ago:  First two weeks – Cabin 18 (we love this cabin). One night in Cabin 4 (not so great). This last week in Cabin 19. We have never been in Cabin 19 before. It’s nice enough, the view is incredible, but the internet and cell suck because Cabin 19 is situated down lower, closer to the lake. We are spoiled and trying to adjust our attitudes to the fact that we don’t have good reception so we can see and appreciate where we are.

Last night’s stay in Cabin 4 was an experience we aren’t used to, or maybe have just never been aware of before. There was a fly population that seemed to be multiplying by the minute, a larger than usual huge black ant community moving in, and a very curious, skittish mouse, or was it two or three mice, I don’t know. Whether it was one or a few mice, it/they were moving at a jerky but speedy pace and quite cunning and agile in its/their lightening speed dashes from somewhere in the kitchen, possibly from under the stove, into the living room, and under the makeshift couch I was on. My feet were up on the coffee table, while Ray was asleep in the bedroom.

This morning the move from Cabin #4 to #19 went smoothly. We were turning the key in our new cabin just before 11am. After trying to make a nest for ourselves by moving chairs, tables and couches to suit our comfort, and best viewing possibilities, we set up our computers. That’s when we first realized we would not have the kind of internet connection we’d had the last couple of weeks. (Mind you the internet connection we had the last two weeks was, on a connection speed scale of 1 – 10, a 3. We didn’t know how lucky we’d been. Our speed here in Cabin 19 is 1.)

What’s interesting is noticing how emotionally “connected” I am to being connected by cell and the internet. Ray and I usually come up here and read (read a lot), hike, play sudoku, go out to dinner and drive and explore the neighboring areas. We have eaten out only once since we arrived 14 days ago, we have hiked about 4 times, played golf once and basically stayed inside the cabin……I’m playing with my camera photographing the porch side birds and squirrels, working on my computer with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, dealing with questions and answers and a lot of learning curve stuff with my new website, playing Word Twist on Facebook, cooking and talking on the phone.

Tomorrow we go to Bodie, an old gold mining town off hwy 395 north of Lee Vining. Can’t wait to see it again, hopefully with new eyes as I’ll be bringing my camera gear.

Tuesday we’ll play golf on a really pretty course here in Mammoth called Sierra Star. We drove by some of the holes and noticed how tight the fairways are. Should be interesting.

It’s very windy here and a bit chilly in the cabin. I’ve heard the heat down south is pretty bad, so I feel fortunate to be here in Mammoth.

Ray and I are laughing a lot. I like that. I like laughing.

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Katy and I went hiking.

Katy and I had a great time visiting and hiking yesterday. I first met Katy on the trailjournals.com site where she had posted the offer to transcribe and post for thru hikers. I was hiking the PCT in 2003 and needed a transcriber. Since that hike she has transcribed for me on numerous hikes. I got lucky in finding the best transcriber ever and a wonderful friend. It’s an annual tradition now that Katy come for a visit when we are in Mammoth on vacation.

I’ll be uploading more photos from our Mammoth Mountain Mine hike to my Portfolio in the category Travel, under Mammoth.

Linda and Katy.
Linda and Katy

Katy looking down on the town of Mammoth.
Mammoth below.

Two hundred to get two.

There must not have been birdseed in the feeder.

There must not have been birdseed in the feeder.

Unusually Calm.

Unusually Calm.

Ray turns 65 today.

It took a while but we did actually get out of our pjs and play some birthday golf at the Snow Creek CC here in Mammoth.

Linda over swinging.

Linda over swinging.

205 downhill 3 wood

205 downhill 3 wood

What a handsome man.

What a handsome man.

9 holes of late afternoon golf.

9 holes of late afternoon golf.

Welcome to my new blog site.

This big guy has no fear. None at all. I was standing 3 feet away from him.

Actually, he knows what he wants and isn’t too proud to beg, which he does all the time. And, I am a sucker. He gets what he wants from me, and Ray too.

"Come on.....I don't care how full my jowels look, I really am still hungry."

"Come on.....I don't care how full my jowls look, I really am still hungry."

Morning Breakfast.

Guess who came for breakfast this morning, a wee bit earlier than yesterday morning, and a lot more visible and he even stayed for a longer visit.

I got such a high from Mr. Bear’s visit I could not hold my camera steady, I used the video vertically rather than horizontally, I asked Ray to use my small camera to get shots of the bear but he said, “You’re using the small camera!” Oops. I switched from video on the small camera to photo taking, took a photo through the glass door with the flash on. I made a mess. I certainly lost my cool. Needless to say I didn’t get any great shots. But you can see that it’s a bear.

I tried opening the door to get to get a shot without glass in front of the bear. The bear eating out of the birdfeeder, noticed the second I opened the sliding glass door just a bit. I stopped opening the door, mind you the bear is less than 3 feet away from me, until the bear starting eating the seed again. Each time I quietly slide the door open an inch the bear stopped eating and looked directly at me. He was afraid of me.

Ray, quietly seated 2 feet from me at the door (probably he was standing in front of his seat) must have thought I was crazy. But he didn’t say anything. Finally the bear had enough of me trying to capture a good bear photo and split….down the tree, faster than I could have ever imagined he could have gotten down. I ran out on the wet porch with Ray but the bear was walking away and I lost my opportunity to get a good bear photo.

But I have proof there was a bear coming for breakfast. He was a half an hour later than yesterday morning. Now that I know he is making this visit a regular practice I will make sure I have my large and small cameras ready for that one great bear capture.

Hey bear.

Hey bear.

So little but so big.

So little but so big.

Email sent to Alex this morning.

Hey Alex,

Thanks for stopping by my site. You have no idea how much it means to me that you check out and notice all the work I’ve done on getting the photos photoshopped, re-sized and uploaded. Working on Smugmug (cleaning up the organization) and communicating with Erik over details of the new site, has occupied a lot of my time.

I just got out of bed. I was laying in bed, like I do when I first wake, propped up on my elbow, looking out the window at the scenery. (I do this at home too) From the bedroom window I can see much of the porch railing near the tree and the bird feeder where the birds are always fed. This actual bird feeder on the deck outside isn’t visible from the bedroom but much of the railing, porch and pine tree is.

So I’m staring out the window, through morning unfocused, tear crude filled eyes, when I see a blur of movement that is large and obviously not birds. I lift myself up a little higher on my elbow and blink trying to clear my eyes. The thing I’m trying to focus on is brown. It’s moving away out of my vision, moving down and behind the massive pine tree, out of site. I can’t see the brown anymore. I yell to Ray, who is in the main room in the cabin, “BEAR, BEAR, BEAR”!!!! I jump up out of bed and run into the room where Ray is seated 8 feet away from the bird feeder just outside the floor to ceiling window. “Did you see the bear?”

I no longer can see anything climbing down the porch railing or the pine tree. It’s raining outside. There is sap that has dropped from the pine tree all over the wood slat porch flooring (I hate getting sticky sap on the bottom of my feet or soxs), but I don’t care. I pick up my camera and charge out the sliding glass door into the rain….in my pjs. Photo op. Where is the bear. I do not have my glasses on. I’m moving too fast; I’m way too excited. I can’t see the controls on my small camera. I’m frustrated. I spot the bear down the hillside maybe 20 feet away, his back to me (I think – no glasses) and he’s moving away.

Oh no, I hope I’m on a good enough camera setting to get a shot of the bear. Oh well, I shoot away hoping the dial is set to something that will capture the bear. After one shot, the bear starts walking faster, seemingly aware of my presence I think, away down towards lake’s edge. For a moment I think about getting a video of the bear, but I can’t see the dial settings and now the bear is too far out of sight. What a rush. I walk back through the sliding door ,into the warm living area, and Ray and I excitedly share our “Did you sees……?”

My glasses are on, I’ve taken my once a month Boniva pill to promote good bone density, and I am seated looking at the email I received from last night. I’m hyped up, have the coffee Ray made me, but can’t drink it because I’m not supposed to drink or eat anything for an hour after I take the Boniva pill. What am I supposed to do with all this adrenaline? Write my morning down in this email to you Alex, that’s what I’ll do with the adrenaline rush.

We had been told when we arrived and checked in here at Wood’s Lodge that the bear has visited our cabin and climbed up on our porch over 28 times. We’ve been waiting and hoping to catch a “safe” glimpse of the bear and now we have. We love it.

Hey bear. Hey bear.

Thanks for listening to the reporting of a great start to our day.

Love,

Linda

Here is the bear. The photos were really dark, almost black, so I had to photoshop them a lot.

Never left this position all day!

Today was overcast. Ray was sore from yesterday’s hike. I had domain website stuff going on. And the tone was set.

What a glorious day I had after I got email back once the my domain site decided to allow connections again after shutting down for a few hours. It’s time for updating my sites. Erik in the UK is working on transferring my stuff from my present web host. We have been in contact daily. He has been working on some really cool Front Pages for my new blog site on WordPress and my photo portfolio on Smugmug. Gottago’s Adventure site will keep it’s same look and hopefully will stop causing Erik so much trouble moving it to his domain for web hosting. Hopefully soon these 3 sites will be accessed and linked on one URL – www.lindajeffers.com.

I played lots and lots of Word Twist on Facebook. I am totally hooked. Damn Cindy. She topped my high score today by 2 points.

I watched many Adobe Lightroom tutorials online. I’m becoming so much more familiar with this software. Knowing how to use it has saved me lots of time. Time I’ll have no trouble quickly filling.

Back to the rest of my evening. Ray is in bed and I figure I have another 45 minutes before I join him.

Insistent little buggers.

Each day this guys get more and more insistent about wanting their food when they want it. Well actually, I get that. It’s just that if we don’t slide the screen door shut completely they have learned how to use their little hands to slide open the screen door. I guess it doesn’t help that I leave the bag of bird seed, within their vision, next to the screen door. Soon I will post a video of their “It’s time to eat” behavior.

Ray and I hiked up the Mammoth Crest trail today. I’ve posted photos on http://gottago.smugmug.com. I was putting captions under the photos when the Smugmug site went down for their routine weekly maintenance. The site will be up after midnight tonight.

Here is a silly photo of Ray at the top of our hike today. The lighting on the photo didn’t turn out so I put a solarizing filter on Ray’s photo because I like his expression. He probably won’t be happy with me.

We are acclimated.

Cyrstal Crag Lake – our dayhike today.

This ground squirrel did not like us being gone for a couple of hours.