Winged Creatures Yesterday

The weather is growing cooler and the animals are about. Yesterday morning I spotted something different about a log in the pond. Not knowing what it was, I zoomed in and took a picture of a resting Mallard hen (see below), looking very much like a piece of wood. Also took pictures of an AcornContinue reading “Winged Creatures Yesterday”

Visiting with the Vultures

Today I saw a group of three turkey vultures standing on a log in the canyon. I moved closer and began taking pictures as more vultures arrived. Then my camera battery went dead, so I first just stood with all the birds, closed my eyes and enjoyed the silence with them for a few minutes.Continue reading “Visiting with the Vultures”

A Jackrabbit Up Close

As I approached Nance Pond yesterday by walking through a break in the hedge, a black-tailed jackrabbit approached from the opposite direction. At a distance of about eight feet the hare saw me and stopped in place, allowing me to take several pictures before it hopped away. These jackrabbits are quite large, about 24 in/61Continue reading “A Jackrabbit Up Close”

Fire Season in Paradise This Year

This year we are back to restful alertness. The huge fires of years past have eliminated many local and regional sources of fuel. It also appears Calfire has now modified its strategy to immediately jump on fires of any size, instead of the watch and wait policy of the past. Our largest fire of 2022,Continue reading “Fire Season in Paradise This Year”

The Doe I Met This Morning

I headed into the canyon around 7 AM today to change out my camera chips and take any pictures. As I came down the slope a black-tailed doe sprang out of her bed of grass to my left and began bounding down the hill. At the same time her fawn was doing the same toContinue reading “The Doe I Met This Morning”

A Day At The Office

Using four game-cams and a Nikon P1000 I am always gathering numerous and interesting photos of wildlife around Nance Canyon. Due to the late rain and absence of fires there is a lot of activity for this time of year. Here are recent photos of black-tailed deer and fawns, an acorn woodpecker, some of theContinue reading “A Day At The Office”

The Full Moon on the Evening of Guru Purnima

I had my tripod set and began shooting the moon as it rose ESE. The equipment is a Nikon P1000 with 125x optical zoom. The first photo of the moon, slightly larger than full frame, is at full optical zoom. Please enjoy these five shots from last night:

Cosmic Relief!

Today, July 11th, was extraordinarily hot. Gail and I were inside this morning glued comfortably to our PCs near the TV. Then just at 11AM sharp the TV spontaneously powered on unassisted, set to a channel we don’t watch with a movie just starting called, “The People That Time Forgot”. That got our attention thoughContinue reading “Cosmic Relief!”

Today’s Walk Through Nance Canyon (Part 2)

At the pond after shooting the video, I took pictures of the turtle and bullfrogs, but the real treat was further up the canyon. As I was walking the trail, something to the right caught my eye. It was two black-tailed does about 50 feet away, always a quiet thrill to see. One was pregnant.Continue reading “Today’s Walk Through Nance Canyon (Part 2)”

Today’s Walk Through Nance Canyon (Part 1)

I first walked down to Nance Pond taking my tripod and camera, then set my tripod on a flat spot near the edge of the pond. Next, I began recording a video with sound to capture the birdsong. Red-winged blackbirds are the melodic ones, with the cooing of doves in the background. Also a fewContinue reading “Today’s Walk Through Nance Canyon (Part 1)”

Visiting Nance Pond in May of 2022

For a small pond of about an acre, Nance Pond has a large watershed and stays full year-round. There is always a family of creatures there. Before the 2018 Camp Fire we even had black bears. I visit at least once a week to see who is around, take photos, change out my gamecam chips,Continue reading “Visiting Nance Pond in May of 2022”

Flights Above Paradise

The Chico Municipal Airport (CIC) which includes a Cal Fire Air Attack Base, is twelve miles away as the crow flies. We are near many flight paths at various altitudes, so it is a great place to capture pictures of aircraft of all types. Please enjoy these recent photos:

Happy Mother’s Day 2022!

It has turned out to be a great day for birds. All of these showed up in less than an hour, with the dove always roosting at the front door. Happy Mother’s Day to all! Please enjoy these five birds from today; a mourning dove, acorn woodpecker, Anna’s hummingbird, hooded oriole, and wild turkeys:

An Active Spring Day at Nance Pond

I went down in the canyon around noon today to swap out two gamecam chips, and took my camera. I was rewarded by several uncommon sights, notably a pair of turtles, a vulture, a starling feeding in the pond, and a red-tailed hawk. Please enjoy these 12 photos πŸ™‚

Hummingbirds and Rain

Our cold rain continues (51F now), with the hummingbirds unperturbed. They make themselves known to me when I step outside, flying nearby and making a loud hum with their wings. A russet-colored hummingbird, with an imposing brown beard showed up a week ago too. Please enjoy these five photos of the birds and wet weather:Continue reading “Hummingbirds and Rain”

A Sudden Change in the Weather

Last week was close to 90F(32C) during the day, yet today will be 60F(16C) for a high and 35F(2C) for a low (right now). Along with the rain, we even had one quick shower of hail yesterday and very high winds, 35mph(56km) to 50mph(80km). Countering the high winds, the moisture is preventing any fires. TheContinue reading “A Sudden Change in the Weather”

Hummingbirds and a California Alligator Lizard

With Spring underway, all the animals are active – Last Friday a hummingbird flew into the garage. At first I thought it had done so by mistake, so I left the doors open. But it had no desire to leave and just flitted around checking the place out, rested and groomed itself, and then leftContinue reading “Hummingbirds and a California Alligator Lizard”

Jet Contrails and an Alaska Airlines 737

With the nice weather and pandemic restrictions easing, the skies overhead this Saturday morning were a web of jet contrails, spawned by commercial jets taking off from the Sacramento International Airport (SMF), 85 miles south of here. I also managed a good picture of one of the planes, an Alaska Airlines 737 flying at anContinue reading “Jet Contrails and an Alaska Airlines 737”

Delivering Honey Bees In The Dark

Every year at this time the folks across the canyon have their bee hives delivered. I was up around three this morning and saw the lights, so I decided to try for some pictures. Also took a picture of the hives in place this afternoon, and have noticed a lot of bees in the lavenderContinue reading “Delivering Honey Bees In The Dark”

Red-tailed Hawks and Sunrise

The raptors here enjoy hunting from the tall snags in Nance Canyon, affording me some excellent photo opportunities. Yesterday I saw a pair of Red-tailed Hawks in the canyon, and also took pictures of yesterday’s and today’s sunrise. Please enjoy these six pictures:

Winged Victory Arrived Today

I looked out to the canyon this morning and roosting on a large snag was a Red-tailed Hawk, poised for the hunt. A little while later, I heard the gentle flute-like sounds of the Sandhill Cranes flying high overhead. Please enjoy these two photos of winged victory πŸ™‚

Celebrating a Peaceful Morning

The International Space Station (ISS) was due overhead at 5:47am this morning, first visible at 27 degrees altitude, due West, heading Northeast. So I set my camera for a 30 second shutter, and began the exposure when I first saw the space station. Note: the ISS is traveling from left to right in the image.Continue reading “Celebrating a Peaceful Morning”

Nance Canyon Gamecam Photos and the Bat

A few months ago, I moved my gamecam from the back fence down to the property line, further into Nance Canyon. Here are seven photos, including one of me, and the final shot of a bat just now feeding under the eaves of the house. Enjoy!

Looking WNW Across Butte Creek Canyon (UAV flight)

Here is another still from yesterday’s flight into Butte Creek Canyon from Bille Park in Paradise. On my return, the full sun was coming up and I couldn’t find my landing zone through the drone’s camera, so I began the auto-land sequence. This can be tricky, as all obstacle sensing is disabled for this function.Continue reading “Looking WNW Across Butte Creek Canyon (UAV flight)”

Looking Southwest Down Butte Creek Canyon

I took the UAV (DJI Mavic 2 Pro) over to Bille Park (Elev. 1,700 ft.) in Paradise, and flew it out about a half mile and up a few hundred feet in the canyon. It was a great day for flying, and I took this screenshot from the video. Enjoy!

January 2022 – Views of Paradise, California

Please enjoy these 11 photographs. The name Paradise comes from the sanskrit, para desa, meaning ‘transcendental place’. First, a winter’s sunrise. Then several pictures of a flock of turkeys wandering through the neighborhood, followed by a few views of Nance Pond, and concluding with a plaster cast of Gail’s hands in prayer (c. 1992).

Juice!

I noticed our blood orange tree was dropping oranges yesterday, which doesn’t happen unless they are ripe, so time for harvest today! Couldn’t tell by appearance this year, as there was so much rain just as the fruit was coming in. The blood oranges need a lot of sun during their final two months onContinue reading “Juice!”

First Skies of the New Year – 2022 – Above Paradise, California

Happy New Year, All! Close to the stroke of midnight here in California, after ringing in the New Year, I went out with my camera and took some first pictures of the New Year’s sky. The creative shot (photo #4) was a result of having the shutter set for 30 seconds, and pressing it byContinue reading “First Skies of the New Year – 2022 – Above Paradise, California”

Happy New Year 2022! Fire and Ice from Paradise

All the continents have now entered the New Year, so close enough! Happy New Year, 2022, to Everyone on Earth! Promises to be a real corker! πŸ™‚ Today, I first photographed the sunrise over Paradise, and later took pictures of the Mendocino Range, 70 miles or 112 kilometers west of us, across the Sacramento Valley.Continue reading “Happy New Year 2022! Fire and Ice from Paradise”

A Doe and Fawn Walking by Nance Pond

I changed out my camera chips in the game cam by Nance Pond this morning, and saw pictures of these two deer walking by the pond when I returned home. I had also raised the camera for a better view. Please enjoy this sequence of four pictures from the morning of December 26th:

A Blustery Day in the Foothills

Winter is on the way – We had up to 50 mph/80 km winds yesterday, and snow down to 2,500 ft/760 m. Our metal and fabric cabana, now on its second frame, and fourth cover, bit the dust after a particularly fierce gust of wind, so now it lays near the pool, looking almost likeContinue reading “A Blustery Day in the Foothills”

Aerial Views of the Sacramento Valley Fog Today

Happy Sunday. I took my UAV aloft today to get some pictures from Paradise of the extraordinary sea of fog in the Sacramento Valley below us. The fog tops out at about 900 feet/275 meters. Please enjoy these four photos, moving from SSE to WNW:

A Young Buck This Morning in Nance Canyon

A slight fog began forming in the canyon behind the house this morning, as the sun rose. I went out to the fence to take some pictures, and then noticed a young blacktail buck just outside the fence, to the right. Please enjoy these ten photos, taken as he made his way down our hillContinue reading “A Young Buck This Morning in Nance Canyon”

Bats at Dawn in Paradise

About twenty minutes before the sun appears, the bats dart about, feeding. They also show up at evening dusk. One of my projects now is to get some clear pictures of them, easiest in the morning when they are flying against a lightening sky. This morning I tried both taking a video and extracting screenshots,Continue reading “Bats at Dawn in Paradise”

Picking and Juicing Limes Today

The citrus is beginning to ripen here, and the limes are always first. An excellent crop this year. I’ve juiced a little more than a gallon so far, which I mostly freeze for making limeade. My limeade recipe (makes one gallon): Add to a one gallon pitcher:4 cups ice3 cups (24 oz.) simple syrup (2Continue reading “Picking and Juicing Limes Today”

A Beautiful Day in Paradise

So much color yesterday! The sky was full of changes beginning at sunrise, and the birds were active in the cooler weather. In addition to my beloved hummingbirds, I saw a pair of starlings in the skeleton oak. Haven’t seen them around here before. Also found another late blooming rose, and some distant wispy cloudsContinue reading “A Beautiful Day in Paradise”

A Brief October Hailstorm

Accompanying our recent deluge, the weather has grown colder. Last Monday I heard cracks of lightning and thunder outside, so I walked out with the camera. There were a few more bolts, each one releasing a sheet of hail. It all lasted about 15 minutes, and melted away just as quickly. Here are eight picturesContinue reading “A Brief October Hailstorm”

Rain!

Listening to the same song by the Beatles just now – “…Rain, I don’t mind…”. After a big fire around here (which is every year since 2017), there is a big rain, earlier than normal too. Apparently all the particles sent aloft in the smoke then seed the clouds, and produce heavy rainfall later on.Continue reading “Rain!”

Our Hummingbird and Jackrabbit Buddies

I was taking pictures of the hummingbirds a couple of days ago – they always let me know they are around when I go outside. Then yesterday near the house, a jackrabbit and I nearly ran into each other. We stopped with just a few feet between us, and the jackrabbit was shaking with fearContinue reading “Our Hummingbird and Jackrabbit Buddies”

A Visit From The Turkey Vultures Today

The wind often blows north here, up Nance Canyon, creating an updraft above our property, which is used by the vultures, hawks, and eagles to rapidly gain altitude. We had an unusual number of turkey vultures roosting here today, for about an hour. Two perched on the fence, with four more on a nearby treeContinue reading “A Visit From The Turkey Vultures Today”

A Journey of Consciousness Through the Sky

From my pictures last night and this morning, here is a sequence of four photos, each reaching further into the heavens. The first picture shows daytime clouds, streaming west to east. Next, one of a jet shooting south to north, towards the Sun. Third, a plane flies at night across the edge of our MilkyContinue reading “A Journey of Consciousness Through the Sky”

From Fullness to Fullness: From Night into Dawn

When I went outside last night around 9 PM the sky was already dark, and the Milky Way was very clear, and colorful. First shown are two pictures of the Milky Way – Rising behind the redwoods, and another, straight up. Next, before dawn, I saw the crescent Moon. At 6 AM the Sun rose,Continue reading “From Fullness to Fullness: From Night into Dawn”

Delight From the Heavens – Saturn and Jupiter Last Night, August 24, 2021

Before the Moon had fully risen, I was able to take two excellent pictures of Saturn (836M miles/1.3B km), and Jupiter, with its four main moons visible (374M miles/778M km). We are mostly clear of Dixie Fire smoke for the time being. When there are too many smoke particles in the air, the camera cannotContinue reading “Delight From the Heavens – Saturn and Jupiter Last Night, August 24, 2021”

Deer in the Front Yard Today

There is a small local herd of six blacktail deer: one buck, three does, and two fawns. They are quite comfortable on our property, and except for the buck, came onto the front and side yards this morning, as I was trimming the lavender. I swear the doe in the last picture was smiling atContinue reading “Deer in the Front Yard Today”

A Great Horned Owl, Nearly Full Moon, and Hummingbird

I was sitting outside yesterday evening, and first saw a bunny, and then a grown jackrabbit, among the lavender near the house. Very unusual to see rabbits this close by, as they usually stay out in the yard. Then one rabbit ran down by the side of the pool, and an owl swooped in forContinue reading “A Great Horned Owl, Nearly Full Moon, and Hummingbird”

Dixie Fire Sunrise Today and Last Night’s Moon

‘Orange’ is the operative word. We are smoky again today, though the forecast for tonight and the rest of the week, is for south and southeast wind, which blows out the smoke. Our power shutoff was cancelled, though the backup generator is all set. Please enjoy these unusual pictures of our celestial neighbors:

Discovering a Family of Blacktail Deer Near Nance Pond Today

I was walking near the pond down in the canyon today, and decided to explore a small stream that runs from the pond. This area was impassable before the fire, and now has a far lower profile of mostly berry brambles. As I approached the stream, a family of blacktail deer emerged from a copseContinue reading “Discovering a Family of Blacktail Deer Near Nance Pond Today”

A Local Blackout Across Nance Canyon Last Night

A car hit a power pole last night, on a road just across the canyon from us, and blacked out that neighborhood in Paradise. There were generators and lights on during the repair, which was completed in a few hours. The Dixie Fire smoke gave it an eerie quality. Here are three views from ourContinue reading “A Local Blackout Across Nance Canyon Last Night”

Just Picked Yellow Cling Peaches

Here is pretty much our entire crop of yellow cling peaches, picked just now from our dwarf tree – the first time in six years we have had fruit from this tree. Works out to half for us, and half for the critters. The sky looks tan and smoky today, but it doesn’t smell badContinue reading “Just Picked Yellow Cling Peaches”

Saturn and Jupiter Last Night

The smoke in the atmosphere can be useful when photographing distant planets, as it filters out the glare. Here are Saturn (800M mi/1.3B km) and Jupiter (450M mi/745M km) from last night. Jupiter has three obvious moons showing, though it looks like the outermost one may be two, orbiting close together. Enjoy!

The Dixie Fire Yesterday and Today

Clear yesterday, and smoke haze today. Our southern wind is supposed to clear things out later. The Dixie Fire is now 322K acres, and the active fire front is about 50 miles away from us now. Here are four pictures of 1) the fire front seen from Paradise, 2) a tanker helo, 3) the sunContinue reading “The Dixie Fire Yesterday and Today”

Finding a Satellite in Geosynchronous Orbit

Last night I was taking pictures of the Milky Way, and decided to zoom into the center and see what it looked like for a 30s. exposure. Of course the star trails all became quite long as their position shifted relative to the camera lens, over the 30 seconds of the exposure. Except for aContinue reading “Finding a Satellite in Geosynchronous Orbit”

International Space Station and Saturn Over Paradise

The ISS hit a peak of 80 degrees last night, almost directly overhead, and I captured a very clear shot. Then I took some good pictures of Saturn, also brightly visible last night, and made a composite of the ringed planet and the ISS for the second photo posted here. The ISS travels at 18KContinue reading “International Space Station and Saturn Over Paradise”

The Dixie Fire and Sunrise

The fire keeps going, though it hasn’t been a threat to us for awhile. Mornings are smoky and afternoons clear, with the towering presence of the fire always evident to the north. Here are two shots, the pyrocumulus cloud from yesterday evening, and a red sun this morning. Happy Friday everyone!

Midnight Skies, and a Little Rain Just Now

The Dixie Fire effects are no longer felt here, just west of Paradise. We have had steady winds to clear any haze, and about an hour ago we had a light rain – unheard of in July! Please enjoy these six pictures, beginning with a beautiful full moon from last night:

Dixie Fire Morning Sun – Smoke, Shadow, and Light

The Dixie Fire front has moved to our north and east and is at higher elevations, so we have layers of clouds and smoke in the sky, with the sunlight producing unique effects. This looks like another planet. Air quality at ground level is good here, with an AQI of 44 (compared to scores sometimesContinue reading “Dixie Fire Morning Sun – Smoke, Shadow, and Light”

Fire Season in Paradise – A Close Fire Today

We received an evacuation warning this afternoon from the Butte County Sheriff, due to a 15 acre fire about a mile away, in the next canyon over to the east. It was moving fast in our direction, so they brought in an air tanker and helos to dump retardant and stop the spread. Success! AllContinue reading “Fire Season in Paradise – A Close Fire Today”

Nature Remains Calm During the Dixie Fire

Fortunately the Dixie Fire has grown away from us, with a steady southern breeze to ensure it. I cannot see any evidence of the fire this morning to the east, though there continues to be a thick band of smoke to the northwest. I also can’t fly my drone for at least a month asContinue reading “Nature Remains Calm During the Dixie Fire”

Dixie Fire Night Panorama Northeast of Paradise

[July 19, 2021] The fire has moved far east of us tonight – no smoky air – calm, with a southern breeze here. Coyotes were howling in the canyon last night. Tankers are flying overhead now, refueling at Firebase Chico, and then back into it. Downtown Paradise can be seen lower right of the fireContinue reading “Dixie Fire Night Panorama Northeast of Paradise”

Nance Pond Today, July 17, 2021

Nance Pond can be clearly seen from the back fence now – All the burnt brush from the 2018 Camp Fire, including most of the snags except for the tallest ones, has been pushed down and broken up, for fire safety and erosion prevention. As I was moving up on a jackrabbit inside the fenceContinue reading “Nance Pond Today, July 17, 2021”

Summer Fire Season in Paradise 2021

Some haze this morning and a smoke smell. The Dixie Fire continues to grow, nearly 10K acres now, but away from us, up into the high country. As the day goes on we should again have a consistent wind from the southeast to blow the smoke away. Here are six pictures from yesterday, including anContinue reading “Summer Fire Season in Paradise 2021”

Mid-Summer in Paradise

Cooler today and normal temps for this time – 74/23 now, rising to 96/35 later. The Dixie Fire is smudging the sky near the horizon and I may have smelled a whiff of smoke, though it is really not an issue. Here are four pictures, showing the smoke smudge today looking west, a few ofContinue reading “Mid-Summer in Paradise”

Our Fire Season 2021

A much calmer time this year, though we have our first sizable fire in the county now, The Dixie Fire. Started yesterday at 60, then 500, now 1,200 acres. Burning in a wilderness area with low population. The wind is blowing from the SSE here, perfect to keep the fire and smoke out of Paradise.Continue reading “Our Fire Season 2021”

Harvesting Grapes Today

With the heat the fruit is coming in quickly. I took in about 100 white peaches yesterday, and 12 lbs/5.4 kg of red grapes today. We will eat some and juice some, and the birds get the rest. All our fruit is organic, grown in volcanic soil, and gets plenty of sun. Please enjoy theseContinue reading “Harvesting Grapes Today”

Saturday’s Sunset and The Milky Way

Last night was a very clear night for sky photos. Enjoy these five pictures, and please look left on the last one to see a faint meteor trail. The International Space Station swings by this Monday night at 10:22, at a height of 65 degrees, for seven minutes. I’ll have my camera ready for thatContinue reading “Saturday’s Sunset and The Milky Way”

A Red Tail Hawk Hunting In the Heat

This hawk was above the canyon two days ago, nearly translucent from the strength of the sun. Not even the buzzards are flying this morning. It is 93 degrees now (10 AM) and forecast to hit 112 today, and tomorrow. I am very tolerant of hot weather, and found out my body temperature is consistentlyContinue reading “A Red Tail Hawk Hunting In the Heat”

Animals Get Some Relief From The Heat At Nance Pond

Mostly deer and quail were seen on the Nance Pond gamecam this month, with one nightshot of two raccoons. The quail are growing a large bevy, now numbering twenty birds. See if you can count them all in the third photo below – it isn’t easy! We are at 108/42 today, going to 112/44 overContinue reading “Animals Get Some Relief From The Heat At Nance Pond”

A Pair of Great Horned Owls Visited This Evening

This is the first time I have seen a pair of these owls together here. What a magical sight. It was dusk, about 8 PM, and the [larger] female showed up first. Soon after I took the pictures, both soared silently down the canyon to hunt. Here are my best five photos. Enjoy!

The Sutter Buttes on US Independence Day 2021

The Sutter Buttes (elevation 2,000 ft/610 m) rising from California’s Central Valley, are the world’s smallest complete mountain range. Formed from an erupted volcano, the Sutter Buttes were considered the creation spirit for the local indigenous people. We decided to take a trip today to see how close we could get by dead reckoning. HereContinue reading “The Sutter Buttes on US Independence Day 2021”

Showing Off the Prize

Yesterday afternoon I saw this scrub jay with a huge peanut in its beak. I am finding this is not uncommon behavior, and have seen other birds too, flying about with an abundance of worms or insects in their beaks before feeding. As if to advertise their hunting prowess. Here are two pictures of theContinue reading “Showing Off the Prize”

Happy Summer Solstice 2021 (and Me)!

Here are six pictures of the garden flowers still blooming: a rose, crepe myrtle, oleander, and butterfly plants. The final picture is of me from Amsterdam, in early March of 2020. I am both happy and a bit jet-lagged in that picture, and obviously “open”…. What a lovely city – hope to return next year!Continue reading “Happy Summer Solstice 2021 (and Me)!”

‘Star Ladders’ and a CalFire Spotter Plane

I took several 30s time exposures last night of distant high-altitude jets. Their light patterns look like ladders to me when seen up close. Earlier, our first CalFire spotter plane of the season flew overhead. Please enjoy these four pics!

A New Discovery – A Western Pond Turtle in Nance Pond

Today I was taking pictures of the bullfrogs sunning at Nance Pond. Then I noticed something at the far end of the pond, a Western Pond turtle. I had not seen one here before. These turtles are California’s only native freshwater turtle species. They are now endangered, with an estimated 25% of the population left.Continue reading “A New Discovery – A Western Pond Turtle in Nance Pond”