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”

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”

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”

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!

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:

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”

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”

A Strange Light In The Woods

Today I pulled the picture card from the camera facing the back meadow, and was very surprised by a sequence of photos taken two seconds apart. In the first, a deer is exiting the frame to the right, and a very bright and focused light appears on the ground like a beam of some sort,Continue reading “A Strange Light In The Woods”

Snow in Paradise (A Pictorial)

It began snowing last night, wet and heavy. I took some pictures, including one of the dawn yesterday and another of the approaching storm in the afternoon. The wind was very strong last night and we have also “warmed up” by a few degrees, so heavy rain is falling now. We are just on theContinue reading “Snow in Paradise (A Pictorial)”

Near Sunset in Paradise – October 8th, 2020

All of our evacuation orders and warnings have been lifted in Butte County, and the nearby North Complex West Zone fire is about 90 percent contained (not out, though no longer growing). The skies are much clearer and we have even had the windows open all day – haven’t been able to do that sinceContinue reading “Near Sunset in Paradise – October 8th, 2020”

My First UAV Night Flight

Last night the moon was nearly full, and forming a triangle with Saturn on its left, and Jupiter on the right. So I decided to take the Mavic Pro 2 up to 390 feet (just below my maximum ceiling), hover, and take some pictures. Here are three photos, moving from southwest to southeast. The photosContinue reading “My First UAV Night Flight”

The Milky Way, Meteors, and Jupiter

Just as here on Earth, the Heavens have been quite lively lately. Here are four photos from last night; a video-still of a meteor streaking in, and three exposures of the Milky Way. Every time I step outside during these clear nights, I see several meteor trails. The video-still image is one exposure of aContinue reading “The Milky Way, Meteors, and Jupiter”

A New Resident, the Golden Eagle

After the Camp Fire in November 2018 our landscape changed, with fewer live tall trees and a shift in the bird population, adding several species I hadn’t seen here before. Our most prized new arrival is a golden eagle, seen hunting in the canyon and also perched in the burned pine tree in our lowerContinue reading “A New Resident, the Golden Eagle”