Archive | February 2016

Pacific Flyway (click to enlarge)~

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The Salton Sea near Anza Borrego Desert in Southern California is one of the crucial wetland stops on The Pacific Flyway for birds migrating between Alaska and Latin America.
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6 million birds rest here every year. (Snow Geese, Glossy Ibis)
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424 different bird species have been counted at The Salton Sea. (Snowy Egret)
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San Diego County hosts more than 500 different bird species, more than any other location in the continental United States. (White Pelicans)
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The Salton Sea sits 228 feet below sea level, its salinity percentage is greater than The Pacific Ocean, and it is California’s largest lake.

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The sea has been steadily evaporating for the past fifteen years, and this evaporation is accelerating due to Southern California’s prolonged drought.
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If the sea evaporates, 6 million migratory birds could be brutally affected. (American Avocet)
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90% of California wetlands are already gone! (Black-Necked Stilt)
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95% of the US population of Eared Grebes rely on The Salton Sea, as well as 90% of White Pelicans, 50% of ruddy ducks, and 40% of Clapper Rails. Several threatened and endangered species also shelter here. (Sand Hill Cranes)
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Cheers to you from the millions of beautiful, but at-risk birds at The Salton Sea (Sand Hill Cranes)~

Tree Swimming~

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In a topsy-turvy world,

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that spins,
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like a ball,
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in space,

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fish swim in trees,
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and plants grow upside down.
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Cheers to you,
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from a pond’s point of view.

Portals to the Past~

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(Bamberg Germany)
Europe is full of exquisite antique doorways.

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(Budapest, Hungary)
These doorways to the past,

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(Budapest)
are testaments,

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(Nuremberg, Germany)
to artistry,

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(Regensburg, Germany)
attention to detail,

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(Regensburg, Germany)
craftsmanship,

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(Budapest)
and love of beauty.

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(Passau, Germany)
They represent a respect for artistry too often missing in our modern world.

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(Passau, Germany)
Hoping these portals to the past,
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(Marksburg Castle, Germany)
bring beauty and cheers to you~

Meep-Meep Goes Full Glam~

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Meep-Meep has had it!
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He is tired of the cat and mouse game.
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He wants his close-ups damn-it!
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He doesn’t understand why I take photos of all these lesser Holler birdies, when I have him to chase and catch a glimpse of.
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So he just decided to show us all what we’ve been missing.
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You have to admit he is one glam bird, he has a moveable mohawk!
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I had been hearing this coyote pup cry early every morning, so I went in search of the abandoned pup, and this is who I found, the roadrunner making a completely credible repetitive coyote cry. I answered his cry and we had a morning symphony. His cry is like the second clip in the following link which gives some, but not all of the amazing vocalizations of these fascinating birds.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Greater_Roadrunner/sounds

We have several groups of roadrunners living inside our fences at The Holler and we interact with, and hear them everyday. A guest kept telling us about hearing growling outside his window at night which alarmed him enough to close the window, and yep that was roadrunners too. They also bark, and make a whirring noise. I imagine they imitate coyotes to confuse them, smart meepers!

Cheers to you from The Holler’s communicative and highly entertaining Meep-Meeps~

Sierra Backdrop~

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transforms seedy,
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into splendid.
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Snow blanketing,

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drought ravaged land.
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Mother Nature cooling,
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her still feverish child.
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Cheers to you from fragile California~

Cindy’s Nonsense of Snow~

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Do you remember Smila who had a “Sense of Snow?” I loved the book and movie about her, and the way she could interpert subtle changes in the snowy region where she lived, that other people couldn’t see or understand.
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I unlike Smila, can make no sense of snow.

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In fact, I am mildly afraid of snow, oh heck, make that more than mildly.
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My fear comes from growing up in Southern California where there is no snow worth speaking about, and traveling regularly to ski various mountains since I was young. Mammoth in the Sierras has more snow than many high mountain ranges.
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There is more snow averaged over the years in Mammoth than the Rocky Mountains. Here is the snow looking out the SECOND FLOOR kitchen window in our rented condo unit today.

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Here is the snow resting against our second floor balcony’s sliding glass window. This is a moderate amount of snow for Mammoth in that we have not yet reached 300 inches. In seven winters over the past 45 years, Mammoth has received well over 500 inches of snow, and up to 668! Mammoth averages over 300 inches each year. The snowiest European Alps on average get approximately 380-400 inches of snow, while Andermatt in Switzerland gets around 480 inches a year.

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I know all this because I am married to a professor of biostatistics who loves to ski.

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Here is the ski route out from our condo to the lifts. I get intimidated with snow because unlike Smila, there are a lot of things I don’t know about it, like how to build a snow cave to survive overnight when I get lost on the come-back trail after the lifts close. I often get lost on the come-back trail as the sun starts to set. Once, years ago, I got lost and didn’t find my way back till well after dark.
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I have always skied with guys, first my brother, than boyfriends, husband, son, friends of them, and so on. They always ski better than I do and I focus on keeping up and not breaking my bones. When we are on summits, with whipping winds blowing freezing snow-needles into our faces and practically zero visibility, they get strangely hyped up.
“Awesome,” they say.
“Shit,” I think.
“I can’t see anything and I know it’s steep. I’m dumping them after this run and going alone.”
I do this, and then I get lost on the come-back trail.

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Skiing with young guys is particularly fun. “No black diamond runs unless you ask me before.” I emphasize.
“No problem,” they say.
We get down a particularly nasty run and I say, “That was horrible. I don’t ever want to do that again.”
“Look at the bright side,” they say, “You just did another black diamond.”

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“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
I clearly am not as brave as Eleanore Roosevelt. I don’t want to do something scary everyday. Once a year is quite enough for me, thank you Eleanore!
Cheers to you from the stunning, snowy, and sometimes scary Sierras~