Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cemetery Trees of Boulder Creek

So long ago, I don't remember when
That's when they say I lost my only friend
Well they said she died easy of a broken heart disease
As I listened through the cemetery trees
~ The Wallflowers 

There's something solemn and sacred about cemetery trees. I often wonder if the oldest of the trees were present for the burials. When searching for a cemetery among the steep mountain canyons that were once logged by the community that briefly lived there, I wonder if there were any trees at all?

Linking up with Abracabadra for a Wordless Wednesday. Photos are from my search for Boulder Creek Cemetery. The mountains are full of trees today and the fallen lumber is that of the old logging camp. One tree we claimed as firewood and the tree rings reveal that it had indeed stood sentinel over the burials before it died of its own broken heart disease, blue stain.

Blue Stain, a Broken Heart Disease for Cemetery Trees

Walking the Old Logging Trail in Search of Dead Trees to Fall

All That's Left of Boulder City

Hollow Log on Boulder Creek

Whirl of Pine Needles

Old Roots

Larch in Blaze Orange for Fall

Walking Among the Old Ones

Cemetery Tree in the Distance

Standing White Pine

Fenced Boulder Creek Cemetery

Distant View

Cutting the Downed Pine

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Silver and Gold

Following the White Truck Across Nevada
Roman Nose Lake
Visiting Family
Silver & Gold
Weasels Hiding in the Rocks
All Quiet on the Lake
Except for the Curious GSP
Treeless after Nearly 50 Years
White Truck's First Idaho Adventure
Sniffing the Gold
Ghostly Mist on the Ridge
"Make new friends
 but keep the old.
One is silver
the other is gold."
"Make New Friends" is a scout song that comes to mind as I scan the silver rocks and gold tree leaves of Roman Nose Lake. Silver and gold, silver and gold.

A few weeks back we had dinner and ice cream with old friends, shared laughs about long ago antics and marveled how much silver we are all getting.

We brought back the Mills farm truck from Sandblow Dairy in Fallon, Nevada. My inlaws have retired and gifted us with the truck at a time we could use the gift. The best gift, though was visiting with family and old friends.

We returned and had our first truck adventure. Todd's brother Gee and his wife Kathy drove up from Nevada in our wake and it was a pleasure to share with them our beautiful mountains and valleys.

We laughed about elevations, though. While the mountains are steep here, the valley floors are relatively low. We live at about 2,200 feet above sea level in Elmira. Our mountains go straight up to 5,000 and 7,000 feet in elevation. Stunning.

Yet, if you consider Nevada, the elevation of Fallon sits on a basin already 4,000 feet high. Those Great Basin ranges have mountains as tall as almost 12,000 feet. Many are surprised to realize how mountainous that state is and why it is called a high mountain desert.

No desert here in the Inland Pacific Northwest, though we continue to be unseasonably dry. Clouds and mist have returned but lack rainfall typical of this season. It's warm for October, too. We are concerned for the snow pack which requires lower temperatures, heavier precipitation and a slow spring.

Without it, we are in danger of another bad fire season.

Up on the Roman Nose, the peak itself remains bald of forest. In 1967 the Sundance Fire burned so hot -- a raging firestorm -- that nothing has grown back to replace the timber lost. Two men died up there, dozing a fireline when the fire roared over the peak like a flaming hurricane. A third man, on lookout at the station on the peak, managed to get into rock crevices deep enough to have survived.

When I visit the quiet alpine lake in the treeless bowl, I can't help but think of those who fight fires. Some win. Some do not. I pray for a heavy snowpack.

We met new friends at Laughing Dog Brewery. We always meet the most interesting people there. This young couple, newly married, have a six month old Springer Spaniel. Dogs are welcome in the tasting room. We make many new canine friends, too. The young man, so full of life yet, a college baseball player, new wife, new dog, just visited Costa Rica...he's a fire fighter.

There's something so youthful and courageous about those who fight the flames. He tells us he spent a good month on the fires in the St. Jo region. That's steep terrain. He says he loves to hike and it was nothing. Yet, it is everything he places on the line. His life.

Up there on the Roman Nose the ghosts of fire fighters are silent. Their memory hangs in the mist. And I bid them farewell, until we return next spring, hopeful of moisture and huckleberries. Hopeful of a reprieve from fires.

Linking up with Abracabadra for Wordless Wednesday. All photos (including the drive-by shot) by Charli Mills.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Slow Fall Days

It's nearly a wrap on Elmira Pond. The migrators are going south now. Blue Heron still makes an appearance, but his show days are over. Birds flock through the pines, noisily at times. The osprey and hummingbirds are long gone. Yet the cat, bees and fall flowers linger as the wood pile grows and the dogs snuffle at gopher mounds in the tall blond grass.

Here's a look at these slow fall days on Elmira Pond. Joining up with Abracabadra for Wordless Wednesday. And, for once, I have few words as I savor these shots.

Looking for Lost Gophers

Train Logs & Dogs in Blond Grass

Dabblers Passing Through

Gathering at the Pond Log Before Flying South

An Occasional Visitor is Blue Heron in Fall

Cassin's Finch Passing Through

Nuthatch Seeking Pine Nuts for the Journey

Blackbirds Flocking in the Pines Before Leaving

Fall Leaves, No Apples, Stolen Autumn Dreams

Thieves, Deer & Moose Leave the Quinces for Me to Figure Out

Snapdragons Love Fall

Bootsy Loves Rolling in the Dirt Beneath Late Cosmos