Dark Meat
There was a little celebration the night before this shot was taken.  Campfire, beverages, s'mores.  This guy was the fire tender.  He got a little close.  He almost became part of the snacks.
Hart Park, Kern County, California 2008
Annoyance
Tropical Sage: "These Gulf Fritillary butterflies are a real pain in the butt!  Always flittering here and there and sticking their tongues in my ears.  Drives me nuts!"
Bakersfield California 2009
Zeroing In
All you have to do is keep moving.  Don't even think about resting.  Flutter your eyelids.  Wiggle your toes.
Bakersfield, California 2010
Soar For A Score
We have lots of vultures in town.  The kind that fly, although, we have the other type also.  The ones that prey on you and me.  Vultures are scavengers and feed almost exclusively on carrion.  There is an inordinate amount of carrion in town.  The pedestrian kill rate is quite high.  Don't walk or ride a bicycle if you are visiting.
Bakersfield, California 2010
Complaint
Cormorant: "You've got to be kidding!  I can't even spell Phalacrocoracidae let alone pronounce the word!  Who in their right mind came up with that term as a family name?  I can hear it now.  Hi, I'm William Phalacrocoracidae!  What's your name?  the ospreys will be falling out of the trees at that one!"
Hart Park, Kern County, California 2010
Broken Bond
When things are left unattended, they tend to break down.  Then again, there are things that are tended too much and break down; like government.
Bakersfield, California 2011
(rendered in Topaz Labs Impression)
Fallen (B/W)
I asked the worms around our house what they thought of leaves covering the ground.  What?  Your worms don't talk?  Anyway, the majority of the worms I interviewed expressed absolute enthusiasm about carpets of leaves.  The main reason was that the leaf cover made it more difficult for the "nasty" birds to disrupt the worm families.  According to the worms, there is nothing worse than hearing a child scream as it is being carried off to be devoured.  Of the worms who didn't like the leaf cover, they were primarily astro observers and despised the blocked view.
Bakersfield, California 2011
Don't Want To Be Here
Every cow I've talked to has always mentioned this is the one place they don't want to be caught at.  Too much slice and dice after the truck ride. 
Hwy 223, Kern County, California 2003
Scratch Here
"Oh, yeah.  That's the spot!  Now, what were you saying about this hamburger stuff you heard about?"
Hart Flat, California 2003
Top Side
I bet you didn't know there were personal drones around in 2003!  Actually, I've had a drone since 1949.  I have the Eyes-In-Your-Head model and when I move my head, the drone scans in the same orientation as my head.  I can't get much elevation, but, it seems to work pretty good for what I need.  Quiet?  Oh, yes, very quiet!
Carizzo Plain National Monument, California 2003
The Crossing
John Woodhouse Audubon stopped here in 1849 with ten men and forty-six mules.  Of course, back then, there was no bridge and the Kern River was a torrent.  He thought, "You know, this would be a great place for a ferry crossing!"  Well, John might have crossed Kern County at this point, but, probably not.  He didn't like getting his feet wet, so, he probably went North up the West side of the valley looking for the odd bird or two along the way.
Gordon's Ferry, Bakersfield, California 2011
Death Trap
I know it doesn't look like it, but, these plants are potential killers.  The passion vine leaves and fruit are delicacies for gulf fritillary caterpillars who gorge themselves and then die.  Of course, they emerge later as butterflies, but, that's beside the point.  The red tropical sage blooms draw hummingbirds who become so engrossed in the flowers that they don't notice the cats stalking them.  I haven't seen a cat catch a hummingbird yet, but, it could happen.
Bakersfield, California 2008
Saddle
Evidently, Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the few areas in the world where all four types of volcano can be found; plug dome, shield, cinder cone and strato.  There were reports from 1850 to 1851 that fire and lava were spewed in the Cinder Cone area, however, geologist and volcanologists have concluded that the last Cinder Cone eruption occurred between 1675 and 1700.
More than likely, the 1850 - 1851 reports were sparked by copious amounts of firewater.  I checked my calendar.  I wasn't anywhere near the area in 1850 or 1851!
Lassen Volcanic National Park, California 2010
Black Sun Coot
Have I ever told you about the time I was at a local lake and the mud hens and blackbirds kept disappearing?  No?  Well, it's true.  Every time I turned around there was one less bird.  Finally, I ripped a side mirror off the truck, sat down with my back to the birds and watched in the mirror.  You know what?  The birds were flying off one at a time!
Ming Lake, Kern County, California 2003
Scattered
I can't walk around saying Dichelostemma capitatum each time I see a Blue Dick.  It's just too much of a mouth full! 
 Rancheria Road, Kern County, California 2003

Incomplete

With the continuing drought in California, we had to disconnect the hot water line in the house.  Now, we chase the granddaughter around for a few minutes and then jump in the shower.  You tend to cool off quickly with just cold water, so, the showers are shorter and we save water.

San Ardo, California 2003

Home Grown

It seems kind of funny that you are not suppose to pick wildflowers, however, you can buy seeds and grow your own and then pick them.  I'm thinking someone's brother-in-law is in the seed business.

Bakersfield, California 2003

Light Hogs

Flowers are generally found outside soaking up light from the Sun.  It is amazing to me that with so many plants on Earth soaking up Sun there is any Sun left for the rest of us.  Plants are such Sun hogs!

Carizzo Plain, California 2005

I Hear You Knocking

This is where Charlene Mansoon used to hide.  She'd climb a tree and rest during the day.  She didn't snore.  At night, Charlene would wander around the cabins in the area and steal door knockers.  I'm not really sure why except her last boyfriend kept ranting about her not having any knockers.  Beats me.  Anyway, as far as I know, she's still prowling the mountains.  I think she is fairly harmless if you happen to run into her.  I always carry a spare door knocker with me if I am in the area.  By the way, the word aquarius seems to upset her if you happen to talk to her.

Camp Nelson, California 2005

Bench Adrift (B/W)

Ben: "What do you think, Jerry?"
Jerry: "Well, Ben, those damn nails sure hurt!"
Ben: "It could have been worse, Jerry!"
Jerry: "Yes.  We wouldn't be having this conversation if they'd tossed us into that fire at the party last night!"

Cambria, California 2006

Magic

Baxter is a goat who has always had lofty dreams.  He was never satisfied walking around a barnyard or butting heads with other goats.  He dreamed of exploring the other side of the fence.  One day, a magic tub salesman paid a visit to the farm and Baxter jumped at the chance to own his very own magic tub.  

Everyday, Baxter climbs into his magic tub, closes his eyes and visits all the places he's dreamed of.  Of course, he doesn't physically go anywhere and he's limited to things he knows like the hen house or the horse corral.  After all, he is just a goat without any book learning.  But, Baxter is happy.

Avila Valley Barn, Avila, California 2005

What's Good For The Goose
Geese can be standoffish.  Geese can be pushy.  These geese were indifferent.  They preferred to paddle around just out of reach and ignore us.
Lester the Goose:  "But those bipeds have bread!"
Juice the Goose: "That's how they sucker you in!"
Wesley the Goose: "That's right.  They lure you in all buddy, buddy-like and before you know it, your sitting in a pot of boiling water!"
Lake Ming, Kern County, California 2002
I Don't Bite, I Chew
There was a cornfield.  There were no children in sight, but, you could hear the muffled screams.
Bakersfield, California 2003

Did You Drop This?

There is nothing like late afternoon light for photography.  A natural golden hue.  Although, I have to admit that sometimes I have a hard time differentiating objects as the light wanes.  I don't know how many shots I took of this object before I realized it wasn't an asbestos rock.

Bakersfield, California 2005

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