The eagle had landed

And yes, I am using the proper tense – unlike the White House in their erroneous press release concerning Iran’s nuclear program.

Sunday while on a scenic drive on Route 4, north of Sonora I stopped at Alpine Lake, a very nice spot where many folks were enjoying the day near, in and on the water.

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Shortly after taking those photos, and more which I will post later, a bald eagle swooped over the lake from left to right, probably only 20 feet above the surface and maybe 40 yards ahead of me.  Here is a photo of the eagle in flight:

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Well damn.   That didn’t exactly work out.   Getting a bird in flight, zoomed in and focused is very difficult, especially when you weren’t expecting it.

Well, the eagle flew up and landed at the top of a dead tree:

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He or she (it’s hard to tell adult eagles apart) sat up there looking out over the lake.  When some folks I had been talking to alerted me that if I walked up the path next to lake I could get a closer look I changed positions:

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Then I walked even further up the path to see if I could get photos looking at it from the front.  Well, just as I found the perfect spot the eagle flew away.  I waited a while to see if it would come back and then walked back down to where I had seen it originally.  Well, sure enough, it came swooping by again and although it headed for the same tree it turned left and headed for another tall, dead tree.  I scooted up the path but again, when I got to the perfect spot it flew away.  I waited 45 minutes (in a shaded spot where I could see both trees) but had to move on as I still had lots of territory to cover.

Here is what could have been.  Just picture the eagle sitting on both of these spots facing the camera:

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Depending on how much I get done in the next two days I may well go back up to Alpine Lake and try again.  It really was a perfect spot on the path to watch both trees and at 2 o’clock in the afternoon I was on the shade and the sun was in a perfect spot for pictures.

I have been keeping an eye on tall, dead trees as I drive around but haven’t seen any more eagles.


 

To see the bald eagle pictures I took last year near Yakima, Washington search “Eagle Redux” on the Home page or use the calendar there to go back to July 28, 2017.  For the eagle pictures from Arapahoe National Wildlife Refuge search for that name on the Home page or use the calendar to go back to August 17, 2017.

Don’t get too close to the edge there JohnBoy

We don’t want AAA to have to perform another “extraction”.

Tuesday I took one of the scenic roads I had driven on Sunday north instead of south, and in the morning rather than in the afternoon, to get a different perspective.  At one point I saw a nice scene off to the left so I crossed the road to park on the shoulder and out of harm’s way so I wouldn’t have to walk across the highway.  For added safety I drove off the paved shoulder and onto the dirt (the paved areas are often “turnouts” where slow moving vehicles going uphill are required, by law, to pull into when more than 5 vehicles are behind them), then noticed the steep dropoff and the fact that there was no guardrail:

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Here was the reward:

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For those of you who may be new to the blog and don’t understand the “extraction” reference, search for “Delay of Game” on the Home page, or use the calendar there to go back to August 20, 2017 to read another amusing JohnBoy story.

Maybe my next contest should be to guess when the next time I need to be “extracted” will occur….  Also for you newcomers, don’t forget we currently have a contest going on with $20 to the winner and with a “double or nothing” option.  For details search “While you’re waiting” on the Home page, or use the calendar there to go back to May 29, 2018 to read the details.  You will have to use the “Contact” link on the Home page to send me your guess (see “Comments” on that post to see other people’s guesses).  When I reach the northern part of my coastal drive at the end of August I will start driving east along the Canadian border which opens up all kinds of snake, moose, mountain lion, grizzly bear and bobcat scenarios.


 

Further north on Highway 88 Tuesday morning I came to this spot which I had seen on Sunday:

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In the foreground is Silver Lake whose surface is at 7,300 feet elevation.  Towering behind it is Deadwood Peak which tops out at a rugged 9,846 feet.

Here is a view from down by the lake:

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And here is what it looked like on Sunday, in the afternoon when the sun was behind me:

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Uh oh…

Somebody’s been playing games with the road signs again….

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I chuckled to myself Monday night when I drove past this sign while driving home from Yosemite National Park, but I was “on the clock” and didn’t have time to stop and get a picture of it.  Well, I came back to drive this road again on Tuesday so here it is.  At first I thought that someone just turned the sign to make the effect more dramatic, but as I post this I realize that this sign, when seen set on it’s side, should be at the TOP of the hill warning of a steep downhill grade ahead:

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Maybe the highway department ran out of UPHILL grade signs to place at the bottom of the hill so just improvised and used this sign instead….

The sign was just off Route 395 where it intersects with Hwy 108, which takes travelers over the Sonora Pass.  The elevation very quickly goes from 6,800 feet to 9,624 at the peak and there are multiple warning signs along the road advising people driving big trucks NOT to even attempt using this road, even in good conditions.


 

About 4 miles south on Route 108 I found this facility:

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I took some other photos of the facility but choose not to post them here for fear that DJT may think I am an Enemy Combatant, perhaps working for KJU.

You can see some of the housing facilities in the photo above (which for all I know could just be a Red Roof Inn in a very remote location…).  Next to that building were administration and other buildings which undoubtedly house supplies and food for the trainees.  There was also a landing pad for helicopters:

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And weren’t not talking little JetRangers like the sign shows.  Oh no, we’re talking CH-35E Super Stallions:

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(Photo credit: YouTube)

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(Photo credit: http://www.defense.gov)

The Marines don’t fool around.

To see other photos of this facility and the work that goes on here you can Google it and look at Images.

Monday when I drove further south I saw a camp set up next to the road where a large number of troops were probably preparing for night training (this was in the late afternoon, which is why I was “on the clock”).  Tuesday as I drove further south on 108 the camp I had seen yesterday was deserted but even further down the road were maybe 60 troops, walking in a line along the highway.  They were wearing full fatigues, boots, floppy hats and carrying what were probably heavy, fully loaded backpacks.  I didn’t stop to take pictures of them for several reasons:

1 – They were working

2 – They were also all carrying assault rifles

3 – THEY might have thought I was an Enemy Combatant

Further down the road I just enjoyed the views and this time did stop to take pictures which I will post at a future date.