exploring our amazing natural spaces

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Endor redwoods

California’s old growth redwoods are out of this world. Thankfully through efforts of many preservation groups we can be both awed and inspired. So inspired was Hollywood, scenes for the fictitious Moon of Endor from Star Wars Return of the Jedi were filmed in the state’s Redwood National and State Parks where these photos were taken.

copyright Gene Kallighercopyright Gene Kalligher

 

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Mocha beach

It’s called Clam Beach but there are nearly as many sea biscuit (aka sand dollar) fragments as discarded clam shells. The sand has a light coffee color and the beach is almost clutter free. There’s plenty to see here too from small feisty sand crabs to tiling patterns in the sand. On some days dogs outnumber seagulls two to one!

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Low tide wide

Three mile long Clam Beach between Trinidad and Arcata is wide, flat and firm at low tide encouraging an early AM stroll by humans, dogs and western gulls alike.

copyright Gene Kallighercopyright Gene Kalligher

 

Dawn and dusk

After several days of cool rain, warm weather on the California coast can cause people on vacation to walk beaches before dawn and do precarious handstands in celebration.

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Blind squirrel

As the saying goes even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile. Hiding in plain sight this prehistoric pictograph looked out of place amongst ski runs and million dollar log homes. Local experts confirmed this undocumented bison and anthropomorph rock painting was probably done by the Fremont people who lived and foraged in the Utah area over a 1000 years ago.

copyright Gene Kalligher

You following me?

Deer Valley in the Park City Utah area lives up to its name. Gambel or scrub oak cover the hillsides providing acorns and good cover for mule deer like this big ten pointer.

copyright Gene Kallighercopyright Gene Kalligher

Mountain lake

Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake is what else a mountain lake. Located just south of Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake was believed to be the dwelling place for the departed by the Ute people. Now connected to two reservoirs (Shadow Mountain and Lake Granby), Grand Lake is a recreational hotspot 2-3 hours west of Denver.

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Step by step

Each step is an important choice when hiking at higher elevations. A wrong decision could send you to the bottom in a hurry. Fortunately mother nature keeps us in check imposing frequent stops to catch our breath and plan the next move.

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Rocky assault

There’s a great view of the valley from the ski patrol shack atop Winter Park. The three hour climb requires breaks, water and plenty of gorp made with raisins, chocolate chips and roasted almonds.

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Golden ridge

A forest service road then a precarious deer trail provides inconvenient access to a ribbon of aspen spanning across a ridge along a Colorado mountainside near Fraser.

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