Posted by: mrmapper | August 26, 2009

Up close

Amazing detail in these creatures.

Posted by: mrmapper | May 6, 2009

The Birds

We have a family of Red tailed Hawks nesting in a tree near our house.  These large birds have a 48 inch wingspan and are amazing to watch soring through the air.  Here are some cool facts about Red tailed Hawks.

Cool Facts

  • The Red-tailed Hawk has a thrilling, raspy scream that sounds exactly like a raptor should sound. At least, that’s what Hollywood directors seem to think. Whenever a hawk or eagle appears onscreen, no matter what species, the shrill cry on the soundtrack is almost always a Red-tailed Hawk.
  • Birds are amazingly adapted for life in the air. The Red-tailed Hawk is one of the largest birds you’ll see in North America, yet even the biggest females weigh in at only about 3 pounds. A similar-sized small dog might weigh 10 times that.
  • The “Harlan’s Hawk” breeds in Alaska and northwestern Canada, and winters on the southern Great Plains. This very dark form of the Red-tailed Hawk has a marbled white, brown, and gray tail instead of a red one. It’s so distinctive that it was once considered a separate species, until ornithologists discovered many individuals that were intermediate between Harlan’s and more typical Red-tailed Hawks.
  • Courting Red-tailed Hawks put on a display in which they soar in wide circles at a great height. The male dives steeply, then shoots up again at an angle nearly as steep. After several of these swoops he approaches the female from above, extends his legs, and touches her briefly. Sometimes, the pair grab onto one other, clasp talons, and plummet in spirals toward the ground before pulling away.
  • Red-tailed Hawks have been seen hunting as a pair, guarding opposite sides of the same tree to catch tree squirrels.
  • The oldest known Red-tailed Hawk was 28 years 10 months old.

Posted by: mrmapper | April 20, 2009

Hyde Street Pier

A few shots from our San Francisco trip this weekend.  Shots taken on the Hyde Street Pier.

The Hyde Street Pier is a historic ferry pier located on the northern waterfront of San Francisco, California, amidst the tourist zone of Fisherman’s Wharf. Prior to the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, it was the principal automobile ferry terminal connecting San Francisco with Marin County by way of Sausalito to the north, and the East Bay by way of Berkeley. It was designated part of US 101 and US 40. The ferries were operated by the Golden Gate Ferries, a subsidiary of the Southern Pacific railroad. Today, the pier is part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Various historical ships are anchored to the pier, some available for self-guided or docent-led tours. Among the ships on display or in storage are the Balclutha, an 1886 square rigged sailing ship, as well as C.A. Thayer, Eureka, Alma, Hercules, Eppleton Hall, and over one hundred smaller craft.

Posted by: mrmapper | April 7, 2009

Leaping Lizards

Leaping Lizards it must be spring.  You can always tell that spring has arrived when all the lizards come out of hiding.  Yesterday we rescued a few of the lizards that had leaped into the pool!  Check out the color on the bottom side of these lizards.

Good thing my wife’s not scared of lizards


Posted by: mrmapper | April 2, 2009

Colors of Spring

The colors of spring are in full bloom in N. Ca.

Posted by: mrmapper | April 1, 2009

Yosemite at Night


Happy April fools everyone!!!

Posted by: mrmapper | March 18, 2009

Twisted Metal




These pictures were taken of a mausoleum door at the Old City cemetery in Sacramento Ca.

Resting Place of California Pioneers
Adorned with beautiful statues, dramatic markers and lush gardens, Sacramento Historic City Cemetery is an outdoor museum recording California history from the Gold Rush Era through today.

Since it’s establishment in 1849, the City Cemetery has become the resting place of many remarkable Californians, demonstrating the diversity of California history and culture.  Visitors will discover the burial sites of Sacramento mayors and California governors as well as memorials to Civil War Veterans, Volunteer Firemen and the victims of the 1850 Cholera Epidemic.

The City Cemetery is the oldest existing cemetery in Sacramento.  Keeping with the popular style of the times, it was designed to resemble a  Victorian garden.  Traversed by pathways and grand avenues, the cemetery provides a park-like setting for exploring history. Today, volunteers with the Adopt A Plot program take over the gardening of plots – a task once performed by long since departed relatives.

Posted by: mrmapper | March 16, 2009

Colors of Spring

Posted by: mrmapper | March 9, 2009

Folsom Historic Truss Bridge


This sign from a time gone by is found on the Historic Truss Bridge in Folsom Ca.  The bridge was originally built across the American River in 1893 replacing the Ecklon Toll Bridge, a suspension bridge that had collapsed the year before. It was used for carrying horses, wagons, and livestock acrossthe American River. At that time, some said it was the finest bridge in the country. For the first few years there were few automobiles that needed to cross its narrow span and it was not designed to carry the weight but after the turn of the century the need for a bridge for automobiles became more evident. The Truss Bridge was abandoned in 1917 when the Rainbow Bridge opened.
The bridge was originally to be shipped to Japan, however the war intervened, and the bridge remained untouched until 1930. The bridge remained in place until the State of California bought it for $250 and moved it to Siskiyou County as a crossing on the Klamath River. From 1930 until the late 1990’s it was known as Walker Bridge, as it spanned the Klamath on Walker Road. When Siskiyou County decided they no longer needed the bridge in 1998, Folsom bought it back. The original footings were still in place but they and the bridge were totally rebuilt and reinstalled. On April 15, 2000 it was reopened for public use as a bicycle and pedestrian bridge. In recognition that its original design was not for automobiles, there is a sign on each end of the bridge which reads “$5 fine for driving over this bridge faster than a walk. $25 fine for driving more than 20 head of horses, 50 head of cattle or 200 sheep, hogs or goats over this bridge at one time.”
Posted by: mrmapper | February 17, 2009

A few from the backyard before the storm

Just a few shots from our backyard view before the storm rolled through.



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