Monday, February 6, 2012

Trip to Big Morongo Canyon Nature Preserve—3 bighorns spotted.

First here is the unedited shot, at a size to be big enough to see him if you
look closely. Do you see him?
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Now below is the image cropped.
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I took over 35 images of the ram and his two female friends and none of them
were any good, due to my benign tremor in my hands. Plus my little Canon digicam does not really have a powerful zoom- if I had known I was going to
see bighorns today, I would have brought my Nikon digital slr and my longest lens. The videos of the bighorn were absolute shaky digital zoomed rubbish.

Let me see if I have another shot of him and one of his ladies.
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Here’s another blurry one of him.
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He’s in the shot above. See him yet?
Below is the type of picture my little digicam is good for. This was taken in a Carls Jr in Moreno Valley this morning
enroute to my destination.
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You can see I was trying to learn how to use the gps that I sent to my brother a year or two ago because
I had issues figuring it out. I will not comment on todays’ experience with it, no matter how many times you ask.

Below was an interesting juxtaposition of a dead burned cottonwood and a live juniper, I believe, on the hillside
down the canyon.
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I like the next photo below- for sure that is a juniper on that hillside. And I love that rock formation. It is said
there are some of the oldest rocks in California in the Big Morongo Canyon Nature Preserve.
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The seasonal stream was flowing as well up at Big Morongo Canyon.
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The purpose of the hike was to go down the canyon about 2 miles and stop
by and visit my dear centuries old friend, senor cottonwood. He is still there
at the dogleg turn at the side of the trail, leafless, in the shadow of the 500 –600 foot tall cliffs that rise above him. He looks the same and until the leaves come out I won’t know whether the winter has been kind to him or not. I hope
that it has. This trail and nature preserve would not be the same without his gnarly, grizzled presence there at his spot. Long may he stand there providing
shade for hot and dusty travelers as he has been for hundreds of years- from
the long gone native peoples to the hikers of today.
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Above is Senor Cottonwood as he looked today as I walked toward him. This is a still shot from the video that
I took which will go up on youtube, maybe tonight.

I love that old tree, truly. If you look at the base of the tree on the left side
you will see the large horizontal root he provides the weary traveler to sit on,
under the shady canopy he provides against the sun, when he leafs that is.
Just watch out for the birds who may not take kindly to your presence, under
their tree!

By the way, I was amazed how the bighorn spotted me from far away but didn’t seem at all concerned- but he was really watching his ladies, to make sure another ram didn’t try to cut in on his action.

Just a great hike, stream running, bighorn in town, red tailed hawk above soaring with the thermals, and hardly any people- just the way I like it.


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