A Neighbor Came By Today

25 04 2010

This  canis latrans came walking by across the street from the house today.  Rather bold of him to come out of cover in broad daylight.  He looks well fed.  We do have plenty of cottontail and ground squirrel around here.  And the occasional unfortunate neighborhood cat.

Canis Latrans (Coyote)

The Desert We Rarely See

31 03 2010

The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.

Psalm 65:12 (NOV)

Last Sunday my family and I traveled to Anza Borrego State Park, just a couple of hours from our home in SoCal, to witness the riot of color brought on by abundant rains in the desert this year.  If you’ve never been in a blooming desert before, Anza is the place to see it.  My daughter made the first two photographs.  I made the next six.

1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:

2 “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?

3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.

4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? 
Tell me, if you understand.

5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! 
Who stretched a measuring line across it?

6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone-

7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?


25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm,

26 to water a land where no man lives, a desert with no one in it,

27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass?

Job 38:1-6, 25-27 (NIV)

Winter on Hume Lake (Part 4)

23 01 2008

The cold waters of Ten Mile Creek carve a narrow chute in the granite just below the dam.  lower-ten-mile.jpg 

Above the lake at Sandy Cove the creek hides its course under a thick blanket of snow.  We could hear it, but couldn’t see it!  Notice the long icicles on some of the boulders, formed by repeated cycles of melting and freezing. 


Back at camp, we cross Long Meadow Creek once more, and marvel at the divine provision for water that God has created in the Sierras.  The Great Central Valley of California, source of almost half of the oranges, stone fruit, olives, almonds, and other produce for our great country, would be a desert wasteland if weren’t watered every year by massive amounts of melting snowpack, a literal storehouse of life formed by the mighty hand of our Creator!


Hume Lake in Winter (Part 3)

14 01 2008

Making our way around the lake, we encountered an old incense cedar stump uncovered by the lowered lake level.  We were intrigued with how well preserved it was.  The twists and turns of the grain stand witness to the decades, maybe more than a century, that this old tree stood guard over Long Meadow Creek.  Finally, the lumberjack’s  blade found it and felled it, along with a hundred other trees whose remnants lie submerged in the lake most of the year.  When Gifford Pinchot surveyed this area under Teddy Roosevelt’s orders, he decided not to include the Hume property in the new national park because it was so damaged by the indiscriminate logging that he felt there was nothing left to preserve.  The forest service acquired the lake and all the surrounding land except a parcel of about 350 acres.  A century later we know God had a different plan for that parcel.  He had reserved the property for His own use.  He had a plan to save thousands of young souls through the ministry of Hume Lake Christian Camps, which would acquire the property decades later.  Today, tens of thousands of kids from elementary through high school come through the camp each summer and hear the Good News.(Photo by my daughter)


All that now remains of the Hume logging operation is a few ruins and the dam.  This foundation wall perched on the edge of Ten Mile Creek below the dam once formed part of the mill.  Logs were stored in the lake and then bucked here before being placed in a wood and concrete flume for a 73 mile ride down the mountain to the lumber mill at Sanger, to my knowledge the longest flume of its kind ever built.  After I made this photo, I noticed that the rock in front of the wall looks vaguely like some petrified bear.


We emerged from the canyon at the other end of the dam.  Built in 1908 by John Eastwood for the Hume-Bennet Lumber Company, the 13 arches of Hume Lake Dam span 650 feet.  The structure stands 61 feet high, and rests on solid granite.  It features the world’s first reinforced concrete, multiple arch design, a type of design Eastwood employed again at Lake Florence on the San Joaquin River.  Estwood’s work dots the California countryside, a lasting testament to the truth that a house built on the rock will withstand the rising water.



Winter on Hume Lake (Part 2)

9 01 2008

A heavy snow fell the day before we arrived at Hume, and each night the skies added a dusting of snow so light and powdery that it just piled up on top of everything.


The day of our walk, temperatures hovered right around the freezing mark, sometimes allowing for just enough melt to make things wet. 
And while most of the wildlife found warm dens and nests in which to sleep, the perennial Steller’s jay defended his territory high up in a Ponderosa.


Winter on Hume Lake

8 01 2008

Over the holidays my daughter and I went on a short photo hike around the lake.  Here are a couple of the pictures we made.   I’ll post more over the next few days.


In the distance, across the frozen, snow-covered lake, you can see the 100-year-old Hume Lake Dam.  Originally built to provide water for a logging operation, it now creates a recreational jewel in the Sequoia National Forest.  In the summer thousands of people enjoy fishing, sailing, swimming and canoeing in its waters, which also support a healthy mule deer population.


                            Boats that in summer bear laughing children and hopeful fishermen across the water lie grounded for the winter, waiting for the spring thaw to resume their duties.

                          Under the Sequoias

                          21 11 2007

                          tree1.jpgThis one of my favorite spots in the entire Sequoia National Forest.