Every once in a while, when doing web design, it is necessary to get up from the computer and get out and take a walk to clear one’s head.
I usually take my favorite walking stick, my dogs (Max & Xena), camera (Pentax K-10D), gun (holstered 9-mil Sig Sauer), hat and gloves, because I live on a timber ranch in the middle of nowhere and because I remember my boy scout training (“Motto: Be Prepared!”)
Mountain lions, bears, lynx and coyotes, are all confirmed predators here on the ranch, and I keep a sharp eye out while walking, as it actually can be a dangerous environment here if you don’t pay attention. And not too dangerous if you do pay attention and stick close to the roads. And if you’re prepared.
I feel very privileged to live and work here, and to be able to take walks through this ranch and see what is here to be seen.
The preparation paid off yesterday – this oak tree caught my attention during the last light of this winter day. I was glad to have the camera along.
It’s on a few acres of oak savannah we have amid all the fir trees — through long tradition we call it “Hell’s Half-Acre”. A small herd of coastal elk regularly graze here (although I rarely see them when out walking) and today a few cows have wandered down from our neighbor’s ranch and are leaving cow-pies all over. I see them briefly, then hear them crashing through the underbrush in a panic to get away from my dogs — who do not give chase.
A few days before, I took this photo in a lull during a major storm blowing in. It caught the hills before they disappeared behind a wall of rain. This was mid-day, although the clouds were stacked up so that it seemed quite dark.