Just what Tracey ordered, a beat-the-heat
hike... instead of 103°, we suffered
in the range from 62° to 70°.
On the drive up FR 651 we encountered a road crew doing a lot of erosion repair, at least some was as a result of fires over the last few years.
The hike on Telephone Ridge began easy enough until the steep downhill, when it wasn't long before the knees began their complaints. But as enjoyable as the day was I simply chose to ignore the complaints.
About a mile down the ridge we hit first of the burnt manzanita, which will continue for the next 2+ miles. My first thought, upon pondering all the black-and-blue marks I gained over the years while bush-whacking through manzanita, was, hmmm, manzanita is best enjoyed burnt
Immediately my next thought was how can I show the beauty presented by burnt manzanita?
So... if you decide to browse through the photoset, be forewarned
, there are a LOT of burnt manzanita photos.
Finally out of the manzanita, we stopped at Doghouse Spring and soon found a few nice flat boulders for our picnic spot. While we were munching/cat-napping/'soaking' in the sounds of the babbling brook, a hummingbird decided to grace us with its presence, flitting back-and-forth a few times before dropping into the creek, first for a drink of water, then diving right in for a bath.
Whoa! By time I realized the opportunity, got my camera out and on, the bird-bath was over.
But wait! On a hunch it may return, I left the camera on and waited, keeping the focus on the spot in the creek, and sure enough, the hummingbird returned for another round of bathing.
Wow! Here it is, a rare glimpse of a bathing hummingbird that I could capture on video!
HOWEVER, unbeknownst to me until this moment
, the SDHC card in my camera was unable to keep up with the 4K data-stream, to which the camera responded enough!
and stopped filming.
(Weird... because I've done a number of panorama videos with the same card with no issues. Could it be less data transfer was required for videos with lots of same-color sky, as compared to a complex background behind the hummingbird?)
WHATEVER... the video clip of the actual bath is barely 9 seconds.
I inserted the only still photo I had at the beginning of the clip and posted it on YouTube:
Video - Hummingbird bathing at Doghouse Spring
Ok, lunch, nap & excitement over, time for the arduous climb back up Icehouse Canyon.
Other than the huffing-and-puffing, heart-pounding interspersed with a series of short breaks, the only excitement on the ascent was a snake encounter.
In the first instant I stopped dead, and without time to think I said Coral Snake!
But once my old-and-slow brain kicked in and managed to retrieve yellow-on-black, friend of Jack
from long-term memory, I realized it was an Arizona Mountain Kingsnake... nothing to be concerned with, except, GET A PHOTO!
Unfortunately, although I stopped 8-10 feet from the snake, by time I got the camera out it already felt vulnerable and immediately skedaddled under a log.
Oh well, I'll have to settle for a few partial shots. But now if I happened to be a gummo-style herpetologist, I suppose I could have coaxed it out, wrapped it around my arm and got a selfie-with-snake, but Tracey was having none of that.
From then on it was simply moving onward and upward back to the car. Oh wait, one more thing... a new plastic pipeline has been laid roughly along the trail (replacing a fire-melted pipe?) with a new aluminum tank yet to be connected about halfway up. (See the tank photo for a bit of mirth... possibly, you'll have to have a sense of humor)
In the end it was another great day to be out enjoying the maples and pines... ok, the manzanita as well, as long as it's burnt.
I have since remedied the too-slow SDHC card, which failed to live up to it's advertised speed... beware of knock-off imitations. The card stated up to 90MB/sec
, but when I ran a 'Black Magic' Disk Speed Test it barely reached 31MB/sec when writing. The replacement I got actually hits a 88MB/sec read AND write speed.