A sweet wintry photoset from the Sierras this December. Little snow cover on the ground, hiking in to a fire tower to spend two toasty nights. Waking up to creaking ice on the wooden roof and delicate hoarfrost crystals on the catwalk. Jeffrey pines encrusted in frost, mysterious valley fog rising up to cover the view of the fields and valleys below. A rushing stream flows over and under the Pacific Crest Trail. 

A mini capture of the last two months. Sadly, 90% at work, in the office, stressing out. In the dark. Luckily, some key weekend trips and fun DIY Christmas projects to lend some light and reality to life. 

Joshua Tree – Thanksgiving 2013. Cholla, Joshua Trees, Yuccas, Beavertail Cactus, Barrel Cactus, Creosote Bush, Birds, Jackrabbits, Quail, Ocotillo, Pine, Juniper, and lots of granite. No coyotes, lizards, bunnies, or bugs this time .

Ever gorgeous desert light. Blooming cacti. Decades of slow growing yucca fibers, saving their energy for large, rustling blooms. Hot, silent, flickering lizards. Long shadows, quick sunsets. 

Camping in Kirby Cove. Foghorns, starfish, dead birds, wildflowers, tugboats, and more! Check out the full post at OhHaiCa to see more photos. Learn about Cowparsnips, Brassica Rapa, and other wonderments of Marin County. 

Can partnership save California parks? AB 42, California Assembly bill for “Keeping State Parks Open” passed through the state house, and must now pass the senate. What do you think? Is partnering more closely with “approved nonprofit” organizations the way forward? Is there a better incentive to be efficient and forward-thinking for a nonprofit or private organization? Which would be open to more public scrutiny – which can be a good thing? If any of these partnerships end up like the terrible ReserveAmerica online reservation system, it simply increases hassle and cost for recreation enthusiasts while siphoning off money that the state parks could really use all along the way. 

California State Parks closing? No way – I just got here! 

Some more thoughts tomorrow on why this is a bad idea, and what we can do about it. 

I’ve only just started discovering wondrous things such as what an aggregating anemone is (see above – at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in early April) and plan on hiking, camping, climbing, biking, fishing, and offroading just as soon as this darn “no walking” thing is over and the steel plate is out of my foot.