Hiking Mineral King – Peculiar Sights

Posted by on Aug 4, 2017 in Mineral King, Peculiar Sights, Photography | No Comments


When I hike, I think. When I think, I ALWAYS have questions.


What is this and why can’t I find it in any of my books? It is growing by the  lower trail crossing of Franklin Creek.

What is this and why can’t I find it in any of my books? It is a yellow flower I always wrote off as “too similar to all the rest of the boring yellows”. This year I am learning as many new flowers as possible – new to me, previously ignored.

Being a color junkie, I HAD to know if all these flowers are the same color. The largest petal is from a Jeffrey Shooting Star, the middle petal is from Fireweed, and the one on the left is Rock Fringe.

On the Franklin/Farewell Trail above the lowest Franklin stream crossing but below the junction is this odd view of Farewell Gap.

Remember when Trail Guy went into the snow tunnel?

Here are his photos from inside the tunnel:

About a week later, the tunnel looked like this. He walked in it a ways, and then climbed out onto the pinkish algae-clad snow.


The more he rubbed and tried to wash off the algae, the redder it became.

Is this Laurel or Heather? I believe they are twins, not quite identical but very close.

Meet Lousewort. Why is he in the flower books and so many other prettier flowers are not?

You’ve seen this in a previous post – it is a YELLOW Violet. Say what? I thought yellow and violet were complements on the color wheel. What’s next – a blue orange??


The Rain Stopped and The Sun Came Out

The rain stopped briefly and the sun came out, so I went for a walk here in Three Rivers. This was on February 12, but there were other things to blog about last week.

Look! The buckeye trees, always precocious, are leafing out already. 

Here is an unobstructed view of Alta Peak and Moro Rock.

The Red Maids are in bloom!

This ant hill is definitely a peculiar sight.

The narcissus are in bloom in my yard.

 And what does a Central California artist do for fun when the sun is out?

She mixes a paint color for her neighbor’s kitchen, of course.

Neighbor recently was in Italy and fell in love with a particular color. (Could there possibly be 2 color junkies in the same neighborhood??) The hardware store mixed a too-bright red, so together we figured out the color she wanted. This required adding tan from the gallon container, lightening it with white, and correcting the resulting pinkishness with yellow ochre. Then, we tried it on a kitchen cupboard door and declared it a winner. (It took 3 attempts with minor corrections each time.) Next, I had to match that exact color to convert the rest of the too-bright-red to our newly named “Red Pepper Cream Sauce”. (Last time we invented the color of “Orange Blossom Special” for her kitchen, which looks spectacular with the Red Pepper Cream Sauce.)*

*My own kitchen is blue and white, has been blue and white for 18 years, and probably will probably be blue and white for as long as I live here. Thanks for asking.

This, That and The Other Thing (and my job description)

Natalie, please tell “Jee-um” Happy Birthday from me today – thank you!

This rain is wonderful. I went driving around, not just for the sake of burning fuel, but to see some stuff. Artists have to see stuff.

What’s my job description? I see stuff and then decide if it is worth showing to other people.

I saw lots and lots of water, here in January in Tulare County. This is the St. John’s River. I crossed it several times, and also crossed the Kaweah, drove along several irrigation ditches, and crossed the Friant-Kern canal several times.

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If the bridge above looks familiar, it is because you may have seen it on the 2017 calendar. This also gives you a chance to admire my ability to clean up real life, which tends to be messy and cluttered.

What’s my job description? I fix visual messes.

St. Johns bridge

That was “This“.

Now for “That“.

That oil painting of the P fruits is coming along. If you are wondering, the dimensions are 6×18″.


The Other Thing is how beautiful it is in Three Rivers this time of year, especially when it is a wet season. Please excuse the lines across the photo. They are actually what enable me to post on this blog, but unfortunately they connect me to Huge & Rude. (the phone co.)


Can you see the elephant on Alta Peak? Here is a little visual aid as to how it is posed:


The trunk on my elephant is going the wrong direction and his head is bit outsized; you’ll have to use your imagination a bit.

What’s my job description? I help people understand what they are seeing.

Thus we conclude the post “This, That and The Other Thing”. Thanks for stopping by.

Water Cat

Posted by on Jan 19, 2017 in Peculiar Sights, Personal | 5 Comments

With all the rain, Samson has been quite interested in the movement of water.
samson 1 Samson 2 Samson 3 Samson 4 Samson 5Samson 6It is official. I’ve become a bore with photos of my cat. He’s really Michael’s cat, not mine. He took all the photos. Just wanted to be clear. Does that make me less of a bore?

Don’t answer that.

Rain in Three Rivers

Three Rivers got 9″ of rain in 10 days. This is phenomenal! We walked to the Dinely Bridge several times to check out the river.

I can’t remember how many storms – one big one? a wave of storms? The early ones were warm and the river was very exciting.

See that white stick on the lower left? It shows the depth of the river. I’m not sure the water even reached the stick last winter. In these storms, the stick washed away.


Looking downstream, Kaweah River middle fork, from the Dinely bridge.


Looking upstream. St. Anthony Retreat Center is the group of white buildings with red roofs in the distance.


Looking downstream again. Either the stick is buried or it is washed away. See the little rocks sticking up on the distant ridge? Stay tuned.


Looking upstream on the Dinely Road side of the river.


Looking upstream on the highway side of the river.


Where is that measuring stick?

Okay, now for those rocks in the distance. They are called “Comb Rocks”, either because they look like a rooster’s comb or because someone named Mr. Comb (or Combs?) owned them. I don’t know.

What I do know is that my walking buddy said to me one morning, “Turn your head sideways and look at those rocks. Whose profile does that resemble?”


That’s what I’d call a peculiar sight.

Field Trip With Peculiar Sights

Happy Birthday, Louise!!

Yeah yeah, I know I told you I’d be telling you about the newest coloring book. There’s too much to show and tell, and I don’t know how to best present it or condense it.

Instead, I’ll show you some fun photos. This is how artists reload their mental files of raw materials for future paintings and drawings. After too long of just traveling in the same small circles I get dizzy and dumb.


While I was away, it rained hard, and Trail Guy took this photo of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah, looking downstream off the Dinely bridge.

I went to visit The Captain, who LOVES her animals. I didn’t photograph her with the ball boa constrictor or the rats that are supposed to become its food but instead are pets. No rodents or reptiles for me, thanks anyway.

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This is Ernie, a Halflinger, which is a small draft horse. He is the most beautiful combination of colors, my favorite sort of horse, which is “sorrel with a palomino mane”. If he was dry and brushed, he’d knock your socks off with his beauty.


Meanwhile, back at the ranch. . . no wait, I was at the ranch. Trail Guy was at home with Samson and the wild turkeys. Last time I counted, there were 26 of them challenging Samson while he fluffed himself up and bounced sideways. I picked him up and we ran after them, growling and being large and fierce together.




Here is what I really wanted to show you. I took both of these photos without realizing the common theme until I saw them on the computer. I’d call these both peculiar sights.


Makes me laugh every time I see these. Just spreading a little holiday cheer!

Merry Christmas!

Maybe I’ll tell you about the new coloring book next week.

Want to go for a Walk?

Sometimes I go for walks.

No, lots of times I go for walks.

It is sort of assumed that when women want to hang out with friends that they go shopping and go out to lunch.

Not this woman. I call a friend and say “Want to go for a walk?”

It is one of the best things about living in Three Rivers.

Three Rivers IMG_2142

A peculiar sight. . . it happens occasionally on my walks.IMG_2143

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A Few Days Off Work

Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in General, Murals, Peculiar Sights | No Comments

Finish the mural early, take one day off work, okay, why not two because I have company, oh go ahead, take three. I am the boss of me, and my boss gave me 3 days off last week. Why?

Because I completed the mural one day early. 3 days off? How about a bonus?

Never mind.

What does a Central California artist do with 3 days off?

This one does yard work, has company, entertains a lamb, works on a mural, does more yard work, has a handrail added to her studio, and watches her company and husband begin to build a fence.

Want to see some pictures? I didn’t photograph all the activities mentioned because sometimes it is hard to carry around gardening tools, paint brushes, a lamb and a camera at the same time.





What are these guys doing??



Sweet Pea wants to know.


Hey, Babycakes. Want to go to Mineral King?



Just kidding. It’s a mural. (Later we scrubbed the bird poo off of the sky, in case you were bugged by it.)



When Cowboy Bert and Trail Guy began working on a fence (I didn’t take photos), we decided that Little Lambie-poo would be happier if she were let out to hang out with the people. It was clear that she chose Cowboy Bert to be her mama. Two manly dudes, lumber, tools, and a lamb.

Meanwhile, I worked a bit on my studio mural. Pretending to be productive eased my conscience about taking off 3 consecutive days, in spite of receiving permission from my boss.


Mineral King Road Lore

Posted by on Jun 7, 2013 in Mineral King, Peculiar Sights | 4 Comments

On the Mineral King Road there are 4 water troughs. Some years I think I will memorize the elevations and mileage markers. More realistically, I can remember their names and order of appearance.

This one is called Trauger’s, after Mr. and Mary Trauger (what was her hubby’s name? She was the one everyone talks about!) who had a home above. It’s my guess they built there because of the spring. Duh.

The National Park Service has spray painted all sorts of information on these historic items. Sanctioned graffiti, perhaps? Back in the olden days, they were places you could fill your radiator after it boiled over on the steep, nay, very steep Mineral King Road.

Mary Trauger planted sweet peas. They bloom near this water trough each spring.

HEY!! What are you doing up there? That is Trail Guy, formerly known as Road Guy. It bugs him when the troughs aren’t flowing, so sometimes we stop on the way up the hill so he can clear junk out of the stream and get the water flowing through the pipe into the water troughs.

He may be known as Trail Guy, but deep down inside Road Guy still exists.

REMEMBER, Mineral King Tee shirts are available through my website and from Trail Guy himself. This is the season for tee shirts. We are the people who have them. You may be a person who needs one. We can help.

Trail Guy Climbs White Chief Peak

Posted by on Sep 7, 2012 in Mineral King, Peculiar Sights | 2 Comments

While I was working in Wilsonia, Trail Guy was climbing White Chief Peak. Off trail stuff doesn’t suit me with my lack of depth perception, so I am always a little relieved when I don’t have to go with Trail Guy on these more adventuresome excursions.

white chief

See the peak on the left? with the flat top? That’s White Chief. I still sort of want to climb it. Maybe next year?

view from White Chief Peak


This was Trail Guy’s view from the top. I didn’t ask which direction he was looking and am too embarrassed to ask because I should recognize stuff.

Trail Guy said this old foxtail was petrified. I wonder. . .



He saw a pika, which is correctly pronounced “PEE-kuh”, rather than “PIE-kuh”, which is how pica is correctly pronounced. Can you even spot it in the photo above?

doe with triplets


During the week of his ascent up White Chief, he saw a doe with triplets! This is a very very rare occurrence. (a peculiar sight!) Most of the fawns now are losing their spots, but these three are still small and dotty.

doe with triplets

Careful on the road, you wee ones!