Sunday, May 15, 2011

King's Canyon

When you go on a scenic drive, you usually see the most amazing scenery God has created on this earth...and today’s drive to Kings Canyon National Park was no exception. I took over 200 photos today with my small Canon Powershot SX20, zoomed in, zoomed out, and was so disappointed with the results--many of the photos were just so overexposed, I couldn’t use them. Then some of them turned out really nice, like the bird photo. There’s something about the white balance out of whack on landscape photos that maybe I need to study. Maybe it was the time of day--midday...too much light awash on everything. I wish I had the photography skills to capture the amazing panoramic views of the snow capped Sierra Vista Mountains in the distance while watching the snow melt swollen King River rushing by us below. It would be cool to capture the roiling waters with more definition than just the blur of white I see! A small point and shoot Canon just doesn’t quite capture the moment when it comes to landscapes and BIG scenery...oh, well, time to download the manual and see if I can figure out what this photographer can do better!  But the drive is etched in our minds and we will never forget it!
What won’t we forget? Grizzly Falls, for one....BIG water, BIG sound, and picnic tables close enough to feel the mist while you eat! Speaking of grizzly bears, everywhere we turned there were brochures and pamphlets telling people how to store food in bear boxes, and there were special bear boxes at one campground we looked at which was an “active bear” site. They provided "bear boxes" for every camp site! Hm-m-m-m, I’m not sure we’d want to stay there. (What??!! says E. Is this my Sparky talking who wanted to get within feet of the bear we saw at Yosemite just to get a better photo???)  Yep, it is...I just meant that SOME people might not want to stay there, I didn't mean me!  I’d be a little nervous if I was in a tent, but not in the motorhome.
Hairpin curves with massive granite stone walls and other beautiful rocks for which I don’t know the names but a geologist would, hanging over the side of the road looking like they could start a rock fall any second right on top of the things on the ground that are Mother Nature's works of art, like this tree stump....

The sound of songbirds never heard in our home state of Indiana that make you want to get out the binoculars and see what you can see in the Sierra Nevadas...we found a beautiful one, a western tanager, I believe....isn’t it beautiful?
A little lodge nestled in the mountains with working gas pumps from the 1920’s...the birds were REALLY singing around this cute little place. There were more birds than there were people. The season hadn't kicked in for them yet. These gas pumps look like something the American Pickers (that TV show with the two guys that drive around the country in the Antique Archaeology van and rummage through people's barns) would like!
We won't forget the little butterfly "garden" we stumbled upon the opposite side of the King's River. There was a little waterfall, and a whole bunch of beautiful butterflies were attracted to the flowers and the flowing water. They were having a field day in the mud puddles and stream, flitting around faster than I could capture them in a photo. These might be swallowtails, but I'm not sure..there were a bunch of little lavender ones there as well. It was really neat to find a natural butterfly habitat in the wilderness instead of a commercial one in a city somewhere.

More massive sequoias...two national parks side by side, overlapping with the most amazing natural features, more waterfalls than you can count and less people tramping around and less traffic--at least at this time of year! We saw the second largest tree in the world at Kings Canyon. The largest tree in the world is in the Sequoia National Forest. We loved our day at the park and it's a place where you can return again and again and again. We know we will! 


  1. I believe those are Zebra Swallowtails.

  2. so what part of Indiana are you from? My wife is from West Lafayette.

  3. Thanks for the info, Rex!

    And Pat--Eldy is from North Webster, IN and worked in Elkhart for 42 years. I taught in Mishawaka, IN for 26 years and lived in South Bend for the same amount of time. Then moved to Angola, IN for my last seven years of teaching.

  4. I've used a Canon A710 "point-and-shoot" for six years, and it takes really good pictures. I leave it in "Program" mode with the ISO set at 100 (this keeps the moise down) and the exposure compensation set at -2/3. The latter setting is important, as it results in underexposed images (THIS IS A GOOD THING), which are easily adjusted with free image-editing software such as XnView or IrfanView. Also, most Canon cameras have an easy-to-use "stitch" function (and software), which allows you to make great panorama images.

  5. Sorry, I meant "NOISE" (graininess).