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Posts Made By: Fred Lusk

March 22, 2011 08:08 PM Forum: My Favorite WIMP.COM or YOUTUBE.COM

OK, I'll open this up

Posted By Fred Lusk

I don't have any particular favorites on YouTube. What a way to start. smile

Actually, I like humor, so pratfalls, baby giggles, Jeff Dunham, etc. are the ones I like best.

However, my main purpose for posting is to "advertise" my own small selection of timelapse videos on YouTube. Do a search for my handle, skysurfer5cva.


May 14, 2011 06:35 AM Forum: My Favorite WIMP.COM or YOUTUBE.COM

Little Girl Plays w/ Dead Squirrel

Posted By Fred Lusk

The comments related to this video are also intertaining.


May 28, 2011 12:15 AM Forum: Landscape Photography

Sequoia National Park - Tokopah Falls

Posted By Fred Lusk

Lest y'all think I only visit Yosemite, on Tuesday I took a day trip to Sequoia for the purpose of hiking to Tokopah Falls. BTW, from Fresno, there are three national parks within easy day-trip distance: Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia. Among our major cities, only Seattle is similarly blessed. Otherwise, there isn't much more for Fresno to brag about. smile

Tokopah Falls is Sequoia's biggest and best waterfall. It is a 1200-foot-high series of falls and cascades that sits at the upstream end of a glacially carved valley. Tokopah takes the outflow from several small lakes on the plateau above and feeds the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River. I have done this hike three times in the past, but always mid- to late-summer when the flow is well past its prime. Since we had a 180%± snow pack this winter, I was determined to see Tokopah flowing full this year.

The trail starts in Lodgepole Campground at an elevation of about 6800 feet. The trail is short (about 1.7 miles each way) and not too steep (only about 600 feet of elevation gain going in; but you get it all back coming out, right? smile ). The only down side to Tuesday's hike was that about half of the trail is still covered in snow, which made it hard to follow. Fortunately, you can't really get lost in a canyon. Most of the hike follows the creek through the forest, but near the end the trees stop and you enter another world, one of mostly bare granite cliffs and expansive views.

I hope you enjoy this short travelog. The first photo shows a snow-free portion of the trail in the foreground and The Watchtower in the background. The Watchtower looms 2000 feet above the valley floor.


May 28, 2011 01:43 AM Forum: Landscape Photography

Sequoia National Park - Moro Rock

Posted By Fred Lusk

After my mid-afternoon hike to Tokopah Falls, I drove south through Giant Forest to Moro Rock to hike/climb it again (maybe the tenth time; I've lost track). I've seen so many Giant Sequoia trees that now I rarely stop unless I am with a first-time visitor.

Moro Rock is a long, narrow dome that overlooks the basin of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River from the north side. On a clear day, you can see the Great Western Divide to the east and the San Joaquin Valley to the west. The GWD is a range of 12,000-plus-foot mountains. Many visitors think they can see Mt Whitney from Moro Rock, but the GWD blocks the view. Unfortunately, clouds and haze were the order of the day. BTW, The river is almost 4000 feet below Moro Rock's 6725-foot-elevation summit.

I have noticed that as I get older, Moro Rock seems to get taller. I wonder how they do that. smile Anyway, the hike is actually mostly a stair climb, gaining almost 300 feet is a quarter mile. Here is what the start of the hike look like from the edge of the parking lot.


June 5, 2011 12:53 AM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos

Flowers AND Bugs - Flower Detail

Posted By Fred Lusk

It's not just all Yosemite (or Sequoia/Kings Canyon) for me. smile

A few weeks ago, I was out photographing some of the flowers in our garden. Here is a sampling of my results. All of these shots were hand-held and cropped because it was breezy. Trying for maximum close-up framing and/or using a tripod-mounted camera is a pain when the subject matter is being blown around.

Olympus E-5 + (variously) 12-60, 50-200, & 35 macro.


June 9, 2011 05:33 PM Forum: Wildlife Photography

Wildlife at the Zoo - Vulture

Posted By Fred Lusk

Fresno has an excellent mid-sized zoo with exhibits of the size that lend themselves to head-shot photography with modest telephoto lenses. At some of the bigger zoos I have visited, the large animal exhibits are so deep that I can't get good head shots with the equipment I have. Here are a few examples (however, of smaller critters), all shot with an Olympus E-5 + 50-200 mm lens (100-400 mm equivalent to FF).

Up first, a colorful clown-faced vulture.

June 9, 2011 05:52 PM Forum: Wildlife Photography

The Eyes Have It - Squirrel

Posted By Fred Lusk

As part of my adventures at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, I have been concentrating on animal eyes, both because they are interesting looking and because the fisheye-like reflections that sometimes can be seen. Here are several examples. These are all shot with an Olympus E-5 + 50-200 mm lens, then cropped as needed to focus on the eyes.

The dark eyes, such as squirrels, prairie dogs, zebras, etc provide the best reflections.

July 29, 2011 07:07 AM Forum: Star Parties

Glacier Point Star Party

Posted By Fred Lusk

If you are in Yosemite National Park tomorrow evening and/or Saturday evening, come join the Central Valley Astronomers in the amphitheater at Glacier Point for a memorable evening under the stars. We begin setting up around 7:00 pm and observe well past midnight. We typically have several hundred tourists looking through our scopes. When Gary shows up, which is most years, the biggest scope is a 24" EQ-mounted newtonian. I have a more modest (and more portable) Celestron CPC-800.

Before dark we will look at the scenery, including Half Dome, Nevada Fall, Clouds Rest, Mount Hoffman, etc. We usually see hikers on the top of Half Dome (in '09, two of them got naked to celebrate....I'm not kidding) and at the top of Nevada Fall. Sometimes we also see climbers on the face of Half Dome.

Fred Lusk
Central Valley Astromomers

November 26, 2011 05:58 AM Forum: Landscape Photography

Shaver Lake, CA

Posted By Fred Lusk

Our new family tradition, started in 2008, is that every year we get a grandchild we will rent a cabin at Shaver Lake (about an hour east of Fresno) for a family Thanksgiving. Grandchild #2 arrived in June, so for the second time we are spending Thanksgiving at Shaver. We are in a 6-bedroom, 4-bathroom, 3-story cabin with our three kids, two sons-in-law, and two grandkids.

Shaver Lake is mostly drained right now so that Southern California Edison can install a liner on the inside face of the nearly 90-year-old dam. For the first time since 1992, the old Shaver Mill Pond dam is exposed for all to see.

January 28, 2012 07:25 PM Forum: Politics

Jonah Goldberg's description of Romney

Posted By Fred Lusk

In the middle of syndicated columnist Jonah Goldberg's piece about "Newtzilla" in yesterday's Fresno Bee is this humorous description of the Mittster:

"For whatever reason, Romney seems like a creature put on Earth to blend in with the humans and report back what he finds. He clearly likes earthlings, and they in turn find him pleasant enough and surprisingly lifelike."