Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Yellow Birds

Yesterday I was making a delivery to a mobile home park resident and was amazed at the number of yellow birds (finches) near the bird feeders. This picture shows about 41 if I counted correctly. See if you can spot them all.
(Don't forget to look in the bushes and on the ground)
Click image for a larger picture to help you count.
Note that the females are not quite as bright (in color) as their male friends.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Small Local Earthquake

We just had a small earthquake with the epicenter only 87 miles away at 40.836°N, 123.495°W. (Between Eureka and Redding)

Earthquake Details

  • Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 03:03:06 UTC
  • Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 08:03:06 PM at epicenter
Location40.836°N, 123.495°W
Depth17.9 km (11.1 miles)
  • 18 km (11 miles) ESE (114°) from Willow Creek, CA
  • 42 km (26 miles) E (97°) from Blue Lake, CA
  • 42 km (26 miles) NW (315°) from Hayfork, CA
  • 56 km (35 miles) E (85°) from Eureka, CA
  • 307 km (191 miles) NW (326°) from Sacramento, CA
Location Uncertaintyhorizontal +/- 0.3 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 1.4 km (0.9 miles)
ParametersNST=140, Nph=140, Dmin=49 km, Rmss=0.18 sec, Gp= 94°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=2
Event IDnc40216664

Monday, April 28, 2008

Gas Prices Still Rising!

I was back in Alturas again this week and gas and diesel prices have risen again. One thing about Alturas is you don't have a lot of choices of where to buy gas. and all the stations basically have the same prices.

My friend and coworker, Red also has a blog (, and recently showed pictures of numerous small town country markets. This picture is from the town of Adin (Adin has a population of about 500.) and this is their Market and Deli. They have biscuits and gravy every day for $3.99 plus the best coffee this side of Starbucks some 70 miles away.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Coleman National Fish Hatchery

Friday my route extended all the way to the Coleman Fish Hatchery in Anderson, CA. Coleman National Fish Hatchery is the largest salmon hatchery in the contiguous 48 US states. Imagine feeding 842 metric tons of fish food per year! The Coleman NFH was established in 1942 to mitigate the loss of natural salmon spawning grounds as a result of the construction of Shasta and Keswick Dams. The two major species the hatchery raises are Chinook and Steelhead. The hatchery needed a counter that was passive and could count fish upstream and downstream. Their counter spends part of the year installed in a fish ladder on Battlecreek. The hatchery is open daily from 7:30 a.m. until dusk.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Kool April Nights

With dry conditions predicted, Redding police expect classic car fans to start early on tonight's Kool April Nites Cruise. "We had people lining the streets last year as early as 1 or 2 p.m.," Redding police traffic unit Sgt. Mike Thomas said Thursday.

The free cruise is a high-octane showcase for the annual show, celebrating its 19th year. It typically brings out thousands of spectators who line the 2½-mile loop route. Kool April Nites organizers moved the cruise from downtown streets to the Hilltop Drive area in 1998 to bring participants and fans closer to restaurants and hotels.

They expect some 1,800 classic cars -- about the same as last year -- for the cruise, which runs from 6 to 8 p.m.

A video from last year is below.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Alturas Historic Building

A well known landmark in Alturas is the Elks Building. Originally the Nevada California Oregon Railway headquarters, the building was constructed about 1911, using stone quarried from the area. Many of the first buildings in Alturas were built with this stone. Now owned and used by the Alturas chapter, Benevolent Order of Elks, this building has offices on the first floor and hosts many community gatherings throughout the year.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Gas Prices Continue to Rise!

Well gas prices are continuing to go up. Another dime higher this week in both Redding and Alturas. Chevron is in Alturas, Super K is in Redding on Airport Road.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

More Small Town Post Office Pictures

Lake City, California 96115 Population ??

Round Mountain, California 96084 Population 122

Monday, April 7, 2008

snow and buffalo

Had a long run today, about 435 miles, all the way to Lake City, CA.
plus other stops along the way. I saw fresh snow over Adin Pass (see image).
also a herd of buffalo on a ranch just north of Adin, CA
Click images for a larger view.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My Three Friends

I always enjoy seeing these guys on my way to Alturas. They live on a ranch just north of Adin, CA. Comprised of lots of old parts and gears they stand together in a field flying the Marine Corps flag and watching passersby.
Click on each picture for a better view.

Bone dry March to carry over

April due to bring same parched conditions; Lake Shasta still low

March 2008 will leave a warren of dust bunnies in the north state weather annals.

Last month was the driest March in and around the far northern Sacramento Valley since 1956, Western Regional Climate Center figures show. Even less rain fell this March than last, which had been the fourth-driest on record.

There's scant hope for an "amazing April" that will scrub away the red-ridged bathtub ring around Lake Shasta, longer-range forecasts show. Forecasters say the same pattern that's parched the West and flooded the Midwest looks like it will stay locked in at least through mid-month.

The lake stood at 1,007 feet above sea level, or 60 feet below the dam's crest on Monday. The water rose 16 feet during the month even though Shasta Dam recorded only 0.28 inches of rain -- a mere 3 percent of the 8.91 inches falling at the dam during a typical March.

The lake's been collecting about twice as much water as it's been letting out, Corn said. So the lake's been adding about a half-foot a day, she said.

The dam had soaked up 45.28 inches of rain since July 1, thanks mainly to a tempestuous January and a reasonably wet February. Only 37 inches -- about half the season normal -- fell during the entire 2006-2007 season, Corn said.

The lake is nearly 40 feet lower than this time last year, state Department of Water Resources figures show. Obligations to downstream water users drew down the water through the warm season last year. Dam operators will face those obligations again this summer, although farmers and cities could see smaller deliveries if storage winds up drastically lower, said Corn.