This brazen little sparrow plunked down on that fence post not 4 feet away from Gage and I as we walked around the General Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park. It immediately started singing, heedless of the dozens of people around us. I snapped pictures as quickly as I could. I tried to catch video as he kept on singing his fool head off but, of course, as I started the video, he flew off. I love the look on his face in the shot above. What a funny, little show-off.
For more show-offy birds, visit Bird Photography Weekly!
Campfires are an elemental experience. The sound of them. Watching the flames dance and twist. Adding fuel to the fire. All these things reach our spirits. Fires in a fireplace can give a bit of that comfort to our soul but there is something about gathering around a campfire with family and friends under a starry sky for stories and conversation, warmth, and, of course, food. (More on that in a bit!)
Campfires are also a safety issue. When you camp in campgrounds, they generally provide a safe place for your fire. When you camp in the National Forests, there are often no safe metal fire rings, just stone ones. Much more satisfying. Our campsite had a beautiful fire ring. When camping where we were, you are required to get a fire permit before you use a campfire, camp stove, or even a propane lantern outside. Why? In order to reduce the risk of wildfires from careless campers, of course! We anticipated having to stop at the Ranger’s office and get a permit but I found that I could take a test online and get my permit online. Yay.
As part of the process, I had to learn how to safely manage a campfire. We were really careful about following the rules. Heck . . . I had to take a test! We made sure our campfire was set up safely. We followed the rules about how to put out a fire, too. We kept a bucket of water near the fire and used the Drown-Stir-Feel method to put our fire out safely.
Gage’s job was to get a bucket of water everyday so that we could have our fire that night. He braved mosquitos down by the creek to get the water. In the National Forests, you are also allowed to collect downed wood for your fires. Gage, of course, had to get the biggest pieces he could find and haul them back with the water.
This picture looks like one of the ads from the Go RVing association. Funny that they haven’t called to ask us to become spokesmodels for their industry! I think they are missing a good bet!
Campfires. Family. And, of course, marshmellows. Does it get any better than this?
Marshmellow ! by Tineeh