Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Pikas at Long Lake
Long Lake in the John Muir Wilderness was particularly stunning. The deep blue water sparkled in the sunlight as beams broke through from the clouds.
I was delighted and relieved to see pikas leaping around on the rocks, gathering grass. They dry it in little haystacks and use it for food when the deep snows of winter blanket their rock piles. These little relatives of the rabbit are currently in danger of extinction due to global warming. They live above 10,000 feet in the John Muir Wilderness and other montane locations. But as the earth heats up, the pikas must move higher up the mountainsides. Soon there will be no higher place to go.
posted 5:13 PM
Monday, August 24, 2009
The John Muir Wilderness
After the Alabama Hills, I hiked into the John Muir Wilderness. It's a gorgeous place full of alpine lakes, wildflowers, and rushing streams, all set against the stunning backdrop of snowy, jagged peaks. The trailhead is the highest in the Sierra, starting at 10,300 feet.
I hiked alongside sapphire mountain lakes and lush, emerald meadows.
Lakes abound in this granite region, green and blue jewels amid the snowy scenery.
Storm clouds gathered over the peaks, the clouds moving quickly in the high altitude winds. It's a place I've wanted to travel into for a long time, and I was delighted to be there! It's powerful to journey through a road-less area where wildlife roams -- bears, deer, pikas, cougars, even wolverines still live in this remote area. Recent additions to the John Muir Wilderness moved the current wilderness boundary down from the crest of the mountains to the top of the alluvial fan. This change protects the lower elevation habitat and the streams that flow into the valley below.
posted 1:27 AM
Friday, August 21, 2009
The Alabama Hills
I just visited The Alabama Hills at the base of Mount Whitney in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. The hot, high desert wind blew across this magical landscape where many westerns and other films have been shot.
Movies such as Iron Man, Maverick, The Postman, Gladiator, The Shadow, Star Trek V and VII, and one of my favorites, Tremors, have been filmed in this setting of knobby, whimsical granite against the backdrop of the jagged eastern Sierra.
A storm roiled above Mt. Whitney, the tallest peak in the lower 48 states. Rain and wind swept down the steep mountains to the Alabama Hills, creating an incredible cloudscape of color.
posted 3:30 PM
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I had a fantastic time at Comic-Con this year, the massive comics/books/movies convention in San Diego. My panel, "Monster Mash," went really well. My fellow panelists were all writers who, like me, use fantastical creatures in their work. We had a great audience who asked some insightful questions about the monsters we use in our fiction. Fellow panelists included Rob Thurman, Amber Benson, Walter Greatshell, S.G. Browne, and Marlene Perez. Our moderator was the wonderful Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy Books.
From left: Maryelizabeth Hart, Alice Henderson, Rob Thurman
From left: Maryelizabeth Hart, Alice Henderson, Rob Thurman, Amber Benson,
Walter Greatshell, Marlene Perez, and S.G. Browne
Afterward, we signed our books, and I was delighted to sign the hardback version of my novel Voracious! It was the first time I'd seen the hardback in person.
While at the con, I also got to step through the Stargate!
I caught up with a lot of fellow writers and met some wonderful people for the first time, including Gil Gerard, Erin Gray, Robert Englund (whose autobiographical Hollywood Monster comes out in October), and Andy Runton, the creator of Owly.
posted 11:47 AM