On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

This weekday feature is for Juicers who are are on the road, traveling, or just want to share a little bit of their world via stories and pictures. So many of us rise each morning, eager for something beautiful, inspiring, amazing, subtle, of note, and our community delivers – a view into their world, whether they’re far away or close to home – pictures with a story, with context, with meaning, sometimes just beauty. By concentrating travel updates and tips here, it’s easier for all of us to keep up or find them later.

So please, speak up and share some of your adventures and travel news here, and submit your pictures using our speedy, secure form. You can submit up to 7 pictures at a time, with an overall description and one for each picture.

You can, of course, send an email with pictures if the form gives you trouble, or if you are trying to submit something special, like a zipped archive or a movie. If your pictures are already hosted online, then please email the links with your descriptions.

For each picture, it’s best to provide your commenter screenname, description, where it was taken, and date. It’s tough to keep everyone’s email address and screenname straight, so don’t assume that I remember it “from last time”. More and more, the first photo before the fold will be from a commenter, so making it easy to locate the screenname when I’ve found a compelling photo is crucial.

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!

I skipped the shitshow last night and am still catching up on what all was said, etc. So I hope these fantastic pictures do down well for all.

Tomorrow we’ll have a bunch from Le Comte’s trip, just amazing stuff.  But first, evidence of some great living – just WOW.

Today, pictures from valued commenter realbtl.

From 1992 through 2000 I lived in Bethel Island CA (and yes it was an island though with a 100 yard bridge) about 1/2 way between Oakland and Stockton. Since the island ground level was below the levee my house was 3 stories with the top living area above the levee top looking East. Winter brought some incredible skies during the storms. Plus the wildlife was abundant especially the herons.

It was a cool place and time, fairly cheap gas and not too many people. In 2001 my wife and I decided it was getting crowded and wasn’t likely to improve so we moved to NW Montana and never looked back.

Note for those interested- All pictures as they were shot, no editing.

It’s calm now but the wind can howl off the bay and up the river.

There were reported tornadoes in the Central Valley this day. Definitely not boating weather.

I spent hours watching the herons. Somewhere I have a picture of one with a fish 1/2 way down. The land is another island in the CA delta. Most of these are used by agriculture or ranchers.

This was my view, herons, the jet boat, all about 100 feet away. It was claimed there were 1000 miles of waterway in the Delta from the Golden Gate to Sacramento and Stockton and beyond. I took an overnight trip to Sacramento in that boat though I did stay in an old paddle wheeler turned into a hotel.


Thank you so much realbtl, do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


One again, to submit pictures: Use the Form or Send an Email

20 replies
  1. 1
    Betty Cracker says:

    Nice photos — such dramatic skies! I spend hours watching herons too; love their slow, deliberate movements.

  2. 2
    Elizabelle says:

    How wonderful to have had that living experience, and to always be able to remember it. Lovely photos.

  3. 3
    Mary G says:

    The Delta has that kind of haunted quality and your pics really capture it.

  4. 4
    eclare says:

    Wow! Great photographs.

  5. 5
    Quinerly says:


  6. 6
    JPL says:

    Thank you for the pictures. Realbtl, please share with us stories about living on an island with only a few thousand people.

  7. 7
    ThresherK says:

    Love the captured grace you got of herons (and egrets too).

    Maybe it’s they don’t go everywhere in suburbia? I’ve been a suburbanite my whole life and associate these large waterfowl with a bit more space, woods/wilderness wise, than I immediately live in.

  8. 8
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Loving the contrast in the stormy sky!

  9. 9
  10. 10
    chris says:

    That’s beautiful. Putting it on the list.

    Obligatory heron pic. With a rallying cry.

  11. 11
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    Wow. Many thanks for the very cool photos.

  12. 12

    @chris: what’s going on there exactly?

  13. 13
    chris says:

    A heron trying to eat a snake? I watched a heron fight with an eel for about five minutes before he swallowed it. The eel kept wrapping itself around the big bird’s head. Neither one of them was going to give up but big dinosaur won in the end.

  14. 14
    realbtl says:

    @JPL: Late to the thread but. . .
    There were about 2000 residents on the island but it isn’t isolated. I could be in Berkeley by road in about an hour (in the early 90s) and major shopping maybe 20 min away. It was the wild while still close to things aspect I loved. We moved when things began to build up.

  15. 15
    opiejeanne says:

    Wonderful pictures. How did you fare the year that the delta flooded so badly? Was Bethel Island one of the few places that wasn’t inundated? Our friends from college lived there in the early 70s and the peaceful quiet was wonderful.

  16. 16
    realbtl says:

    The other thing I will add is that Herons are BIG. I was floating out in the channel in an inner tube and floated by within about 15′ of one. I would not want to go one on one. Scary sharp bill.

  17. 17
    Origuy says:

    I live about seven miles from the south end of San Francisco Bay. A while back, I saw a strange bird with the gulls dumpster-diving behind Walgreens. Later I saw a pair of them. I took some pictures and showed it to a birder friend. She identified them as black-crowned night herons. They’re smaller than the great blue herons we see often around here. I don’t know why they were slumming with the gulls.

  18. 18
    J R in WV says:

    Great waterfront pictures, realbtl, thanks!

    I used to work in a small river town due north of our rural farm, which was a drive on one lane country roads, paved, you could pass one another, but no center lines. Mostly beside small country creeks, except for crossing a ridge between watersheds. Of course the closer to home, the more rural, tho it was seriously rural for at least the 10 or 12 miles closest to our farm.

    The last 3 miles the road and creek are squeezed together by the hills, so sometimes the valley floor is only 20 or 30 feet wide, with a road AND a creek in that skinny place. There are scenic rock cliffs above the road on the right, rhododendron bushes and spruce greenery, interesting light, one evening in the falI I was headed home, and enjoying the drive and the colors and scenery.

    As I came around a curve with my headlights shining over the creek, only 3 or 4 feet below the roadbed, I rudely awakened a GIANT blue heron standing in a wide deeper spot in the creek, who then launched vertically like a missile. He was beautiful, all white and gray and blue, with black racing stripes, long legs stretched out from the big leap, and his sudden appearance right in front of the car scared the crap out of me.

    No way ever to catch a photo of that sudden leap without a hi-def Go-Pro or dash cam… I’ve seen quite a few all over the country, anywhere there’s a little water. Not rare, maybe a little less common than, say, Coopers Hawks or Piliated Woodpeckers.

  19. 19
    realbtl says:

    Thanks folks, it was one of those time and place things that can’t really be repeated.

  20. 20
    otmar says:

    Cool pics, thank you.

Comments are closed.