McCarran Ranch ~ Snap Shots along the Truckee River ~ 19 January 2014

Just a few photographs that I took while walking the trails at the McCarran Ranch of the Nature Conservancy of Nevada, Sunday, January 19th.

It was a sunny and warm (56F), a beautiful day for a hike along the river.

fly fishing

fly fishing

Fly fishing…rainbow trout.

Fly fishing…rainbow trout.

Catch and release along the Truckee River.

Catch and release along the Truckee River.




Fly fishing

Fly fishing

Birds of Prey at Cabela’s Reno, Nevada ~ 8 June 2013

Today was free fishing day here in Nevada…but we also were up for breaking another high heat record and figured the fish would tell us “screw you…it’s too hot to take your bait” so we went to Cabela’s just west of town. They were having a family outdoor day with fly fishing, shooting, and bow instruction; birds of prey; and snakes.

Just want to show you some of the beautiful girls we met today ~ They were going to have a flying demonstration, but it was too windy and WAY TOO HOT for them. These girls are employed as “pest control”!

Eurasian Eagle Owl.

Eurasian Eagle Owl.

Peregrine Falcon.

Peregrine Falcon.

Steppe Eagle.

Steppe Eagle.

Saker Falcon.

Saker Falcon.

Balcony Container Gardening ~ Sparks, Nevada

My garden space this year has diminished quite drastically…I have to utilize my balcony. Luckily it’s positioned for optimum sunshine!

I decided to limit myself to herbs, tomatoes, leafy greens, and probably a chile pepper of some sort. We have pretty good farmers markets around the Reno/Sparks area so I’ll supplement my kitchen herbs with the local farmer’s goodies.

I got these nifty containers, from Lowes, that sit on top of the balcony rails…the rest of the containers are made up of old flower pots I’ve found and some of my enameled cooking pots.


So far I have planted chives, sweet basil, Greek oregano, Italian flat-leafed parsley (hate the curly stuff), lemon thyme, rosemary, orange mint, two different lavenders, summer savory, cilantro, red Russian Kale, German chamomile, and arugula.

Still need dill, either a jalapeño, serrano or New Mexican green chile, I’m thinking two heirloom tomatoes, garlic…and some radish seeds.






For Today ~ 06 May 2013 ~ A Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 06 May 2013

Outside My Window… Grey windy morning…the sun is trying to peek out between some clouds to the east, black snow clouds up in the mountains to the west.

I am thinking… I wonder about the story of an elderly gentleman that I see at the bus stop near campus every morning around 6:30 am. Not sure why, but he makes me smile when I spot him there…and worried when I don’t see him. He has a Billy Connolly look to him, only thinner…same wild white hair and facial hair too.

I am thankful for… That the infection on the left side of my face has finally calmed down (I looked like I went a round with a boxer). After 10 days of antibiotics, many lancing of the gums, and a few refills of Percocet…I may be able to open my mouth all the way by next weeks root canal appointment.

From the kitchen… I took some chicken out of the freezer that’s been marinading in McCormick’s Grill Mates tomato garlic and basil. I buy boneless chicken breasts in bulk…get different grill mates marinades and put two pieces of chicken in a gallon ziplock, put the marinade package, then pop them in the freezer. In the morning, before work, I place one on the counter where my husband will stick into the frig after he has his coffee and goes about his day.

I am wearing… Jeans, blue waffle thermal shirt, and sandals.

I am creating… Absolutely nothing for the last three weeks. My head was hurting WAY too much. I did pull out my batik Grandma’s Flower Garden and made about 10 hexies, but that was it.

I am going… put the kettle on for a pot of hot tea.

I am reading… hiking trail maps. :) Looking at areas around town to go hiking/walks since we don’t have much money to leave town right now.

I am hoping… that my friend April had a wonderful visit with her Mom and Dad last week…and a very safe flight home today.

I am hearing… the traffic outside. People using their card keys to get into the building.

Around the house… Deck needs cleaning after the wind storm yesterday…lots of tree droppings. Inside is cleaned.

One of my favorite things… Listening to Van Morrison on Pandora while it rains.

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week… Not really sure.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you… A few pictures that I took up at Galena Creek…before the rain hit.

Mt. Rose from the Jones-Whites Creek loop...used Pixlr-o-matic's Aladin and Scrap filters to make it feel early 70's.

Mt. Rose from the Jones-Whites Creek loop…used Pixlr-o-matic’s Aladin and Scrap filters to make it feel early 70′s.

Mt. Rose from the Jones-Whites Creek Loop.

Mt. Rose from the Jones-Whites Creek Loop, I used the Metal and Hassel filters.

Pyramid Lake, Nevada ~ 6 April 2013

Pyramid Lake.  Warrior's Point.  Looking at Needles during morning.

Pyramid Lake. Warrior’s Point. Looking at Needles during morning.

Pyramid Lake, Nevada.  Evening.  Setting sun hitting the Needles.

Pyramid Lake, Nevada. Evening. Setting sun hitting the Needles.

Pyramid Lake, Nevada.  The Needles...sun going down.

Pyramid Lake, Nevada. The Needles…sun going down.

Pyramid Lake, Nevada.  Looking NW from Warrior's Point.

Pyramid Lake, Nevada. Looking NW from Warrior’s Point.

Pyramid Lake, Nevada.  From Warrior's Point.  Twilight.

Pyramid Lake, Nevada. From Warrior’s Point. Twilight.

The McCarran Ranch Preserve ~ Nature Conservancy in Nevada

Last Saturday we drove a few miles east of Reno/Sparks to the Patrick Exit on 80 to the trailhead of the McCarran Ranch Preserve. I saw online that the trail was now open to the public!

The McCarran Ranch was homesteaded in 1862 and encompassed approximately 2600 acres in the Truckee River canyon east of Sparks. Many, many years ago the Corp of Engineers straightened the river out…luckily for us, The Nature Conservancy has been rectifying that. In 2002 they created wetlands and riffles and started revegetation and invasive weed control on 20 acres. In 2006 they added another 100 acres. Last year they opened up a stretch of the river to the public between Lockwood and 102 Ranch (USA Parkway Exit).

A third of the way through our walk we came upon a bunch of people working on a wetlands project near the river…planting willows and grading the slopes. Met Martin, Volunteer Coordinator for the Nature Conversancy in Nevada, he said the volunteers were from Truckee Meadows Community College’s Natural Resources class. After crossing a bridge to the north side of the river we met up with Martin again at the Ranch House’s amphitheater where he fed us lunch, gave us extra water and lots of information on the project! They couldn’t have picked a better person for that job! Thanks, Martin!

We continued east on the north side of the river where we crossed the train trestle where I prayed I wouldn’t end up like a flatten penny on the tracks…but the fishermen where doing it, so I ran across the plank way. I’d probably loop back the way I came the next time I’m there…which will be as soon as the trees start leafing…and in the fall when they start to change colors. :)

Birds spotted on our walk besides the sparrows and finches were Kingfisher, Bald Eagle, swallows.

I took lots of pictures so I put them into a slideshow. Hopefully it plays for you…and with the music too (which, if you hear it, is The Roan Inish Theme from the movie Secret of Roan Inish).

LINK TO SLIDESHOW ~ ncn_mccarran

The Nature Conservancy of Nevada ~ River Fork Ranch

Wanting to escape Sparks for the day, I picked out Minden/Gardnerville for our drive destination last Saturday. The plan was to have a picnic at Genoa (Mormon Station State Park) and antiquing in Minden/Gardnerville. Heading south on 395 we always turn off at Jack’s Valley Road for the scenic route to Genoa. We got there a little too early for lunch so we headed into town for the antique shops…that’s when I spied a trail head! I asked if we could stop there for a walk and eat our lunch there.

It ended up being The Nature Conservancy’s River Fork Ranch land! Had no clue it was there.

River Fork Ranch trails.

River Fork Ranch trails.

“In 2000, the Conservancy secured the long-term protection of key wetland, meadow and riparian habitats along a two-mile section of the Carson River by purchasing the River Fork Ranch.

Located at the confluence of the east and west forks of the Carson River near Genoa, NV, River Fork Ranch is both a nature preserve and a working cattle operation. The ranch’s 805-acre patchwork of pastures, meadows and wetlands have supported cattle for more than a century and are one of the only known nesting sites for sandhill cranes in the Carson Valley.”

We parked at the ranch house/Whit Hall Interpretive Center and started walking south along the West Fork trail then back-tracked to the East Brockliss loop trail to head back to the car. Would love to go back once the snow melt-off starts! We only saw a few ducks, meadowlarks, and some sparrows while there…I imagine once April/May rolls around it will be teeming with birds! I especially would love to see the sandhill cranes.

Just a few pictures of the area…








Pond Hockey ~ Washoe Valley, Nevada

Been really busy lately and have neglected my blog…hopefully things will start to settle down in a bit.

Wanted to post some pictures of a hockey game we came across while out and about one weekend. After spending some time up in Virginia City we drove down through Carson City and then on the east side of Washoe Valley. At the north end is Little Washoe Lake…we stopped to eat our lunch and enjoy a hockey game.

The dogs were pretty funny…one was definitely the coach, barking his orders. :)











For Today ~ 21 November 2012 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 21 November 2012.

Outside My Window… Partly cloudy…and those clouds are scooting along pretty fast. Most of them dark. Windy. Sun is hitting the hills behind me.

I am thinking… Still have lots to do before we catch the train tomorrow morning. Also very happy it’s snowing up in the mountains! I’ve never taken Amtrak over the Sierra before and fresh snow will be pretty!

I am thankful for… my friends, health, my job.

From the kitchen… Probably grilled cheese sandwiches and soup.

I am wearing… Jeans, waffle-thermal shirt, tennis shoes and my hair in a pony tail.

I am creating… Not really creating, but I am FINALLY finishing up the dresser from my grandma’s house. I had to scrap off about 20 layers of paint. LOL! Still didn’t get it all off, but dang-it! I have to get my butt in gear. Bought Cajun Spice stain. I have one layer of seal on it with one more to go.


After…still needs sealing.

I am going… to go on a train ride! Go on a train ride!

I am reading… The newest NatGeo magazine that came in the mail.

I am hoping… that it’s quiet here at work today.

I am hearing… the winds.

Around the house… it’s clean. How about that?!

One of my favorite things… L’Occitane’s 20% shea butter dry skin hand cream. It’s a must during this time of the year.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… Go on a train ride! Go on a train ride! Oh…and when we get back, go see Alice Cooper on Sunday.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you…

Reno Sunrise 21 November 2012