28 Dec 2008
21 Dec 2008
14 Dec 2008
07 Dec 2008
30 Nov 2008
23 Nov 2008
Moffett Field was the home of the USS Macon back in the 1930's; now an airship (this time a Zeppelin) is once again based there. Operated by Airship Ventures, one hour sightseeing flights around the Bay are offered.
The first commercial flight of this zeppelin (as yet unnamed, pending outcome of an ongoing contest) was taken by Abney Park, rather appropriately.
Location: 37° 24' 54" N, 122° 02' 54" W
16 Nov 2008
09 Nov 2008
02 Nov 2008
26 Oct 2008
Up and down Highway 1 along the Pacific coast between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay, there are many pumpkin farms. Some are little more than a roadside produce stand, others set up great displays of hundreds of pumpkins. Half Moon Bay even hosts a Pumpkin Festival each year about this time. But Arata's Pumpkin Farm goes beyond the field of pumpkins and the hayrides of their competition, adding a large straw maze, pony rides and a mild haunted barn. It's not spooky, but it is popular.
Location: 37° 22' 57.6" N, 122° 24' 10.5" W
19 Oct 2008
12 Oct 2008
05 Oct 2008
Nefarious, performing in Voodoo Bayou at Thrillvania back in 2000. The original dinosaur skull and hydraulic rig came from another haunter (Stage Fright Studios); the show controller, flame rig, wings and surrounding scene were all built by Lance Pope and his crew. Nefarious was featured on the Thrillvania T-Shirts that year.
Location: 32° 41' 11" N, 96° 14' 42" W
28 Sep 2008
21 Sep 2008
Halloween season, that is. Photo taken at the Scare Factory booth, 2001 Transworld Halloween trade show.
Location: 41° 58' 44" N, 87° 51' 38" W
14 Sep 2008
07 Sep 2008
This was the setup in the dining room at Haunted Verdun Manor (Thrillvania) back during the 1997 season, under the show lights. This was the first major scene in the haunt, with Baron Michael Verdun posing behind the corpses of Vincent Carruther's dinner guests.
Location: 32° 41' 11" N, 96° 14' 42" W
31 Aug 2008
24 Aug 2008
DarkFang, playing around with a hot glue gun, during the photo shoot for Critter Costuming: Making Mascots and Fabricating Fursuits.
Location: Somewhere in California
17 Aug 2008
Halloween is getting closer; here we see the Haunted Tunnel entrance at Casa de Fruita, part of their miniature railroad (Casa de Choo Choo).
Location: 36° 59' 16.02" N, 121° 22' 55.96" W
10 Aug 2008
This large statue of Confucius overlooks a reflecting pond in the Chinese Cultural Garden at Overfelt Gardens Park in San Jose. The statue, thirty feet tall including its marble base, was a gift to San Jose from the people of Tainan, Taiwan and was erected in June, 1974.
Location: 37° 21' 51.24" N, 121° 51' 11.52" W
03 Aug 2008
Part of the Casa de Fruita complex, this double decker carousel was handcrafted in Italy in 1987 and previously graced a Florida park.
Casa de Fruita, founded in 1908, stands east of Gilroy and north of Hollister on highway 152, and is also the site of the Northern California Renissance Faire.
Location: 36° 59' 16.83" N, 121° 22' 55.45" W
27 Jul 2008
This year marked the 30th annual Gilroy Garlic Festival (in Gilroy, California, naturally); the Running Wolf crew was there to partake of all the garlicky goodness. These are some of the Pyro Chefs in Gourmet Alley, preparing huge pans of Festival Style Calamari with a side of showmanship.
Location: 36° 59' 51.6" N, 121° 35' 09.0" W
20 Jul 2008
This is one of the better photos Ysengrin took of Verdun Manor at Thrillvania. It was a slow night, as witnessed by the short line of patrons on the porch.
Location: 32° 41' 11" N, 96° 14' 42" W
13 Jul 2008
These mortar pits were made by Ohlone grinding acorns into flour. This particular set of pits overlooks a deep ravine and is a few hundred feet from good spings -- which are now at the bottom of a man made lake. The age of these particular grinding pits is unknown, though they certainly date to before the Ohlone population crashed due to epidemics in the last part of the 18th century.
Photos taken at Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve (OSP), in the hills above Palo Alto. The "Ohlone grinding stone" is locally well known.
Approx. location: 37° 18' 46" N, 122° 11' 19" W
06 Jul 2008
Thanks to two hyenas (Cro and Hyena Girl), Ysengrin now has a bottle of Kumejima's Kumesen Awamori -- with a foo dog on the label. This awamori isn't as potent here in the States as it is in it's native Japan (48 proof vs. up to 86 proof), but Ysengrin is looking forward to opening this bottle later today.
Approx. location: 37° 08' 06" N, 122° 08' 25" W
29 Jun 2008
There are several hundred wildfires across northern California today; the air is hazy with fine ash and smells of smoke. This photo shows the aftermath of the Martin fire; so far it has been the closest of the fires to us. Eighty percent of the Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve looks like this now. You can see the Moon Rocks in the background, where apparently the fire started.
The second photo is the same general area (with the Moon Rocks in the background) and was taken last August.
Location: 37° 03' 04.8" N, 122° 08' 15.0" W
22 Jun 2008
15 Jun 2008
Near here in Mountain Charlie gulch on May 8, 1854, Charles Henry "Mountain Charlie" McKiernan and a friend named Taylor were attacked by a grizzly bear. The bear sprang from a thicket, both men fired, but the bear grabbed Mountain Charlie, biting him on the arms and face. A piece of skull about 4 inches square was bitten from over Mountain Charlie's left eye and nose by the bear.
Dr. T.J. Ingersoll of San Jose prepared a plate of silver and applied it to the area of the missing skull at McKiernan's request. In the ensuing week, the plate was not healing and it was removed against Mountain Charlie's protests. About a year later an operation to remove an abscess under the brain relieved his intolerable pain. Mountain Charlie was much disfigured from his wounds, but he survived another 38 years.
Thus began the legend and folklore about the man with the "silver skull."
Approx. location: 37° 07' 37" N, 121° 59' 20" W
08 Jun 2008
This wooden trestle just north of Santa Cruz is still in use by the Roaring Camp Railroads (well, technically the Santa Cruz, Big Trees & Pacific Railway Company, but it's owned and operated by Roaring Camp). It's also mentioned in R.A. MacAvoy's Twisting the Rope -- the sequel to Tea With The Black Dragon -- and reading both books recently reminded Ysengrin that he wanted to photograph the location.
The image is digitally stitched together from several photos; Ysengrin was standing about twenty feet off of one end of the trestle and looking through an opening in the trees.
Approx. location: 37° 00' 25" N, 122° 02' 39" W
01 Jun 2008
25 May 2008
18 May 2008
The Flaming Lotus Girls (a San Francisco based group of artists) created a piece for Burning Man 2008 called Mutopia, encompassing thirteen animated metal-and-flame "Seedpods" in various states of growth. One of the Seedpods was transplanted to the San Mateo Fairgrounds for the recent Maker Faire, and is seen surrounded by admirers in this image.
Location: 37° 32' 48.90" N, 122° 18' 12.76" W
11 May 2008
Here's two of the large metal sculptures set up at the San Mateo Fairgrounds for the recent Maker Faire. They are the creations of Karen Cusolito and Dan Das Mann (and their substantial crew) and were originally part of Crude Awakening, shown at Burning Man 2007.
Location: 37° 32' 48.30" N, 122° 18' 07.84" W
04 May 2008
Ysengrin ran into the talented Miss Monster at the San Mateo Maker Faire yesterday and grabbed the chance to pose with her (the full size, linked image has both of us). Many details of how Miss Monster created her werewolf can be found on her costuming blog and her how-to on Instructables.
Location: 37° 32' 51.91" N, 122° 18' 07.38" W
27 Apr 2008
13 Apr 2008
06 Apr 2008
30 Mar 2008
23 Mar 2008
Ysengrin poses with a random Ferengi at the Viva Haunt Vegas tour during the 13th Transworld Haunt & Attraction trade show -- Ysengrin is the pale one with more hair (but tiny lobes). I will not say who came out better in the dealing, but as the 284th Ferengi Rule of Acquisition says, "Deep down, everyone's a Ferengi."
A hearty thank you goes out to Haunted Enterprises for setting up three of their seasonal haunts for the tour.
Location: 36° 00' 59.29" N, 115° 14' 01.65" W
16 Mar 2008
DarkFang and Ysengrin pose by an anti-Coyote roadside propaganda poster (actually, people feeding coyotes results in bolder, more aggressive coyotes). Photo by Crocuta, taken near Rodeo Beach, Marin County, California.
Location: 37° 49' 54.48" N, 122° 31' 54.75" W
09 Mar 2008
02 Mar 2008
24 Feb 2008
17 Feb 2008
10 Feb 2008
03 Feb 2008
27 Jan 2008
Ysengrin talks to an assistance dog in training, one of several that were around at Further Confusion 2008.
Location: 37°22'18.5" N, 121°55'23.8" W
20 Jan 2008
13 Jan 2008
06 Jan 2008