June 2023

Thoughts about…

Spring Work

On May 21st, I officially began to work again at my summer job. The first few weeks are usually the break-in period where we find our rhythm and acclimate to the increased workload. And they usually involve a lot of heavy lifting so during those first weeks, before we actually open to the public, we only log between 4-6 hours of work each day. It’s not that we couldn’t pull full eight-hour shifts if we had to, but there’s never a rush to get everything done all at once.

That, and everything has to happen in a certain sequence. So if step one isn’t complete we can’t move on to the next step, and so on and so forth. And, let me tell you, there are countless initial steps to complete before we even really get to a starting point for opening the resort.

Watch my Outdoor Vlog #54 on YouTube.com/@JaredManninen for more views from this cross-country ski tour around the Steven’s Peak area on May 3, 2023. © Jared Manninen

This year, the pre-season was even more difficult due to the persistent snowpack. Our commute to and from the resort, alone, was often an epic journey. Now, the resort isn’t huge by any means. However, forgetting to bring a tool or part from the garage to a structure up the hill for repair and then having to retrieve it by walking back down and then back up in the snow, for example, gets annoying even after only one or two extra trips. That said, we don’t make it a habit of carrying around the resort every possible tool just in case. And on top of everything, literally, was multiple feet of snow. So I was still shoveling snow, to one degree or another, well into the first week of June.

Again, just getting to the starting point this season has been challenging.

The Upper Truckee River as it flows through Washoe Meadows State Park on May 10, 2023. © Jared Manninen

The last major disruption to our workflow this time around has been the consistent rain, thunder, and lightning storms that we’ve received here in Tahoe. They’ve arrived between two and three o’clock nearly every day for the past three weeks. And since we’ve mostly been working outside, those storms have provided reason enough to call it a day.

I actually like the storms because they’re exciting and add variety to the day. However, at this point I’m just kinda tired of hiking back down to my vehicle after work every day in the snow while it’s raining. Fortunately, the forecast shows that we may have finally reached the end of these storm cycles. And, by now, a lot of the snow on the trail has finally melted. So the thought of commuting to and from work on terra firma with blue skies overhead definitely puts a smile on my face.

There was still an unbelievable amount of snow on Grass Lake on May 13, 2023. © Jared Manninen

As always, I’m not trying to sound like the complaint department. And I totally understand that most construction workers, for example, who braved far more adverse conditions during this past epic winter would probably consider me a lightweight. And that’s ok. I’m just trying to illustrate the fact that mountain living isn’t always a glamorous lifestyle. It’s often just a lot of hard work.

Interestingly, working in these rugged conditions is its own immersive experience. You may have noticed that my creative output has dwindled this past month. And, in fact, I’m publishing this newsletter two weeks later than planned. But this is because I just decided to embrace work and eliminate most other activities in my life for the time being. As I’ve previously mentioned, we can really only serve one master. So, again, work has been the priority as of late which is a good thing, realistically, because after this past winter I definitely need to be consistently working again.

View of the Angora Creek area on May 18, 2023, where I had cross-country skied so much just a few weeks prior. © Jared Manninen

All of that said, I have managed to complete a few creative projects, namely a small selection of greeting cards that feature my wildlife photography (see below).

I also continue to frequently work on my Lake Tahoe-related pocket-sized birding guidebook, gathering and editing photos. Although, I still have to take some print-worthy photographs of a handful of birds for the book. So when it’s not raining and I have the time, I’ve been out searching for those specific birds. Once I dial in these photos, I’ll begin the writing phase.

A snapshot of the snowpack in Desolation Wilderness on May 21, 2023. © Jared Manninen

All in all, my book is going to be relatively small at 4×6 inches. It’s going to feature very succinct descriptions alongside my photos of the birds, of which I’ve documented approximately 100 species. The book is also going to be specific to an area of South Lake Tahoe near my home. Admittedly, this makes it a limited resource. However, my long-term goal is to publish a series of similar birding books for specific locations around Lake Tahoe.

My reason for this is that most of the birding guidebooks that are Tahoe-related are general books about the entire Sierra Nevada. For me, that just isn’t very helpful in the field because in any given birding location you’re unlikely to see most of the birds featured in those books. In a lot of respects, each birding location around Lake Tahoe is its own habitat or micro-climate. Therefore, specific bird species are drawn to those specific habitats.

A dramatic view from the mountainside above work on May 24, 2023. © Jared Manninen

Anyway, enough of the sales pitch.

I apologize that this newsletter isn’t very thought-provoking like my usual output, but I’m just now feeling like I’m regaining some traction with regard to my daily schedule. And, honestly, sometimes you just need to send it regardless of whether or not it’s your best work.

Perfection, after all, is the enemy of completion.

Looking for wildflowers at Washoe Meadows State Park on May 27, 2023. © Jared Manninen

As I mentioned above, I’ve been working on my pocket guidebook all spring. During this process, though, I realized that I’m missing quality photos of a small handful of relatively uncommon birds. So, I’ve been birding as often as I can despite the rain storms.

Another thing I realized is that even though I have decent pictures of most of the birds that I’m featuring in the book, I can always take better photos. So, I try not to get too discouraged when I don’t find those more uncommon birds by embracing what I can find 🙂

Once work started, my YouTube output definitely took a dive 🙂

It’s all good, though, because I needed a break from making videos. Once I find my rhythm in my summer schedule, I’ll start making content again.

In the meantime, these are two of my last official xc ski session vlogs from the 2022-23 xc ski season.

I don’t have a specific online purchasing option for my greeting cards yet. However, if you did want to purchase one (or multiple), you could do it through the amber-colored button toward the bottom of this page that says “Support Tahoe Trail Guide.” This will take you to a PayPal paying option. You’ll have to type in the $ amount your sending, as well as a description of what you want. Also include:

  • Name
  • Mailing Address (if you live near me, I can hand deliver and refund your shipping)
  • Email Address (so that I can contact you if something is amiss)
  • What cards you want (see the caption underneath the image for the names)

$5 per card + $0.99 shipping = $5.99/card

$20 for all five cards + $3.99 shipping = $23.99

Lake Tahoe Greeting Cards (clockwise beginning at top left): Steller's Jay, Coyote, Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel, American Black Bear, Bald Eagle

Some Tahoe Trail Guide articles for your reading pleasure 🙂

Thanks for being a part of my life. Until next time…

-Jared Manninen

Tahoe Trail Guide is an online resource for hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing in the Lake Tahoe region. In addition to trail data, I offer backcountry “how-to” articles and information about the local and natural history of Tahoe. Tahoe Swag is a collection of art and design products I create based on my love of the outdoors and appreciation for Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains.

If you like any of the images I post in these newsletters, please contact me. I’d be more than happy to upload them to my RedBubble account so that you can order prints and other merchandise featuring the images.

American Black Bear - Ursus americanus (5/31/23). © Jared Manninen

A Note about Patreon and PayPal…

Patreon (orange button) is an online platform for providing financial support to creators who provide quality digital content that’s otherwise free. I offer various subscription tiers starting at $3. And all subscription tiers from $6 and up will receive original artwork after six consecutive months of contributions. The button directly below the Patreon button is a way in which to provide a one-time payment via PayPal (if subscriptions aren’t your thing).

My newsletters here on JaredManninen.com, the articles that I publish on Tahoe Trail Guide, and the videos I upload to YouTube will always be free. But if you’re interested in contributing to the health and longevity of my websites and YouTube channel, consider subscribing. Even a little goes a long way 🙂

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Last Month’s Newsletter (aka Recap in Video Format!)

To broaden my audience and get more mileage out of these newsletters, I’ve begun to adapt them into short videos for YouTube. I’ll incorporate short video clips into these recaps whenever possible as I do often capture nature videos when I’m outdoors (but don’t use the footage anywhere else). Essentially, I want to make two different presentations with a minimal amount of extra work rather than just creating a 1-to-1 adaptation of these text and photo versions of my newsletters.

Categories: Newsletters
Tags: #2023

Comments (2)

  • Maria Mircheva . June 15, 2023 . Reply

    “Perfection is the enemy of completion,” I like that. “Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good,” is another saying I have heard. I subscribe by that. Perfection is seldom needed in daily, even monthly tasks.

    • (Author) Jared Manninen . June 16, 2023 . Reply

      Hey Maria!

      I also like your phrase about not letting the perfect get in the way of the good 🙂

      Unfortunately, for me, I am a perfectionist so I often let that get in the way of the good, as well as getting the thing done. So I do have to often remind myself of these little life lessons 🙂

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