April 28, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut ·
Follow The Smoke
Heading home from work today, we saw a plume of dark smoke, on the south side of I-905 and decided to go investigate the source.
Authority Figures Control The Situation
After jumping off the highway, we missed every single light on the way to the fire, so we missed the actual fire. It seems that it was a shed or detached garage that went up in smoke.
Firefighters Doing What They Do (After A Fire)
Anyways, steering wildly off my homeward-bound course was a welcome diversion from my usual, uneventful ride home. Nothing photo-worthy happened after that. The bulls (San Diego trolley guards) were out in force at the Palomar station, and were rude, grabby and scared of my camera, but that’s nothing new.
April 27, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut ·
The Inside Of A Ticket Vending Machine
I’ve always wondered what the inside of San Diego trolley ticket vending machines looked like, and now I know. I took this photo last weekend, on my way to an SDKA go-kart race and even though it is not very interesting, I’m sure a lot of San Diego commuters will appreciate it.
April 26, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut ·
I’ve seen roadrunners run around the road in Otay Mesa for two years, but never got a photo of one until today. There are at least three that look like this one, and another one that is bigger and is mostly blue. I haven’t seen the blue roadrunner for quite awhile.
A Roadrunner Stares Back
Birds can really look weird when you happen to see them facing dead at you. Without their beaks to give a sense of depth, they almost have a dog snout. Well, this roadrunner snapshot made me laugh, so into the blog it goes.
April 23, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut ·
San Diego’s Day At The Docks 2010
I didn’t spend much time at this event, held last Sunday in San Diego Bay, but I did stick around long enough to book a $2 ticket for a boat ride around the bay. It was fun, and the weather, even though hazy was a perfect temperature.
Seals Living In San Diego Bay
If this platform, adjacent to the Point Loma Submarine Base serves a purpose other than to allow seals to sunbathe, I couldn’t imagine what it could be. They have seabird neighbors, and boat riders like me to keep them company, so I don’t suppose it’s a bad life.
April 22, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut ·
Since this was my first trip to The Wild Animal Park since the 1970′s, it was all new to me. We spent 8 hours there and saw less than half the park. Next time I go, it will be on a two day weekend pass, and I’ll rent a Segway as well, even though a two hour rental is $80, I think it’ll be worth it in time saved and energy conserved because I was dragging ass after walking around and mostly standing all day.
Giraffes have a prehensile tongue, so they can control it like we control a finger. For this photo they just used their tongue like a tongue.
You My Friend Are A Cheetah
Cheetahs are the fastest land animal on the planet, and probably the solar system. Regardless of speed, I think all cats, wild and domestic, share the trait of the upside-down V mouth. Noticing the angle of the upside down V is something I’ve enjoyed doing since childhood.
The Thinker And The Stinker
The horn of a rhinoceros is made out of keratin, which is this same thing our hair and fingernails are made of. This rhino seems to lead a splendid life of leisure.
Lions Are The King Of The Jungle
If you find yourself needing to flee from a lion, I would suggest climbing a tree. It seems that lions CAN climb trees, but they don’t ALWAYS climb trees. These are better odds then staying on the ground where ALL the lions will eat you every time.
A Few More Giraffes
I try to keep repetition to a minimum on my posts, but this post does have a couple of the same animals. Besides, giraffes are cool, as are the other animal repeats you are about to see.
2010 Is The Year Of The Tiger
Tigers are my favorite cat, and favorite year on the Chinese lunar calendar. The tigers were WAY far a away from the viewing area, so I was at 450mm, and I was shooting through a chain-link fence that I wanted to make disappear, so I used my smallest available f/stop, which was f/5.6.
This elephant was the only one I had a clear shot of of the four or so that were walking around. The background is distracting, but the curve of his trunk in this photo is what spoke to me so it found a place in this post.
The Lion Says Goodnight
And so ends the trilogy of posts from my day at The San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park. I’m going to put out a fourth, “special feature” post with photos that did not quite make the grade for one reason or another, but would have been rad if I had gotten it right. To view the first post, featuring butterflies, click here, and for the second post full of birds, click here. Cheers!
April 21, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut ·
Victoria Crowned Pigeon
This colorful post consists of birds I photographed while on safari at San Diego Zoo Safari Park this past weekend. I feel pretty confident about my identification of all the birds in these photos except for the one above and the one below. If anyone knows for sure what kind of birds they are, let me know.
UPDATE: The top photo is a Victoria Crowned Pigeon & the black bird below is a Boat Tailed Grackle.
Boat Tailed Grackle
This photo was snapped while my companion and I ate our gourmet lunch. Even though I had money specifically for what I knew would be overpriced food, it really didn’t help ease the sting of the price tag. The problem is that when I got to places like The Wild Animal Park, the San Diego Zoo or to street festival events, I really look forward to eating while I’m there. So, just for you curious types that would like to what I ate, where I ate it and what I paid for it: I ate at the Mombasa Island Cooker where I enjoyed (out on the covered terrace of course) a gourmet western cheeseburger, garlic fries and a glass of merlot, for which I paid $16.
The lorikeet exhibit was one of the more interactive and “touchable” things to do at The Wild Animal Park. You can wander through the exhibit and most of the lorikeets will come up to you, much like pigeons do at parks and bus stations. If you have $3 to spend, you may purchase cups of nectar that you can hold out in your hand, which entices the lorikeets to land on you, walk down your arm and drink.
African Crowned Crane
There are a lot of these African crowned cranes in the park, and they seem to like to travel in pairs. Photographically speaking, subjects that have both black AND white in them make proper exposure very difficult. In the photo above, the highlights are a bit blown out, in order to accommodate the deep black feathers.
The shoebills in The Wild Animal Park were the only birds that I found to be a little bit scary. For starters, the top of their head came up to about my chin and their bill is about the size of an encyclopedia. (An “encyclopedia” is a large book full of facts compiled by learned individuals that people used to use as a reference to write reports or settle arguments. An encyclopedia should NOT be compared to the graffiti-on-the-wall WIKIPEDIA, which is an online dumping ground of psuedo-facts written by anyone with at least monkey-level typing skills.) Anyway, a bird that can stand on tippy-toes and look me in the eye with a blunt instrument for a beak gets respect, and a healthy dose of fear out of me.
Black Crowned Night Heron
According to this website, the black crowned night heron is a local (San Diego) bird that happens to fly into the Wild Animal Park to hunt and hang out. I’m not sure about any effects this has on the non-native animals that are actually brought into the park, but I watched this heron snatch this baby bird from a nest and then eat it. It actually caused quite a ruckus from the people watching as well as the momma bird that tried, in vain to get her baby back.
April 20, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut ·
Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charitonia)
San Diego Zoo Safari Park, in Encondito, CA just wrapped up a special “Butterfly Jungle” exhibit this past weekend. The entire park, including the butterfly jungle was a great experience and took up an entire Saturday as well as a few days to sort and select my favorite pics from that day. I found that I had too many keepers for one blog post. I’m going to split that exhausting day into three posts: Butterflies, birds and mammals, in that order.
This post will feature butterflies. These pics were snapped at 1/500th or faster, and most were at full 450mm zoom. That means the ISO was pretty high (1600-3200 ISO) so there is a bit of noise. Since I know next to nothing about what makes a butterfly tick, I won’t sully their wonderful colors or elegant, nectar slurping lives with any more of my words except to say, “Enjoy.”
Orange-Barred Tiger (Dryadula phaetusa)
Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)
Malachite (Siproeta stelenes)
Paper Kite Butterfly (Idea leuconoe)”
Malachite (Siproeta stelenes) & Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides)
Postman (Heliconius melpomene)
April 19, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut ·
San Diego Karting Association (SDKA) Race At Qualcomm Stadium
This post will be short and sweet. I attended the SDKA (San Diego Karting Association) race at Qualcomm Stadium on April 18, 2010. Actually, I just stuck around for a couple of the qualifying heats, but it still amazes me every time I go. This is the fourth SDKA race I have attending & photographed since accidentally discovering the club back in August 2009.
Rounding The Clubhouse Turn
With this being my fourth attended SDKA race, I feel much more confident now dialing in focus and managing my shutter speed than I did a mere 8 months ago. The problem is that I now feel my go-kart photos are starting to all look alike, even if they are sharper now than they were when I started. I would like my next SDKA photo-shoot in May 2010 to be more interesting and dynamic than what I have produced so far. Does anyone have any suggestions to help me accomplish that?
Kids Race Go-Karts Too
Ok sports fans, that’s it for this post. To all you SDKA racers, I’ll see you next month, and I promise my photos will not be more of the same. They will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
April 18, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut ·
I Don’t Want To Ride The Trolley
This gorilla, as photographed by me at the Wild Animal Park this weekend has a very distinct look. He has the look of a person that is about to start their commute on San Diego’s public transit system. SDMTS has a new commercial that, for some reason highlights the travel of a hot, young couple that have never been on the trolley or a bus before. People that only ride the trolley to Padres games, Chargers games and special events in downtown San Diego. Events that get extra trolley service added, to ensure that sports or Earth Day fans will feel they get their $5 worth out of a day pass. I think SDMTS should film a commercial showing people that have to use the trolley to get to and from work on a daily basis. The gorilla above, with his scowl should star in that commercial.
Those of us that have the special event of “going to work” on the trolley or bus get less than nothing. We have experienced a 40% reduction in service, yet fair weather baseball fans get special, added shuttle service, via the trolley to PETCO Park. Chargers game on Sunday? No problem. SDMTS adds special trolley service from downtown to Qualcomm Stadium on a SINGLE trolley on game days. Do you have to commute to work on a non game day? Tough shit, non-sports fan. Going to work on weekdays is less important to SDMTS than going football or baseball games on the weekend.
Allow me to dust off an old gem by reminding everyone of this video I shot back in September, 2009. In it you will see a public commuter have his head crushed under the knee of a trolley security guard, and then the guards turn on me for filming it. I should have worn a Chargers jersey I guess, and then I would have been given preferential treatment, instead of being treated like an average commuter.
April 16, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut ·
Sunset At Seaport Village, CA
Last Saturday, just before Buskers After Dark started in Seaport Village, the sun set on the boardwalk, and I was there. Being able to walk from where stood to take this pic to the Gaslamp District in a just few minutes, having the sunset following me the entire way is just one of the things that make San Diego a great place to live.
One of the quieter activities taking place while the sun was setting included what you see above. This man was intently balancing rocks on the edge of the boardwalk. There was no gimmick here other than pure skill and patience. I’m not kidding about this… There were no wires, magnets, Velcro or bubble gum to help hold the rocks in place, just balance.