August 25, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · 2 Comments
Coronado Hare or Black-tailed Jackrabbit
Silver Strand is the ribbon of land that connects Coronado to the continental United States. It is the reason Coronado is a peninsula, not an island and it is also the reason Coronado is home to a collection of wild hares. They live on the bay side of Silver Strand State Beach, amongst the bushes between the marina and Navy housing. I had never seen a hare before so I didn’t know that’s what it was when I took these photos; I just thought it was a weird looking, freakishly large, 2 foot tall rabbit. My curiosity lead to some internet research which lead to me now knowing the difference between a rabbit and a hare.
Hare On Silver Strand State Beach
It really boils down to size and cuteness. Hares are bigger and look like they mean business. They have muscle definition, even while sitting and their head has a very pronounced snout. Their ears and tail are large, with black tips and their eyes are alert, with a defined iris and pupil. At 2 feet tall hares are over 1/3 my height which is, unnerving. Basically, a hare is a mammal that looks like it’s ready for action and when you see it up close, realize it’s so big it could probably jump high enough to kick you right in the stomach. “Cute” is not the first word that comes to mind when you see a hare, I’d say “built” would be more appropriate.
Coronado also has a rabbit population, one member of which you see above. Isn’t it just oh-so-cute?!? It looks like a powder puff with big adorable dolls eyes. It really doesn’t look like a hare any more than a housecat looks like a bobcat; a rabbit is cute & fluffy while a hare looks large and in charge. So, don’t neglect the bay side of Silver Strand State Beach when you visit Coronado or you’ll miss out on some great boating and wildlife experiences. Cheers!
May 24, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · 2 Comments
Art Aquatic: Sea Life + Glass Exhibit
Chula Vista Nature Center, has an exhibit going until September 5, 2011 titled, “Art Aquatic: Sea Life + Glassworks” that I checked out recently, and it was well worth the trip. I had never been to Chula Vista Nature Center before so it was a fun time of going, doing and seeing something new.
Tropical Fish At Chula Vista Nature Center
Chula Vista Nature Center is located at 1000 Gunpowder Point Dr. Chula Vista, CA 91910, at E St. and I-5. This location allows for three very good options to get to the center. You can drive there, take public transportation or ride your bike, via Bayshore Bikeway. However you decide to get there, park in the lot and wait for the free nature center shuttle to pick you up. The shuttle runs every 15 minutes so you’ll never have to wait very long, just be patient and enjoy the view.
Scorpionfish With Modern Glass Art
The Art Aquatic: Sea Life + Glassworks exhibit that lead me to Chula Vista Nature Center to begin with was a remarkably simple yet beautiful study in combining brightly colored, organically shaped glass with brightly colored tropical fish. There are a dozen or so aquariums that each contains the work of one artist, along with living tropical fish that compliment the colors and design of the art.
Glass Volcano As Aquatic Art
This exhibit is remarkably simple: Glass is non-reactive, so it makes perfect sense to incorporate some brightly colored glass inside the aquarium, not just as the boring, clear walls we usually see. All of the cool shapes, designs and themes you see in these photos (except for the fish, of course) were hand-made or hand-blown by local, San Diego hot glass artists.
Be sure to take your time as you walk through Chula Vista Nature Center because each display and exhibit holds more than meets the eye. Remember this is a visual place about biology so there is a lot to take in every step of the way. The Art Aquatic exhibit is a very small part of the nature center, which sits on the 316 acre Sweetwater Marsh Wildlife Refuge so don’t think looking at fish is the only thing to do. You can also look at sea turtles, touch sharks and manta rays, see raptors and predatory birds and walk a scenic trail to the San Diego Bay.
Art Aquatic: Sea Life + Glassworks At Chula Vista Nature Center
One can only imagine what the fish think of their fancy aquariums or what they will do when they have to give up their fancy décor but for right now, they seem content and happy with their colorful new homes.
Scorpionfish In A Living Art Exhibit
So, my trip to Chula Vista Nature Center was good, and I found out there is a lot to see there and it is very much worth the $11 price of admission. You can find more information on the Chula Vista Nature Center website or by following them on Twitter. Cheers!
February 8, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
Once Upon A Time A Seagull Found Some Peanut Butter In A Plastic Container
The tale of this post happened right in front of me in Imperial Beach today. In a nutshell, there was a seagull that found a plastic peanut butter & crackers container and while trying to get at what was left of the peanut butter, attracted the attention of his fellow birds. A struggle ensued and the original owner ultimately lost his prize.
Trouble Started For The Seagull Right Away
I saw this episode as a metaphor for something. I’m not quite sure what to call it, but it’s one of those lessons or instances where the person (or bird) that gets what he wants ends up with more than he bargained for.
Outnumbered And On The Defensive
Basically, you have one bird that has something, so all the other birds want it now too. What none of the birds know is that whoever gets the prize will probably die. They are all fighting over something that will kill them, just because of the perceived value that ownership has given this certain something.
And Now We See It Is Just A Parable
It’s right about at this point, right about when the original owner of the highly sought after yet deadly prize looses the peanut butter that we can see this is a parable. Remember the Merrie Melodies cartoon “One Froggy Evening” where the construction worker finds a singing frog? That’s what happened right in front of me with these seagulls. I thought I was looking at the beginning, middle and end of a story but I wasn’t… I was looking at something much bigger.
And The Story Repeats Itself
What I saw as the end of my seagull story was merely the beginning of another, identical story for some one else, and so on and so on. Aside from the “don’t litter” undertones here, I think there is another lesson to be learned, a lesson that has to do with perception and point of view and things like that. I can’t quite put it into words, but I’m sure it’s there.
February 2, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
Cats On A Windowsill
These two cats were pointed out to me, sitting on the windowsill of a second story window. For some reason, there was a lamp pointed outside, illuminating them from behind which made for a great photo.
January 15, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
Highway Bird Of Prey
San Diego was a lot of wildlife sanctuaries in the South Bay area, so a lot of urban areas are right on the fringe of very wild places. Of course these wild things venture out, which is why this bird of prey is on a light post above I-5 in National City.
November 9, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
Bird Of Prey
I saw this bird earlier today, surveying it’s domain from the top of a street light. Lack of sunlight and a slow piece of glass attached to my D5000 meant I had to crank up the ISO to 1000, which I love being able to do without worrying about noise. Anyway, as I noticed, watched and photographed this bird of prey (with HUGE talons) I was reminded of a few other blog posts of mine that also had some pics of interesting birds.
A Raven In The Rain
The shot above was featured in a post of mine this past February, and is one of my personal favorites. It was a neat combination of San Diego, rain, me and a manual focus 450mm lens that led to a shot that I just really like.
Black Crowned Night Heron
The shot above was taken by me last April at San Diego’s Wild Animal Park and was also featured in a blog post of mine. This black crowned night heron plucked up and then devoured the little duckling you see in it’s beak. I’ve since come to learn that the black crowned night herons in the Wild Animal Park are uninvited guests that are problematic to the staff and animals of the park because they swoop in and eat the park’s baby birds.
November 5, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
A goodly amount of the time I spend waiting for buses and trolleys while at a San Diego transit stations is spent watching pigeons. They seem to have evolved in tandem with people because they only eat what we throw away, drop and spill. The puddle of fluid the pigeons above are drinking above had dripped from the tail pipe of a bus a few minutes before.
July 4, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
La Mesa’s Resident Hawk
I am writing this at 5pm on July 4th, 2010, so I have less than two hours to get downtown to watch the fireworks display in San Diego Bay. I plan on capturing some amazing images. The OTHER thing that happened today was me snapping a couple pics of the very outspoken hawk that has been in my neighborhood for a month or so.
I readily admit that the pics for this post are weird, but I am in a hurry because I am going down to San Diego Bay to see The Big Boom fireworks show. I am going to attempt a complete guerrilla photo shoot for this. It will all be on public transportation so wish me luck.
July 3, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
There is a short inline skate trail that runs around Vacation Isle, in the middle of Mission Bay. It’s a smooth, concrete path that follows the eastern and southern shoreline of Vacation Isle before swinging back around the model yacht pond, past Paradise Point Resort Spa and over to Ingraham St.
Vacation Isle In Mission Bay
As I sat on a bench while lacing up my skates, I thought about just how lucky I am right now. Even though I spend four hours dedicated to looking for work every day, I am still able explore San Diego’s inline skate paths during the middle of the week, so the crowds are at a minimum and in some case, like in the photo above, non-existent.
Model Yacht Pond On Vacation Isle
The model yacht pond is a rectangle shaped pond that is for model boaters only. A few times a year there are model boat races in the pond and they always draw a crowd.
Sea Cats Of Vacation Isle
These stray cats live at the southern end of Vacation Isle, where Ingraham St. crosses over. I was really surprised to see cats that lived by the sea, right next to a skate path. I didn’t try to approach them, but they seemed to be doing all right and since there was a plastic food dispenser nearby, I think that some good Samaritan feeds them at least somewhat regularly. I’ll bring some cat food with next time, because feeding some beach-bum stray cats before inline skating around Mission Bay sounds like a wonderful idea to me.
June 23, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · 3 Comments
OB’s Dog Beach
I have decided to delve into the inline skating community of San Diego. Being able to explore (on inline skates) what San Diego has to offer during the middle of the work day is just about the only thing I can do that does not cost money and bring me joy at the same time. Yesterday I decided to skate the Ocean Beach Bike Path, picking it up just north of the Old Town transit center, and it turned out to be the best decision I’ve made in a long time. If you are skating west, the trail ends at the mouth of the San Diego River and it was here that I discovered OB’s Dog Beach.
Running In The Pacific Ocean With Your Dog
Dogs Just Want To Have Fun
This park is HUGE and carries itself inland, up the mouth of the San Diego river for at least a quarter of a mile. When I reached the end of the path, I removed my skates in favor of flip-flips and walked down to the shore. Dogs having fun at the beach is a great thing to watch and is also a great photo op.
Every Dog Is Your Friend At OB’s Dog Beach
A dog park is very unique because every square inch of every dog park is fair game for photographers. All you have to do is walk down to the park or in this case, the beach and take pictures of dogs running at full gait up and down the beach and leaping into the air catching toys.
Dogs Jump Through The Air
I included the above shot because it shows just how weird the world can be when viewed at 1/2500th of a second. Two dogs playing yet neither one is touching the ground.
New Friends At The Dog Beach
I don’t know why, but the beach brings out the best in a dog. So, plan a trip with your dog to Ocean Beach’s Dog Beach, or just skate the bike path to the park and watch other people having fun with their dogs. You don’t have to take a car or a dog to get to this beach since it is the start/finish of the OB Bike Path. A great set of maps that detail everywhere to bike or skate in the county can be found on the iCommute website.
Dogs Playing In The Ocean
Dogs Playing On The Beach
Triple Exposure Of A Dog Catching A Disc On The Beach
A safari like this one really helps to illustrate just how fluid life can be. I had planned on taking pictures of the Ocean Beach Bike Path as a reference for other skaters and bikers, but a giant beach set aside for dogs turned out to be subject instead. I thought it would be a good day because I strapped on my skates and had my camera, and it was, but in a completely different way. For those of you interested in places you can skate or bike without having to worry about automobiles, should click on this link. It will take you to a website that shows you every exclusive bike/skate path in San Diego. They are referred to as RED ROUTES. A red route is a bike/skate path where automobile traffic is forbidden. The Ocean Beach Bike Path, which leads to the dog beach is one of them.