South Platte River

September 11, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Dragonfly Silhouette

A Dragonfly Silhouette

    I spent some time along the South Platte River yesterday and I saw a few cool things. First up was a dragonfly. It was just hanging out on top of a branch, silhouetted against a cloudy sky

Deer On South Platte River

A Deer

    After that, I saw a deer looking at me through the trees. For some reason, it stuck its tongue out at me.

Rob Hurlbut On A Refrigerator

Rob Hurlbut On A Refigerator

    Then, I got a twofer. I found a refrigerator an overflow area of the river, so of course I posed for a picture. I have the notion return to this spot and dig it up to find a serial number or something that will tell me how old it is.

Spider

Spider In A Refigerator

    Inside the refrigerator, a spider waited for dinner to be served up. It kept running away when I got close so I had to use a zoom lens and a flash to get this pic. What you see here is only a fraction of what I saw and even a smaller fraction of what lurks around The South Platte River. Cheers!

Solar Eclipse Over Denver, Colorado

August 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Solar Eclipse Denver Colorado

Solar Eclipse Over Denver, Colorado

    On August 21, 2017, there was a total eclipse of the sun that traversed The United States of America from Oregon to South Carolina. I was in Denver, Colorado so I didn’t get to see totality but I did get to see 92% of the sun covered. I took about 25 minutes of photos leading up to that 92 percent. It was cool and if nothing else, helped to get me taking photos and posting on the blog again. The photo above is a montage of those 15 minutes of photos. Cheers!

Early Spring Flowers In Denver

May 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Flowering Almond Pink Flower

Flowering Almond Pink Flower

Red Tulip

Red Tulip

Pear Tree Flower

Pear Tree Flower

Yellow Forsythia

Yellow Forsythia

Mercury Transits Across The Sun

May 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Mercury Transit 2016 Double Exposure

The Transit Of Mercury

    The orbits of Mercury and Earth lined up in such a way on May 9, 2016 that Mercury swept directly between the sun and us. From sunrise until just after lunch, those of us with the optics and equipment were able to watch Mercury, as a small black spot, move from one side of the sun to the other. For you photographers out there my settings for shooting the sun were: 1/4000th of a second, f/32, 100 ISO with a 10 stop neutral density filter attached to a 200mm lens. The photo above has two images taken that day, separated by just over two hours of time. Mercury is the lower of the two black spots you see on the sun. For all you fact checkers and history loggers, the left one was taken at 8:20am and the other at 10:36am Mountain time, from just outside Denver, CO. Cheers!

Flowers In The Garden

May 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Purple Allium

Allium

    A year ago I planted a bunch of flowers and trees around the house. It was a lot of hard work and believe me, when it comes to digging holes through rocks and clay; there is no clever way to go about doing it. Anyway, after spending the spring and summer of last year wondering if it was all worth it, things are blooming and growing so yes, it was all worth it.

Poppy Anemone

Poppy Anemone

    At this early point in the spring, flowers are the first to show their colors but, the trees I planted last year are showing some very vigorous signs of life as well. The reason I haven’t shown any photos of the progress they’ve made is because this has been a very personal journey for me. Knowing how long this journey is going to be has allowed me the rare opportunity to sit back and enjoy the ride, rather than document every single step.

Purple Lilacs

Purple Lilacs

    The two lilac photos in this post are, ironically enough, not plants that I planted last year. They are older than me and have endured more Colorado winters than most people I know. They were a bit unkempt as of last year but I trimmed them, causing them to have fewer flowers this year, but are now prepared to have twice as many next year.

White Lilacs

White Lilacs

    So, there you go. There will be more photos of the garden as the spring and summer progress, showing you this labor intensive project I started last year. Oh what a difference a year makes.

Spring in Denver

March 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Tulips In Sun

Tulips In The Sun

    One constant thing about Colorado is that the weather is constantly changing. As a warm weather person, I look forward to spring and summer the way a surfer looks at the ocean; I just can’t wait to get into it. I want to be able to wear shorts and flip-flops and any time of the day or night and ride my bike everywhere. While Denver has had some very warm days this year, it’s not full on springtime yet and even the plants are being fooled into coming out of their winter dormancy early. Case in point, the photos of the flowers in this post they were taken less than 24 hours apart. It’s been so nice for the last few weeks that tulips are kicking things by blooming for me in late March and then, the very next day…

Tulips In Snow

Tulips In The Snow

    They got snowed on. Snow in March is not an unusual thing in Colorado but blooming flowers is a little out of the ordinary so on this day I got to see flowers covered in snow. I’m writing this the day after I took that snowy photo and the snow is already melted so spring and winter are really fighting it out. Anyway, this is just a quick post to show you what we go through in Colorado every year. Cheers!

Photographing the Sun

December 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Sunspots Nov 2014

Sunspots Over Denver

    Back in October I posted some photos of the partial solar eclipse the occurred over Denver. In that post I lamented not being able to capture the event very well because the sun is, duh, too damn bright. What I needed, and thus came to want(ed) was a neutral density filter; sunglasses for my camera. Guess what? I got one! Of course it’s been cloudy most days since I bought it but I’ve still managed to mess around with it a little.

    My camera has a cropped sensor so my 200mm lens gives me the reach of a 300mm lens on an actual 35mm camera. For the laypeople out there, my camera’s sensor is smaller than a 35mm negative by a factor of 1.5 so that smaller size gives me 1.5 times more reach than if I had a full size (35mm) sensor. This can be a blessing or a curse depending on what I’m trying to do. My cool 8mm fish-eye lens is not as wide as it should be because with my camera it shoots at 12mm. When aiming at the sun or birds of in the distance, my 55-200mm zoom gives me 100 extra millimeters on the far end (300mm). Are you still awake? Well, even if you are not, I’m going to continue.

    With the sun being so bright, even a neutral density filter needs help so the photo above was shot in a way that allowed the least amount of light to hit the sensor, whether the ND filter was in place or not. The same settings were used for the shot below during the eclipse; 1/4000th of a second, f/32 and an ISO of 100. Beyond that the only difference between the two is the ND filter, which lets less light pass through the lens and onto the sensor.

Solar Eclipse And Bird In Flight In Denver

Solar Eclipse Over Denver

    If you use your imagination, you can see where the moon is blocking the top portion of the sun but you might not see that if I didn’t tell you about it. At this point, the sun was very low in the sky which made for a very dramatic eclipse but still had me struggling to photograph it. The top photo was taken when the sun was a full two hours higher in the sky and yet you can see sun spots even a fleck of dust on my lens. The fleck I’m referring to is the big spot you see at the 8 o’clock position on the sun. Anyway, my point is that I’m pleased with this ND filter and once I’m done pointing it at the sky I’ll get to some slow shutter speed stuff of rivers and waterfalls. Bor-ing stuff. Cheers!

Partial Solar Eclipse Over Denver

October 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Solar Eclipse And Bird In Flight In Denver

A Bird Flies Past A Solar Eclipse

    Last week I photographed a partial solar eclipse in Denver, Colorado. That was something I had never done before so guess what happened. Never mind, don’t guess; I’ll just tell you: I didn’t do a very good job. I did the best I could with the equipment I had but believe it or not, pointing a camera at the sun, the brightest thing any human being has ever seen requires more than skill, it demands specialized equipment; a neutral density filter. Just attach the filter to the end of your lens and it functions just like sunglasses or a welder’s mask. They restrict the amount of light that passes through the lens so you can use low light techniques in broad daylight. Or, in the case a solar eclipse, prevent you from going blind whilst composing a shot that includes the sun.

Solar Eclipse Through Colorado Blue Spruce In Denver

Partial Solar Eclipse Through Colorado Blue Spruce

    Since I don’t have one of these filters, I had to push my camera to its limits by using the fastest shutter, smallest aperture and lowest ISO available; 1/4000th of a second paired with f/32 and a film speed of 100. In addition to that, I did what I could in order to get some trees, leaves and branches between my camera and the eclipse to help act as a natural diffuser. So, technically I got some photos that show the moon partially blocking the sun but as you can see, just barely. There are cameras out there that can slap their shutters at 1/8000th of a second and that would’ve helped me out a lot but using a neutral density filter for an event like this is the better option because it would have given me more flexibility, including the option to directly view the sun through the viewfinder. This would have made it so much easier to compose the shots.

Solar Eclipse And Trees In Denver

Partial Solar Eclipse And Spooky Trees

    The eclipse itself was a very unique event for North American photographers because it happened right before or during sunset for the middle and eastern side of the continent. Just like when the harvest moon happens, it’s always nice to be able to place familiar objects in the foreground to enhance to apparent size of the celestial event by giving it some scale. There was a very light cloud cover the entire time so the sun looked like a very haunted moon and the foreground subjects looked like something from an evil garden.

Solar Eclipse Through A Pinhole Camera In Denver

Solar Eclipse Projected By Pinhole Camera

    If you don’t have gear capable of being pointed directly at the sun, there is an old world way to see an eclipse and that is to construct a pinhole camera. You need a piece of white cardboard to poke a pinhole in and another white surface for the eclipse to be projected on. The smaller the pinhole, the closer together the two ends of the camera need to be. I poked a hole with a large paper clip so I was able project an image of the eclipse onto a white brick wall from more than three feet away. The image itself, visible on the left side of the photo above was about a half inch a cross and even showed the branches of the trees. I hadn’t messed around with old school optics like this for over 20 years so it was fun and even a little bit nostalgic. The good news in all this is that there will be a total solar eclipse visible across a large swath of the United States in August of 2017 as well as a total lunar eclipse in September of 2015. I know it seems like these are a long way off but having two events like this so close together is very special and doesn’t happen very often in the United States so, buy a neutral density filter and start practicing now. Cheers!

A Spider in the Yard

August 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

spider and web on white pipe

A Spider Spins A Web

     I’ve spent a lot of time in the yard this summer, planting lots of trees and doing general chores to help the place look like a lush and private paradise. I like getting back to and becoming one with nature so even though it’s hard work that entails digging holes and schlepping rocks, I enjoy it. Three months into this project I have reached a point where I’m spending more time looking at what I’ve done and less time on the physical labor aspect; I’ve planted more than 40 trees, 60 shrubs and vines and hundreds of flowers. Everything is growing nicely so every day it gets a little easier to visualize what the yard will look like in a couple years and how much people will enjoy it.

spider and tall web

A Skyscraper Spiderweb

    The insect and arachnid population of the yard is already reaping the benefits. The impetus for this post came from a spider that spun an interesting looking web. This little guy or gal lives in a small piece of white PVC pipe and spun itself a skyscraper web connecting to a purple leafed plant.

spider on white pipe

Spider

    Now that I’ve mentioned my planting project, I suppose you’re wondering where the photos are. Surely I’m documenting the entire process from seed to tree right? Nope. I mean, I am taking pictures of the process but they are not for public consumption. I’m afraid that all of you, my loyal readers will have to wait until the stuff I’ve planted has reached an appreciable diameter and climbed to a dignified height. They’ll get there, just be patient.

Murder Of Crows

November 2, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Murder of crows in flight

A Murder Of Crows In Flight

    I live in Imperial Beach, right next to the South Bay Marine Biological Study Area. That title is a fancy way of saying that there is a wildlife and bird sanctuary in IB. Bayshore Bikeway cuts through the area so it’s very easy to get up close and personal with the birds, the plants and the water of San Diego Bay.

    Lately, there has been a murder of crows that visits the area at sunset. They cause quite a racket but they keep to themselves as they forage for food at the southern edge of the bay. I’ve made a habit of watching them and the sunset every evening now and I must say that it is a nice bit of Zen to end the day. Cheers!

Dragonflies In Otay Valley Regional Park

August 25, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Blue Dragonfly In Otay Valley Park

Dragonfly In Otay Valley Regional Park

    If you like dragonflies then you will want to ride your bike through Otay Valley Regional Park, in Chula Vista between Beyer Boulevard and Interstate 805. That area of the park holds a couple lakes with cattail filled shores and lots of dragonflies. I would very much recommend you take the time to just watch a dragonfly as at flies around. They have what seems like an impossible way of flying; they are able to stop and hover on a dime and can even fly backwards. This makes photographing them in flight very difficult because they are impossible to anticipate. The autofocus on my camera could not keep up at all, so I switched to manual focus which was difficult but yielded better photos. My only advice would be to use a small aperture, so you focal range will be as wide as possible.

Blue Dragonfly In Otay Valley Park

Airborne Dragonflies Are Not Easy To Photograph

    I was amazed at the bright blue color of this particular dragonfly, but it just wouldn’t land. I tracked this one and several others for the better part of an hour and none of them ever landed. That’s why there are only two photos in this post, because these two were the best I was able to do. Dragonflies zip around at all angles and have an instant stop and reverse move that will get you every time.


View Larger Map

West Edge Of Otay Valley Regional Park

    But I digress; Otay Valley Regional Park is a dragonfly lover’s paradise right now, so head out to west Chula Vista with your bike and enjoy the park. There are bathrooms and drinking fountains on the west side of Beyer Boulevard so you don’t need to brink anything other than your camera. You can walk this park, but it is 100 percent bike friendly so that is what I recommend. I entered the park via the southeast edge of Bayshore Bikeway, near Swiss Park (see map above). It’s a great little oasis in the middle of Chula Vista.

Hares Of Coronado

August 25, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Hare Black-tailed Jackrabbit on Coronado

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 Black-tailed Jackrabbit on Coronado

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.

Rabbit On Coronado

    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!

Coastal Wetlands Restoration In South Bay San Diego

August 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Funnel Weaver Spider Hololena sp. Araneae: Agelenidae

Funnel Weaver Spider Hololena sp. Araneae: Agelenidae

    As I rode my bike along Bayshore Bikeway, examining the progress of the coastal restoration in the nature preserve that lies along the southern edge of Silver Strand between Imperial Beach and Coronado, I happened across the web of what I believe is a funnel weaver spider (Hololena sp. Araneae: Agelenidae).  It was seated in a small hole in the side of a berm, its web spun out horizontally, waiting for lunch to be served.  I don’t have a problem with spiders; I just don’t like to be near them.  I also don’t have a macro lens; I just have a telephoto.  Convenient for me isn’t it?

Coastal Restoration & Dredging Begins

    There has been coastal restoration in the form of dredging going on for 5 months and just the other day the levees that separated San Diego Bay proper from the South Bay Biological Study Area were breached by the restoration team.  This means if you walk or ride along Bayshore Bikeway at the north end of 7th St. in Imperial Beach, all the water in the nature preserve will ebb and flow with the tides from fresh Pacific Ocean water!  I think it will probably turn the intersection of Imperial Beach and Silver Strand into a bird watching Mecca.

Funnel Weaver Spider Hololena sp. Araneae: Agelenidae

Spider Waiting For Lunch

    It was a bright, cloudless day but the arachnid was in a shaded burrow so I used the on-camera flash to light the spider up.  I had no idea that a spider’s eyes reflect light like cat eyes do but, they do.  All other members of a coastal wetland sanctuary food chain benefit from being in the sanctuary, not just the birds and not just the wetlands.

Funnel Weaver Spider Hololena sp. Araneae: Agelenidae

Funnel Weaver Spider

    That’s why, in a post where I’m talking about ocean water and birds there are spider pictures; they’re all connected and it was while walking around the preserve I found this spider, which lead to the train of thought that lead to the theme and tone of this post.  Deep isn’t it?

Sunrise Imperial Beach Bayshore Bikeway San Diego High Tide

Mouseover To See High & Low Tide before Restoration

    Move your mouse over the photo above to see the difference between high & low tide in the preserve before the restoration began.  If you want to see the amazing work that’s been done in the 5 months since the photos above were taken, you’ll just have to get on your bike, ride Bayshore Bikeway towards Imperial Beach and see for yourself. That blue stripe in the background is the Coronado Bridge which you can bike to using the trail.  Along the way you’ll pass the nature preserve, Silver Strand State Beach and Hotel Del Coronado.  See? If you are a lover of nature, biking, skating, running, the beach, hotels, Coronado or Imperial Beach, this outing has something for you.  Don’t forget to bring your camera so you can include photos when you blog about your fun time.  Cheers!

Chula Vista Nature Center Art Aquatic: Sea Life + Glassworks

May 24, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Chula Vista Nature Center Art Aquatic Exhibit

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. Recently renamed The Living Coast Discovery Center, I’d never been there before so it was a fun time of going, doing and seeing something new.

Chula Vista Nature Center Art Aquatic Exhibit

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.

Chula Vista Nature Center Art Aquatic Exhibit

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.

Chula Vista Nature Center Art Aquatic Exhibit Glass Volcano

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.

Chula Vista Nature Center Aquatic Glass Art Exhibit

Chula Vista Nature Center Aquatic Glass Art Exhibit

        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.

Chula Vista Nature Center Aquatic Glass Art Exhibit

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 Chula Vista Nature Center Aquatic Glass Art Exhibit

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!

Double Rainbow Over Coronado

April 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Double Rainbow Over Coronado and Dinosaur Cage

Double Rainbow Over The Dinosaur Cage Of Coronado

        If you want to see a rainbow, if you want to try to plant yourself somewhere ahead of time because you heard there would be favorable rainbow conditions in a certain given area, make sure your vantage point lies directly between the sun and where you think the rainbow will be. Close your eyes and draw a circle. When you see a rainbow, it lies on a point somewhere along the line of your circle; you are standing in the center, facing the rainbow so the sun will be the point on the circle that lies directly behind you. Open your eyes. Is that too much geometry? If it is, then how about this: After morning showers, rainbows will appear in the west while afternoon showers will have rainbows in the east. If you still don’t get it, then how about this: After it rains, go outside, face away from the sun and you might see a rainbow.

Double Rainbow Over Coronado and Dinosaur Cage

Rainbows Over Coronado As Seen From Imperial Beach

        In the photos you can see my shadow pointing west, directly at the top of the rainbow. Behind me, to the east are Imperial Beach and the rising sun. This layout is always the same so think about that after a rainstorm and you will be able to get some great photos. The only thing that has to happen is for a storm to roll by in the early morning or late afternoon, then dissipate enough for the sun to shine through but not break up enough that there’s not enough water in the atmosphere to refract enough light to form the rainbow. That’s it. If all that happens at a time you have your camera you will be richly rewarded.

Double Rainbow Over Coronado and Dinosaur Cage

Double Rainbow Over Bayshore Bikeway, Imperial Beach & Coronado

        The video below is comprised of stills and video shot with my Nikon D5000 from the north end of 7th Ave. in Imperial Beach, CA. I’m standing near the North end of 7th Ave., while looking at the Dinosaur Cage on Coronado, which sits just south of Silver Strand Beach State Park.

Martian Sunrise Over San Diego

January 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Coronado Bridge From South Bay Imperial Beach At Sunrise

San Diego & Coronado Bridge Moments Before Sunrise

        This was a neat thing to see a couple mornings ago. For this photo I was looking north and slightly west at the Coronado Bridge from the southern edge San Diego Bay. Behind me at about my 4 o’clock the sun was less than a minute from rising. The clouds behind me began to glow bright red, throwing their colored light over downtown and the bay, giving us a pink Martian sky for a few seconds, until the sun breached the horizon, instantly returning the sky to shades of blue.

I Found The Hawk

July 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

A Hawk Cries In La Mesa, Ca

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.

A Hawk Cries In La Mesa, Ca

A Hawk Scratches In La Mesa, Ca

        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.

Balboa Park Gardens

June 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Balboa Park Flowers

Flowers In Balboa Park

        Across the street from Nate’s Point Off Leash Dog Park is where I happened to be when I took the photo above. You’ll find the dog park on the west side of Cabrillo Bridge.

Alacazar Garden In Balboa Park

Above Alacazar Garden

        You will want to, over time, visit all the gardens in Balboa Park. I’ve been to all of them but I don’t have a large collection of photos taken inside them. I’m not sure why, but I plan on fixing that ASAP.

Alacazar Garden In Balboa Park

Inside Alacazar Garden – Balboa Park

        I think a series of posts or one big post that have to do with the gardens of Balboa Park is on the agenda now, so stay tuned. Subscribe to my feed or follow me on twitter to to be notified when I post something new.

Hummingbirds At Rest And In Flight

May 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Hummingbird in San Diego

Calliope Hummingbird (Immature Male)

        The two hummingbirds in this post were captured two very different ways, or in particular, with two very different shutter speeds. The one above, made possible by the VR (Vibration Reduction) on my lens was snapped at 1/20th of a second. When I too took this shot, I was sitting on a flight of stairs, with my elbows resting on top of my knees, in a sort of human tripod stance. I held my breath (as I do before I take EVERY shot) and pressed the shutter release button.

Hummingbird Drinks In Balboa Park

Hummingbird Drinks In Balboa Park

        For the shot above, the technique was a little different. This hummingbird, which I first showed in this post here, just came swooping in towards a fountain and and grabbed droplets of water out of the air. Action would have to be frozen, so the shutter speed was dialed up to 1/1250th and over the following 23 seconds, I snapped 22 photos. The one above is my favorite.

Cactus In Balboa Park

May 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Cactus In Balboa Park

A Cactus In Balboa Park

        Just a quick post featuring a cactus in the Old World Garden of Balboa Park, in San Diego. It was broad daylight when I took this pic, but my camera settings seemed to give it a long exposure, nighttime look to it that I thought looked cool. I have a couple other post with photos from Balboa Park, so you should check them out. One post has a great pic of a bee on a flower, and can be seen here.

The Roadrunner’s Last Day

May 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Roadrunner In Otay Mesa

A Roadrunner Actually Running Down The Road

        At high noon yesterday, I went hunting my neighborhood roadrunner again. I lucked out because I found a two roadrunners in the area, and they seemed to be friends because they were singing like canaries. I will admit that the above photo is not as colorful or tack-sharp as I usually require to make it into my blog, but come on… This is a photo of a roadrunner, roadrunning! How often do you get to see that?

Roadrunner In Otay Mesa

American Roadrunner Stay Away From Me

        Depending on the angle of the sun, the roadrunner’s head and the price of tea in China, roadrunners have a cool, patriotic eyeshadow color scheme. While I was hunting the roadrunner, I was reminded of days past when I would watch Roadrunner cartoons on Saturday mornings, and in particular, the theme song.

        If you’re on a highway and roadrunner goes beep beep,
Just step aside or you might end up in a heap.
Roadrunner roadrunner runs on the road all day.
Even the coyote can’t make him change his ways.
Roadrunner, the coyote’s after you.
Roadrunner, if he catches you your through.
That coyote is really a crazy clown.
When can he learn that he’s never gonna mow him down?
Poor little roadrunner never bothers anyone.
Just running down the road is his idea of having fun.

        The funny thing is that even after listening to that theme song, and even humming along for all those years, I found out today that I didn’t know most of the words. So, I found the song on the web and took a journey back to a Saturday morning in 1982. That’s right, I like to break a mental sweat as well.

Roadrunner On The Fence in Otay Mesa

Over The Fence And Out Of Sight

        Even though I was physically at least 30 or 40 feet away from the roadrunner at any given time, I think they ultimately just got tired of me following them around. I can’t say I blame them because it was probably their lunch hour too. In the photo above, this roadrunner jumped/flew to the top of a fence, posed for one last photo, then jumped down on the other side and ran away.

Roadrunner In San Diego

April 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Roadrunner In The Road

Roadrunner

        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. They seem to spend most of their time hunting for lizards, singing and running down the road.

Roadrunner In The Road

A Roadrunner Stares Back

        A roadrunner 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.

Missed The Wildflowers

April 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Oak Canyon Trail, San Diego, CA

Oak Canyon Trail

        As a Denver transplant, nature is something that I hold very near and dear. The wildflowers of Colorado are (in my opinion) the show to see at this time of year because you have over a mile of elevation between Denver’s foothills and the Rocky Mountain’s treeline to see flowers you won’t find anywhere else. The alpine flowers are small, robust and barely hint at what color they are, while the city-level flowers are huge, fragrant and colorful.

Hunting Wildflowers

Hunting Wildflowers

        Yesterday I tried, in vain to find some wildflowers in East County San Diego, along the Oak Canyon Trail. Apparently, I’m just about a week late, because there were hardly any flowers at all. It was still a fun trip and I think my photographic companion and I would still call it a success.

Crab In La Jolla Tidal Pools

August 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Sunlit Crab

Colored But Not Forgotten

This tidal pool crab, brightly colored and lit on his face, but with hind-quarters drenched in shadows, demonstrates one of the many quagmires of photography;  Whether or not to push the pixels in the digital darkroom.  You know the darkened, rear parts of this crustacean’s body are there, but you just can’t quite see them.  Do I make this a perfect image by pulling out those details?  Nope, not this time.  Just look at the colors on the face and claws of this sea creature! Who cares about these particular shadows anyway?

Murder

June 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Who Do you Think You Are?

With the calm and coolness of a man about to commit murder, this guy taunted the leaf before smashing it under his foot.  There was nothing I could do, because I really didn’t care if he smashed the leaf or not.  What I did care about was ensuring the final moments of this leaf would be recorded by me, so that no one could accuse me of fabricating these particular events.

The unmarked grave, somewhere near the Mexican border this leaf is now resting in will one day become a sacred and hallowed place, but until that time, it will just have to be a field behind an empty warehouse.

Oil

One day, this leaf will join it’s carbon family, and may become oil itself, or might become a part OF the oil, like his bottled friends to the right.  Either way, they will say that it went before it’s time.  It was sent to whatever is next through an act of murder.  Distraught over the loss of their friend, most of the other trees in the area threw their leaves to the ground that fall…  All except the pine trees, who didn’t seem to care at all.

Tarantula Hawk Kills A Spider

June 1, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Wasp Kills Spider

The Spider’s Eyes Are Like A Doll’s Eyes

        As this wasp tracked down and hunted the spider, one veteran of The Battle of Palm Springs and I were present. Knowing the last living thing this spider would see, besides the wasp that would ultimately see to his demise was me gave me reason to snap his or her photo as the light went out out it’s eye.

        The eye of the spider showed defeat and when the wasp dragged the spider under a shrub, I wondered if the spider had a mind anything like mine, and what terrors would be going through that mind, if it did.