Saturday, March 16, 2013
Have you ever seen a Pelican surf? On the land they seem a little comical, but in the air they are amazing. They often fly right along the surface of the water taking advantage of "Ground Effect" an aerodynamic effect giving more lift in close proximity to the surface. It makes sense that they would do this to save energy, but at times they move closer to the breakers, riding the front of the wave just like a surfer. They wait until the last moment to slip gracefully over the top of the wave as it crashes below all gliding without a flap. This evening I caught this guy skimming the surface, but as he slowly flapped he actually ran the tip of his wing through the surface of the water just like a surfer playing in the front of the wave with his or her hand. He wasn't being as playful as some in the breakers but he was very graceful and relaxed. It was a pleasure to watch him and his friends fly off into the sunset.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Shoreline Snowy Egret
Time for another local resident! I love all the birds that frequent our shores, but the Egrets have to be some of my favorites. This is a Snowy Egret, fishing at the beach at Shoreline Park. If you ever get the chance to watch them fish it\'s definitely worth the patience to stay still and let them get comfortable with your presence. They like to slowly walk through the shallow water, reaching out with their free leg and large foot to agitate the water, trying to scare any tasty treats out of their hiding places. Their large feet, combined with the fact that they actually walk on their toes giving the impression that their knees bend backward (when in fact it\'s their ankle) makes them look like they are reaching out with a hand just like a person would. This guy does not normally have an upright crest, but those beautiful wispy neck feathers were getting quite blown by the wind. So they have another human-like trait, they can have bad feather days!
Saturday, January 12, 2013
This week was great for fishing, at least if you're a Brown Pelican in the Santa Barbara area. There are almost always pelicans feeding off the coast here, but there must have been some impressive schools of fish off of Butterfly Beach a few nights ago. The two Pelicans on the surface behind the dive bombers just surfaced from their dives and there must have been hundreds of attempts. If you look closely to the left of the photo you can see a nose sticking out of the water of what I believe must be a sea otter. But it's hard to say since I was paying so much attention to the Pelicans I did not actually see him until I looked at the photo.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Annas in Flight
This is another shot of one of the beautiful Anna's hummingbirds I was following around Valley Hills Nursery in Carmel. It looks like a beautiful spring day, but a beautiful nursery can make any day look like a beautiful spring day in California.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
This little guy was actually as interested in me as I was in him. He flew around a bit and kept coming back to this spot. As I moved closer and closer every few shots, he would tilt his head back and forth seemingly trying to see what I was up to. Even at rest he was graceful and beautiful.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
This is another shot of my friend from the Carmel Nursery. This is after he got bored with me. He watched me for a while, tilting his head back and forth, and when he decided I was safe or maybe not very interesting, he decided to make the rounds to his favorite flowers. He was so graceful as he hovered from flower to flower.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
This weekend between rainstorms, I had the great pleasure of wandering around a beautiful nursery in Carmel California. Valley Hills Nursery is one of my favorite spots to visit when I'm in the area, and not only for thier plants. They always have a very friendly Hummingbird population, this weekend they seemed to be even more cooperative than usual. This beauty was actually almost hamming it up for me, he seemed as curious about me as I was about him.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Santa Barbara View from Stearns Wharf
Recently I had a request for a cover shot that showed a view of Santa Barbara from Stearns Wharf. I have quite a few Stearns Wharf shots but the client was looking for a daytime shot, and most of my wanderings on the Wharf have been in the evening. This was one of the first shots after I raised the camera in this spot, the sea gull was really interested in the camera. I think he was planning on landing on it. He only thought better of it at the very last second.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Great Blue Heron Silhouette
This little lake on the eighteenth hole of the Sandpiper golf course is one of my favorite sunset spots. The birds seem to like it too. This particular evening I was coming back after getting some sunset shots of the rest of the course when I noticed this beautiful Heron resting at the near edge of the island. But try as I might, I could not get a good shot. After he watched me pace back and forth a few times he must have decided I looked too much like a hungry cat. So he decided to go get some dinner of his own. I watched him slowly cruise across the island moving as elegantly and stealthfully as possible hoping he would move into the remaining glow of the setting sun. After a few minutes you can see that my patience was rewarded.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Carmel by the Sea Cypress Sunset
A veiw of the beach in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. The Cypress trees are beautiful here, especially the ones that have extra character from decades of abuse by the sea. This is actually not far down the coast from the famous lone cypress at Pebble Beach golf course. This guy might not be as famous as his relative up the coast, but he is no less beautiful!
Monday, January 30, 2012
Nursery Hummer Close Up
A beautiful Anna's Hummingbird at one of my favorite spots, Terra Sol Nursery in Goleta, California. I imagine, living in a nursery for them must be like us living in an all you can eat buffet with all your favorite foods. It seems like a pretty good life, they live in there a lot closer than most hummingbirds because of the abundance of food. And the Nursery's cat is very mellow and never bothers them, but keeps anything else away that might be a predator.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Hummingbird Sampling Nectar
Last weekend the Hummingbirds were very busy at the local nurseries. This girl (an Anna's Hummingbird) in particular was spending a lot of time at her favorite flowers. She was not particularly excited to have me there at first. But it was easy to see she really loved these flowers, some kind of South African Lily I believe. So all I had to do was get a step closer each time she came by, and she eventually was pretty comfortable with me.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Don't you hate it when someone comes by to take your picture and you don't have time to straighten that pesky feather sticking out of the back of your head? Well, can't be taking time to look in the mirror when you're burning this much energy all the time.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
This guy was pretty suspicious of me. There was really no way for me to easily get much closer to him, but he was not taking any chances. He was tilting his head back and forth trying to size me up, which was actually great since it flashed his beautiful feathers every time he moved.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
The hummingbirds are quite active around here these days. They seem to like to taunt me any time I'm outside without my camera. I have not had time to chase them down, this guy was from a walk at Seaside Gardens. Hopefully I'll get out with my camera to chase the hummers tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
This is my friend from the other day.
I thought you might enjoy seeing his beautiful green back. Like I said,
I have a few more shots to go through so I'm sure you'll see more of him in the coming
photos of the day. This was one of his other favorite perches.
I really liked the alternating diagonal lines, but he was usually sitting
at an area that was behind another bush. I got lucky this one time
when he decided to land further out.
One other interesting thing in the comparison of the two shots is the fact that his head and throat plumage is very directional. If you have never seen one of these guys up close, that is not a trick of the camera. The feathers are amazingly iridescent when he looks right at you. So much so that my computer has trouble dealing with the details in them from the hot color of the feathers. But when he looks away, the same feathers look almost black. I love the details in nature! That is why I can happily spend hours on the same subject and still go back for more.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
We spent the afternoon yesterday wandering around the Seaside Gardens in Carpinteria. It is the best place to get hummer photos, there are enough flowers there to support a bunch of them in a much smaller area than they would normally be comfortable with. This guy was one of my favorite subjects. He had about four or five favorite perches. I followed him from one to the next getting a little closer on each circuit. I started taking photos when I was still far away from him so he would get used to the sound of the shutter. After about five or six trips around his space he got comfortable enough for me to get this shot. I have no idea how long it took seemed like only a few minutes, but there were hundreds of images when I was done.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Hummer in the Mallow
This guy is sitting on a branch in our Sea Tree Mallow. He is waiting for me to fill up the hummingbird feeder. Don't you just hate it when your favorite restaurant makes you wait. It's so hard to get good service. It's a good thing our most popular hummingbird appetizers are blooming right now.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Carmel Valley Hummer
Today we took a nice trip to a nursery in Carmel Valley. It's one of my favorite places to chase humming birds. There are always a bunch of them but there is one in particular that seems to like to play. He keeps buzzing me and then sitting and waiting for me to get almost close enough for the shot I want before taking off again. I'm sure he's having as much fun with me as I am with him. Fortunately, he usually takes pity on the big lumbering beast with the 300 millimeter nose and lets me get a few nice shots.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Like I've said before, the subject is important but
the background can really make or break the image.
The pink around the hummingbird is from the flowers
(or more technically the bracts)
of the Bougainvillea he is resting in. I love the
contrast with his beautiful feathers.
This is actually an older shot, it was in my first show. The show was a flower theme, but interspersed in the flowers were small shots of hummingbirds. Seemed fitting to me. :-D
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Hummer in the Bush
It's taken a while but we have built up some nice traffic to our hummingbird feeders in the back yard. Originally I thought our umbrella was blocking their view of potential threats and scaring them away. When we put it down for a while they came closer and started eating at our feeder that is hung the highest. Now that they are more comfortable, the umbrella is back up and they seem to like the seclusion of it. We have two lower feeders that are almost under the umbrella and they are emptied the fastest. I even got scolded today when the lower feeders were empty!
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Nappin' in the Golden Hour
This is my friend from the other day. Like I said he was back in the evening, and the light just kept getting more and more beautiful.
Friday, August 17, 2007
After Dinner Nap
Truth be known it is more of a DURING dinner nap.
He was sitting there napping and licking his chops.
Then, every so often, he would wake up (almost) then lean
over and take a few sips. He let me get very close, but
his friend (mom?) was a little excited at one point.
I don't think I freaked them out too much though because
they came back later in the evening after leaving for a bit to
let me clean the feeder and make fresh food. He was watching,
because I barely had the feeder back up and he was on it
while I was still standing there.
The last time we had a hummer do this he was staking out the back yard to raise a family. I'm not sure it is the right time of year for that, but I'll be watching.