Sunday, November 17, 2013
This weekend I took a drive to Santa Ynez for, among other things, a walk around the Santa Ynez Mission. The timing wasn't quite right to get the sun on the building, but there are always beatiful things to see. I know there are hummingbirds that hang out in the gardens, so I went in search of them. Instead I found this beautiful little bird, a Bewick's Wren. He was quite nervous, but he really liked this bush. He was able to dive into it any time I got too close. But then he was curious enough to come back out pretty quickly. Apparently, they Bewick's Wren is moving westward. There are less of them in the east than there used to be. But the numbers have been increasing here, and I'm glad to have them. He was very entertaining and beautiful.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
A young Sea Lion taking a tentative swim not far from his mom in the beautiful waters off the Monterey Peninsula.
Monday, October 7, 2013
Pacific Grove Sunset
In every city I spend much time, I always end up with my favorite spots where I try to end up at the end of the day. This is Asilomar Beach in Pacific Grove on the tip of the Monterey Peninsula. Some days the waves are huge and breathtaking, other days the sun slides down past the horizon peacefully, but every evening it's a wonderful show.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Just after sunset the colors are beautiful this time of year. This is looking east from Shoreline Park, one of the best places in town for a nice evening walk.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Blueberries on the Hoof
Yesterday we went to Buelton to pick Blueberries at a great little spot, Santa Barbara Blueberries. They have a wide variety of bushes so you can find your favorite ones. It's just the beginning of their season and they are only open limited hours, so be sure to check out their Facebook page for updates.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
This is a shot from our beautiful Coronado Butterfly Preserve in Goleta. This year the butterfly population seemed a bit smaller than years past, but they are still an absoultely amazing sight.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Recently I found some aphids on the blossoms of one of my cacti. Rather than spray or use soap we went down to the hardware store and got a little box of lady bugs. Most of the nurseries or home and garden stores keep them in little refrigerators, kind of dormant just waiting for an assignment. Mine had two jobs... get the bugs, and look pretty for the camera while doing it.
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!
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Every evening this time of year is a different work of art. This particular evening, the clouds were just lapping over the top of the mountains. As the golden light fell on them I knew just the place I wanted to take it all in. This is the view of the Santa Ynez Mountains over Laguna Blanca in Hope Ranch.
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.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Butterfly Beach Cypress Sunset
The evening I took this a few weeks ago, like many evenings, I took a walk along Butterfly Beach. But that night I was paying particular attention to this tree, one of my favorite spots along the walk. I had just spoken to someone who was looking for a special gift for someone who loves this tree as much as I do. Now I have quite a few shots already, but many of them use the amazing sweeping branches to frame other subjects, especially the sunset from the other side. Never one to shy away from the chance to look at a faviorite subject in a new light, I took it as a chance to spend some time wandering the beach with renewed inspiration for one of my favorite spots!
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.
Monday, December 10, 2012
It's the time of year when the Monarch Butterflies return to their overwintering spot in Santa Barbara, the Coronado Butterfly Preserve. According to the experts the clusters of butterflies are small this year, although it's still early. Even so the experience is amazing. This is just one of the small clusters, but the position of the sun was perfect. What you can't see are the hundreds of butterflies fluttering around the grove. It's a wonderful spot that only exists because of the hard work of volunteers and donors who have protected it.
Friday, December 7, 2012
An amazing sunset captured in one of the most perfect spots, under the Butterfly Beach Cypress Tree in Montecito.
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.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
I love Koi. These beautiful fish are in a small Koi pond in Goleta. From the road all you see are office buildings, but when you explore a bit more you find an amazing peaceful spot with a small bridge over a Koi pomd. They were very cooperative, but I did have to promise them some snacks the next time I'm in the neighborhood.
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.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Summer Sunset from the clubhouse at the Sandpiper Golf Course in Goleta California. The Sandpiper golf course in Goleta is one of my favorite locations when the sun looks like it is going to put on a show. And the last couple weeks have been quite spectacular, a fitting end to a beautiful summer!