North County – October 9th

October 18, 2010

Last Saturday, we headed North and hit some hotspots along the coast.  I believe this was the first time that I’ve ever seen sun at Oso Flaco.   It was still early for the wintering ducks, but there was a small group of Cinnamon Teal and several Eared Grebes at the lake.  We even managed to find one American White Pelican and a lone Osprey at the far side of the lake.  However, the highlight was the nearly tame Raccoons we ran into.  I know that they mean trouble for the nesting Least Terns, but they are so darn cute!  After Oso Flaco, we headed up to Morro Bay to look for the Sea Otters.  Initially, it appeared that they weren’t around, but eventually they swam over to check us out.

“Double-Trouble”

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Spring

February 21, 2010

Officially, Spring is exactly one month away.  However, we’ve had springlike conditions here in Santa Barbara for the past few months.  An early October storm helped get things going early and all the recent rains have kicked things into high gear.  Spring must feel far away for those dealing with all the snow back east.  Enjoy the winter weather while you can, because Spring is just around the corner.

~ Click on the images to view them larger.

“Busy Bee”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

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Santa Barbara Winter

February 8, 2010

This is really the best time of year here in Santa Barbara.  Everything is green, the flowers are blooming and there are plenty of dramatic skies.  It’s nature at its finest.  The following images have been taken over the past couple of weeks.  The first large storm system brought a dusting of snow to the local mountains and the low clouds produced an incredible light show at sunset.  Following the storm, we were treated to day after day of incredible sunsets and crisp, clean air.  A warmer storm system hit late last week so we didn’t get the mountain snow, but there were lots of dissipating clouds swirling around the mountain peaks.  The interior mountains have been getting lots of snow and I hope to get out there in the coming weeks, if the roads reopen.

I think I forget to mention the incredible morning rainbow.  All I can say is,  Wow!

“Sun, Snow & Sky”  –  LLC, Goleta, CA

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Florida – Viera Wetlands

December 13, 2009

The last stop of the trip was to Viera Wetlands, as recommended by another photographer on Flickr.  This location has a series of manmade ponds adjacent to a water treatment center.  The ponds were buzzing with activity and we saw tons of water birds, an Osprey with a good sized fish, many Alligators, and a River Otter even ran across the gravel road in front of us!  The photographic highlight was getting to watch an American Bittern up close.  I can’t believe that I got great looks at two in one day!  It’s too bad that the bird appeared to have an injured foot, otherwise it appeared to be in good health.

“American Bittern”  –  Viera Wetlands, Brevard County, Florida

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Dragonfly – Anax junius

October 27, 2009

Dragonflies are really amazing creatures, but I might be a bit biased, having worked with them in a research lab at Penn State while in college.  (Believe it or not, dragonflies can help us understand aspects of heart disease.)  Back then I didn’t even think of attempting to photograph one in flight.  They are very quick and rarely stay in one place for long.  Instead, I stuck to doing static macro photography.

My first attempts several years ago were marginal successes. However, most were photographed from above, with dark water as the background.  Unfortunately, I felt this made each image appear the same and they were artistically lacking.  This approach made focusing easier but didn’t get me the results I wanted.  My more recent dragonfly photos have improved because I try to photograph them in front of a background that complements their colors and I also get low and photograph them eye-to-eye.  Being at their same level changes the perspective dramatically, and for the better!

“Green Darner”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA


Pennsylvania – part two

October 11, 2009

For those that are allergic to plants and prefer wildlife, here are a few critter shots from the PA trip.

“Groundhog”  –  Honesdale, Wayne County, PA

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Minnesota Memories

September 29, 2009

I’m finally done processing a selection of photos from my Minnesota trip.  It was very nice to be back in the woods after being out west so much of the last year.  Hope you enjoy the variety.

“Sharp-shinned Hawk”  –  Hawk Ridge, Duluth, MN

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