Happy New Year!

December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!  I wish everyone the very best in life in the coming year.


The below image is a story of a great find and near miss. Having a one-track mind can be troublesome at times but also provides focus and motivation. While seeing fresh snowfall in Yosemite was incredible, the real goal of the trip was to photograph a bobcat in the snow.

We spent hours a day walking in likely locations, but the best strategy was to get on a trail first after it snowed. We got up at the crack of dawn, strapped on the chains one more time and were rewarded by finally seeing the tracks of a bobcat. Based on when the snow stopped falling and the condition of the tracks, we figured they were maybe an hour or so old.

We followed the tracks until they disappeared into a pile of boulders. It was a long-shot but we found a place to sit that looked down on the rock pile and proceeded to wait. We didn’t want to negatively impact the bobcat, so after 15 minutes we left without seeing it.

Further down the trail we found black bear tracks, and proceeded to follow them for almost an hour until they led us to a dense stand of pine trees along the river. We circled widely around the area and confirmed that the bear hadn’t crossed the river and must still be there. Just knowing that the bear was there, was reward enough and we retraced our path back to the bobcat’s hideout. Sure enough, a new set of tracks had appeared, which led nearly directly to where we had been sitting. Who knows if it would have emerged had we waited longer…

 

“Bobcat and Mule Deer Tracks in the Snow”

“Bobcat Hideout”

“Bear Tracks”

 

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Grand Canyon – Day Two

June 17, 2009

On our second day at the Grand Canyon we spent most of our time on the shuttle bus route to Hermit’s Rest.  We did a combination of bus riding and hiking along the roadside.  The crowds were not too bad since we got there relatively early.  Being a monday didn’t hurt either.  At the first stop we found a cooperative ground squirrel that stopped to point out the sites for us.  Or maybe it was looking for a handout…

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“Tour Leader”  –  South Rim, Grand Canyon, AZ

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Joshua Tree Lizards

March 19, 2009

As usual, there were a ton of lizards at Joshua Tree and running around wild at The Living Desert.  Here are two photos that I particularly like.

 

“Handsome”  –  The Living Desert, Palm Desert, CA

 

“Kaleidoscope”  –  Joshua Tree National Park, CA


Plants and Flowers from Joshua Tree

March 19, 2009

I ended up taking far fewer flower photos than I had anticipated.  Here are just a few from the trip.  

 

“Cacti”  –  Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

“Intense Blue”  –  Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

“Inside Orange”  –  Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

“Life”  – Joshua Tree National Park, CA


Other birds from Joshua Tree

March 19, 2009

On my way into Joshua Tree, I stopped by the Living Desert and spent the better part of the morning there.  I was impressed with the amount of wild animal life I found there.  This was mostly in the form of birds but I also saw plenty of lizards and even a jackrabbit.  There was quite an abundance of other birds at the southern end of Joshua Tree National Park.  The three most common were probably the White-crowned Sparrows, Phainopeplas, and the Black-throated Sparrows.  There was also a number of hummingbirds around.  I’m used to just seeing Anna’s up here, so it was nice to see some different species.  I even managed to find a hummingbird nest while out hiking!  

 

“Verdin”  –  The Living Desert, Palm Desert, CA

 

“Costa’s Hummingbird – Captive”  – The Living Desert, Palm Desert, CA

 

“Anna’s Hummingbird”  –  Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

“Anna’s Hummingbird Nest”  –  Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

“Rock Wren”  –  Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

“Black-throated Sparrow I”  –  Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

“Black-throated Sparrow II”  –  Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

“Black-tailed Gnatcatcher”  –  Joshua Tree National  Park, CA


Weekend in Joshua Tree NP

March 19, 2009

In an effort to recharge my photographic creativity, I headed down to Joshua Tree National Park for the weekend.  I feel that it is far to easy for me to focus on wildlife photography here in the Santa Barbara area, so a change of scenery was in order.  Unfortunately the flowers aren’t nearly as nice as last year, but the trip was very refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable.  The following landscape shots aren’t my most amazing work, but do showcase a conscious effort to better utilize foreground elements.  Of course, I didn’t ignore the wildlife completely.  My secondary goal of the trip was to get some better Phainopepla shots, and that was certainly achieved.  Though, that meant hiking 10 miles with way too much camera gear!  I think my neck and shoulders have just finally recovered.  I have quite a few photos that I’d like to share, and will break them up into a series of posts.

 

“Abandoned Mine”  –  Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

“Light Catcher”  –  Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

“Twilight”  –  Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

“Last Stand”  –  Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

“Pointing the Way”  –  Joshua Tree National Park


Death Valley – Textures Edition

February 26, 2009

This is a followup to the previous post.  In addition to the vast views found at Death Valley, there is also much beauty to be found on a smaller scale.  A lot of time could be spent walking the numerous canyons looking for interesting patterns in the rock walls.  The dunes are also an interesting place to look for different perspectives.  Especially if you aren’t lucky enough to get there right after a wind storm when all the footprints have been filled in.

 

“Salt-scape”  –  Death Valley National Park, CA

 

“Rock Face”  –  Death Valley National Park, CA

 

“Intersection”  –  Death Valley National Park, CA

 

“Cracked”  –  Death Valley National Park, CA

 

“Shadowy Slope”  –  Death Valley National Park, CA

 

“Butterscotch Wax”  –  Death Valley National Park, CA