Saturday, April 17, 2010

Trillium among Redwoods

These beautiful flowers (Western Trillium, Trillium ovatum) were blooming all over the understory of the old growth redwoods in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park (part of the Redwood National and State Parks area). And of course the beautiful Redwood Sorrel was covering the ground as well (Oxalis oregana).

Trillium with Sorrel

This particular bloom was growing on top of an old fallen tree, and offered a chance to show it in its environment in the forest understory.

Trillium in the Forest

For the horizontal frame, I preferred the aperture to be open, really setting off the flower from the backdrop. But in the vertical composition, stopping down to f/11 really put it more in its place among the giants behind it.

Trillium among Redwoods

Monday, April 12, 2010

Brants in the Rain

Brant's are a lovely saltwater goose that I've seen a handful of times along the coast, but never been able to get some nice images of. However, during a February trip to Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay I was able to spend some time with a small group of these delightful birds.


It was a dreary morning, and as it rained on me during most of my trip down the coast, I was questioning my decision to have ventured out. But as usually happens, the times you think about turning around are often great. There was a light rain while I wandered the shoreline watching the shorebirds and some buffleheads that I posted previously. I didn't even bother with this group the first time I passed by, since the previous times I've seen them at Point Reyes National Seashore, they took off as soon as they saw me (long before I even thought of trying to approach them).

Brants at Pillar Point

However, this small group was really laid back that morning, and I was able to approach them easily while they searched along the rocky shore for a meal and collected raindrops on their feathers.

Salad bar

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Roosevelt Elk in Redwood NP

Roosevelt Elk

One of the highlights of our trip to the Redwood National & State Parks area was encountering a large group of Roosevelt Elk, the largest subspecies of elk in North America. We spent a lot of our time on the first day checking all of the places listed in the park guides, but didn't find any elk there. On the rainy morning of our second day though, we were treated to a herd of ~30 females and a few young males grazing in a few random fields along US-101.

Herd of Elk

Just due to happenstance, they were right near the side of the road when we stopped, and that made it easy to get close without having to leave the car.

Roosevelt Elk

In fact, there were times that they came so close, that we could hear them literally ripping the grass as they ate.

Feeding elk

With those long shaggy manes, they reminded me very much of horses or camels -- not quite what I usually associate with elk! But they sure were beautiful, and it was awesome to spend so much time in their presence.

Grazing elk

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Reason to celebrate -- Thanks for the votes!

Reason to celebrate -- Thanks for the votes!

The voting results for the 2010 Defenders of Wildlife photo contest have been released, and thanks to your votes, my image of Tomales Bay State Park won 2nd place in the Wild Lands category! (Full results can be viewed here, if you're curious.) It was such a cool honor to be named as a finalist among all of those other awesome images, and even cooler to be voted into second place!

If you're a member of the organization, keep your eye out for all of the winning images in the Summer issue of Defenders Magazine. And thanks again if you took the time to vote!