Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Snowy plovers on the beach

If you walk far enough down Limantour Spit in Point Reyes National Seashore you're very likely to encounter these threatened shorebirds. My walk on this day in March was no exception, and I had a chance to snap off a few shots as they scurried down the beach.

Snowy plover on the beach

I like the pose and the breeding plumage of the plover on the left in this frame, but unfortunately, they only stayed in this position for a few moments, and I wasn't able to get a shot without that distracting stick in it.

Plovers on the beach

Friday, July 9, 2010

Quiet moments at the wharf

My wife and I always enjoy a quick weekend trip to Monterey when we get a chance, and we were down that way over the July 4th weekend. While I was unfortunately fogged out of doing photography at Moss Landing State Beach as I had hoped, we had an unexpected surprise with a sizeable group of California sea lions drawing crowds at the Old Fisherman's Wharf.

Sleepy sea lion

When we walked by on our way to dinner the sea lions were as noisy as they usually are, barking loudly and generally making a ruckus. But after we had our meal and were heading out, the last of the light was drifting below the trees and the sea lions were much more subdued.

Sea lion moments

It seemed to be mostly younger animals in the group, with only one large male along the shore, and this youngster appeared to be enjoying quiet warmth of the last rays of sunshine before they slipped below the horizon.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Male Quail at Tomales Point

After a few weeks of traveling for a conference, a holiday in Europe, and visiting family, I'm back to the grind back at work and finally taking a few minutes to post a new image, with the goal of getting back to the regular pace of an image around every other day or so. In addition, I've increased the size of the blog page, since Flickr is now using a larger medium image size, and I like the increased detail of the 640 pixel image.

Quail at Tomales Point

This is a male California quail being as conspicuous as possible while trying to attract a mate (and perhaps a friendly photographer?). I took this shot on a weekend in May in which I was inundated in quail photography opportunities. This was actually among my goals for the trips I made to Point Reyes and Tennessee Valley, and I loved the many chances to photograph our striking state bird. This male is sitting on an old log near the Tomales Point Trailhead in Point Reyes National Seashore.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sunrise at Chimney Rock

Sunrise at Chimney Rock

From the same April Hike as my previous few posts -- a sea of wildflowers covering the ground with the sandstone cliffs that are so characteristic of Point Reyes National Seashore in the background.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Quail on a post, with a personal note

Photograph of wild irises and sandstone bluffs in Point Reyes

On a trip to Point Reyes National Seashore in April, my wife agreed to wake up with me way before a reasonable hour on a Sunday so that we could be at Chimney Rock for the sunrise to enjoy what has been quoted as one of the best wildflower displays in the Bay Area. (Including the Douglas Irises kissed with the first rays of light shown above.) She’s so wonderfully supportive of my crazy photographic antics, and while she begrudgingly accepts the alarm going off before 4:30am on a weekend, she always enjoys our nature encounters as much as I do. However, she couldn’t help but chuckle at me when I told her that one of my goals for this trip was to capture a male California quail displaying on a pole.

Photograph of a male California quail on a fencepost in Point Reyes

I saw this bird doing exactly what I had envisioned as we were driving out of the park, but we were past it before I had time to stop. Being the ever helpful person that she is, she hopped in the driver’s seat, turned the car around, and took me back to the quail, who was still displaying proudly on his post beside the road. Unfortunately, there was no place to pull off of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard there, so I could only snap off a few shots before we had to move on due to some traffic coming up behind us. However, knowing that I wasn't yet satisfied with what I had, she happily made another set of u-turns so that we could go back for a second round of shots. And that, my friends, is a sign of true love! (This post is in commemoration of our first date, 9 incredible years ago today!)

Photograph of a quail looking over its shoulder