Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Turkey vulture - Cathartes aura meridionalis

Turkey vulture, Cathartes aura meridionalis, flying low at the San Diego Safari Park.  While they are occasionally seen in San Diego proper and all down the Baja, there seem to be a inordinately large number of them hanging out at the Safari Park.  I suspect that they are opportunistically feeding on left overs from the official zoo denizens.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Photo Safari

It was a bright sunny day and the baby animals were out in full force at the Safari Park...so what better time for a photo safari!

 Moi and one of the safer tigers

 Baby Giraffes

 Some wild black ibis hanging out in the pond

 Black rhino and calf

 Bongos in the water hole

 Baby Cheetah

 Leucistic Ellipsen Waterbuck Calf  and Mother

 Lion cub at play

 Pierre and the golden tiger

Snarly Sumatran Tiger

Friday, September 26, 2014

Coelogyne massangeana

Coelogyne massangeana, also known as Coelogyne tomentosa and Coelogyne dayana, is from the mountains of Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, and Java.  This one is blooming outdoors in San Diego.

Laelia pumila

Laelia pumila, a first bloom from a sib cross from Brazil.

Cattleya Chocolate Drop 'Kodama' AM AOS

Cattleya Chocolate Drop 'Kodama' AM AOS, a cross of C. aurantiaca X C guttata.  An old cross that still brightens up the room.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Stanhopea panamensis

This just opened today.  It was labled as Stanhopea panamensis.  This species is native to Panama where it frequents hot, wet, lowland forests.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Silver garden spider, Argiope argentata: a Beauty with a Bit of a Bite

Silver garden spider, Argiope argentata.  I spotted this beautiful, silvery spider sparkling in the bright Summer sun.  As it turns out, they pack a bit of a bite.  For most people, the painful bite will sting and itch for about an hour.  However, the bite can be more serious for kids and the elderly.  Their range extends from the Southern U.S. down to Argentina, with a preference for hot, dry climates.

Harrison McIntosh

Clay Sphere on Wood Block by Harrison McIntosh at the American Museum of Ceramic Art's opening celebrating Harrison McIntosh's 100th birthday!

Hummingbird in Flight

Male Anna's Hummingbird in flight, making a beeline for the feeder.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ctsm Bella Vista's Sangria X Ctsm denticulatum 'SVO'

Ctsm Bella Vista's Sangria X Ctsm denticulatum 'SVO' at Fred Clarke's greenhouse.  It's always a lot of fun seeing what's in bloom at Fred's.

Anna's Hummingbird Waiting for a Berth at the Feeder

Male Anna's Hummingbird, Calypte anna, waiting for a berth at the feeder.  It's been a dry, dry year (i.e., no food in the sage scrub/wild) and the hummingbirds are at the feeder in record numbers.  I just put up a second feeder to handle some of overflow.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Anna's Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird, Calypte anna.  These lovely little birds are amazing acrobats, flying every which way at amazing speeds.  This one is darting backwards in reaction to the sound of my camera shutter opening.  They apparently have good hearing as well...

Cattleya Chloe X C Mrs Mahler 'Mem Fred Tompkins'

Cattleya Chloe X C Mrs Mahler 'Mem Fred Tompkins' is a cross I bought way back in the 80's.  It blooms on tall spikes with large heads of flowers (perhaps 8-10 flowers or so) with raspberry veining and raspberry spots.  Quite the charmer if you have the space.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Cattleya bicolor variety alba

Cattleya bicolor variety alba.  This is an albino variety of this familiar, normally red-lipped, Brazilian species, and, wow, what a beauty!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lc Issy 'SVO' HCC AOS x C Mrs Mahler 'Mem Fred Thompkins' AM AOS


Lc Issy 'SVO' HCC AOS x C Mrs Mahler 'Mem Fred Thompkins' AM AOS, a wonderfully glossy cross with waxy flowers borne on a sturdy, upright inflorescence.

Stanhopea embreei 'Ruth Marie Christian'

Stanhopea embreei 'Ruth Marie Christian'.  This clone has larger flowers than most embreei cultivars.  This species is native to Ecuador and Peru.

Stanhopea florida

Stanhopea florida is from Ecuador, Columbia and Peru on the Eastern slope of the Andes.  This one is the yellow form.  There is also a white form.

Cattleya violacea 'SVO Splash'

Cattleya violacea 'SVO Splash'.  These lovely little orchids need a decided rest from watering over the Winter, need water only roughly every three weeks during Winter.  This one is growing at Sunset Valley Orchids.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Cattleya bicolor

Cattleya bicolor grows wild in Brazilian central plateau.  There are multiple color varieties throughout its range.  This is a nice, clear green one.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Two Contrails are Better than One!

Two Contrails in the Setting Sun above San Diego, California, looking eerily like missile contrails... Every now and then we have those weird orange sunsets where you just have to reach for the camera. Probably due a fire or two somewhere nearby. These two contrails looked suspiciously like those I saw in the missile interceptor tests a few years back. I wondered, for just a little bit, if that was the last thing I would ever see...but no, they were just jet contrails, as far as I can tell.

Stanhopea wardii

Stanhopea wardii. These flowers were open for about two days and still going strong. The plant is just going gangbusters for flowers. Nothing rare but a whole lot of fun and generally undemanding and with a wonderfully sweet fragrance.  These will grow outside, in a shady spot, in Southern California.

Epiphyllum hookeri

Epiphyllum hookeri. These are normally night blooming but this one was still open and fresh when the morning sun came up! White flowers tend to be night bloomers, being white to be visible in dim light to night pollinators like moths and bats.