This large Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus, was entertaining a wonderful couple who were nice enough to point him out to me, prior to him bounding off into the bushes. As opposed to those cute little cottontails, jackrabbits are quite large, super fast when on the run, and are actually in a different genus. Here, at the Tijuana Estuarine Reserve, they have desert cottontails, Sylvilagus audobonii, also known as Audubon's cottontail.
Female American Kestrel, Falco sparverius, at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, resting on barbed wire while scanning the grass below for grasshoppers, lizards and other small prey. It always amazes me how birds leisurely lounge on barbed wire without ever apparently getting poked. I've even seen birds on Chollas cactus (for example, the cactus wren), which is no small feat.
A Broad-Winged Hawk, Buteo platypterus, hunting for rabbits, mice, lizards and other small prey at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. This particular, rather large hawk appears to be staring directly at me, or perhaps my small dog which was walking with us, deciding if we were an appropriate meal. With some relief, I note that it decided that we were not.
A huge flock of Willets (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus), in their Winter colors, adopts a Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) or two and a Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa), all rising up in unison forming a zig zagging cloud of wings, confounding hungry hawks. Tijuana Estuarine Preserve, San Diego, California
Bandtail Goatfish, Weke Pueo in Hawaiian, with a small Papio (Jack in English). Small papio will hang out with goatfish, often eating small shrimp and other critters scared up off the bottom the by the goatfish, which grubs in the sand. This particular somewhat uncommon goatfish is rumored to be hallucinogenic, if eaten (particularly the eyes and guts...bleah), causing nasty nightmares. I'd bet it's caused by something that this particular goatfish eats. Weke, pronounced veh-keh, is the generic name for goatfish in Hawaiian. Pueo, if I recall, was owl in Hawaiian, perhaps alluding to the weird nightmares it causes when eaten. As for me, I think it's one of the more beautiful goatfish and would just as soon leave it to live a long and happy life in the ocean.
This photo of the Chateau de la Barben was shot from the road, looking towards the castle. This mediaeval fortress, mentioned as early as 1069, belonged to King René of Provence in the 15th century. It was, at some point, sold to a merchent family (who sold furs and pelts) that supported the King, and was altered and extended in the 16th and 17th centuries. The keep was burned at the beginning of the French revolution and the family, who supported the King, was executed (beheaded) later during
the revolution. Restoration work was carried out in the 19th and 20th centuries and the castle remains run and maintained by private owners who conduct tours, cater out events and run a
hotel at the site.
A quick trip to the Musee des Civilisations de l'Europe et la Mediterranee in Marseille and some of the surrounding sights. The weather was bright, sunny with a light breeze. The museum and the surroundings were quite captivating and lunch after was wonderful, but then that is another story for another day.
Athlete vainquer au pugilat
Cathedrale de La Major, under restoration
Greek Vase Oenoechoe
Icone au Saint Michel Pesant Les Ames
A guy jumping up and down on a tightrope, as if walking was not hard enough!
La Vierge et l'Enfant by Sheikh Sana'an
Medusae Jellyfish in the calm waters outside the Museum
In the Summer, Carry Le Rouet is a bustling tourist town along the Mediterranean in the South of France. In the Fall, it is mostly quiet with locals walking along the board walk and some of the restaurants closed along the beach during the cooler, windier weather. Here are a few shots from Carry le Rouet.
The docks at the fishing harbor.
Really cool blue lights along the boardwalk.
Kite surfer taking advantage of the strong winds.
A seagull pecking at a fish that the fisherman left for him.
One of several windsurfers taking advantage of the strong winds and choppy waters to get in some combination wind/wave surfing.
Red Phalaenopsis have been somewhat elusive. While there are some, few have large numbers of flowers and the long arching sprays that most of us associate with Phalaenopsis. Here's a pretty one that's well along the way towards that goal.
Carpenter Ant, Campo, California. Carpenter ant swarms usually occur in the spring and are a sign that a colony is nesting somewhere inside the structure. They usually get into a house through holes, where trees branches contact the house or from wooden structures attached to the house like a porch or deck.
While large carpenter ant colonies can cause structural damage, it is not as serious as that from termites. The degree of any potential damage can only be determined by locating the nest area.
Went up to Campo, California to see the Persieds. We were two days off peak and there was nary a meteor. Perhaps a few and a few helicopters and jets to boot. Still, it was awesome to see all those stars!