Sunday, December 30, 2007

Moorish Idol

This Moorish Idol was photographed off of Waikiki in an area that is now a marine preserve. Moorish idols live on small crustaceans and use their long snout to poke into small crevices for food.

Friday, December 28, 2007

American Anole

There was a cluster of beautiful yellow flowers on a bush arching over the Waimea river, visible from the bridge. The flowers look like they are in the pea family. Upon closer inspection, an American Anole was also lounging beneath the flowers, perhaps waiting for passing mosquitos or bees attracted to the flowers.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Red Coris Wrasse

Here's a picture of a really pretty Red Coris Wrasse I saw in Hanauma Bay today. The water was really rough and murky so the picture doesn't quite do it justice but it was a beauty.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Rare Hawaiian Duck (Koloa)

A mated pair of rare Hawaiian Koloa native ducks, Anas wyvilliana, splashed down while I was watching the fish in Waikiki. There were not at all afraid of the many tourists watching them and proceeded to browse off of the seaweek on the breakwater making for quite a siting!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays Everyone! Bert put on his very best antlers for the occasion, and as opposed to some of his antlered cousins, Bert really does fly. Merri Crisimassu. Felis Navidad. Mele Kalikimaka. Wishing you all the very best for 2008.

An Old Dog

A picture of a pretty old dog in Font Vieille. He moved his head a little to look my way and pose but that was the extent of the effort. Just an old dog's life.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bunting It

I give up. I looked through a bunch of sparrows, finches, bobolinks and Buntings, all with those little squat conical beaks. Frankly, they are all starting to look the same. If you're a bird person, let me know what this little guy is. Until then, I'm calling it a Bunting for lack of a better excuse. The little yellow patch on the forehead should be a clue but ironically, none of the birds had quite that coloration. So I give up. Hints and name donations will be graciously accepted.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pea Family

I saw these gorgeous flowers at a nursery the other day. I didn't catch the name of it as I was in a hurry but I'd guess that they are in the Pea Family. Funny, we don't normally think of Peas as trees but some of them get pretty big. This one looked like a type of coral tree, possibly a yellow form.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Flying Kite

Found this White Tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus)at Mission Trails Park the other day. This was taken with a 500mm lens so, needless to say, the Kite was being a little camera shy. Try as I might, this was as close as it would let me get. I like to call these "hover hawks" because I see them hovering close to the highway waiting for ground squirrels to pop out of their dens. Outside of hummingbirds, they are the only other bird I have seen actively hover.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cinnamon Teal

Just saw a new duck (well new to me anyhow). It's a Cinnamon Teal, Anas cyanoptera. It didn't let me get close enough to get a really nice picture but this one's not too bad. They are a beautiful orange-brown color. This one was napping on a little island in the river.


Here's a picture of pondweed or Potamogeton. It was blooming at the neigborhood nursery. Notably, it is pollinated by wasps. Fascinating.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Happy Holidays

Here's a picture of a Vascostylis I snapped at a small orchid symposium. It's so seldom that most people get to see the huge variety of orchids outside of the things they carry in the grocery store, I thought this would be fun. The parents of this (Vanda x Rhychostylis x Ascocentrum) are from Southeast Asia.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Prickly Welcome

Hahah! Prickly Welcome indeed! I couldn't resist the pun. Actually, I thought the little Barrel Cactus Welcome sign at the San Diego zoo was attractive, well done and rather catchy (no pun intended). I wouldn't want to have to weed around those babies though. Owwww. Happy Hump day.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Flash Ducking

Hummingbirds are amazingly acrobatic when they want to be. This is a picture of one doing a rapid move to the right to avoid my flash. It was quite a quandry between staying for food and ducking my flash, I'm sure. This is an Anna's Hummingbird, one of the 7 or 8 that have declared my feeder home.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

No Hummingbirds!?

I looked out my window and poof, no hummingbirds. I looked up and there was this huge red tailed hawk (not shown. The picture is a goshawk from Denali) looping around and even hovering. I find it hard to imagine that a big old red tailed would be eating teenie little hummingbirds. Just a mouthful of fluff. However, they must be on the menu or at least the hummingbirds think so. By the time I grabbed the camera, the hawk had moved on. Rats.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Duck Soup

Another picture from the Bay. It's been storming out. Windy, cold & rainy so this is from November. There were ducks everywhere. Most of these are Ruddy Ducks. It took me a while to realize that the telltale blue beaks were gone because it's winter. Go figure. There was one Western Grebe, Aechmophorus occidentalis, in the middle.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Most Profuse Egrets...

Hahah. So much for the corny title, huh? The big white bird with the black legs is a Great Egret, Ardea alba. While once profuse, nesting in huge colonies, they were hunted for their beautiful plumage. Their numbers have since recovered somewhat but are now hampered by dwindling wetlands and human encroachment. They are still quite a sight to see. The smaller egret with the orange legs is a probably a Snowy Egret(note black beak vs orange beak for Cattle Egret), Egretta thula. These are a little more frequent.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Great Blue on the Prowl

Here is a Great Blue Heron that was prowling through the eel grass for a tasty meal. I was so close I had to zoom out to get the whole bird. They are magnificent!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Blue Orchids

Blue Orchids are very rare. This is C. Ariel var. coerulea 'Bodante', one of the "blue" Cattleyas. It's a good grower, blooms well and is livening up the greenhouse for me.

Oh La La

A little picture from Marseille. I love the color of Mediteranian! Blue, blue, blue. Makes me wish I was there!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Have Faith

This little hummingbird was waiting for his turn at the feeder while it was raining in torrents outside. Through all the wind and all the rain, he was there patiently looking on.