Thursday, January 31, 2008

Two For the Price of One

Something that has puzzled me for a little bit. When you have a dozen surfers all waiting for the same wave, how do you decide who gets to catch a particular wave? Here are two surfers cruising along on the same wave. The guy on the right ducked out shortly afterwards.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Are Brown Pelicans Really Brown?

Are adult California Brown Pelicans really BROWN? Judge for yourself. This one was hanging out on the Mission River hunting for fish.

The Rain Parts

The sun is back out again. There is a cool breeze but the skies are blue with scattered fluffy white clouds. That's why we live in San Diego!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Gull City

The seagulls were out in force, taking advantage of the low tide to lounge around on the sandy riverbed. They scrounge up clams and squawk at each other. They socialize and just plain sit around.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cat lovers or Dog lovers: Who Rules?

I found this very beautiful cat looking back through the rocks, possibly in case one of his bretheren were about to pounce. So I've been having this conversation over whether cats or dogs are better. Here's a little something to get you started. For cats: smell better, good groomers, can be left alone, smarter (???); for dogs: faithful to a fault, always happy to see you, will go running with you. Against cats: can be aloof, can pack a nasty paw, chock full of allergens; Against dogs: more maintenance, smelly when wet, can be hyper. What do you think? Do the cats have it? Or do the dogs?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

American Wigeon

There were several pairs of American Wigeon, Anas americana, swimming along the edge of the San Diego river grazing on water plants. The male's bright colors make quite a display. Meanwhile, the six inch rain forecast seems to have turned into perhaps 2-3 inches. At least that is what was caught in the garbage cans that I emptied out this morning. Damp and gusty. In a little lull, I saw a large flock of white pelicans drift over the highway, slowly circling lazily over USD and into the distance.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Flock of Sanderlings

A picture of a flock of sanderlings that were flying up and down the San Diego river bed in unison. They are a sight to see when in flight. They decided to camp out on the mud flat with a gull for a short rest.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Jumping Pelicans

This young California Brown Pelican was flapping and jumping along the water in little 10-20 ft. hops trying to catch a meal. He would land head first making a huge splash! I don't know if he succeeded in nabbing a fish but he looked a wet and a little tired. There is a bit of a pelican learning curve involved in catching dinner. At other beaches, I have seen adult pelicans diving from 50+ft. in the air for fish along the surface of the water.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Blow Hole

This is a picture of the Makapu Blow Hole on Oahu. When the waves hit the rock, they force the air and water in a lava tube upward and into the air, at times creating plumes that rocket upwards of 30 feet.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Raining Cats and Pigeons

It's raining really hard outside. It was tough to see out of the windshield with the wipers going full speed. People were actually driving BELOW the speed limit in San Diego, no less! Luckily, the house is still there and the street has not all washed into a gully as San Diego hillsides occassionally do. I'd bet the birdseed is a bit wet and the birds won't mind a bit.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Water Dog

This guy is clearly a water dog. He was having way too much fun chasing the birds. While he didn't catch any and it is a "dog beach," you'll not find too many birds nesting around there. It does make me miss my old dog a bit as well although she was definitely not a water dog.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Cat Nap

There are over a dozen feral cats that live in the rocks along the mission river breakwater. There is a lady that comes by and feeds them and brings them water. They are beautiful cats that look fairly domestic. However, they don't come up to rub on people so it is hard to tell if they are cast aways from people that moved out of town or if they are actually breeding out there. This one was taking a nap in the sun among the rocks.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Royal Tern

I found this Royal Tern, Sterna maxima, diving for fish in the Mission River Preserve in San Diego. I love watching terns for their amazing grace and speed as well as their deadly accuracy.

Finding Nemo...

This is a Percula Clownfish in a carpet anemone. Now why would Nemo ever want to leave a home as spectacular as that?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Manini - Convict Tang

Manini, or convict tang - so named for their stripes, are the cows of the sea. Large schools of them drift over the reef, cleaning the coral of algae as they browse. These were off of Waikiki beach on Oahu.

Wahiawa Rainstorm

The island of Oahu in the Hawaiian island chain has two major mountain ranges, the Waianae range and the Koolau range. The erupting lava from the two volcanic chains created a plateau between, known to the Hawaiians as Wahiawa. It is known for its cool, moist climate. This picture was taken during one of the frequent showers as the sun peaked through.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Godwit Ducking

This is an odd picture. Just as I snapped, the Godwit plunked his head into the water after some sort of food (PLUUNKKK). No head. Normally I'd toss a picture with a missing head but there was something about the play of the light over the water and the ripples from his head ducking into the water that was beautiful in an eerie sort of way. Basically, I liked it. Hope you like it too.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Is this a Samurai? Or is it just some wild painting I found pasted on a window? Either way, I thought it was really cool so I'm sharing it. In reality, the painting was pretty sun faded and pastel but I gave it a little color boost just for fun. Hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Surfing Sunset Beach

Another shot from a wonderful sunny day at Sunset beach on the North Shore of Hawaii. That's got to be a total adrenaline high, slicing though those waves.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

American Coot or Cooties and Mud

I've been seeing migratory birds in Mission bay as I drove past on the way to school every day. I finally couldn't resist it any longer and stopped to take a peek and take a picture or two. Unfortunately, my trusty Nikon was at home so that left the not quite as fleet footed but much more portable pocket Cannon. I figured I'd try a video. So, tonight, I bring you the American Coot! A.k.a. cooties and mud. It looked like they were pulling up bog plants and perhaps worms and invertebrates. You decide.

Monday, January 14, 2008


If any of you viewers out in cyber-land have preferences for what you want to see out of the wayward photo libraries (more fish, more birds, more surfers, etc.), feel free to send in your requests and I will, to the extent that I have anything worthwhile stashed away, attempt to please. Please keep it G-rated. ;-P

Boiling Carp!

It's random picture day! I need to get going with the homework so I quasi-randomly chose one of my folders and scanned for the first of my pictures to catch my eye. Voila, I give you "boiling carp!" [That's just a bunch of carp! Ar, Ar...grin]. Actually, these are Koi in the Koi pond at the Dole Plantation in Wahiawa, Hawaii. When you purchase and toss in Koi food, they literally boil out of the water. The kids have a blast and I dare say I had fun too. Happy Monday...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hawaiian White Spotted Toby

Here is a really short video of a pair of Hawaiian White Spotted Toby, Canthigastor jactator, that I shot off of Waikiki. They were being shy and trying to hide under this really large coral head. The video is short because I was skin diving and, by the time you get down there, start the video and focus on the fish, it's time to go up for another breath. Still, they're kind of cute. Hope you like them.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Body Surfing: Twist and Turn

This gal was body surfing at Sunset Beach, Hawaii. She and her friends were doing really cool 360's at the peak of the wave. After looking at the angle of her legs requires to do that 360, I can understand why I never did one of those. Still looked like fun though!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Humu Humu Nuku Nuku Apua'a

This used to be the Hawaii State Fish, the Humu Humu Nuku Nuku Apua'a. At least before the legislature de-instated it. They couldn't agree on a new fish (politicians!) so it will have to do for now. This shy humu humu (reef triggerfish, Rhinecanthus rectangulus) is ducking into a hole in the reef off of famous Diamond Head. He would go into the hole and, if I waited, would pop out to see if I was still there trying to take his picture. He would then duck back into the hole. Cute little guy.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hawaiian Moorhen

This is the Hawaiian Moorhen or 'Alae 'Ula, Gallinula chloropa sandvicensis. The name refers to that bright beak. It is a Hawaiian variety of the Common Moorhen. I found this one posing for pictures in the bog at Waimea Audobon Park on Oahu, Hawaii.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


I snapped this picture of Sanderlings at Sunset Beach on Oahu, Hawaii. They were running up and down the beach. For the most part, the surfers and the sanderlings paid no attention to each other. They ran right by me allowing me to get some really nice pictures. Amazing that these little birds can fly all the way to the Arctic where they spend the Summer and breed and then make it all the way back to Hawaii for the Winter. Seems like a long way to fly for such a little bird. I have no idea if they land somewhere along the way.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Sunset Beach Surfing

There are some amazing surfers at Sunset Beach, Hawaii, and some really big waves. I caught this guy right in the middle of the curl! Wow.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Anole on Bromeliad

I found this little Anole posing out in Wahiawa on an orange bromeliad (possibly a Bilbergia if I saw the right ones in bloom).

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Video of the Moorish Idol

Here is a video of the Moorish Idol posted the other day. This is my very first video posted to youtube and, therefore, a test. It's not the best but it gives you an idea of what it's like trying to photograph fish while you're being shoved around by the surf.

The Moorish Idol was on the reef off of Waikiki, Hawaii. The red barred fish to the left of the Moorish Idol is a Moana, a type of goatfish that is native to Hawaii. The green fish with black stripes in a manini (a type of tang). There were also several other tangs that shot through the video.

Red-Billed Leiothrix

Here's a picture of a Red-Billed Leiothrix that was eating food put out on the lawn by the owners of the Tree House Restaurant (formerly Paradise Park) in Manoa Valley on the island of Oahu. The Red-Billed Leiothrix was introduced from Asia and is moderately people friendly (i.e., you can get close enough to see it). This one had to compete with a bunch of Moa (Hawaiian Chickens), turtle doves and ring necked doves to get any food.