Friday, April 30, 2010
Two baby elephants at play. The little one kept trying to get up on the bigger one's head! The bigger one very patiently endured the abuse... They spent a lot of time following each other around and seemed to be really attached to each other.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
California Sea Lion pup, Zalophus californianus. So, how do you tell sea lion from seal? Sea lions have ears and walk on their flippers like awkward feet. Their flippers will angle downwards and support their weight. Seans rear flippers go straight back and their front flippers off to the side. Hence seals tend to undulate along the sand/ground rather than use their flippers for land propuslsion. Oh, and for you snugglers out there, sea lions like to snuggle one atop the other while seals almost always lie alone even in the midst of a colony.
Exercise for tomorrow: just for fun, go out, take a stroll and turn off all the labels and pretend like you're seeing everything for the first time. Touch the leaves and feel their coolness and texture. Feel the roughness of tree bark. Run your bar toes through the grass. Stop and look at the cool colors and shapes of bugs and lizards. Look at leaves and flowers really close and see the amazing structures that make them work. It's really fun to do every now and then just to remind you of the wonderful things around us that we normally zip by and take for granted.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Great Eggfly, Hypolimnas bolina. These are found in Southern Asia, Australia, Japan and New Zealand. I suspect they received the rather unflattering name for their large egg-shaped spots on the wings. They are found in lightly wooded deciduous habitat.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Chinese Houses, Collinsia heterophylla.
Wildflowers in the back yard.
The wildflowers really burst into bloom this year. This is a North sloping canyon so it blooms a little later than out on the flatlands but wow, what a display! There are poppies, Chinese Houses, California Bluebells, Lupine, Daisies, Monkeyflower, etc... It's really fun. There was even an albino or two.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Discus, Symphysodon species. These are native to the Amazon river basin where there are three different species. They are social in nature and occur in large schools. They lay their eggs on flat substrate, typically leaves or pieces of rock, which they guard and fan assiduously. When the larvae/babies hatch, they live off of a slime secretion on their parents bodies, apparently from a few days to up to two weeks, before they transition to live food. These, however, are captive line bred and likely hybrids.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
On Gossamer Wings
When you feel a little breeze,
or notice a tickle, or need to sneeze
or find your things are rearranged
or something seems a little strange
Look very closely and you might see
sparkly dust, or a buzzing bee:
Behold! a fairy with gossamer wings
has come to show you wondrous things!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Whale Shark, Rhincodon typus. These sharks are HUGE (some over 47,000 lbs.) but gentle. They are filter feeders, spending their days gliding through the water filtering out food. They are reputed to live upwards of 70 years of age.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Friday, April 09, 2010
Young man jumping off of a bridge, Iao, Maui. I think he overheard me say that it was way too shallow to be safe and that just goaded him on even more. Most of us have done something crazy along the way... This young man, luckily, proved me wrong and came out of the cold mountain water without a scratch.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Statue in Sao Paulo. I shot this picture out the taxi window.
So I went hunting on the Internet to see if I could figure out what the statue stood for. Best I could find was, "Famous statue right next to Ibirapuera Park. The “Central Park” of São Paulo. The statue is supposed to represent the conquistadors that settled Brazil.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus, La Jolla, California. These fish-eating beauties are the the most pleasantly fragrant guests to have in the neighborhood but they certainly make a beautiful display against the whitened sandstone cliffs or as they skim across the water. It is, as you probably guessed, breeding season.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Monday, April 05, 2010
Sunday, April 04, 2010
Thoas Swallowtail, Papilio thoas. These are native to Costa Rica; shown here on butterfly bush.
Beautiful day out here with clear skies and a nice cool breeze. Kind of a disarming lead in to a pretty hefty 7.2 earthquake out in Mexicali. It was the longest (perhaps 30 seconds?) and the strongest quake I've been in so far. The house was shaking quite a bit and I was holding onto the cabinet to keep things from falling off the top. Normally, by the time you feel them, they're over but this one actually went long enough that you could have walked out of the house. Hopefully, that's it for a while. Surprisingly few things managed to tumble from the shelves but overall, it looks like everything is fine. The quakes over 8 must be something pretty fierce! They say Southern California is overdue. We shall see...
Saturday, April 03, 2010
I bought this Oden Lantern in Tokyo many years ago (just the paper lantern, no stand, no light). I thought it was rather expensive at some $15 for paper lantern. I ended up coughing up a bunch more for a wrought iron hanger w/ light bulb at crate and barrel so I could actually use it. It is so ironic.
To do this posting, I went searching to see if I could find out what the lantern actually said (having thought it had something to do with Obon festival all these years). Well, I found the same lantern on the Internet selling for $99. Kind of makes you think someone is raking in some money here. In any case, this one is an Oden lantern that is hung outside the door of Oden restaurants/shops (think miso-ish soup with goodies like octopus and veggies in it...). It's kind of ironic.