Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kelp on a Rock

Kelp Roots on Rock, Imperial Beach, California.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cool tattoo

Brian Holwerda playing lead Guitar for Joanie Mendenhall, showing off a really cool tattoo at Saturday's performance. Have you ever wondered what the story is behind a really detailed tattoo? If you look closely at Brian's tattoo, you'll see the corner of Haight and Ashbury streets in San Francisco (in the tenderloin?). You'll see what looks like Kwan Yin, the goddess of mercy playing a flute and in the folds of her robe, San Francisco in what appears to be the midst of an earthquake and fire, rocks a flying, a cable car, a shark and much more. I'd bet there's quite a story behind this tatoo!

Where does the word tattoo come from anyhow? It is almost certainly Polynesian in origin. In New Zealand: ta to=tattoo; in Tahiti/Otaheite tatu= puncturation; in Hawaiian: kakau=tattoo (pronounced Ka ka-oo, no T's in Hawaiian).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dolphins Herding Dinner

Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, Tijuana Estuary, San Diego, California. Bottlenose dolphins herding bait fish. We spotted the dolphins by following the swarm of birds hovering above, each bird hoping to steal a few fish from the hard working dolphins.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Joanie Mendenhall Live at the Adams Street Fair

Joanie Mendenhall, one of San Diego's leading Pop artists, today playing live at the Adams Street Fair. Missed it? Listen to her here!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Premier Kites

Huge foil being flown by PremierKites.Com over San Diego Bay, taking advantage of some fleeting sunny days as we head into Autumn.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Banana Boat!

The Banana Boat in the photo looked about as big as an aircraft carrier, maybe longer. I started wondering just how many bananas go through San Diego so I looked it up. Here's what I found compliments of an article called, "Port Brings Home the Goods." "The banana trade is unlikely to be affected by the economic downturn. Bananas are America's No. 1 imported fruit with the average American consuming more than 28 pounds annually. Dole imports 468,000 tons of bananas through the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. Put another way, Dole brings in 185 million bananas each month through the Port's Tenth Avenue terminal." The ship name said Dole Honduras. It looked like they get a huge load of bananas and then dock the ship and slowly offload them as needed. I believe they ripen them on demand so they can actually keep them green for quite a while.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Red Breasted Merganser

Female Red Breasted Merganser, Mergus serrator, is a diving duck. I've actually seen multiple mergansers act in concert to herd fish in the shallows, their bodies just under the surface of the water. They catch the (slippery little) fish with their serrated beaks (hence the name). They also eat aquatic insects, crustaceans and frogs and are reputed to fly in level flight at up to 80mph, one of the fastest birds in level flight. Note that Raptors such as hawks and eagles achieve their speed in a dive, not in level flight.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sand Bass!

Fishermen with Sand Bass. Some guys out fishing in San Diego Bay with a Sand Bass they caught. Supposedly, the water in the bay's been polluted by the shipyard and the Navy base so it's not so clear that eating anything out of the Bay is a good idea but they were having a good time and they probably aren't getting a substantial part of their diet out of the bay.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Barry Bowl Pottery

Barry Pechersky. Barry posing with one of his beautiful bowls at the at the Clay Artists of San Diego Booth at the Artwalk on the Bay. His bowls absolutely glow in the sun! If you enjoy his bowls, you can contact Barry at

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus. This Monarch Butterfly was reaching in to sip some nectar out of a hanging basket of Lantana at Armstrong Nursery. I ran back to the car to get the camera and waited a bit for the Monarch to come back. Shortly afterwards, it was joined by a Tiger Swallowtail. I enjoyed watching them flit from flower to flower so much I ended up buying a small pot of Lantana for the front yard.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Collared Lory

Collared Lory, Phygis solitarus, is relatively abundant in its native habitat. It is found on the islands of Matei and Taveuni in the Fijian Islands. It is seldom seen in captivity, perhaps because it has not often been successfully bred in captivity.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Monkey See....

Wolf's Guenon, Cercopithecus wolfi wolfi. These handsome monkeys are from Central Africa, mostly between Congo and Uganda, where they live in forests bordering water. They live mostly on a diet of fruit supplemented with seeds and insects. The Guenons are related to baboons, mangabeys, and macaques.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sun Bear Sponge Bath

Female Malayan Sun Bear, Helarctos malayanus. Sun Bears are from the tropical forests of Southeast Asia and are one the most skillful climbers of all the bears. They are one of the smallest bears, a mature bear standing at about 4 ft. tall. Sun Bears have sickle-shaped claws and large, naked soled paws that enable them to hang and climb within the dense tropical forest canopy with ease. Sun Bears are omnivores, most of their diet being typical of their tropical, arboreal habitat including lizards, birds, and small mammals, fruits, eggs, termites, palm shoots, honey (hence their alternate name, honey bears), berries, sprouts, insects, roots, cocoa, and coconuts (yes, they can crack open coconuts!).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sandpipers on an Empty Beach

A flock of Sandpipers at low tide at Imperial Beach. When running or flying in groups they typically do so in unison making an amazing display as the waves come in or as they dart back and forth through the air. Their diet consists of crustaceans, insects and worms that they pull out of the sand/mud.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Yellow Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis Yellow Brite Lite. Yellow Phalaenopsis have come a long way in the last ten or so years. The colors are clear, concise and tend not to fade much. Unfortunately, few carry the wonderful fragrance of some of their ancestors but, as with most Phalaenopsis, they last a really long time and really brighten the house up.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Shawn Rohlf and the Buskers

Shawn Rohlf and the Buskers singing to the kids at the Hillcrest Farmers Market. They've been doing this as long as I can remember and the kids always have an awesome time!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Down the Alley

Morning Glory, Ipomoea purpurea. I was walking down the street to the car when I saw a morning glory on an old, beat-up, white garage. This morning glory was literally blanketed with flowers that glowed in the bright afternoon sunshine and proved just too nice to pass up!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Mr. Grasshopper Looking at his Reflection

Just your lowly grasshopper admiring his own reflections in the glass...or maybe he's really staring up at the dorky photographer. Either way, there were actually a whole series of double reflections but I edited them out in the name of being succinct.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Mrs. Spider Weaving Her Web

Spider patching her web. If you click on it, you can actually see the new strand she's laying down for the night. I caught her in the last few rays of the setting sun.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Dancing at the Farmer's Market

Couple Dancing at the Farmer's Market. There's a little band at the farmer's market. They've been there as long as I can remember, entertaining the crowd for tips. The parents will bring their kids and the kids will dance, sing along and generally have a wonderful time in a totally unfettered, unself-conscious sort of way. This time, some of the grown-ups decided to get into the swing of it as well!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Encyclia ambigua

Encyclia ambigua. Encyclia ambigua is native to Chiapas, Mexico through Guatemala where it grows at around 3000 to 6000 feet.

Friday, September 03, 2010

SPLASH! Animals

SPLASH! Animals. This is the latest live show at the San Diego Zoo. Two people get up on the stage and paint an animal at the same time. They certainly work well together and were really popular with the crowd! In fact, they were so popular with the crowd, I snapped these pictures by holding the camera high up above my head and pointing it at the stage to get above the crowd. You can find out more about them at Their description says: "This award-winning conservation-focused entertainment experience combines art, music, choreography and features endangered species."

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Komodo Dragon

Komodo Dragon, Varanus komodoensis. These guys are native to the Sunda Island Chain in Indonesia and grow to 10 feet long and 350 lbs. Females lay about twenty eggs at a time, the eggs hatching in April, when insects are most plentiful. Young Komodo dragons dwell in trees, safe from predators and adult komodos. They may live as long as fifty years.

They are monitor lizards (think Gila Monster) and will eat almost anything they can catch from insects to goats to water buffalo. Their bites contain lots of nasty bacteria; the resultant infections can be fatal, thus providing a time delayed meal for these hungry little beasties.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Tentacled Snake

Tentacled Snake, Erpeton tentaculatum. The Tentacled snake is completely aquatic. It is a rear-fanged venomous snake that uses it's "tentacles" to sense (and then attack) passing fish in murky Southeast Asian waters which it then quickly swallows. The tentacled snake is reportedly harmless to humans.

Clint and His Amazing Barking Meerkat

Clint and his amazing barking meerkat. Whenever Clint talked, the sound of his voice caused his meerkat to bark! Clint thought it was some sort of protective reflex like relaying an alarm. These days, the zoo keepers at the San Diego Zoo get out to talk to the public a lot more than they used to and, if you keep an eye out for them, you can often learn all sorts of animal facts and trivia.