Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
There were three awards granted at the American Orchid Society Judging in Long Beach, California on November 28, 2011, including one FCC to Fred Clarke! The flowers are shown below. The pictures were taken by your very own wayward Hawaiian.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Canada Goose, Branta canadensis, wintering at Lake Cuyamaca, California. I've never seen them at sea level this far South. However, there's a small flock that apparently Winters up around 4,000 ft. at Lake Cuyamaca.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wishing you and your loved ones all a wonderful Thanksgiving, regardless of what graces your table tonight.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
A 65 ft. Female Fin Whale, on the beach at Fiesta Island, San Diego, California. This female fin whale washed up on the rocks of Point Loma, just below the waste treatment plant roughly five days ago. A life guard boat was used to drag it to Fiesta Island, shown above, where it would be dissected to determine its cause of death. A young fetus was also present, ejected as the whale began to decay, at the point loma site; however, it was apparently lost in the process of towing the mother to Fiesta Island.
A large grading tractor was used to attempt to pull it up the beach and out of the water. However, after a large strap and two large chains snapped in a most spectacular fashion in the attempt, it was decided to process the whale where it lay. As the scientists started to cut open the whale, the smell, as you would expect, became rather extreme and this photographer left, generally relieved to not be living down-wind of the carcass. However, a small crowd of onlookers remained to watch the process. Apparently, samples are being brought to the Scripps Institute for further research.
Post script: The scientists reported today (11/24) that the cause of death appeared to be a collision with a boat that fractured several of her vertebrae. As fast as these mammals are, you would think that would never happen, but perhaps curiosity lured her in a little to close...
Osprey flying outside of Point Loma. I've wanted to take a picture of one of these ever since I saw them in Halo (good job military PR). Really cool if a bit expensive... For those of you not familiar with tilt rotors, these little beauties take off like a helicopter and then tilt the rotors down into a lateral alignment to fly like an airplane, allowing them to land and take off in tight spots but extends their range and flight speed.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
American Kestrel, Falco sparverius, Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California. I drove out to Cabrillo National Monument to see a Fin whale that washed up into a cove just outside the Point Loma Waste Treatment plant. It turns out, however, that the waste treatment plant wasn't having anything to do with lookie-loos and crazy photographers. In fact, they didn't even let their own security guard go down to the cove to see the whale. However, since I was at Cabrillo, I paid the entry fee and made a day of exploring Cabrillo National Park. I started off photographing the tide pools followed by taking pictures of the bird colonies on the cliffs and then by photographing the succulent species growing in the coastal scrub...which is what I was doing when this little guy popped up. He was flying into the stiff, cool breeze, flapping just hard enough to hover over the coastal scrub, looking for lizards, bugs and small animals. Every now and then he would dive down at some prey and then bob right back up into the sky. He (you can ID male American Kestrels by the grey on the top of the wings -- not shown in this photo) continued to hover and swoop for over 15 minutes, providing for some excellent shots including the one above.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
At first, I thought this was a green heron or else perhaps some other heron that I had not seen before, his color being so different from the adult black and white plummage of a Black-Crowned Night Heron, and his presence in broad daylight outside of the cover of a tree being somewhat uncharacteristic of the Black-Crowned Night Herons which frequent Mission Bay. Luckily, however, the National Geographic Field guide I was perusing included pictures of juvenile birds. Hence, the hopefully correct ID above.
Friday, November 18, 2011
We went out whale watching off Point Loma and Mission Bay. Sometimes you'll go whale watching and seeing very little and at a great distance. However, today there were fin whales everywhere! See for yourself!
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Marbled Godwit, Limosa fedoa, feeding in the sand; Imperial Beach, California. How do they find anything under all that sand? I've been told they have tiny hairs along their beak that sense or perhaps smell the small worms and crustaceans they feed on.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Bronchocela christatella or Green Crested Lizard. A very happy and well fed lizard posing for the camera! These beautiful agamid lizards are natives of West Malaysia, Borneo, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Southern Thailand, South Myanmar, and the Nicobar Islands. They live up in trees and shrubs where, using their long, slender tail for balancing, they hunt for small invertebrates.
Side note: there are approximately 300 species of Agamid lizards in the family Agamidae. They are also commonly called "dragon lizards," including the bearded dragon and the uromastyx among their ranks. Agramids are distinguished by their teeth, which are borne on the outer rim of the mouth (look close!), rather than on the inner side of the jaws as with most other lizards.
Monday, November 07, 2011
"Araneus gemma, Family Araneidae. Sometimes it's called a Gemmed Orbweaver. These are pretty common at this time of year and usually make their webs up in trees or around buildings where they can be a pest depending on where they build webs. As almost all spiders they have venom and these are large enough to bite if handled. The bite would be a bit painful but certainly not life threatening. This is the time of year that they mature, mate, lay eggs, and die out. They are usually gone by the end of November." Identification and information complements of Jim Berrian at the San Diego Natural History Museum!
Sunday, November 06, 2011
Saturday, November 05, 2011
Double Primrose after the recent rains. San Diego has been unnaturally wet and rainy this past year and it looks like, in spite of a second year of La Nina warnings by the weather persons, we are headed into another wet Winter.