Elephant Seals and the Golden Gate Bridge

Jun 26, 2010 by Janine |
Point Reyes, CA is where I saw my first Elephant seals. They are noisy and ugly creatures, but fascinating to watch.

The view hiking down a short path to the overlook

An alpha male

The lighthouse is supposed to be a great place to see migrating whales. I made the trek down to the lighthouse in hopes of getting a closer view. Unfortunately, no whales were visible. The scenery was amazing though. And by this time it had warmed up quite a bit and I had shed my sweater and jacket. Lovely.

Shots from another day. I was so pleased to see the Golden Gate bridge in all its glory, and not shrouded in fog as I had feared it would be. As a result I took several hundred photos of it. I dont know what I was thinking. Anyway, here are a few of the better ones.

A white crowned sparrow serenaded the passing tourists.

Summer Time in the Swamp

Jun 17, 2010 by Janine |
I'm doing some field work for the next few weeks and bring my camera out from time to time. Summer field work in Florida is not for most people, but it has its enjoyable moments. Birds are actively feeding nestlings, young birds and mammals clumsily explore the world, and the air is abuzz with cicadas and dragonflies.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Juvie barred owl. I couldn't decide if I liked the shot with flash, or the shot without. Any thoughts?



Finally, saw this happy family on my drive home.

Newport, Rhode Island

Jun 10, 2010 by Janine |
Was in RI this week for work. Weather was good for the most part. The locals were exclaiming about the warm weather as I huddled in a fleece.

I spent an afternoon in Newport. First explored the town for a bit.

I have discovered that one of the best things about the new england states is the food. Went to a great little seafood restaurant and had a late lunch by the water.

Apart from abundant and delicious fresh seafood, in Newport there were plenty of little bakeries and coffee houses run by friendly folks.

This is the view from a bench by the harbor where I sat and peacefully enjoyed a freshly-baked cookie and espresso.

RI was fun but I am glad to be home. Getting off the plane today, the heat hit us like opening an oven door. No need for the fleece anymore. Home sweet sauna.

Point Lobos

Jun 01, 2010 by Janine |
More shots from California (almost 2 months later, tut tut)

I arrived at Point Lobos bright and early on Easter Sunday morning. The gate attendant suggested an area I should visit "before the crowds" arrive and cautioned me not to dawdle, but to go there straight away. I reluctantly averted my eyes from the scenic vistas and followed his advice. And I am glad I did or else I would never have gotten these shots.

Literally less than a minute went by as I took these photos, before the carloads of boisterous spring breakers came screaming down the hillside, causing all the seals to scamper into the water.

Point Lobos is like a postcard that you can walk around inside of. Amazing vistas everywhere you look.

Wild sea otters

White crowned sparrows were abundant

An osprey watched the sea from high above

Plenty of harbor seals

My first ground squirrel

Sea lions

Hiking alone amongst the rocky cliffs here, and elsewhere in CA, I was mindful of mountain lions. Unlike the rare and reclusive Florida Panther, the mountain lion has been known to attack hikers. I was cautious, but not afraid, as I enjoyed the sights. However, I was enjoying one of the many scenic views when the sound of rock scraping interrupted my peaceful ramble. I was in a vulnerable location, far from the more well-traveled trails, with sheer rocky cliffs at my back, on a narrow trail with a steep drop to the crashing waves below. A sudden brown blur in my peripheral vision. A jolt of fear as I raised my arms in self defense, ready to fight fangs and claws. Then overwhelming feelings of crushing stupidity when I realized that my fearsome attacker was in fact a deer that was now peacefully munching the clover next to the path. Doh.