Elephant

Monterey Bay Aquarium

I finally got to see the famed Monterey Bay aquarium. It's actually much smaller than I thought it would be, but it still lives up to its fame. It's just awesome. I would have loved it if it were a little quieter, but at the same time it's great to see so many kids being so excited about things. Do they have adult-only library-like-silence days out there? :-)




Sea Nettle

Collapse )

Elephant

Wile E. Coyote

All of us who've watched the Road Runner Show seem to love the Coyote. My case of trying get a decent photograph of the Coyote has been like playing the part of the Coyote and the Coyote being in the Road-runner's shoes. I didn't quite go through all the pain and trouble Mr. Wile E. Coyote endured, but the result's been the same: a few half-baked shots and multi-second views. Not good. On this trip to Yosemite, I wasn't expecting any wildlife sightings because of all the snow and ice, but I was in for a surprise when I noticed a mammal running across the icy meadow. I quickly took a lot of snaps from the distance with awfully bad camera settings without realizing my stupidity. And as I looked in disgust at the awful images I had made, the Coyote came up and sat three feet from the us and looked into the car. I quickly changed the settings to what they should be and the Coyote turned out to be not so Wile E. after all for he sat patiently and roamed around in the meadows as if he was modeling for me and the rest of the Yosemite visitors who lined up to snap up his photographs. Just an amazing, amazing experience. Thank you!



The Coyote moves in for the kill... :-)

Collapse )



Elephant

Yosemite in Winter

I finally got to go to see Yosemite in winter. Armed with tire chains and rigorous watching of youtube videos on how to put on chains, driving in icy conditions and all, I set out to cold, cold Yosemite. The roads were all clean thanks to the tireless efforts of the people who work to plough and salt these mountain roads. I've never seen Yosemite so desolate and so empty. It's a great time to enjoy the beauty in peace and the quiet that the place actually deserves. Hiking around is tricky as well with snow and ice, a slip and fall is just a footstep away all the time. And hiking for miles on in popular trails with nearly no other hikers was a great way to enjoy the scenic beauty that every part of Yosemite seems to be. Here are the landscape pictures I made on this trip to Yosemite.




Collapse )



Elephant

Point Reyes

2009 started with a trip to Point Reyes. It's an awesome place and I've had some good luck with wildlife sightings there. It was no different on new year's day - the elephant seals were back. There were a bunch of harbor seals in the water. The elks, the harriers and the coyotes showed up as well.



A starfish on the beach

Collapse )

Elephant

'09

Happy new year everyone.

Like I've done for the last several years, this year began with me spending the day in the wilderness! It was time to catch up with the Elephant Seals at Drakes Bay in Point Reyes. This male put on a nice show and I spent hours watching and shooting him as he rolled, rocked and moved around on the sandy beach. More on the trip later, with more pictures perhaps (as soon as my website comes back up from its unscheduled downtime - a problem others are facing with the service provider as well)



"Oh look... here comes another year!" :-)



Elephant

Yana

Yana is the name given to a bunch of limestone outcrops in the rainforests of the Western Ghats. In the sea of green, these dark rocks stand out. With spires and crevices, these rocks look as if they belonged in fairy tales.





Collapse )

Elephant

Zeppelin!!!

So, yesterday afternoon when I was walking along the Charleston Slough, looking for birds to photograph, I noticed a cloud patch on a pond. Now, it was a very clear day and I was surprised that there was a cloud in the sky blocking the sun when I noticed the "cloud" was moving - causing a lot of commotion among the gulls in one of the ponds. I aimed my camera at the gulls because I thought I could make some interesting pictures with sunlight and shadows - but then I noticed the shadow getting bigger and moving faster - like in the Tom and Jerry cartoons when a large object is falling from the sky! A little spooked, I looked into the sun to see a gigantic airship moving quietly. Wow! An airship! It was actually a real rigid airship - a Zeppelin! I never realized they still flew these things and for once a man-made thing took priority over the birds in the pond and I aimed my camera at the Zeppelin and took a photograph. And I had no clue that this was a historic event - because this was the first Zeppelin flying in the US in 71 years! More news on the flight here: http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_10819919




Collapse )




Elephant

Yosemite

I must have taken hundreds of photographs of the same thing in Yosemite - the mysterious looking Half Dome - but I've never been tired of looking at it. I doubt if I will ever be. So, this was actually the first time I was there when a ranger was presenting the history of Yosemite at Glacier point. Among the crowd was an old man, who said that he was a little kid the last time he had been to Yosemite and they had a firefall rolling down the granite from Glacier Point. I'm sure it was spectacular, but all things spectacular cannot be good for the the place itself and it was banned before my lifetime. Here are more pictures of the same thing (for me they look different each time) :)





Collapse )

Elephant

Yosemite

I was at Yosemite last weekend. It is always fun to hike around in Yosemite and all you have to do is walk away a few hundred feet from the road and you're surrounded by beautiful wilderness, with giant trees and a quiet, mysterious forest.




A Red Squirrel.

Collapse )