Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Missed Another One

Western Kingbird -- San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, CA
I guess I get excited and bounce around, because with a few rare exceptions (for instance) my take off photos are always blurry.  This probably would have been a pretty cool shot otherwise.  Oh well.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

California Quail

California Quail -- San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Quail are a common sight around the bushes and tall grass of San Luis National Wildlife Refuge.  This guy, though?  He was on top of a elk fence pole more likely to be occupied by a hawk or a kestrel.  I only saw a few hawks yesterday and the prey seemed to know they were in less danger than normal judging by this quail and some of the rabbits we saw sunning themselves in the open.  It's that time of year, I guess.

California Quail -- San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, CA

Friday, April 15, 2016

Mono Lake

Mono Lake, CA
Nothing too exciting here.  That's Mono Lake partially blocked by a large tufa.

Photo selection inspired by Geogypsy's Foto Friday Fun 158, image #1440.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Rolling in the Grass

American Bison -- Yellowstone National Park, WY
We saw this guy lying in the grass on our way up to Mammoth Hot Springs.  We stopped for a few pictures from the other side of the road.  He was pretty cool to us.

American Bison -- Yellowstone National Park, WY

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Gibbon Falls

Gibbon Falls -- Yellowstone National Park, WY
If I'd never been to Yosemite I might think Yellowstone has the most amazing waterfalls of any National Park in America.  I've been to Yosemite, though.

To be honest, although Silver Falls State Park in Oregon doesn't have any single waterfall over two hundred feet tall, I might take that park over either in terms of drama and mood.  Tough call, given Yosemite's waterfalls are probably a bit more dramatic if a little less moody.

Anyway, Yellowstone's waterfalls are wonderful.  I think the main drawback is that it's tough to close close to most of them.  This is the best view you'll find of Gibbon Falls, and it's obviously taken from some distance away.  Pretty awesome waterfall, if you ask me.

Monday, April 11, 2016

How Close Is Too Close?

Rocky Mountain Elk -- Yellowstone National Park, WY
This, folks, is too close.

I shot this from across the road.  These tourists were as close as they look, maybe ten feet away from this elk.  I'm always amazed at the patience of these beautiful creatures.  I was frustrated with these people but not enough to chastise them.  I'm not a ranger, just a fellow tourist, after all.

This reminds me of another encounter with some even bigger elk in Redwood National Park.

Roosevelt Elk -- Redwood National Park, CA

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Firehole River

Firehole River -- Yellowstone National Park, WY
I'm pretty sure this is the Firehole River.  I've been uncertain about that with other pictures in the pat and I turned out to be right so I'm just sticking with it here, too.  This is a little-above-average roadside view in Yellowstone.  The steam in the upper left is coming from Grand Prismatic Spring and Excelsior Geyser. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Heermann's Gull

Heermann's Gull -- Pacific Grove,. CA
If you know me you know I don't like taking pictures of gulls very much.  It's not that I don't like gulls, it's just that they're so damned hard to identify.  Not so with heermann's gulls, though.  They're easy and they're pretty.  Love these guys.

Photo selection inspired by Geogypsy's Foto Friday Fun 157, image #5311.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Lewis Falls

Lewis Falls, Yellowstone National Park, WY
Coming into Yellowstone from the South, Lewis Falls is tough to miss.  It's a stunning little section of Yellowstone National Park where the Lewis River meanders alongside the highway.  I've seen buffalo in this area.  On this particular day, fly fishing seemed to be the rage.

Lewis River, Yellowstone National Park, WY

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret -- Arrowhead Marsh, Oakland,CA   

We've probably all heard of how these beautiful birds were hunted to the brink of extinction because of a fashion craze.  Luckily a movement sprung up to halt the killing.  From what I've read, activists basically shamed the women who wore the hats with egret feathers.  Sad it came to that, but it worked and now snowy egrets are abundant.  Score one for the environmentalists.

Snowy Egret -- Arrowhead Marsh, Oakland, CA

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Early Morning at Jackson Lake

Jackson Lake -- Grand Teton National Park, WY
Canon EOS Rebel T5i, EF 17-40mm f/4L USM, ISO: 100, f/8, 1/80s
You're going to be seeing a lot more pictures from this particular day (Thursday, July 9, 2015) on this blog over the next few weeks.  Well, unless I hit some amazing places on the next few weekends, of course.  The sun has barely risen in this shot.  Jim is probably still snoring in his tent.  We haven't even had a cup of coffee yet and I'm taking pictures like this.  Yeah, baby!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Mule Deer

Mule Deer -- Grand Teton National Park, WY
Canon EOS Rebel T5i, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, f/5.6, 1/2000s, ISO: 6400
I spotted a couple of mule deer in a field one early morning this summer in Grand Teton National Park.  There's nothing all that unusual about seeing deer in the Western states, but I still get excited about it.  Shoot, I see deer on about half of my drives to work, but I still love it when I spot 'em.  Where I live we have Columbian black-tailed deer.  They inhabit most of the Pacific coastline.  Mule deer live in the Sierra mountains in California as well as most of the Western United States.  I was talking to a ranger at Pinnacles National Park and she said Columbian black-tailed deer inhabit that park but that they're getting "muley."

Anyway, I'm not sure what's going on with the fur on their faces, but these two dudes looked a little rough.

Mule Deer -- Grand Teton National Park, WY
Canon EOS Rebel T5i, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, f/5.6, 1/1600s, ISO: 6400

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Pelican on a Pole

Brown Pelican -- Oakland/Alameda Estuary, CA
Canon EOS Rebel T5i, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, ISO: 1600, f/5.6, 1/1600s
Birds like sitting on the poles in the estuary near Doolittle Drive.  It makes sense for some of the smaller birds, but I don't see how pelicans can find it to be comfortable.  To each his own, I guess.

Photo selection inspired by Geogypsy's Foto Friday Fun 156, image #2345.