Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Rockefeller Trail
While the rest of the country is sweltering in a heat wave, here in Inland Mendocino County, the weather has been beautiful in the high 70's to low 80's. I have been taking advantage of the cool weather walking the Rockefeller Trail. As I go along I often find myself spending more time drinking in the beauty of the woods than actual walking.

The Rockefeller Trail
The beauty of the woods.

Two minutes into my walk, the ravens start cawing. Obviously, my appearance is an intrusion. One raven starts and three others quickly join him. As the first sentinel sits in the tree closest to the trail, two others move from tree to tree. The three I can see call out in unison and a fourth answers. I stop to watch their antics, much to their chagrin. I don't know where the fourth raven sits, I wonder if a nest is nearby.

The Sentinel

The Watchers
I am only carrying a 18-55mm lens, which is not long enough to really see the birds, next time I will bring a longer lens.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sea Ranch

Sunset at Sea Ranch
Approximately ten miles south of the Mendocino County line in Sonoma County is the Sea Ranch enclave. Gray weathered buildings with angular architecture are arranged strategically across the landscape. This is a private community of vacation rentals and year round residences. Passes must be visible on vehicles or carried on your person, lest you be stopped.

The Writing Group with four footed friends
I was meeting my writing group for a weekend retreat where we could focus on our skills, give feedback and support each other without the trappings of daily life interrupting us. Cell service was limited or more exactly, service if you had Verizon or US Cellular, and no service if your carrier is AT&T.

Arriving late, I pulled off the highway into Sea Ranch and stopped to pull out my directions. Within a minute a young security officer pulled up to see what I was doing there. He was very kind and escorted me to my destination. I was impressed with the security.

The Deck
Sitting in the beautiful rental house with large picture windows, high ceilings, and a lovely deck complete with hot tub, I was at peace.  Winds kicked up in the afternoon and churned the surf, however our little slice of heaven was calm. Just a slight breeze on the deck.

Ocean View
Sea Ranch, like the rest of the Northern California coast is beautiful. When I wasn't writing, I was out with my cameras. I carried my Canon G9, Canon 40D and my handy cell phone.

You can drive to Sea Ranch on California Hwy 1. From the south take Hwy 101 north to Santa Rosa and cross over to the coast on River Road. Go north on Hwy 1 from Jenner.

From the north take Hwy 101 south to Willits and cross over to the coast on Hwy 20 to Ft. Bragg and go south on Hwy 1.

Morning light
Window view

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Newborn Calf

For a brief moment Saturday afternoon the rain stopped. Feeling stir crazy with cabin fever Jain and I took advantage of the break in the weather to tour the valley for any photographic opportunities.

While driving by a group of cows, Jain spotted a newborn buried in hay.

Photos take with a Canon 40D.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Winter Wings Festival 2011
Coyotes on the hunt
Two fellow photographers and I attended the Winter Wings Festival based in Klamath Falls. As indicated by the title this is a birding event. However, the highlight of my trip was coyotes. Having no sense of distance, I cannot say how far away they were. However, I could not even see them with the naked eye and was barely able to locate them through my 300mm lens. On our tour we had access to an 800mm lens. These images were taken with that lens on my 40D.
Lying in wait

At the end of the day that revealed very little bird photo ops, I was still going on about the coyotes. The birders thought I was crazy. But, those who know me, know my passion for all things dog family, from the majestic wolf on down to man's best friend.

If you decide to attend Winter Wings nest year, dress warmly for the snowy landscape. I learned the meaning of cold. Invest in a good pair of insulated boots, gloves, hat and bring packets of hand and foot warmers.


For more information on saving our wild things:

Defenders of Wildlife,
NRDC: Natural Resources Defense Council
Wolves & Coyotes environmental impact,
SAVE Wolves under Congressional siege

Humane Society: Help outlaw the poisoning of coyotes & wildlifeHelp 
Help Ban Compound 1080
The Case Against Poisoning Our Wildlife

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jelly fish

I have found myself facinated by jelly fish after visits to Pier 39's Aquarium on the Bay and Monterey Bay Aquarium. My favorite jellies are the moon jellies (the last two photos) but, they do not photograph as dramatically as the others due to their delicate nature.

Turn the flash off and crank up your camera's ISO to 1600 or higher if you have the capability.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I became captivated by seahorses at Monterey Aquarium's extensive seahorse exhibit. Watching these fragile creatures clinging to gentle waving sea grasses, I try to find the best angle to photograph them without glare or reflections. The lighting stinks and the seahorses are not willing to move in to the light just because I will it to be so. I crank the ISO up to 1600 and hope for the best.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dolphins at Sunset

Dolphins at Sunset

Four dolphins frolic in the surf off Carmel Beach at sunset. Dolphins had been spotted all day off the coast. The sky was clear with optimum conditions for viewing the sunset. Spectators filled the beach awaiting the the sunset. As the sun sunk lower in the sky a hush came over the crowd.
Sunset on the Pacific

As the last sliver of sun disappeared below the horizon, applause broke out among the crowd.

The End

 Photos taken with an EOS 40D on a tripod. ISO 400, aperture priority f 14, shutter speed automatic. 
70-300 zoom lens.