Nature Photos

Annas in Flight
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Annas in Flight

This is another shot of one of the beautiful Anna's hummingbirds I was following around Valley Hills Nursery in Carmel. It looks like a beautiful spring day, but a beautiful nursery can make any day look like a beautiful spring day in California.


Thoughtful Hummer
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Thoughtful Hummer

This little guy was actually as interested in me as I was in him. He flew around a bit and kept coming back to this spot. As I moved closer and closer every few shots, he would tilt his head back and forth seemingly trying to see what I was up to. Even at rest he was graceful and beautiful.


Backlit Monarchs
Monday, December 10, 2012
Backlit Monarchs

It's the time of year when the Monarch Butterflies return to their overwintering spot in Santa Barbara, the Coronado Butterfly Preserve. According to the experts the clusters of butterflies are small this year, although it's still early. Even so the experience is amazing. This is just one of the small clusters, but the position of the sun was perfect. What you can't see are the hundreds of butterflies fluttering around the grove. It's a wonderful spot that only exists because of the hard work of volunteers and donors who have protected it.


Nectar Sample
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Nectar Sample

This is another shot of my friend from the Carmel Nursery. This is after he got bored with me. He watched me for a while, tilting his head back and forth, and when he decided I was safe or maybe not very interesting, he decided to make the rounds to his favorite flowers. He was so graceful as he hovered from flower to flower.


Taking Flight
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Taking Flight

This weekend between rainstorms, I had the great pleasure of wandering around a beautiful nursery in Carmel California. Valley Hills Nursery is one of my favorite spots to visit when I'm in the area, and not only for thier plants. They always have a very friendly Hummingbird population, this weekend they seemed to be even more cooperative than usual. This beauty was actually almost hamming it up for me, he seemed as curious about me as I was about him.


Koi Pond
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Koi Pond

I love Koi. These beautiful fish are in a small Koi pond in Goleta. From the road all you see are office buildings, but when you explore a bit more you find an amazing peaceful spot with a small bridge over a Koi pomd. They were very cooperative, but I did have to promise them some snacks the next time I'm in the neighborhood.


Great Blue Heron Silhouette
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Great Blue Heron Silhouette

This little lake on the eighteenth hole of the Sandpiper golf course is one of my favorite sunset spots. The birds seem to like it too. This particular evening I was coming back after getting some sunset shots of the rest of the course when I noticed this beautiful Heron resting at the near edge of the island. But try as I might, I could not get a good shot. After he watched me pace back and forth a few times he must have decided I looked too much like a hungry cat. So he decided to go get some dinner of his own. I watched him slowly cruise across the island moving as elegantly and stealthfully as possible hoping he would move into the remaining glow of the setting sun. After a few minutes you can see that my patience was rewarded.


Cactus Blossom
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Cactus Blossom

A beautiful cactus blossom from our travels. This plant was amazing and the blossoms were several inches across.


Sandpiper Sunset
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Sandpiper Sunset

Summer Sunset from the clubhouse at the Sandpiper Golf Course in Goleta California. The Sandpiper golf course in Goleta is one of my favorite locations when the sun looks like it is going to put on a show. And the last couple weeks have been quite spectacular, a fitting end to a beautiful summer!


Bridal Veil Moss View
Monday, August 27, 2012
Bridal Veil Moss View

This is a view of Bridal Veil Falls in Oregon through the beautiful moss covered trees. Bridal Veil is just south of the columbia river on the northern border with Washington. It is a bit of a hike down to the falls (and even more of a hike back up) but it's definitely worth the trip.


Gulf Fritillary at Rolling Hills Nursery
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Gulf Fritillary at Rolling Hills Nursery

A backlit beauty at one of my favorite local nurseries! This is a Gulf Fritillary at Rolling Hills Nusery in Buellton. We have some beautiful nurseries in Santa Barbara, but sometimes it's nice to get away for the day and see what's happening in the Santa Ynez Valley. Especially this time of year with our June Gloom (costal fog that covers the city for most of the day,) which comes early sometimes. The fog is usually very beautiful in itself, but after a couple of days it's nice to be able to go get a little sun in the valley. Then we can come home to the nice cool evening termeratures.


Pismo Beach Boardwalk
Monday, April 30, 2012
Pismo Beach Boardwalk

There are some amazing spots along the California coast. Pismo Beach is one of the more well known, and it's not hard to see why it is so popular. The big wide sandy beach with the amazing views from the beautiful boardwalk are something special even for our coast. Just to the north along the top of that bluff, I have chased some beautiful hummingbirds and watched some amazing sunsets. It's definitely a spot to see if you have the chance.


Poppy Profile
Monday, April 23, 2012
Poppy Profile

This beauty was found in one of my favorite local nurseries, Terra Sol. There are a lot of beautiful poppies around this time of year, but the advantage of taking my camera to Terra Sol is they have them up on shelves which makes it a lot easer to get nice angles like this. Of course I have been known to lay down on the ground with my camera when necissary to get these beauties, but it's nice to have a variety of subjects all in one place.


Threadleaf Japanese Maple
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Threadleaf Japanese Maple

This beautiful little plant is a Japanese Threadleaf Maple tree or [Acer palmatum var. dissectum]. We found it while wandering the aisles of a great nursery in Carmel Valley. These trees apparently turn an amazing golden color in the autumn. Perhaps someday soon we'll have space for this beauty. Right now our tiny back yard is bulging at the seams from plants so we have tried to control ourselves when we visit the nurseries. Of course they are supposed to make great bonsai trees... hmmm. (That has to be the last thing a plant wants to hear when someone is thinking about buying it)


Santa Ynez Oak Tree
Friday, April 6, 2012
Santa Ynez Oak Tree

One of the things I enjoy when driving out to Santa Ynez Valley is all of the beautiful Oak trees. This one is beautiful, but relativly tame compared to some of the wild shapes they take.


Fire Skimming Dragon
Monday, April 2, 2012
Fire Skimming Dragon

Looking back I see it has been a while since I posted a nature shot. For that matter it has been a while since I really spent some time outside with my macro lens, which is something I'm going to have to work on. In the mean time I found this beauty who was waiting in an old shoot of images from a small duck pond in Goleta.

This little Dragon is called a Flame Skimmer. The detail on his (or her) wings is so beautiful. I have always loved chasing them with my camera. This shot was taken while hanging akwardly off of a bridge over a small duck pond, it seemed that was his favorite spot. And while he would land other places, the perch over the side of the bridge was where he was comforatble enough to let me get close. It took some patience, but I was able to get close enough over the period of about five minutes to get the shot I wanted.


Alice Keck Park's Australian Tea Tree, Virtual Reality
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Alice Keck Park's Australian Tea Tree, Virtual Reality

I really love Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, the variety of wildlife and plants right in the middle of the city is unparalleled. This beautiful tree is at the corner of Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, it's one of my favorite trees in Santa Barbara. I have no idea how old it is, but you can see on the map of the garden which trees existed before the garden and this is one of them. No surprise, normally when you see Tea Trees they are trimmed to look more like bushes. This guy must have seen some amazing things in his lifetime.

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Sandpiper Winding Sunset Path
Monday, March 5, 2012
Sandpiper Winding Sunset Path

The path along the course at Sandpiper Golf course. Somwhere around the 15th hole at the Sandpiper Golf course, you'll find this curve in the path. As you are moving toward the setting sun in the distance over the Pacific Ocean you might wonder if this is the best place on earth to play golf, or even just enjoy the amazing scene.


Sandpiper Sunset Across the 15th Fairway
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Sandpiper Sunset Across the 15th Fairway

Just past the 15th tee on the Sandpiper Golf course is a wonderful spot to be this time of day. When the sun is casting a golden light on the landscape, and the shadows of the small trees on the bluff are reaching all the way across the fairway there is no more enjoyable place to spend time.


Nursery Hummer Close Up
Monday, January 30, 2012
Nursery Hummer Close Up

A beautiful Anna's Hummingbird at one of my favorite spots, Terra Sol Nursery in Goleta, California. I imagine, living in a nursery for them must be like us living in an all you can eat buffet with all your favorite foods. It seems like a pretty good life, they live in there a lot closer than most hummingbirds because of the abundance of food. And the Nursery's cat is very mellow and never bothers them, but keeps anything else away that might be a predator.