Saturday, December 17, 2016

Today's walk report: 121716

2016 is almost over. I'd say goodbye and good riddance except I'd like to remain positive. I can only work to be the best person I can be despite the severity of outside influence. Besides 2017 isn't looking too wonderful but something can always change in this mixed up crazy world. So again, I can only strive to be a good person and make that which stands around me as bright and as hopeful as possible. I've got a remarkable girlfriend, we have 3 delightful cats, my family is awesome, we have a home, food and there's beauty all around us--all you need to do is look.

Meanwhile, this walk report thing... I've been pretty much absent from here. Walks were made and photos were taken since the last "regular" post on 061916 but I'm going to have to skip over everything from that date up until September 17th. Just because.


Male Calypte anna.
Male Calypte anna.
Male Calypte anna.
Female rufous hummingbird on Salvia microphylla.

Young male Anna's hummingbird.
Immature male Anna's on Baja fairy bush.
Cactus fruit munching mockingbird.
Gray hairstreak missing its false head (tail).

Bush tit.
Gulf fritillary.
Tacoma stans.

Melaleuca? See the ant?
Bee on same.
One more
Salvia uliginosa with Salvia darcyi in the background.
A wake of turkey vultures.
Bush tit on Salvia uliginosa.
Hare hiding.
Male Calypte anna, soon to be known as Calvin.

More of this.
Young male Anna's hummingbird.

Encelia farinosa.
Unknown shrubbery.
Close up.
Encelia farinosa.
Female Allen's hummingbird.
Male Calypte anna soon to be named Calvin.
Senna bicapsularis.

Male monarch searching...
and mating. I've seen this before but on a tree and in flight. This episode on the ground looked rather brutal but then they flew off still coupled together and found a spot on a nearby sequoia tree.

Phoebis sennae on its host plant Senna bicapsularis.

Phoebis sennae.
This is Calvin. Calvin was named because I usually find him in this same euCALyptus tree. He's been around for a about a month now. He's either a first year male or a molting male Calypte anna.

Passion flowers.

A female calypte Anna hummingbird.
A female calypte Anna hummingbird.
Ant on the beak, "do you see me now?"
"how about now?!?
A female calypte Anna hummingbird.

A female calypte Anna hummingbird.
A grass skipper extends its proboscis.
Male Allen's hummingbird, Rusty.
Male Allen's hummingbird, Rusty.

Male Anna's hummingbird.

A very noisy young red-tailed hawk.
Male Anna's hummingbird.
Male Anna's hummingbird.
I was sitting on a bench waiting for a hummingbird that never arrived.  Watching the sunlight moving across a strand of spiderweb I was having a synesthetic experience manifesting as if a stringed instrument was playing legato lines. I took the pictures to illustrate the visual afterwards. Click the image so you can see please. No drugs were involved.

Later that day we drove up for the sunset. This image was more a panorama experiment with the newly acquired Affinity Photo, version 1.5 application. The developer added focus-stacking in this release and now it's a viable option for me to ditch Adobe Photoshop. Yippee!


A crow struts with his cracker.
A male Calypte Anna hummingbird. I believe this is the bird in the following story.
A female Anna's hummingbird is in the bush. The male is swooping in from high above. He emits a loud and quick chirp just as he approaches the female. The chirp is produced as the bird spreads its tail feathers at the bottom of a dive. The male in its dive has been clocked at 50 mph. I heard this happening and went in front of the female and simply tried to time the next swoop while holding down the shutter button. In Continuous-mode my camera shoots 4.8 frames/second. I could not see the male through the viewfinder and basically was hoping for the best over the course of several dives.


Docken duck.
Sky writers...
writing "Happy Holidays"
This has been reported here before but this is the largest entanglement of this sort that I've seen. There are 5 crows and 4 red-tailed hawks in this picture. For the most part the crows were harassing the hawks. This went on for several minutes over a pretty wide area (my guess, just short of a mile).

A grape leaf.
I was looking for Rusty and he came over and found me.
Male Anna's Calvin in a morning stretch.
That's all for 2016 (most probably). Happy new year whoever you are. Feel free to comment and as always thanks for coming along on our walks!