Category Archives: nature

Golden California Hills

Golden California Hills Photograph

The setting sun casts a warm glow over the golden California hills, its last rays illuminating the tops of distant oak trees. A little used gravel road winds its way in and out of the peaceful scene, and all seems right with the world on this tranquil evening in the mountains of the San Francisco Bay Area.

I’ve mentioned our severe drought in several recent blog posts, and here is an example of the current state of the land. I took this photo last week, as the sun began to set below the hills. We have a “Mediterranean climate” (mild winters, warm to hot dry summers) and are used to the grass drying up and many plants going dormant in the summertime. However, the vegetation is particularly parched this year, and many local reservoirs have turned to cracked depressions filled with grass and a bit of mud. While there is a certain beauty to the rolling golden hillsides such as the ones depicted in this photograph, I certainly hope for a long and heavy rainy season this winter!

VIEW MY COMPLETE PORTFOLIO

JOIN MY E-MAIL LIST for periodic updates & special offers

 

Click on the image to purchase a photography print of ‘Golden California Hills’
California Hills Prints

Advertisements

Black-Crowned Night Heron And Shadow

Black-Crowned Night Heron Photograph

A distinct shadow in profile accompanies this black-crowned night heron, as it sits on a rock at dawn near Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara, California. The morning light glows warmly on its soft plumage and bright red eye, while it waits for a tasty meal of fish or frogs or some delectable crustacean.

I’ll be honest, we didn’t visit Santa Barbara or get up before dawn to take photographs of black-crowned night herons. While photographing Stearns Wharf and the surrounding beach at first light was fun, somehow we got distracted by the variety of birds hunting and feeding at this same time of day. Before we knew it, we had begun stalking egrets and ducks, great blue herons and black-crowned night herons. Silly as it sounds, we named them as we followed them around.

“Oh! Here comes the Baron von Heron” (The great blue heron).

“Shoot…I just missed a shot of Wilma in flight!” (One of the great egrets)

We named this beautiful black-crowned night heron, Igor. It was one of many, perched on the rocks waiting for breakfast. As the warm morning light grew stronger, I saw Igor’s shadow take shape. I waited, hoping Igor would turn and I could get an angle that would allow me to capture both bird and shadow as complete and separate entities. Igor made me wait for quite sometime, but eventually posed beautifully with his shadow.

VIEW MY COMPLETE PORTFOLIO

JOIN MY E-MAIL LIST for periodic updates & special offers

Click on the image to purchase a photography print of ‘Black-Crowned Night Heron At Dawn’ night heron photograph

Dreamy Blue Windflower

A dreamy blue windflower (Anemone blanda), sways gently in a soft spring breeze, as it peeks out from a sheltered corner of a woodland garden…

Anemone Blanda Photograph

I have to be honest here…my image choice for today’s blog post is based on our current weather conditions. It’s hot here in California, and everything is brown. Our clay soil has been baked in the summer sun and is cracking open, revealing nothing more but continued dryness in its depths. Huddled inside in the a/c while my garden droops and fries in the persistent sun, I came across this image of a windflower. It immediately transported me back to the cool spring day when I spied its beautiful bloom and knelt on the rich, damp soil to capture it twisting, bowing, and nodding in time with the gentle spring breeze.

VIEW MY COMPLETE PORTFOLIO

JOIN MY E-MAIL LIST for periodic updates & special offers

 

Click on the image to purchase a print of ‘Blue Windflower’ Windflower Photography Prints

Pollination

Pollination

A tiny sweat bee diligently gathers brilliant yellow pollen from the inside of a vibrant red dahlia.

Yes, here we go again…back to my bee photography obsession. I am taking a break from my beloved honeybee photographs to post this image of a very petite native California bee abundantly covered in fluffy dahlia pollen. I have been unable to identify it thus far, and would love any ID leads. Whatever its true identification, I find it quite cute. I’ve admitted to photographing bees while standing in the landscaping of strip malls, as well crawling around on the goose poop laden grass to get up close and personal with baby geese, and also stated that I’m a fixture at local nurseries. This is one of my nursery photos, taken at the edge of a huge grouping of brilliantly flowering dahlias which were teeming with a variety of bees. When I first came across the table of dahlias I stood transfixed, watching the activity and listening to all of that buzzing. Then I whipped off my lens cap, peered through my camera’s viewfinder and clicked away happily, totally lost to the outside world as I watched the process of pollination.

VIEW MY COMPLETE PORTFOLIO

JOIN MY E-MAIL LIST for periodic updates & special offers

 

Click the picture to purchase a print of ‘Pollination’
Bee Photography Prints

A Gulf Fritillary Butterfly Sits On My Finger…

A Gulf Fritillary Butterfly Sits On My Finger...

A Gulf Fritillary Butterfly (Agraulis vanillae), newly emerged from its chrysalis, sits on my finger before taking its first flight.

I’ve written a bit about the life cycle of the gulf frittilary butterfly here but just wanted to share another photo of one of these cuties, lightly tickling my finger. There are currently many female gulf frittilary butterflies flying about the garden, looking to lay their eggs. They are so intent on their purpose that they completely ignore me as I come up close; I watch them lay eggs on passionflower vine leaves, tendrils, and even flowers.

VIEW MY COMPLETE PORTFOLIO

JOIN MY E-MAIL LIST for periodic updates & special offers

Click the image to purchase a print of ‘Time To Fly’
Gulf Fritillary Butterfly Photography

Robins and Crows, This Letter Is For You!

Robins and Crows, This Letter Is For You

I bought a wacom tablet while recovering from hand and arm injuries that didn’t allow me to hold my camera, and have been playing around a bit with digital art. I created this crow profile in turquoise, and it seemed appropriate to post it along with the following letter, written about the recent goings on in the garden…

Dear Backyard Birds,

Robins: I realize that the early bird gets the worm and all that, but could you be a tad less vocal about your successes and failures at 4:30 AM?

Crows: Mama Crow, I know you are trying to wean your fledglings (and hopefully this year one won’t get stuck in the garden again), but maybe you could feed them a tad quicker between the hours of 5 and 7 AM, as fledgling crow whining is quite hard to ignore.

Thank you all for your consideration. Feel free to continue to bathe with abandon and dismantle the coco coir hanging basket and use it for nesting material…that’s just plain fun to watch.

Sincerely,
Priya Ghose (an insomniac)

VIEW MY COMPLETE PORTFOLIO

JOIN MY E-MAIL LIST for periodic updates & special offers
 

Click here to purchase an art print of ‘Turquoise Crow’: Crow Art Prints For Sale

Pacific Ocean Splash

Pacific Ocean Splash

The deep turquoise waves of the Pacific Ocean crash onto the jagged rock formations near Big Sur, California.

We’ve taken the drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to Big Sur numerous times, and it always surprises and delights. Each turn reveals yet another startlingly beautiful scenic vista, with the ocean crashing and foaming in shades of blue and teal as it pushes and pulls on the sand and rocks below the steep cliffs that border the highway. In this photograph, the curving shape of the intersection between tumultuous water and steady stone reminds me of a sideways yin-yang symbol.

VIEW MY COMPLETE PORTFOLIO

JOIN MY E-MAIL LIST for periodic updates & special offers

 

Click on the image to purchase a photography print of Pacific Ocean Splash:
Ocean Splash Photography