Saturday, April 23, 2016

Ladybug and Butterfly by iPhone

I am still learning how to take photos with my first smart phone, but I am getting better. With patience and the instant feedback that you get from all digital cameras, it is possible to know immediately whether you captured the target wildlife or not. Unfortunately, for me, phone cameras produce so much glare on the screen that it is still very difficult to know if a shot is worth anyone else's time looking at it. That usually isn't discernible until you get home and upload to a computer. It is still hard for me to steady a hand-held iPhone to do a close-up of insects. The clarity achieved by shooting down on the ladybug exceeds that of shooting up to capture the butterfly. Still I am pleased with both efforts, especially the butterfly shot. Let's see what you think.

Photo taken at Blue Sky Ecological Reserve
Photo taken at Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve

Friday, April 22, 2016

Mallard Duck Tracks at Miramar Lake

Recently while at the lake, I stopped to video these mallards that were busy wandering around near picnic tables and people areas. In the soft dusty soil, bird prints abound, and in the attached video you can see them being made by two birds out for a day together.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ground Squirrel and Tracks at the Beach

Sometimes having both an image of the animal and its footprints help me to better develop a sense of the animal. That, for me, is what tracking is about - envisioning the animal that was here before me and left its signs.

I joined the San Diego Tracking Team so that I could learn to appreciate my local surroundings more. Indeed, San Diego rewards those who seek wildlife knowledge. As with our subtle seasons, San Diego has much to offer naturalists. We have very diverse habitats abundant with plants, animals, and terrain to challenge and amuse. Today I can be nearly overwhelmed by the cacophony of bird calls, insect hums and buzzes, and the innumerable scents and colors of flora that abound in southern California.    

This ground squirrel was shot last year on Mother's Day at a mobbed La Jolla Shores beach area. The footprints were taken further up the coast later in the year at an intensive tracking training workshop north of Torrey Pines State Park. The footprints were left by a busy ground squirrel scurrying among boulders and checking out possible human food tidbits left behind by a family that was enjoying a day at the beach.