Wild View Yonder

Please visit Wild View Yonder, a collection of aerial photography from Shutter-Eye.

Monday, May 29, 2006

An afternoon visit to both the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden and Descanso Gardens

Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

Peacocks, among many other animal species, are all around the park, on the ground, in trees, on rooftops - everywhere. They're accoustomed to being around people, and don't run off when approached. The males often can be found displaying their exquisite plumage.

Viewed up close, the eye-like designs on their feathers look as though they were painted on.

Do these birds actually experience something akin to pride? From a human perspective, their behavior often appears so.

Note the more densely packed patterns behind the bird's neck. These also look almost as though painted on.

Leaves on a ginkgo tree cast a pleasant shade over a park bench - a nice place to eat lunch.

A Chinese Lantern flower.

A Wood Duck stands next to his mate on the edge of a large pond.

Close to the large pond is a bamboo forest.

The bamboo plants, actually a huge member of the grass family, form a canopy high above the ground.

Even on a bright sunny day, only a soft light filters down to illuminate the floor of the little forest.

There is something very peaceful about standing beneath the bamboo.

Descanso Gardens

A blossom on a "Tulip Tree", illuminated by a patch of sunlight filtering between its leaves, almost appears to be on fire.

A fairly large area of the park is covered by a thick oak tree canopy. Some of these trees are well over 100 years old.

A relative of the Rhododendron, this bright orange flower appears to jump out from the softly lit background beneath the oak canopy.

Harshly lit against a dark background, a lone Calla Lily graces the scene.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Pelican on the hunt

Near the Santa Barbara Pier, a pelican scans the water below for something to eat. With its large bill and head position, it resembles a pterodactyl.

Another pelican dives straight for the water. With a splash, the bird submerges and gulps the fish into a large sac on the lower half of its bill. It will then surface and expel water it also took in; then swallow the fish.


Monday, May 22, 2006

A weekend in the Santa Maria area

I spent the weekend in and around Santa Maria, CA, visiting with friends. We chanced upon the Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve, a beautiful stretch of beach with dunes, surrounded by a small but beautiful wilderness preserve. Driving toward this park, we passed seemingly endless fields of farmland growing a variety of produce in various stages.

This field was recently ploughed and seeded with a new crop.

Just before the entrance to the park, this twisted old tree greets our arrival.

Driving into the park, a narrow winding road passes first a sand works where sandbags and trucks are loaded with sand for various uses; then climbs a sand hill to overlook a little river valley where cattle peacefully graze.

The view just across the road is of a very different landscape looking more like an isolated desolate wilderness than a coastal region so close to fertile farm land.

We found crowds on the beach, not of people, but pelicans, seagulls, and a few other species of birds.

Pelicans congregate on the shoreline in preparation for another sortie.

Suddenly, the sortie begins. Within a few seconds, hundreds of the huge birds surge skyward looking like a swarm of enormous bats rising into the sky.

A pelican flies overhead coming around after take-off.

Just a short distance from all the life lies a patch of Mars. Apparently lifeless, it consists of rocks that closely resemble many of the surface-level images sent back by the various rovers exploring the surface of that planet.

Looking rather like its dinosaur roots, an emu at a local winery peers over the fence separating it from the parking lot.

Next vintage gets its start.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Three Sisters

Oregon's Three Sisters Mountains illuminated in the evening light.

On the right is the South Sister. The Middle and North Sisters can be seen to the left.

A closer view of the South Sister.

A closer look at the middle and north sisters.

These images were taken in the evening light from Alaska Airlines flight 425 on May 4, 2006 at about 7:50PM from above 30,000' altitude.