Sunday Nature Stills – 05/26/2019

I took this photograph near Caliente, California.  I have always liked the area for landscape and small wildlife photography.  This is open ranch land. Most of the year, the hills are the classic California tawny color, but sometimes in the spring, if the rain has been good, the hills turn a beautiful green.  On this particular day, the weather was not cooperating and the light was grey and flat, but for just a minute, a gap in the clouds opened up and let some beautiful evening light shine across the hills.  I like the way the light makes the hills look like something out of an illustrated storybook.

Sunday Nature Stills – 05/12/2019

In the last few weeks, thousands of Painted Lady Butterflies have started migrating from Mexico to the Pacific Northwest through Central California.  I’ve been enjoying watching them come through our area.  They are quite pretty with orange/black/white wing tops and a delicate under wing with a lot of fine detail.

I found a few of them that had been killed by cars, so I decided to take some microscope images of their wings.  The fine structure of their wing surface is neat to see up close.  It’s impressive that such delicate creatures can migrate so far.

Sunday Nature Stills – 05/05/2019

I took this photograph off the coast of the Monterey peninsula.  Three humpback whales just surfaced after lunge feeding.  It’s pretty amazing to watch.  In this case, the whales would come up as a group (3-7 whales) directly under a school of sardines.  Each of the whales would take a large gulp of sardine filled water at the surface and then slowly squeeze the water through their baleen as they sink back into the water.  You can see that as the whale on the right descends, the water spilling out of the side of the whale’s mouth is full of escaping sardines.