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.

Sunday Nature Stills – 04/14/2019

I photographed this little green Pacific Chorus Frog in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains in Central California.  These little frogs are actually quite common with a habitat that spans most of the lower Pacific coast of North America.  It always surprises me when I see or hear them in the winter (even when it is snowing) or at high elevation in the mountains.  They are certainly hardy little animals.

Sunday Nature Stills – 04/07/2019

These are Giant Clams that I photographed on the Great Barrier Reef. These Giant Clams live in warm shallow waters in the south pacific. They can grow quite large (several feet), but most of these are less than a foot across. They are filter feeders and are open most of the day. They close very quickly if startled or if a shadow moves over them.

One of the most interesting things about these clams is that each one is a different color and pattern. Some are bright colored, others have intricate patterns, and some are relatively plain.

Sunday Nature Stills – 03/31/2019

These are Black Backed Jackal that I photographed in the Serengeti of East Africa. I expected Jackals to be relatively large based on Egyptian depictions of them in art. The first time I saw one of these little guys in the wild I was surprised by how small it was. These particular Black Backed Jackals are a little smaller than a North American coyote. They have an interesting personality, though. Unlike a coyote, they are more confident and actively prowl during the day.