Once-in-a-Lifetime Shot

July 31, 2021 at 4:10 pm (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Monterey County, Nature, Nature photography, Video, Wildlife) ()

Bald eagles and moonset

A pair of bald eagles was perched in clear view of the road as I drove to work in southern Monterey County, California this week. I parked and grabbed my Canon PowerShot and waited for the moon to align between the trees, using the car as a blind. After about 20 minutes the moon was still high and the eagles had not left, so I got out of the car and crossed the road with my camera on a tripod. I was able to align the moon perfectly. The birds stayed long enough for this 34-second clip before flying off. You can see the moon creeping across the frame. It’s about a 1000 mm zoom through heat waves so it’s not very sharp, but still a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I just wish I had my Nikon D750 with me.

There were some acorn woodpeckers that played around while the eagles sat, and you can hear the eagles call out to each other, too.

After the eagles flew away, an acorn woodpecker spent a lot of time preening on the tree, giving the moon time to crawl across the sky as it set. The time lapse is sped up so you can see the moon’s journey.

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre
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Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com
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Spring

June 27, 2021 at 5:50 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, California wildflowers, Monterey County, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, San Luis Obispo County, Wildflowers)

My little garden

Spring comes early in Paso Robles, California. Sometimes summer comes early, too. This year, at least, summer had the decency to wait until the Summer Solstice.

There was just the oleander and a few bushes here four years ago when I moved in

Summer means 90-plus temps during the day (the coast just over the “mountains” is generally 20-30 degrees cooler). We will get streaks of 100-plus days in July or August, too. Even though we didn’t get much rain this winter (and what did fall came in one 8-inch burst) nature goes on with its business. Here are some images of Spring 2021.

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The Grand Show is Eternal

June 26, 2021 at 3:10 pm (Bird photography, Birds - California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography)

March moonset, San Simeon, California

This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.” — John Muir

Moonset March 28 2021
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Point Bouchon/Brandt’s Cormorants

June 25, 2021 at 7:09 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, California wildflowers, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildflowers) (, )

Nesting Brandt’s Cormorants

Point Bouchon is owned by PG&E and visitors are allowed to hike there during certain times of the day. You must sign in and out. If you were allowed to hike far enough, you’d encounter the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant. There are signs all over the nearby area warning that sirens may indicate an emergency. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the California Coast, and not as populated, making it even more of a treasure.

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Atascadero Lake in January 2021

June 24, 2021 at 7:45 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, San Luis Obispo County)

White Pelican, Atascadero Lake

I’ve not been very good at keeping up my blog lately. So much to do, so little time. So I’m just going to post a gallery of photos from the beginning of this year in an attempt to catch up. These are birds from Atascadero Lake, California.

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Wild Horses of Nevada

May 4, 2021 at 10:48 am (Nevada, Wild Horses of the Southwest) (, )

Wild horses of Fish Springs area, Gardnerville, Nevada.

I have had a deep love of horses since I was a girl, and even though I rarely got to ride one, I have been fortunate to spend time with the “wild” horses of Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area in northwestern Colorado when I worked as a seasonal park ranger at Dinosaur National Monument in 2014.

Wild horses of Fish Springs area, Gardnerville, Nevada.

The horses there have several Facebook fan pages, with people (generally women) who know every horse’s lineage, age, habits, and name. Yes, they all get names. I was pleased to discover that there are herds in Nevada which also have Facebook fan pages and the same love from hundreds, if not thousands, of people who may not have even seen them in person.

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Channel Islands National Park

March 22, 2021 at 5:00 am (Birds - California, California, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography) (, , )

Island Fox

I had two critters in mind when I visited Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands National Park in early March, 2021. The Island Fox was one.

Santa Cruz Island Scrub Jay on manzanita

The Santa Cruz Island Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma insularis) was the second. It is found ONLY on Santa Cruz Island.

It was a bright overcast day, perfect for wildlife photography. I didn’t have to go very far to find these guys. I only went a short distance on the Cavern Point trail above the picnic area and a pair of Island Scrub Jays seemed to be bringing nesting material to a Monterey cypress. I sat and watched.

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Santa Barbara

March 21, 2021 at 7:49 pm (California) (, , )

Mission Santa Barbara

I went to Santa Barbara enroute to the Channel Islands National Park (next blog post.) At the top of my list were Old Mission Santa Barbara, and the Botanic Gardens. I just happened to be standing front and center at the mission when the Franciscan friar appeared in the doorway. Soon he brought out a folding table and lectern and other items to celebrate Mass outdoors, due to COVID-19.

The inside was closed to visitors, but the exterior was, for me, the most beautiful part.

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Double Rainbow

January 30, 2021 at 1:16 pm (California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, San Luis Obispo County) (, , )

Double rainbow, Paso Robles, California

You might have heard, but we had a really intense winter storm this week. It rained for at least 48 hours straight from early morning Wednesday through early morning Friday, and then off-and-on showers. Very un-California-like weather. They called it an “atmospheric river.” We needed the rain, but it’s better spaced out from October to April. Even with nearly five inches in Paso Robles, and a foot in Cambria right on the coast, we are still behind our normal rain totals for this point of the rainy season.

So just as I had quit telework, I was going to pick up my Talley Farms produce box down the street when I saw a sliver of this rainbow from my yard. Of course, I chased it, looking for just the best spot to see both ends. Fortunately, it lasted for at least an hour, giving me a chance to find this place, just down from where I live.

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2021 Begins with Birds

January 9, 2021 at 5:04 pm (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, San Luis Obispo County, Wildlife) (, )

Winsome blue-gray gnatcatcher

I didn’t realize the above photo of the gnatcatcher at Morro Bay would be so popular on the Birding California Facebook page. Last count it had 1200 reactions and 83 comments. It’s reminiscent of the Angry Bluebird that was popular several years ago. This little fluffball was uncharacteristically cooperative, as they are generally in constant motion catching, well, gnats.

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