Mountain Lion!

February 2, 2015 at 10:00 pm (California, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , )

Juvenile Mountain Lion

Juvenile Mountain Lion

I’ve worked at several national parks that had mountain lions, and try as I might, I never saw one.  Until yesterday at Montana de Oro State Park near Morro Bay, California.  This young cat had been seen a few minutes earlier by a jogger and some hikers who told me to look out for it.  I had my camera locked and loaded, visualizing the hoped-for encounter.

_D606908-copy

When I heard a slight rustling in the shrubs alongside the trail, I stopped.  And then he appeared!  He sat right in front of me, blinking, as if he had been expecting me.  Then he figured he’d done his duty and returned to his nap spot.

He seemed large enough not to need his mother, which would have made me extremely nervous knowing she might pounce at any minute.

_D606910-copy

From the side, he (or she) looks like an oversized orange tabby cat.

The lead photo has been retouched to remove the green glow that you normally see at night when a flash is used.  Oddly, the young lion’s pupils were apparently fairly wide open when he stepped into the bright sunlight, even though the sun was behind him.  If he had been napping, that would account for the dilated pupils, which allowed the sun to bounce to the back of the retina and reflect green.  I did not use a flash, so this was a very odd thing to see.  I just replaced the green glow with black and added a highlight in each eye to make it look as normal as possible.

Demon eyes

Demon eyes

I wish this young cat well.  I hope he learns to stay away from cars and people, and finds plenty of deer and squirrels to fill his belly.

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

These photographs can be purchased here.

Join my Facebook Page

Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

Permalink 1 Comment

East Jesus and West Satan

January 22, 2015 at 1:02 pm (California) (, , )

East-Jesus,-Slab-City,-Niland-CA-(20)-copy

This might be a peculiarly California thing:  a squatter city in the desert.  If you like Funky Artsy Fartsy weirdness like I do, you will feel right at home in Slab City, just east of Niland on the Salton Sea.  (Warning:  bad words ahead.  Get over it.)

East-Jesus,-Slab-City,-Niland-CA-(1)-copy

I had heard about Slab City from co-workers who had been there.  Salvation Mountain, at the entrance to Slab City (see future blog post) is perhaps more famous, but you can see the influences of one upon the other. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 2 Comments

Hummingbird Ballet

January 21, 2015 at 10:42 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , )

Male Anna's Hummingbird

Male Anna’s Hummingbird

Sometimes the mistakes turn out to be unexpected poetry.  The hummingbird blurs remind me of Ernst Haas’s work in “The Creation” – lovely and purposeful motion blurs of nature.  While I could invoke Pee-wee Herman who capsized his bicycle in “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure,” and say “I meant to do that,” the truth is I didn’t. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 2 Comments

Go Watch Birds! (And Watch Movies About Birds)

January 18, 2015 at 12:06 pm (Bird photography, Birds - California, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , )

Male Buffleheads taking flight, Silverwood Lake

Male Buffleheads taking flight, Silverwood Lake

Walking around with binoculars and peering intently into trees or across a lake is sure to elicit strange looks.  Sometimes, though, people aren’t just making conversation when they ask, “See anything interesting?” Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 6 Comments

A Good Birding Day

January 11, 2015 at 7:42 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , )

Ferruginous Hawk

Ferruginous Hawk

All this time we thought we were looking at a rather pale red-tailed hawk.  Turns out it was a ferruginous!  Several, in fact. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 9 Comments

Christmas Bird Count – 29 Palms, California

December 31, 2014 at 5:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , )

Indian Cove, Joshua Tree National Park

Indian Cove, Joshua Tree National Park

On Sunday I went to my third CBC in Southern California.  Bill and Herman live in the area of Joshua Tree National Monument and were familiar with the areas.  Like most birders, Bill checked places where he had seen such-and-such a bird before.  For years afterward, certain rocks or trees or areas will always be remembered as “the place I saw….” That’s the way we birders are. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 1 Comment

Christmas Bird Count in Victorville, CA – Part 2

December 30, 2014 at 5:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife)

Male Bushtit

Male Bushtit

One of my favorite birds from the CBC in Victorville this weekend was the bushtit.  I’d only seen this chubby little bird once, in Big Bend National Park, Texas, but it was cold and foggy and they didn’t stay long. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 2 Comments

Christmas Bird Count in Victorville, CA – Part 1

December 29, 2014 at 4:12 pm (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, Nature, Nature photography, Wildlife) (, , )

Spring Lake community, Victorville, CA

Spring Lake community, Victorville, CA

I’ve participated in Christmas Bird Counts in Friendship, Maine; Big Bend National Park, Texas, and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia.  Here in Southern California, there are opportunities to join many more groups for this annual census of the birds.  On Saturday I explored a country-club development and an adjacent community college in nearby Victorville. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

December Birds in Southern California

December 21, 2014 at 10:13 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Southwest Birds)

Cooper's Hawk Juvenile, Newberry Springs, California

Cooper’s Hawk Juvenile, Newberry Springs, California

Birds seen on a field trip with San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society and on the Morongo Valley Christmas Bird Count.  (Not including ones already featured in recent blogs.) Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 2 Comments

Hummingbird with the Amethyst Throat

December 20, 2014 at 7:20 pm (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Southwest Birds) (, , )

Male Costa's Hummingbird closeup

Male Costa’s Hummingbird closeup

The male Costa’s hummingbird also has a violet crown.  This little beauty was seen sitting on a blooming bladderpod bush in California’s Morongo Valley last week.

Costa's-Hummingbird-male-on-bladderpod-(13)-copy-3

He was the second Costa’s seen on the Christmas Bird Count.  Since the first was at a bladderpod, when I saw another in bloom I hunted for another flying jewel. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

Next page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 214 other followers