Summer Fog

September 18, 2018 at 5:00 am (California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography)

A “marine layer” of fog along the coast

Paso Robles is always the HOTTEST town in the Central Coast in summer. It can be 106 in Paso and 66 degrees 20 miles away on the coast. Consistently.

View from Highway 46 between Paso Robles and Cambria

The coast is often hugged by a layer of marine air (fog), and one morning in mid-August I saw its moody magic from my favorite viewpoint.

As usual, it was a cloudless sky in Paso. But once down on the coast, it was a fairly thin fog, with muted sun popping in and out. It made for some great bird photography with bright, even light.

Mt. Hollister

Mt. Hollister is a jagged peak that looks wilder and out-of-place in this land of gentle golden hills. Normally Morro Rock would be visible, too.

From Morro Bay’s sea otters and mound-shaped rock and birding spots, to San Simeon and its elk herds, Hearst Castle’s zebras, the elephant seals, and open views of the coast, this is by far my favorite part of the California coast.

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

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Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

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Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

September 16, 2018 at 1:23 pm (Bird photography, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife)

May 2011

I have several GB of images I’ve never gotten around to editing. I found this folder while looking for another old file, and decided to edit it. Unfortunately these were taken with the Nikon D80 and the sharpness is not good. They look fine on the web, though.

This visit was in early May, 2011 when birds were in their finest breeding plumage.

The four grebe species I saw there are above. The Western looks similar to the Clark’s but the black covers the eyes.

There is a phenomenon called “midges” this time of year that greatly interferes with photography. They are basically harmless mosquitoes – they don’t bite or suck blood, but they emerge in clouds.

This is one of those places where you can do most of your bird photography right from the car. As I get older, those places are more important for me.

Go give it a try, you may discover things WordPress can already add into your posts that you didn’t know about. Here’s a short list of what you can currently find there:


Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com



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Tule Elk at Their Finest

September 15, 2018 at 2:48 pm (California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Video, Wildlife) (, , )

The biggest herd of elk I’ve ever seen under control of one alpha male was along the Pacific Coast Highway just north of San Simeon, California the first week of September. He ruled over 35 cows and half-grown calves, with 10 other bulls – some with huge racks – grazed peacefully. One scrawny male challenged him while I was there. Take a look.

The first part of the video was in mid-afternoon, so the heat waves interfered with the quality. But I returned an hour before sunset for the best light, and they were closer to the road. A few horses even joined them in grazing.

He spent a lot of time rounding up his harem in a fairly tight bunch, so no interloper could snatch them away.

The testosterone keeps the bulls pretty wound up, and he made a few mating attempts with a cow who seemed receptive. It seems the females also mount the males as well, which could be a sign of affection and desire. Watch the video if you don’t believe me.

A few days later I found a smaller herd that frequents an area in Jolon, near Fort Hunter Liggett. This bull had just chased off a rival.

His cows were in the shade under a grove of oaks, standing on their hind legs to pull down the oak lichen, which apparently was a delicacy.

I returned to the area in the early evening and found them a couple of miles away.

The bull seemed exhausted and had a slight limp. Maybe the rigors of mating and fighting were wearing him down.

The cows moved out when they saw me, with their lord and master bringing up the rear.

They would stop periodically to look back, as if awaiting further guidance.

They moseyed along.

The Tule Elk is the smallest of the three sub-species of elk found in California.

To see a herd like this one in April, when the bull was just regrowing his anglers, see my earlier blog post.

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

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Mission San Miguel – Birds

September 1, 2018 at 5:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography) (, )

Cliff Swallow

This is the 4th in a series of photographs of Mission San Miguel, California.

Cliff swallow

Oak titmouse

House sparrows

Eurasian collared dove

Eurasian collared dove

House sparrows

House finch male

Male house sparrow

House sparrow

American robin

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

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