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Postcards from a Freegan Raccoon

If I had a photography motto it might be "follow the crows." As sentries of the canopy, crows know what's going on. So I pay attention. If it mattered at all to crows, they could tell me who shattered my car window last month and who stole our Christmas tree (with decorations) back in 1995. What obviously does interest crows is those pesky interlopers, especially during prime nesting season. Around here, that interloper is most often a Bald Eagle. [...]

2018-02-13T04:14:50+00:00May 20th, 2014|Blog, Mammals, Pollution, Uncategorized|1 Comment

North American Beaver … Eating Lily Pads Like Enchiladas

It's like waiting for a geyser to erupt ... or an eclipse. There's a start time to this endeavor. At 6:45p, we're told, a North American beaver or two (or more) will swim into this stew of lily pads and systematically take them down for dinner. They have a lodge not far away, this family of four. It's plain good fortune on our part, taking a spontaneous walk on the shoreline trail, that we encounter a local photographer [...]

2018-05-10T01:25:27+00:00May 13th, 2014|@Popular Posts, Blog, Mammals|11 Comments

Spa Day for a Night Heron

... at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California I originally named this portrait "Standing Room Only." I'd never seen a Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) creep chest-high into a pool -- then just stand there forever like a Japanese snow monkey. This pose made me laugh as I watched the heron soak up the swirls of his own private day spa. One of my Facebook friends wrote, "what is this lil man doing?" That comment captured [...]

2018-05-10T01:07:25+00:00March 5th, 2014|@Popular Posts, Birds, Blog|13 Comments

Western Gull + Fishing Line + Rehab

In my previous post, I mentioned a Western Gull I managed to rescue ... by true luck. Here's that story. We were in Los Angeles all of January and part of February, and in the context of a chaotic month, I stole an hour to go strolling on the beach. On my walk over through Redondo Beach, I saw two Black Phoebes (Sayornis nigricans), one who preferred automobile side mirrors as perches. She'd flutter [...]

2018-02-14T17:33:28+00:00February 22nd, 2014|Birds, Blog, Uncategorized, Wildlife Solutions|11 Comments

Favorite Images

I've done a "best of" selection at the end of previous years ... but this year I'm opting for a favorites list. I didn't realize there would be a disparity between the photos I consider my best technically versus those I hold close to my heart. There appears to be only a loose correlation between the merits of an image and my feelings about it. With that in mind, here's my list of 2013 [...]

2018-02-15T20:10:46+00:00January 1st, 2014|Blog, Photography|9 Comments

Living in Your Own Private Cryosphere

Albedo is the reflectivity of the earth's surface. Ice, white and bright, has a high albedo, reflecting back the sun on itself, whereas water draws the solar radiation deep into its hues. Water is always in flux, mutable -- liquid, vaporous, frozen -- evaporating, condensing and expanding. This fluidity of form and purpose fuels life with its hydrological rhythms. And, it stores life, even as deep as 4000 meters below the East Antarctic ice [...]

2018-02-15T21:49:10+00:00December 12th, 2013|Blog, Photography, Weather|9 Comments

Rilke in a Seattle Autumn

I first read Rainer Maria Rilke one autumn in "Letters to a Young Poet" -- a book handed off to me with pages stained by office carbons. Rilke's letters to Franz Kappus, published by Kappus after Rilke's death, are sympathetic and inspired. There's a reason this collection finds its way to the paws of young writers, as it did mine that fall day. Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and [...]

2018-02-15T21:59:45+00:00November 25th, 2013|Blog, Flora|9 Comments

The White and the Blue [Birds]

First there was Blue. She came to us from the great blue, the wild blue, as blue as Lightin' Slim, singing pigeon blues, not Rooster Blues. She came on banded foot, born of two other Blues who gave our Blue her azul feathers and fuchsia feet ... in a lineage that swept back through the blueness of her grandparents and past the great grandparents before them. They all commanded the skies and taught Blue, [...]

2018-05-10T01:07:36+00:00November 20th, 2013|@Popular Posts, Birds, Blog, Domestic Animals|23 Comments

The Legend of the White Gallopavo

The color white represents catharsis in alchemy. It's the point at which a blackened substance, through heat and reactivity, develops a white crust and then puffs into a cloud inside the alchemist's flask. It's the stage at which future possibilities become apparent as a material is transformed from one to the other. And it's symbolized by a white swan or white eagle. In Arthurian tales, it was believed the elusive white hart (or stag) [...]

2018-02-17T07:27:11+00:00October 21st, 2013|Birds, Blog|10 Comments