california

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Rafts of Dreaming Birds

Originally published at The Wild Beat in 2013 I stepped out of a mist and I knew I am. I am what I am. And then I thought, 'But what have I been before?' And then I found that I had been in a mist, not knowing to differentiate myself from things; I was just one thing among many things." ~ Carl Jung, The Red Book I used to think about Jung and bird [...]

2018-05-10T01:28:49+00:00 February 14th, 2018|Birds, Blog, Faves|5 Comments

The Year of the Chorus Frog

[Photographed with the Olympus E-M1 and E-M5 and telephoto, from a respectful distance.] A park supervisor pointed me to these these Pacific chorus frogs — also known as Pacific tree frogs -- as I was photographing turtles and damselflies at a local pond. She explained to me that this habitat had been re-landscaped for wildlife, and now thirty or so wild tree frogs thrived among the aquatic plants. This seems to be the Year [...]

2018-02-16T18:43:07+00:00 September 16th, 2017|Amphibians, Blog|0 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+00:00 February 22nd, 2014|Birds, Blog, Uncategorized, Wildlife Solutions|11 Comments

Re-Capturing the Clapper Rail

The show Bird Note just posted an audio piece on California Clapper Rails in San Francisco Bay.  Bird Note covers an eclectic array of bird stories, from behavioral questions to ecological issues. The stories are short audio bits with related blog posts and resources to flesh out the subject matter. As an adjunct to the Clapper Rail story, Bird Note asked if I would revisit my observations of a Clapper Rail tagging operation at Arrowhead Marsh [...]

2013-02-01T00:05:23+00:00 February 1st, 2013|Birds, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Bird Verse: Eastern Gods

They are eastern gods -- they meditate. (Yes they are.) "The Owls" by Charles Baudelaire (translated by Edna St. Vincent Millay) The owls that roost in the black yew Along one limb in solemn state, And with a red eye look you through, Are eastern gods; they meditate. No feather stirs on them, not one, Until that melancholy hour When night, supplanting the weak sun, Resumes her interrupted power. Their attitude instructs the wise To [...]

2012-12-13T21:10:57+00:00 December 13th, 2012|Uncategorized|5 Comments

The Origins of Avian Blue

I pulled a few of my Western Bluebird pics from the archives to illustrate the following excerpt. This month's Smithsonian Magazine has a short piece entitled Why So Blue? by Helen Fields, which explores the natural magic behind bluebird blue: [Ornithologist Richard Prum] discovered that as a blue feather grows, something amazing happens. Inside each cell, stringy keratin molecules separate from water, like oil from vinegar. When the cell dies, the water dries [...]

2012-02-29T21:48:15+00:00 February 29th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|6 Comments

Seeking Justice for a Sea Otter: It’s a Small World

I received a notice tonight from Defenders of Wildlife, asking for help in finding the killer of a young sea otter. The female otter was found along Morro Strand in June of this year -- slain illegally, with the post-mortem revealing a shot to her head. In seeking additional information on this case, I landed on a photo page with some video of the young otter's necropsy. Turns out, it is a small [...]

2010-07-22T03:31:35+00:00 July 22nd, 2010|Marine Mammals, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Not the Easter Bunny

Those ears serve this Black-tailed Jackrabbit well. A jack will usually hear you coming long before you see him. And he can regulate blood flow in these ears to adjust for external temperatures. The Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) -- any jackrabbit -- is actually a hare, not a rabbit. This particular jackrabbit wasn't keen on my presence. What appears as "calm" is anything but. It's a defense mechanism. So, although I could have [...]

2010-04-02T00:05:17+00:00 April 2nd, 2010|Mammals, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Shorebird Nation Rises Again

Ever since I picked up a telephoto lens and aimed it at my first non-human earthling, my seasons have morphed into migration schedules. Winter = Ducks. Spring= Babies. Fall (best time of all) = Shorebirds. I used to be an urban-girl-night-person -- before I knew what I was. Autumn was: early darkness, early cocktails. Schlepping out a camera and tripod at the crack of dawn is a significant metamorphosis. Shorebird Nation is now a phenomenon [...]

2009-10-22T15:23:22+00:00 October 22nd, 2009|Uncategorized|1 Comment