"The kingfisher rises out of the black wave like a blue flower, in his beak he carries a silver leaf. I think this is the prettiest world -- so long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness? There are more fish than there are leaves on a thousand trees, and anyway the kingfisher wasn't born to think about [...]
Images and video shot with my Olympus OM-D, E-M5 (micro four thirds) + Lumix 100-300mm lens. The bluffs above South Beach at Seattle's Discovery Park are layered records of glacial history. There's Vashon Till (mixed rocks, sand and silt), Esperance Sand, Lawton Clay (a blue-grey clay and silt) and Kitsap Formation sediments. The beach itself sloughed away from the cliffs, and is now a plateau of sand, cobbles, boulders and erratics. [...]
This great seal-pup video has been making the rounds. In case you haven't seen it yet ... Ethan Janson, a local windsurfer from Three Tree Point (south of Seattle) noticed that harbor seals were hauling out on a surfboard he'd tied to a buoy out in Puget Sound. He hooked up a GoPro camera, remotely, and captured this footage of a seal pup trying desperately to haul out on the slippery board. Before posting this, [...]
"She" could be a "he," this harbor seal, and only she knows -- stirring from the depths and shallows of Elliott Bay, gliding, reflected alongside us. She rounds the rock bend ... she, the fusiform one, tapered and sleek ... propelled through the tide by hind flippers. Harbor Seal - ©ingridtaylar In a pinniped world where there's no strong, visible distinction* between she and her male, I err on the side of feminist [...]
Click for Larger Image Nereocystis luetkeana I saw these bull kelp stipes or stems on Elliott Bay in Seattle, rolling with the pulses of the tide and buoyed by their bulbs. The slickness of their whips and ribbons reflect the sun and paint them metallic. It's a dying sea forest alchemically transformed through the elements of light. The gas-filled bulbs (carbon monoxide) at the tips of 10, 20 and 30-foot strands keep the canopy afloat [...]
This is part of my loosely-formed Coffee Break methodology. I take my coffee, my camera, and sit in my favorite spots. Sometimes things happen. Sometimes they don't. Yesterday, this happened: :: First sign of trouble ... Caspian Tern colony in Interbay flushes over the Magnolia Bridge ... ... signaling alerts. :: In the distance, over Seattle's Elliott Bay, a Bald Eagle does a u-turn to pursue a juvenile gull (Glaucous-winged, I believe). :: No one [...]
On the surface, Brant Geese -- in this case, Pacific Brant or Black Brant or Branta bernicla -- are a marvel to behold. That's but a superficial observation. There's a lot more to a Brant than her aesthetic, but let's face it, aesthetics form our first impressions. Clustered together like Tribbles, they call out in staccato, a sound sometimes described as "throaty" or "crackling," but which to me is the tuning of an orchestra horn [...]
Juvenile gulls are as determined to get free food from their parents-- as their parents are to wean them from the freebies. I've seen many adult gulls swimming or flapping away from their begging youngsters, forcing the juvies to forage on their own. I haven't often watched a parent gull patiently teach the babies to forage ... in this case, luring them toward the meat of a floating salmon carcass. For the sake [...]
I've described terns, with their distinct calls, as aerial barflies with too much whiskey and smoke on the voice box. Each tern is raspy in its own way, and Caspian Terns have a sharp croak that pierces the air over my balcony. They're huddled on a warehouse rooftop one minute, hundreds of them, blurred by a rising heat that's thick as shower glass. Then they're jetting over the bridge like little blanched superheroes, [...]
I've been grabbing Seattle's ever-so-fleeting sun breaks to photograph a group of Caspian Terns who fish every evening on Puget Sound. I'll post those shots soon. As I was packing up my tripod tonight, I saw the telltale movement and wing shape of a Peregrine overhead. She was riding the thermals up and out of my lens range, but her presence created chaos in Ternville. I shot a few frames of the altercation. These images [...]
photos ©ingridtaylar - email me for permissions Big-haired, 80s-style, Belted Kingfisher -- on a windy day in Des Moines, Washington. Kingfishers are famously elusive when they see a lens pointed at them. This girl had good fishing prospects at the Des Moines Marina, so she put up with me for the sake of her prime real estate.
This is a huge bonus of living in Seattle: the urban and suburban wildlife includes a multitude of Bald Eagles. This morning, Hugh went into our friends' garden to fill up their bird feeder -- a chore we both kind of enjoy. A huge contingent of birds descends right when our boots leave the scene of the feeder. As he walked into the garden, seed in hand, he saw this [very] big bird, perched on [...]
I wish I'd been closer than the far reach of my lens, struggling for focus in the thick of weather. I snapped these from the shore, capturing the distant dynamics of a Bufflehead courtship ritual. Two males were vying for the one female pictured here.
I went out to photograph ducks in this morning's fresh snow. As I approached the pond, I noticed that ALL of the Mallards (every single one) were sitting on the banks. I felt the reverb of a huge splash in my periphery and thought, wow, big fish. Sturgeon-caliber fish. When "it" resurfaced, "it" had a face. With whiskers. North American River Otter - Lontra canadensis
. . . it's a Seattle thing. First alert -- a look overhead and warning calls: American Wigeon first responders leave lone Eurasian Wigeon to contemplate his next move: And he's off: Safety in numbers: The instigator comes into view: The juvenile Bald Eagle shows little interest in the ducks, catches the thermals, and whirls up over the trees. The wigeon [...]
I was shooting in the fog -- the silhouettes of crows foraging at low tide -- when every bird on the beach suddenly flushed and flew into the mist ...
Hugh and I lived here for a time more than 20 eons ago, so we decided it was time to renew our acquaintance with the emerald north.