Saturday, February 22, 2014

Baby Hummingbirds

I was doing yard work today and was about to trim off a branch from a low hanging tree when I noticed what looked like a small nest. I tried pulling the branch lower and I could see two sharp beaks sticking out, but no movement. It appeared the small birds were dead. I got my camera and a ladder to try to get a decent photo, but it was tough going. The ladder was unstable, the wind was blowing the branch around, and I noticed a mad hummingbird buzzing around my head. So you will forgive my less than perfect focus on these shots!
Eyes closed and no movement, so I was worried they weren't alive. But moments later, the eyes opened and all was well. I took my photos, grabbed the ladder, and allowed mama hummingbird to get back to work!
I would estimate the diameter at the top of the nest to be about the size of a quarter at most, probably smaller and closer to a nickel. These little guys are really tiny! I'll check on them from time to time, and if I can get any updated photos, I'll post them here. Hope your weekend is going well!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Contrails at night??

I've always assumed contrails were a daytime phenomenon. Kind of a silly assumption, right? Just because it's dark and you can't see them doesn't mean they are not there. Anyway, I was taking some moon shots last weekend during the full moon out in the desert near Joshua Tree, and enjoying the fast moving clouds moving in and out of my shots. It was a beautiful night with warm temps and a nice desert breeze.

I figured that was about it for my night photography, but I decided to check out the sky about a half hour later... and here's what I saw.
This dark diagonal "cloud" became better defined a few minutes later...
Diagonal cloud? Night contrail? UFO exhaust?? Your guess is as good as mine. These are not Photoshopped other than a crop and a slight exposure adjust.
Linking with Skywatch Friday.
Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world. And thanks to YogiSylvia and Sandy for all their hard work hosting this site!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Vincent Thomas Bridge, Port of Los Angeles

The Vincent Thomas Bridge spans the Los Angeles Harbor and connects mainland San Pedro with busy Terminal Island and the Port of Los Angeles. I saw some excellent photos of the bridge on Flickr, and decided to make the 45 minute drive from my house to check it out. I'm not at all sure I found the best vantage point, but I'm happy with the photos I captured. The bridge has these cool blue lights all along it's length, so shooting it at night is a must. The area is kind of surreal, with these huge cranes that offload cargo containers from the freighters that come and go constantly from the port.
First photo of the night:  Cranes offloading containers under a nice sunset!
Last photo of the night:  Same shot as above under night skies.
War of the worlds? No, big cranes used to move cargo containers.

A good shot of the Vincent Thomas Bridge with Terminal Island in the background. The boat is the Catalina Express that takes tourists over to Catalina Island.
Hope you enjoyed my bridge shots! I want to make a future post shooting the bridge from the opposite side. Linking with Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Fullerton Arboretum

My wife and I took our granddaughter over to the Fullerton Arboretum on Sunday. The Arboretum is owned and operated by Cal State Fullerton. A really beautiful day here in S. CA, and although it was just a quick trip, I really enjoyed it. I hadn't been in a long time, and it really took me back. I graduated from Cal State Fullerton years ago and actually worked in the arboretum for a while while working on my biology degree. Back then the Arboretum was really small and located in the center of campus... totally different from today's Arboretum. It's free and if you are in the area, it is well worth a visit!
A favorite shot of mine... this lady was preparing to give a tour of the old Heritage House and was dressed in period attire, but had to take a quick peak at her iPhone before the tour!

Old turn-of-the-century home (Heritage House) that's been restored on Arboretum property.
Granddaughter is just a blur of activity!

Some nice winter color can be seen in some areas of the Arboretum.

This area used to be all orange groves back in the day (when Orange County really was Orange County!). I like that the Arboretum still has quite a few orange trees on the property. Hope you enjoyed this quick tour of the Fullerton Arboretum!