Friday, July 30, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Low-light walk

It was a it too dark for photos, but I took some anyway. Nice wildflowers manage in the heat (and cold--it's been a mild summer with lots of blustery, foggy mornings).

A winged thistle.

This is not a technically "good" photo of Common Swifts, but it was the best I can do. They circle around their communal nest at dusk before "funneling" in for the night. These swifts don't live in a chimney or a hollow tree, but have chosen to live under a bridge that crosses the canal along the trail. If you walk over the bridge, several dart in and out of it from beneath your feet. They're really hyper little birds and never seem to stop moving, even while roosting--hence, blurriness.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Walnut Creek Library Opening

Our brand-spanking new WC Library has officially opened and what a beaut. Jackson liked it so much he wants to go back immediately. So large, it takes two photos to show most of the building. There's lots of art installations and public events coming up. Being the nerd that I am, I'm thrilled. And it was excellent to see Jackson walking through the building with a big smile on his face, saying, "Wow."

No amount of futzing with my camera would get it to flash in front of this bright window. You get to see the art better this way, I guess. Flying bottle art is underrated, I think.
This beautiful great horned owl lives at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum. He and a few other animals were hot and bothered by all the humanity and noise, but they handled it well. The birds of prey are my favorite creatures at the museum, which rescues injured animals and tries to release them back into the wild if at all possible. Some have to be kept on if their injuries inhibit survival.

I told the docent that I had heard an owl outside my home-office window a few months ago and she asked what it sounded like, so I said, "You know, like: hoo! a bunch of times." She said, "That would be a great horned owl. They're the only ones that make that hooting sound." I was thrilled and intrigued all at once. She said that in January, they're looking for mates, so that would explain any calls coming from the trees around that time. I already learned a bunch of local facts at my new library today.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tilden Park Steam Train

Steam trains in the Berkeley hills roll through a redwood forest--a 20-minute ride for $2.50 each--deal!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Macro Lens Free-for-all

Not trees but close-ups with the new camera and its built-in macro lens. Long ago with my 35mm camera, I had to buy a special detachable macro lens to take close-ups. No more! I wasn't even sure if my camera had a macro lens and if it did, how close could it go. The answer: pretty damn close. Summer in Heather Farm Park is especially lovely in the Butterfly Garden.