Monday, April 30, 2012

Northern Mockingbird

This is our neighborhood Northern Mockingbird. He is a busy chatterbox. For my non-birding friends, they call Mockingbird for a reason. They mimic the calls and songs of other birds. They belong to the family Mimidea which includes the Gray Catbird, the Brown Thrasher and the California Thrasher. Not al members of the Mimidea family imitate, the Northern Mockingbird is noted for its mimicry. I had a sight impaired birding friend that did 80% of her birding by ear. She noted one Mockingbird in Washington D.C. had copied over fifty other bird songs.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky©2012 Steve Borichevsky©2012 Steve Borichevsky©2012 Steve Borichevsky

This little guy had about four down, Killdeer, House Sparrow, American Robin and European Starling. I’ve noticed that the East Coast Mockingbirds are better neighbors because they do not sing at night. I’ve lived in some areas where they would call incessantly throughout the night.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sowing wild oats

I’m happy to see some color in the woods these days. Start with, here is what I believe is Canadian Dwarf Cinquefoil.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Ah, yes, Bluets.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Wood Anemones

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Here was a surprise. I’ve never seen this plant before. I took a quick snap just to see if I could figure out what it is. (You know, shoot first and ask questions later.)  I though the flower had already gone by. It turns out that it is Wild Oats and this is what they look like. (Hmm…my book calls it Wild Oats which seems to be a grammatical conundrum. Since I’ve got one, shouldn’t it be a wild oat?) Anyway, now I wish I did a better job. I could have at least worked the background better and maybe got the bug in focus.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Evening Creature Feature, Butterflies are out!

On a woods walk in Dogtown, I found the first butterflies of the season! The first two images are of American Ladies.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

The first butterfly that I usually see in Dogtown is the Juvinal’s Duskywing. This one is soaking up some solar heat.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky©2012 Steve Borichevsky©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Although the seem to be non-descript and brown, if you take a close look, they do have iridescence in their color patterns.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Other butterflies seen are Cabbage Whites, Eastern Tailed Blues and Morning Cloaks.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Forgotten Photo Friday, back on track

If you recall last Friday, er, uh, I meant Saturday, I missed posting last Friday because my flight back from San Jose, CA was cancelled because of a broken lock on the door to the cockpit of our air plane.

Well, when I was writing my rant about “the media”, I was looking for a picture that I took back in 2004 at Hop Kiln Winery. I was going to use to illustrate the piece but I forgot where I put the photo.

Well, I found it, thus it makes a perfect Forgotten Photo Friday photo.

Sonoma County July 2004 020

This is on the door to the Hop Kiln Winery. I remember entering the old building reading a sign warning that the structure was not reinforced for earthquakes. Well, what would be the chances the my number would be up on that very day? Slim. And if He wanted me, He could certainly get me by some other means if I didn’t go in. So in we went!

Sonoma County July 2004 017

As I recall, we enjoyed the visiting the winery and liked the Big Red Proprietor’s Blend as it was indeed a big California red wine.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Warbler with Something Tasty

I caught a flash of movement on the side of a log in Dogtown last Saturday.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Hmmm…there must be something good in there.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Oh yah, something tasty.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Now I’m 90% sure that this is a Pine Warbler. Please let me know if I’ve botched the ID.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

I also saw a Palm Warbler but wasn’t able to get the shot.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

FV Bantry Bay heads out to fish

I caught the Bantry Bay heading out to sea. It looks like it is fitted with a scallop dredge.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

The forsythia is blooming on Ten Pound Island.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Violets in Dogtown

After shaking some of the road dust from my journey, I decided to take a walk into Dogtown again to see what new developments spring has brought. I was delighted to see that the violets are blooming!

I had no idea that there were several different species of blue violets. If I may paraphrase (or plagiarize) Bones from Star Trek, “Damn it, Jim. I’m an engineer, not a botanists.” So let’s not major in the minors here and just enjoy them for what they are. Violets.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

These tiny violets are one of my favorites, Sweet White Violets.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Now here is a species of violets I haven’t stumbled upon since I was in my teens walking about the woods in Vermont with a Minolta XE-7. There are several species of yellow violets and I’m not sure which it is, but it was a real joy to find them as I mentioned, I haven’t seen them in a long, long time.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

I’m using a different technique with my wildflowers this year. I’m using my 18-55 lens, mostly zoomed out to 55mm. It gives me a good depth of field, plenty of light and I can come in fairly close. In previous years, I would walk Dogtown with my 70-300mm lens on the D5100. Since I picked up a sling bag, I can pack two camera and it gives me a bit more versatility. I’m quite happy with the results. Even in moderate light conditions, on my knees and elbows, I can hand ‘old these shots and do quite well.

Visit Today's Flowers

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Forgotten Photo Saturday?

Yes, Forgotten Photo Saturday. Why, well, I was away on business this past week. I was going to take the red-eye home Thursday night and the plan was to muddle through Friday and carry on with life as unusual.

When I got to the terminal Thursday night the flight board said “ON TIME” and when I got to the gate my air plane was there, engines running and boarding should start in about a half hour.  It all looked good until an announcement was made that the captain wanted to get the cockpit door fixed before we boarded. It seems that it could not be opened from the inside.

It got to be about 10:00 and an announcement was  made that the door was in pieces and they needed a part. It needed to come down from San Francisco and we should be up in the air by 2:00 am.

At 1:00 am they announced that the part couldn’t be located and they would need to bring on up from Long Beach, CA. Okay, well San Francisco is a large airport, San Jose (where I was flying out from) is a small airport. Long Beach is a tiny airport. Who would have thunk to check Long Beach because they didn’t have the part in San Francisco?

At 1:30 they announced the flight was canceled.

Why? Well it isn’t because of poor inventory control system, bad logistics and bad designs, it is because we all cannot get along and some people feel it is easier to catch flies with shit rather than honey.

My point? We have terrorist. Terrorist rely on “the media” to draw attention to their causes. The media profit because it sells papers and air time. The public feels that they must be informed on world events and become addicted the violence and disasters. Thus the terrorists feel that they can accomplish their objective with the assistance of the media and the media, fools that they are, gobble it up and sell their add space.

I do not watch mainstream news. Why? It’s all violence, sex scandals, disasters and criminality. Is this they way our society normally functions? No. What the media does is create a dangerous environment that actually keeps society depressed and in fear. And the news stories that I have had first hand knowledge of were always exaggerated and twisted and always to the worsen the news.

I challenge anyone to stop watching the 6:00 news, stop reading the papers for a month and see that your attitude about life doesn’t start to improve. Yes, there is violence, hatred, disasters and criminality in the world. But is is not the totality of life and existence.

It is not that you should turn a blind eye to the world, no that is not the point. My point is that you cannot think for yourself if you are hypnotized. And believe me, all that crap coming into your living rooms and onto your breakfast tables is altering your perceptions of what is really important in life.

And if you do not believe that the media is more interested in promoting crap and selling adds than creating a better civilization, then let me ask you this. Did you ever see a reporter, camera man or even one of their drivers ever stop to lend assistance at a disaster sight? No, not even a band aid.

Thus, we have security locks on cockpit doors to prevent things like 9-11 because the terrorists count on attention from the media and get it. If the media weren’t suckers, the terrorists wouldn’t get the attention and cockpit doors wouldn’t need to be locked and therefore that malfunction wouldn’t be possible and my flight would have been on time and we would have had Forgotten Photo Friday.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about today. Friday, I saw a Hawaiian Air air plane tail and it reminded me of the very last photo I took on our Hawaii trip.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Thus, we have Forgotten Photo Saturday…which doesn’t sound as cool, but I had an ax to grind.

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