Monthly Archives

January 2009

Panorama of the Wave, North Coyote Buttes

Arizona, Landscape, Panoramas, The Wave

The Wave, that much-photographed geological oddity on the border between Arizona and Utah. I spent some time there on my last visit trying to shoot appealing panoramas, but was not entirely satisfied, it is a tough landscape to capture that way. This was one of panorama photos I was happy with:

Panorama of the Wave.  The Wave is a sweeping, dramatic display of eroded sandstone, forged by eons of water and wind erosion, laying bare striations formed from compacted sand dunes over millenia.  This panoramic picture is formed from thirteen individual photographs, North Coyote Buttes, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona

Panorama of the Wave. The Wave is a sweeping, dramatic display of eroded sandstone, forged by eons of water and wind erosion, laying bare striations formed from compacted sand dunes over millenia. This panoramic picture is formed from thirteen individual photographs.
Image ID: 20700
Location: North Coyote Buttes, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona, USA

We’ve got permits for March and April already, and hope to get out there again this spring.

Morro Bay Panorama

California, Morro Bay, Panoramas

I got up early one morning while we were in Morro Bay to photograph the view from Morro Bay State Park, around the bay and north to Morro Rock. There was a slight offshore breeze and the air was cold and dry giving clear views in every direction. My father-in-law’s fishing boat is tied up to the Coast Guard dock near the power plant — it is the biggest boat in the harbor and you can see it if you squint really hard.

Morro Bay panorama, showing Morro Bay State Park (left), Morr Bay and barrier dunes, Pacific Ocean, and Morro Rock (right).  A composite of eight separate photographs

Morro Bay panorama, showing Morro Bay State Park (left), Morr Bay and barrier dunes, Pacific Ocean, and Morro Rock (right). A composite of eight separate photographs.
Image ID: 22247
Location: Morro Bay, California, USA

See our photos of Morro Bay as well as more Panoramic photos

Rose Atoll Marine National Monument

Rose Atoll

President Bush today created Rose Atoll Marine National Monument, along with two other enormous marine national monuments in the Pacific Ocean. With the stroke of a pen, President Bush has protected more marine habitat by far (measured in square miles) that any person in history. This is particularly exciting for me, as I was fortunate enough to visit Rose Atoll in 1995 as a member of a United States Fish and Wildlife Service damage assessment team studying a vessel grounding there. Rose Atoll is remote, unique and beautiful. Among other notable distinctions, Rose Atoll is composed primarily of pink Porolithon coralline algae. That’s right, the atoll is pink. And it is an important nesting site for seabirds and sea turtles. We also observed humpback whales while we were there, in addition to many fishes and sharks. I have visited quite a few islands in my life, and Rose Atoll is the most special of them all. I’m very glad to know that besides being a National Wildlife Refuge, it has now become Rose Atoll Marine National Monument.

Alison Green PhD, a senior marine scientist with The Nature Conservancy’s Tropical Marine Conservation Program, was part of the scientific team I accompanied. In her blog, shares my sentiment that Rose Atoll is indeed a deeply special place.

Link to the Establishment of the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument – A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America
Link to information about Rose Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.
Link to my photos of Rose Atoll Marine National Monument.

coralline algae reef, Porolithon, Rose Atoll National Wildlife Sanctuary

coralline algae reef.
Image ID: 00729
Species: Coralline algae, Porolithon
Location: Rose Atoll National Wildlife Sanctuary, American Samoa, USA

Brown booby, Sula leucogaster, Rose Atoll National Wildlife Sanctuary

Brown booby.
Image ID: 00915
Species: Brown booby, Sula leucogaster
Location: Rose Atoll National Wildlife Sanctuary, American Samoa, USA

Rose Islet, Rose Atoll National Wildlife Sanctuary

Rose Islet.
Image ID: 00829
Location: Rose Atoll National Wildlife Sanctuary, American Samoa, USA

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

California

If you are a third grader in California, chances are that you are doing your Mission Project this year, and my third grade daughter is no exception. Each student is assigned one of the California missions upon which to report. My daughter reported on Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (she received an “A” no less!). As we made the rounds of relatives over the holiday, we stopped in San Luis Obispo so she could see the mission in person. What an easy visit — just a couple minutes off Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo, easy parking and no crowds. We spent about 30 minutes at the mission before moving on down the coast for lunch in Santa Barbara.

Mission San Luis Obispo del Tolosa, chapel interior.  Established in 1772, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is a Spanish mission founded by Junipero Serra, first president of the California missions.  It was the fifth in a chain of 21 missions stretching from San Diego to Sonoma.  Built by the Chumash indians living in the area, its combination of belfry and vestibule is unique among California missions.  In 1846 John C. Fremont and his California battalion quartered here while engaged in the war with Mexico

Mission San Luis Obispo del Tolosa, chapel interior. Established in 1772, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is a Spanish mission founded by Junipero Serra, first president of the California missions. It was the fifth in a chain of 21 missions stretching from San Diego to Sonoma. Built by the Chumash indians living in the area, its combination of belfry and vestibule is unique among California missions. In 1846 John C. Fremont and his California battalion quartered here while engaged in the war with Mexico.
Image ID: 22230
Location: Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, California, USA

Mission San Luis Obispo del Tolosa, chapel interior.  Established in 1772, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is a Spanish mission founded by Junipero Serra, first president of the California missions.  It was the fifth in a chain of 21 missions stretching from San Diego to Sonoma.  Built by the Chumash indians living in the area, its combination of belfry and vestibule is unique among California missions.  In 1846 John C. Fremont and his California battalion quartered here while engaged in the war with Mexico

Mission San Luis Obispo del Tolosa, chapel interior. Established in 1772, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is a Spanish mission founded by Junipero Serra, first president of the California missions. It was the fifth in a chain of 21 missions stretching from San Diego to Sonoma. Built by the Chumash indians living in the area, its combination of belfry and vestibule is unique among California missions. In 1846 John C. Fremont and his California battalion quartered here while engaged in the war with Mexico.
Image ID: 22232
Location: Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, California, USA

Mission bells, Mission San Luis Obispo del Tolosa.  Established in 1772, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is a Spanish mission founded by Junipero Serra, first president of the California missions.  It was the fifth in a chain of 21 missions stretching from San Diego to Sonoma.  Built by the Chumash indians living in the area, its combination of belfry and vestibule is unique among California missions.  In 1846 John C. Fremont and his California battalion quartered here while engaged in the war with Mexico

Mission bells, Mission San Luis Obispo del Tolosa. Established in 1772, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is a Spanish mission founded by Junipero Serra, first president of the California missions. It was the fifth in a chain of 21 missions stretching from San Diego to Sonoma. Built by the Chumash indians living in the area, its combination of belfry and vestibule is unique among California missions. In 1846 John C. Fremont and his California battalion quartered here while engaged in the war with Mexico.
Image ID: 22233
Location: Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, California, USA

Snow on San Jacinto

California

Mount San Jacinto had a lot of snow over the Christmas holiday, the result of a couple of really cold storms passing through recently.  Here San Jacinto is seen with some of the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm wind turbines (windmills) at its base.
Wind turbines, rise above the flat floor of the San Gorgonio Pass near Palm Springs, with snow covered Mount San Jacinto in the background, provide electricity to Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley

Wind turbines, rise above the flat floor of the San Gorgonio Pass near Palm Springs, with snow covered Mount San Jacinto in the background, provide electricity to Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.
Image ID: 22209
Location: San Gorgonio Pass, Palm Springs, California, USA

Wind Turbines and Mount San Gorgonio

California

While out in the desert for the holiday, I made a early morning drive to see San Jacinto covered by recent snow. I stopped at my favorite promontory to get a few shots of the wind turbines (wind mills). The wind was really howling through the San Gorgonio Pass this morning, but only about 20% of the turbines were spinning when I was there. Here is an assortment of wind turbines from the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm, with Mount San Gorgonio covered in snow in the distance.

Wind turbines and Mount San Gorgonio Pass, near Interstate 10, provide electricity to Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley

Wind turbines and Mount San Gorgonio Pass, near Interstate 10, provide electricity to Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.
Image ID: 22236
Location: San Gorgonio Pass, Palm Springs, California, USA

Earth Shadow

California, Morro Bay

Have you ever seen those layers of blue, purple and pink along the horizon just before sunrise? The darker sky, lowest on the horizon, is actually the shadow of the Earth cast upon the atmosphere, while the lighter sky above is the atmosphere as it is lit by the sun. As dawn nears, the shadowed portion of the sky is squeezed down on the horizon and disappears. The pink in the upper “layer” is the result of the sun passing at a highly oblique angle through the dust-filled atmosphere to the east, colored by the particulate suspended in the air.

Earth shadow over Morro Rock and Morro Bay.  Just before sunrise the shadow of the Earth can seen as the darker sky below the pink sunrise

Earth shadow over Morro Rock and Morro Bay. Just before sunrise the shadow of the Earth can seen as the darker sky below the pink sunrise.
Image ID: 22213
Location: Morro Bay, California, USA