Monthly Archives

May 2009


Horned Lizard Photo, Horny Toad

When we were kids we loved catching what we called "horny toads." (Look, wiseguy, we were 6 years old at the time and couldn't pronounce "horned".) We would find them in chapparal and open areas in Newport Beach where I grew up. The little horned lizards (Phrynosoma) weren't particularly fast,…
May 31, 2009

Desert Cottontail Rabbit Photo

There were a lot of little desert cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus audubonii) hopping about all morning and evening. They were really cute, and quite bold, coming in to drink at the pond often and sniff about looking for seed and bits of food. No babies though. Desert cottontail, or Audobon's cottontail…
May 30, 2009

White-sided Jackrabbit Photo

This white-sided jackrabbit (Lepus callotis) showed up briefly one morning at Bill Forbes' pond. It did not approach too closely, unfortunately, and stayed in the shadows nibbling on fresh mesquite leaves, standing tall on its hind legs to grasp to lowest branches. I was amazed at how long its ears…
May 29, 2009

Round-tailed Ground Squirrel Photo

This little round-tailed ground squirrel (Spermophilus tereticaudus) showed up beside the pond only a couple times, and I really only had one good chance to get its photo. I felt sorry for the poor thing, not only is it a puny raptor-morsel, but it has a wimpy tail compared to…
May 28, 2009

Harris’ Antelope Squirrel Photo

This little Harris' antelope ground squirrel (Ammospermophilus harrisii) came to the pond to sip water and look for bits of food. Check out that cool tail, I bet Fonzie would wear a tail like that if he could. I nicknamed this guy Mike Tyson. Harris' antelope squirrel.Image ID: 22900Species: Harris'…
May 27, 2009

Mexican Jay Photo

I'm posting one last photo from Upper Madera Canyon, this time a photo of a Mexican jay (Aphelocoma ultramarina). The wanna-be tough-guys were everywhere among the trees, spooking all the smaller birds. They would only shut up and settle down when the larger ravens rolled through. They are not as…
May 26, 2009

Acorn Woodpecker Photo

Another photo from Upper Madera Canyon, this time a photo of a male Acorn woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus). The females look very similar, with the exception that on females the white forehead is separated from the red cap by black. Acorn woodpecker, male.Image ID: 22961Species: Acorn woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorusLocation: Madera Canyon…
May 25, 2009

Black-Headed Grosbeak Photo

This male Black-headed grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus) is one of many that flitted among the trees in upper Madera Canyon. There were females too but their coloration was not as striking. Black-headed grosbeak, male.Image ID: 22911Species: Black-headed grosbeak, Pheucticus melanocephalusLocation: Madera Canyon Recreation Area, Green Valley, Arizona, USA Shot at Bill…
May 23, 2009

Hammerhead Shark Photo on the cover of Zoology

One of my hammerhead shark photos was chosen for the cover of Zoology to accompany the article "Response of juvenile scalloped hammerhead sharks to electric stimuli" by Stephen Kajiura and Timothy Fitzgerald. See lots more scalloped hammerhead photos (Sphyrna lewini).
May 22, 2009

Brown-Headed Cowbird Photo

The Brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) is rather plain, but I really liked this image of one with the golden light of sunset illuminating the bushes behind it. Brown-headed cowbird, male.Image ID: 22916Species: Brown-headed cowbird, Molothrus aterLocation: Amado, Arizona, USA Shot at Bill Forbe's Pond at Elephant Head, which I visited…
May 21, 2009

Water and Stones, Abstract Photo

This was shot on a drizzly overcast morning at Ruby Beach in Washington's Olympic National Park. Fresh water flows over cobblestones on its way across the beach and into the sea. Today's abstract photo, #9 of 15: Water flows past beach cobblestones, blur.Image ID: 13794Location: Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park,…
May 19, 2009

Predawn Flock of Snow Geese, Abstract Photo

Last winter I joined friends Skip Stubbs and Ken Howard for a few days of bird photography at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. I would get up early each morning to watch the enormous flocks of snow geese that overnight on the ponds take off in a massive predawn…
May 6, 2009

Optimal Contrast and Saturation Settings for RAW Photographers

Are you using the best in-camera settings for contrast and saturation? If you shoot RAW and think these settings don't affect you, think again. If you judge your exposure settings on whether you are clipping the highlights on your histogram, you may be underexposing unnecessarily. Here's why. Note that this…
May 5, 2009