Lupines Along the Path – Year of Yosemite (YOY) – Day 212

Lupines appeared along the trail

Lupines were abundant along the different trails. I highlighted lupines HERE and you can see that the plant looks quite different in the earlier post.

The variety in the picture above may be a different type or the fact that it is in full exposure of the sun, wind, snow, rain, etc. has stunted the growth. I find the leaf form very interesting and the leaves shed water which tends to form into drops.

NOTE – Lesson learned: Taking photographs from above the plant doesn’t always render the best perspective.

 
Do you have a question about our visit to Yosemite? Ask it in the comment section.

 

JBRish.com originally published this post
*All photographs Copyright by Jeffrey B. Ross with all rights reserved.

 
See previous Year of Yosemite (YOY) posts HERE. If you want to read the introduction to the YOY series, CLICK HERE.

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Meta Data – Day 212 YOY – Year of Yosemite

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GatorZilla – Giant Alligator Roams in Florida

Let’s face it, alligators look prehistoric. I am sure many people who have seen an alligator in its natural habitat has thought about the reptile-prehistoric animal link. They naturally look like something out of a monster movie. Of course they are not quite the same size as Godzilla was rendered to be, but there is one alligator in Florida that is pretty big. I mean this one is much bigger than most gators!

Watch the video below to see whether or not you agree that this gator is a relative of Godzilla; there is a family resemblance IMHO.


To See more Videos posted on JBRish, Click Here

Icons in Our Parks- Half Dome – Year of Yosemite (YOY) Day 195

Half Dome from a Webcam

One of the most iconic symbols of any national park – Half Dome

It is very interesting how some of our national parks have features that have become so iconic that they take on a personality of their own. Half Dome is one of those major icons. As explained in an earlier post, Half Dome is so recognizable that the North Face Company uses an abstract version of it for their logo.

One indication that Half Dome is a major draw to Yosemite is that there is a webcam set up so people can see it whenever they choose. The photo above was provided by a webcam funded through Yosemite Conservancy. The scene is of Half Dome from the Ahwahnee Meadow which is east of Yosemite Village (taken on January 13, 2017).

NOTE – While this is not a photograph I captured, I am using it as a springboard for a few following posts.

 
Do you have a question about our visit to Yosemite? Ask it in the comment section.

 

JBRish.com originally published this post
*All photographs Copyright by Jeffrey B. Ross with all rights reserved.

 
See previous Year of Yosemite (YOY) posts HERE. If you want to read the introduction to the YOY series, CLICK HERE.

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No Meta Data – Day 195

 

Spy Camera & Monkey Death – BBC Series

I think most people who watch any substantial amount of television would agree that the BBC produces some of the best shows available. I especially enjoy their nature exposés. They have a new series, Spy in the Wild, which is designed to give viewers a “close up” view of life among a variety of groups of animals.

This intimate look into the lives of these creatures is made possible by the new technology available through very small and very good cameras as well the craftsmanship of those who build the robotic animals that, for the most part, seem to pass for the real thing among their fellow tribe members.

In the video below, Langur monkeys appear to genuinely grieve over the death of the artificial monkey. It is sad, poignant and thought provoking. We are reminded how similar we are to these animals.

Year of Yosemite (YOY) – Day 177 (Finding DaVinci at Hetch Hetchy)

Butterfly on wildflower

Butterfly on one of a number of yellow wildflowers (perhaps Arnica nevadensis) © Jeffrey B. Ross

The photograph above was taken during our hike at Hetch Hetchy, Yosemite National Park. The day was overcast and it had rained a bit prior to our arrival at the park and also a little more during our stay. With the rain and the cooler temperatures, the wildflowers were still abundant around the reservoir.

Being surrounded by the wildflowers and the overwhelming natural beauty of the area brings to mind the quotation above (repeated below for clarity):

“Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous – Leonardo DaVinci

 
Do you have a question about our visit to Yosemite? Ask it in the comment section.

 

JBRish.com originally published this post
*All photographs Copyright by Jeffrey B. Ross with all rights reserved.

 
See previous Year of Yosemite (YOY) posts HERE. If you want to read the introduction to the YOY series, CLICK HERE.

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Meta Data – Day 177 YOY – Year of Yosemite
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Nikon D3300

 

Year of Yosemite (YOY) – Day 175 (Trees Just Want to Survive)

Trees throw roots out to survive

Trees take hold among the rocky hills of Yosemite

It never ceases to AMAZE ME how trees (and other plants) find toe holds in the most unlikely places and manage to grow, if not thrive, at least for a while. Among the multitude of trees we walked past on our hikes, many of them managed to spread their roots out wherever they could make them fit.

In this photo you can see how there is a series of roots in the bottom, right-hand quadrant that wind through the pathways left by parting rocks and tumble over them to gain and maintain a foothold.

It is difficult to know which came first, the roots of this tree or the large rocks and boulders. The fact that the root appears to be growing on top of some of the rocks probably indicate that the stones must have preceded the growth of the root.

Surface roots often provide an obstacle course as it seems they try to “nip at” the toes of hikers as they walk by.

 
Do you have a question about our visit to Yosemite? Ask it in the comment section.

 

JBRish.com originally published this post
*All photographs Copyright by Jeffrey B. Ross with all rights reserved.

 
See previous Year of Yosemite (YOY) posts HERE. If you want to read the introduction to the YOY series, CLICK HERE.

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Meta Data – Day 175 YOY – Year of Yosemite

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Canon PowerShot A590 IS

 

Year of Yosemite (YOY) – Day 166 (Textures and Colors and Sounds, Oh My!)

Mossy Rocks in the Merced at Happy Isles

A large boulder with moss sits in the Merced River


While walking along the path at Happy Isles, we spied this rock with beautiful textures and colors. It may a bit unusual to be visiting a noted national park with all of its monuments and major attractions and to focus on a moss covered rock.

I was struck by several things. Look at the colors of the moss on that rock. The shades range from medium brown, to gold to light green. Whatever light came through the clouds was highlighting the yellowish growth. Additionally, the warm tones of the fallen log in the background and the sound of the rushing water made this a true sensory experience.

Several posts ago, I spoke about the “small miracles and gems” and perhaps I am the only one who would consider this as such, but that is what makes nature what it is. It is a person-specific connection and wonderment!

 
Do you have a question about our visit to Yosemite? Ask it in the comment section.

 

JBRish.com originally published this post
*All photographs Copyright by Jeffrey B. Ross with all rights reserved.

 
See previous Year of Yosemite (YOY) posts HERE. If you want to read the introduction to the YOY series, CLICK HERE.

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Meta Data – Day 166 YOY – Year of Yosemite

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Capture date: June 10, 2016
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Photography – When is good enough, good enough? A bird story

American Dipper bobbing for food
American Dipper at Seven Falls, CO – bobbing for food.

I have written about two of my interests, photography and bird watching, on the pages of this blog. When I speak of them, I describe myself as an “opportunistic” photographer and an “opportunistic” bird watcher.

What I mean when using such a phrase is that generally speaking photography and bird watching are not often the center of my activity. I am usually hiking, touring or visiting with friends. My camera is with me during most of these events so naturally, I like to capture photographs of things that are of interest me. I am not too hyper about my photography exploits however. I try to capture those images that will serve my artistic or educational purposes, but if I miss the shot…well, I miss the shot.

In the same light, a number of my photographs are lacking in quality for one reason or another. Perhaps my equipment is not up to the task. Sometimes I make a mistake and my settings are incorrect and the capture fails. While photographs taken under less than ideal circumstances may not have much artistic value and may not be worth placing on the Internet, they can be good enough. Let me explain…

We were recently visiting Colorado Springs, CO and during our stay, we went to the Broadmoor resort to hike their Seven Falls Park and it was very nice. As we walked the trail and came to an elevated platform called the Eagle’s Nest, there was a stream that ran along the base of the nearby mountain. Wading in that stream, looking for a good meal, was a bird I had never seen before: an American Dipper.

When I see a bird that is new to me, I like to capture a picture as “proof of sighting.” Quite honestly, at times I take a bird’s picture because I don’t know the bird and I hope to ID it later via a birding book, a birding app or the Internet. In this instance, I knew the bird was an American Dipper because of an explanatory nearby sign. I wanted a record of my sighting of the bird.

Here is my problem…the bird was relatively far away and the only camera that I had with a chance of yielding a photo that would be useable was my bridge camera, i.e. a Canon PowerShot SX50HS. As I have reported on this blog before, the camera does best with an ISO of 100, but may be passable at ISO 200. It also performs better with smaller aperture openings.

Unfortunately, this was a cloudy day and the time was getting late. Low ISO and smaller aperture settings were not going to work here. I could not use the settings I needed to get the best shot. What was I to do? My philosophy is “Take the picture anyway.” As long as the picture is able to be used to ID the bird and provide “proof of sighting,” it will be good enough.

Here are the pictures I was able to capture. They are not going to impress anyone or come close to winning any awards. They really aren’t even good enough for posting on Instagram, Flckr or anywhere on the Internet except for an educational article like this one.

The pictures are good enough for my purpose and when added together, enable me to identify the bird as the American Dipper. Whether or not a picture is good enough for you can only be determined by the goal(s) you set for yourself. I can use these photographs to validate that I saw and identified this particular bird and that was my goal!

American Dipper resting
“American Dipper at Seven Falls, CO – resting between bobbing for food “

American Dipper rejoining the search for food
“American Dipper at Seven Falls, CO – searching once more for food”

For comparison, below are two clearer pictures of an American Dipper. The yellow bill in my photographs indicate that my photos were of a young bird. The bill turns dark as they grow older.

American Dipper
American Dipper – Picture Courtesy of National Audubon Society

American Dipper
American Dipper – Picture Courtesy of the website of Joseph V Higbee

 

JBRish.com originally published this post

See previous Photography posts HERE

Year of Yosemite (YOY) – Day 153 (Four Mile Trail 3/5 – Penstemon Wildflower)

Pink Penstemon along the Four Mile Trail

Mountain Pride clings to the rock face along the Four Mile Trail

How amazing are wildflowers? All they need is a small foothold and they create a home between the spaces in the rocks. The pink penstemon featured above is Mountain Pride (Penstemon newberryi) and was prevalent along quite a few of the trails.

Against the gray rocks and the dark shade background, the penstemon created quite a flare as it was highlighted by the sun’s setting rays. It was difficult to show restraint by keeping my camera at bay.

You can read more about Penstemon newberryi at iNaturalist.org

 
Do you have a question about our visit to Yosemite? Ask it in the comment section.

 

JBRish.com originally published this post
*All photographs Copyright by Jeffrey B. Ross with all rights reserved.

 
See previous Year of Yosemite (YOY) posts HERE. If you want to read the introduction to the YOY series, CLICK HERE.

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Meta Data – Day 153 YOY – Year of Yosemite

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Capture time: 5:07:49 PM
Capture date: June 6, 2016
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