Lovely Lotus

Pepe and I were in Los Angeles this past weekend to visit our young Venezuelan friends whom we have adopted in our hearts.  We went to the Huntington Library and Gardens in Pasadena, which is an amazing place.  We were there for only a couple of hours, and that’s nowhere near enough for the amazing gardens, library of rare books, and art that they have, so we’ll have to go back some day.

There is an amazing and beautiful Chinese garden.  The lotus flowers were in bloom.  Here is my favorite picture I took of the lotus flowers.  Enjoy!

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A tiny moth

Taking a walk on Mt. Tamalpais with camera in had, I saw this tiny moth, no more than a half inch or so.  I had to take a lot of pictures to get one where the shutter was fast enough and the moth was still enough.  To my naked eye it looked like just a tiny tan moth with no other coloring, but I know by now that the macro lens can often reveal more, and indeed it did.  I love the patterns and the coloring on the wings.

Wow, I just noticed as I was about to post this that the end of the back wings look to have been damaged a little.

I tried to identify this moth in my bug guide, but could not find it.  So if you know what it is, let me know!

Posted in Insect Photography, Macro photography, Nature photography | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Redwood revealed

Almost every week I hike on the mountain near my home, the beautiful Mt. Tamalpais, or “Tam” as the locals call it.  Tam is the highest peak in Marin County, and because of the amazing microclimates in the Bay Area also has a broad diversity of forests and plant communities.  By far my favorite places on the mountain are its redwood forests, which never cease to delight me in the grandeur and beauty.  Today we hiked in the redwood forests above Muir Woods National Monument, and along the Bootjack Trail I noticed a redwood tree with this wavy pattern that I had never seen before.  The closeup reveals the detail of the redwood bark, and the subtle colors if you look closely.

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Such rich colors and patterns.  Isn’t nature amazing!

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Bee Breakfast

Because my husband loves bees, and I love my husband, I take a lot of bee pictures for him.  They are hard to capture with great detail because they move around so fast, but every once in a while I get a good shot.  Here is one that I like, from a garden near my home.  I love that you can see the individual hairs on his back!MarinArt&GardenCenter.2014-0814-2_FS-PS

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Caterpillar cutie

It’s been a while since I’ve posted to the blog.  Pepe and I were away for several weeks, and when we came back things got really busy.  But I’m finally back at the blog now.  This photos is of a caterpillar that was right next to a trail in Tennessee Valley in the spring.  I’ve always loved caterpillars.  I think it is an American Dagger Moth Caterpillar. Pretty cute little feller!

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In Awe of the Forest

And now for something completely different!  While macro photography is the intended focus (pardon the pun) of this website, it won’t be the only type of photography I will post.  I think of this blog as “Details in Nature, Mostly.”  Today, the other extreme.  Large. Very large. Very very large!

A couple of weeks ago my husband and fellow nature lover and I went for a road trip up the coast of northern California, to see and hike in the old growth redwood forests.  These are enormous trees.  And I do mean enormous.  They are the tallest living things on the planet, hundreds of feet tall.  Sadly, the vast majority of the old growth forests that were once abundant in California are largely gone.  Only a few percent remain.  But those that remain are mostly protected, and the best place to see And take glorius hikes in these trees is in the forests of the Redwood National and State Parks.    Here is some good information on the coastal redwoods.

Because the forest is dense, and the trees are so large, it is rarely possible to capture a photo of the trees from bottom to top.  So I like to take wide views of the forest.  Here is my husband amidst the forest, as in awe of the forest as I am.

In Awe of the Redwoods

I actually took this panorama photo with my iPhone.  I love my Canon equipment, but I am also pretty impressed with what the iphone camera can do for a fraction of the cost of my Canon gear.

It is possible to capture a full photo of one of these giants, but it requires a LOT of special equipment and no fear of heights.  National Geographic has done it, in a great photo that you can find here.  If you’re interested in learning more about these redwoods, especially about the largest of the large, I highly recommend the book “The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring” by Richard Preston.

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Bottoms Up

Sometimes, in fact many times, the bottom or underside of a flower is just as pretty as the top.  I certainly think this is the case with this beautifully colored Chinese Lantern (Abutilon).  My friend Jim and I went to the San Francisco Botanical Garden to do some flower photography a couple of months ago.  It ended up being a pretty breezy morning, so it was difficult to take pictures with the plants moving in the wind. We just had to wait for those moments when the wind slowed down.  I was lucky to get a quiet moment with this flower.

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Posted in Flower photography, Macro photography | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments