Tuesday, December 3, 2013


The past couple of weeks have seen the raven hiking in Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) doing both a patrol, and a pleasure hike. The hikes were lovely, but there were no particular photo ops due to the dormant nature of the chaparral this time of year.

Two weeks ago we went on a bird walk at Silverwood Preserve which is owned by Audubon Society. It is located right in the chapparal and a lovely place to explore and look for birds. We had a good time and saw about twenty different birds. The only one which was photogenic was a pair of doves. The area was burned in 2003 during the Cedar Fire, largest wildfire in California history, but true to the chaparral; it has come back quite well. A number of the oaks have sprouted out with new growth.

Chaparral Country
 My three hiking friends, Myrna, Chris, Caron, and I did a patrol in MTRP which was quite venturesome and planned probably as a 10 mile hike. We studied the route and revised it to 8 miles taking out a couple of truly gnarly hills which are hard to do this time of year as the ground is quite hard, and the loose gravel is very loose!

Thanksgiving morning we were off for a hike at Torrey Pines State Park. This is a preserve for the rare Torrey Pine which is only found here on the coast in San Diego, and on Santa Rosa Island in the Channel Islands off the coast of California. There were lots of people out doing the same thing but we found a less traveled path to the beach after hiking the Guy Fleming Trail. One of the sights was this blooming Shaw Agave. 

Shaw Agave bloom

Agave Bloom with Hummingbird


Cliff in Torrey Pines Park on Guy Fleming Trail

This past Friday we finally got to hike Sycamore Canyon. The week before we got rained out. The canyon gets its name from the prolific amount of sycamore trees that grow there. This was a quite flat hike with a destination or turnaround point being Gooden Ranch. The ranch was the home of a furniture store owner in the Los Angeles who made this his escape respite from the Los Angeles  area starting in 1938. We had some overcast and the place mostly to ourselves. As we set out early in the morning we saw two coyotes, and several hawks. On our return trip we had a few mountain bikers pass, but no other hikers.  

Coyote Looking

Yawning Coastal Oak

Sycamore Color 1

Sycamore Color 2

Sycamore Canyon View

Sycamore with Oaks

Sycamore Wallpaper
Shy Cottontail

?Grey? Saturday, the day after Black Friday: I took off in the morning to photograph the brown pelicans that come to San Diego and hang out near La Jolla Cove. They are getting their breeding plumage so can be quite photogenic in the right light. They were posing nicely and a few gave me an opportunity to get them in flight. There were few photographers there which was nice so the birds did not get spooked. Soon there will be anywhere from 10 to 20 photographers there in the early morning. 

Western Gull

What did you say?

Western Gull

Where is Flight Control?

In Formation

Landing Gear Down

Cormorant Nest Building

I thought I was cleared for Landing

Follow the Leader

During this time we have also had some pretty good sunsets. I have not rushed off to the coast
for a real opportunity, but here are some from three sunsets taken here in our neighborhood.

Stormy Night

Now it is time to get baking, etc. for the Holidays!!

1 comment:

  1. The chaparral shots could have been taken in my backyard. Great pelican captures.