Friday, June 19, 2009

Mourning Dove Chick

I saw a mourning dove chick this morning in the nest built outside my office. About 10 days ago or so, I saw a few tiny, telltail pieces of egg shell on the ground near the nest. The pair of mourning doves assiduously have been sitting on the nest for weeks now. I can not tell if there is another chick in the nest or if there is only one chick.

Mom and Chick Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove Chick and Parent on the Nest
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mourning Dove in the Garden

About 10 days ago, a pair of mourning doves built a nest right outside my home office on top of a pipe. The pair has been trading places so that one of the doves is on the nest at all times. Hopefully, there will be signs of little ones soon.

Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove on the Nest

Mourning Dove
A Stare from a Mourning Dove


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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Green Thumb Sunday - English Spring Has Sprung

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday,
visit As the Garden Grows for more information

Last week we paid a visit to the wonderful Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew outside of London, England. Even in March, there were flowering shrubs and bulbs galore. Here are a few examples of what was flowering on March 7th.


Crocuses in Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Crocuses

Witch Hazel in Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Witch Hazel (Corylopsis sinensis)

Camellia in Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Camellia


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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Green Thumb Sunday - Seaside Daisy and Beach Strawberry

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday,
visit As the Garden Grows for more information
Green Thumb Sunday Blogroll

Today we went walking along Chrissy Field in San Francisco. During the restoration of Chrissy Field several years ago, volunteers planted California native plants on the sand dunes and removed non-native invasive plants. Although it is nearing the end of February, there were flowers blooming on at least two native plants -- Beach Strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis) and Seaside Daisy (Erigeron Glaucus).

Beach Strawberry Flower
Beach Strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis)

Seaside Daisy Flower
Mature Flower of Seaside Daisy (Erigeron glaucus)

Seaside Daisy Flower
Middle Stage Flower of Seaside Daisy (Erigeron glaucus)

Seaside Daisy Flower
Middle Stage Flower of Seaside Daisy (Erigeron glaucus)

Seaside Daisy Flower
Early Stage Flower of Seaside Daisy (Erigeron glaucus) with Fern


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Sunday, February 8, 2009

New Schmap Hobart (Tasmania) Guide Includes Good Acres Photos

Several of my photos have been selected for inclusion in the newly released sixth edition of the Schmap Hobart Guide to Hobart, Tasmania in Australia:

Tasmanian Museum and Art Galley
Tasmanian Coffee Roasters
Salamanca Arts Centre

If you use an iPhone or iPod touch, then these same links will take you directly to my photos in the iPhone version of the guide:

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Tasmanian Coffee Roasters
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Friday, January 9, 2009

New Schmap Sydney Guide Includes Good Acres Photos

Two of my photos are included in the newly released sixth edition of the Schmap Sydney Guide to Sydney, Australia:

Manly to Shelly Beach Walk
Balmoral Beach

If you use an iPhone or iPod touch, then these same links will take you directly to my photos in the iPhone version of the guide:

Manly to Shelly Beach Walk
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Saturday, January 3, 2009

A New Year (Año Nuevo) with the Northern Elephant Seals

Four hundred and six years ago today, on January 3, 1603, Father Antonio de la Ascension, chaplain for the Spanish explorer Don Sebastian Vizcaino, who was charged with mapping the California coastline for Spain, named Año Nuevo Point (New Year Point). Apparently, Vizcaino did not land his ship due to the visible presence of Grizzly Bears. Today, Año Nuevo Point is part of Año Nuevo State Park and Reserve which is on the coast about 55 miles South of San Francisco, California. In a fitting beginning to 2009, we took a naturalist-guided tour at Año Nuevo with our friends, Ray and Jim, to see the Northern Elephant Seals on New Year's Day. We were fortunate that it was not raining or gusting and that there was no fog out on the Point (although a lot of fog hugging the coastline).


Año Nuevo Island
Año Nuevo Island and Point with an Abandoned House and Northern Elephant Seals


Since 1955, Northern Elephant Seals (Mirounga angustirostris) have established a rookery at Año Nuevo and arrive each winter to have their pups and to mate. They inhabit the Eastern Pacific Ocean from Canada and the United States to Mexico. Males grow to weigh up to 5,000 pounds and reach fourteen to sixteen feet long while females grow to weigh 1,200 to 2,000 pounds and reach ten to twelve feet long.


Elephant Seals are so named because of the large proboscis of the adult males which resemble an elephant's trunk and produce loud guttural noises. The proboscis also is filled with cavities designed to reabsorb moisture from the males' breathing which conserves moisture during the multi-month mating season when the males rarely leave the beach to feed. Males fight each other in battles characterized by bellowing for the ability to mate with female harems on the beaches.


Male Northern Elephant Seal
Male Northern Elephant Seal with Neck Scars from Battle Injuries


Male Northern Elephant Seal Vocalizing
Male Northern Elephant Seal Vocalizing


The pups weigh approximately 75 pounds at birth and are almost black in color. They reach 250 to 300 pounds in less than a month from feeding on their mothers' rich milk that is 55% fat. Most pups nurse from their mothers but some pups nurse from several females.


Mother and Pup
Mother and Her Nursing Days-Old Pup


Female Northern Elephant Seal Vocalizes at Pup
Neighboring Mother Vocalizes at Pup


It is incredible to see the small new borns next to their large mothers and the even larger males. Here, the relative sizes of pup, mother and adult male can be seen next to a seagull.

Northern Elephant Seal Family
Mother, Pup and Male Northern Elephant Seal


For more information on the Northern Elephant Seal click here and here.Tweet This