A Year in Photos

Photography, fiction, and personal essays form my three primary creative outlets. For this blog's first 18 months, I used it primarily for photography. As I've returned to creative writing, I'll use this blog for fiction, too. Sometimes, when reality needs to be discussed more than truth, I write personal essays.

This blog will continue to showcase as many above-average photos as I can muster. Hopefully my written work will be as good or better than the visual. Whichever drew you here -- photographs or fiction, I hope you enjoy both.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ocean Wildlife

Two days ago I shared a number of cemetery photos. Well, I also had the opportunity to take a number of nature photos the same day. Here are some of them. Tomorrow we'll finish off the Point Arena blog entries with some foggy hike photos I took the day before these.

The night of the 4th my girlfriend saw this heron hanging out by the lighthouse. The morning of the 5th it was still there, so I grabbed my 400mm lens. 

It's a simply stunning bird and, unfortunately, I missed all the shots of it grabbing fish.

There were also harbor seals. And they noticed me and many looked up at me the first time I pointed the camera at them.

I was stunned and thrilled. Seals, in the wild. This was fantastic and amazing and such a rare thing, right?

Nope. Totally the most common seal around. And they hang out on these rocks all the time. People go there to photograph seals.

That afternoon my girlfriend and I hiked down to bowling ball beach. The bowling ball concretions were all underwater, but the tide had delivered a dead seal to the beach. Three turkey vultures feasted on it when I approached, but two had flown off before I was close enough to take good photos. The third hung around and didn't fly off until I was about thirty feet away.

When he did, he flew low and I managed a few shots in flight. I had an old manual focus Vivitar 135mm lens on my K3 so I didn't expect much of my tracking. But the bird flew in a fairly straight and predictable trajectory, so I managed a few good shots.

Having a camera that takes more than eight shots per second helped a lot.

Eventually it landed on a cliff overhead with three other turkey vultures. The seal had no head, which one of the local shop owners told me was very bad news for surfers.

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