Friday, December 30, 2011

Tooth, Nail, Beak or Bone?

Katie at Nature ID and I are having a conversation about animal sign on vegetation.  I'm posting these photos for her  and will followup later with details.  I enjoy sharing info online with other nature bloggers - it's a great way to complement our learning.  More photos at "Read More"

Saturday, December 17, 2011

De-Lovely Moon

Total lunar eclipse, December 10, 2011.  The green ghosting is probably some type of light bouncing in the lens. Those little white dots are not specks on your monitor but stars showing up as the moon's glow is dimmed.
f/4, 4 seconds, ISO 400, 120 mm, Nikon D60, photo cropped
I spend most of my time puzzling over things on the earth's surface. I largely ignore the sky, just too much of it there. And then like a fortune cookie, the Lion Hunter called last week to say we were going to photograph the total eclipse of the moon at the Dipper Ranch. We agreed to meet early the next morning.  I have been missing eclipses and sleeping through meteorite showers since 1986, so I was determined to try harder this time. Over the next 12 hours, curiosity and photography once again brought me face-to-face with intimate details of nature, even extraterrestrial nature.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

30k - Just a Number, Words and Wonder

Fall morning showdown between bucks at the Newt Spring.
The wonder of it all.
In a few days, the Dipper Ranch blog will reach 30,000 hits since May 2009 (2.5 years).  I actually started blogging in October 2008 but I think I didn't rig up the simple version of Google Analytics until later.  I am not sure how significant 30k hits is.  I know that at least one blog I follow probably gets that many hits in a day, and many things on the internet are popular but not so useful.  I guess I could look into it, but I would rather spend the time researching cool season grasses.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Coyotes to the Wind

Coyote running in its colorful winter coat
As summer progressed, the coyote pups were showing up less often on the wildlife cameras along The Coyote Brush Highway.  They were growing and probably roaming farther and joining the adult coyotes on hunting trips.  We had started a construction project on the lower end of the Dipper Ranch to remove an old road and repair landslides to improve the water quality of creeks in the Pescadero watershed.  This resulted in construction equipment and contractors driving onto the property several times a day, a big change from the usual traffic-less conditions, and I wondered if this affected the coyotes' behavior.  Furthermore, there had been several trespassing incidents, so I decided to move the wildlife cameras away from the gate.