Chasing Ladies on Coyote Ridge

April 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Christal sexing the butterfly

As you know, I chase butterflies. Mostly its been larva (these little black caterpillars that have the slightest of orange spots and are very difficult to spot) at Coyote Ridge, Santa Clara county.  Sometimes you can spend a whole day looking for the little guys and well, that’s your day.  In good years, like this year, we’ve found many “mini-cats” on the cool slopes of Coyote Ridge.

Peak bloom for Coyote Ridge - I dare you try to point out a non-native in this photo?!

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Fear, Restoration, and the Release of the Art of Photography

March 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Top of the world at Yosemite NP

I was fortunate to share my dining room with Rich Walkling on Monday this past week.  Rich is an accomplished restoration ecologist, currently working at Restoration Design Group in Berkeley.  He and I have continued to bump into each other over the years, sharing similar interests and motivations in life.

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Meandering Back to the Place We Were Before

March 7, 2011 § 1 Comment

Restored creek channel with a fish ladder for local trout


Cordonices Creek straddles the border between Berkeley and Albany.  Flowing downward from the Berkeley Hills into the Bay, the creek is a prominent fixture of the “flatlands” landscape of the East Bay.  You can see it’s meanders and curves which were once confined to a concrete lined linear flood control channel.  Now, Cordonices is a creek again.

Ohlone interpretive sign

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Restoring the Bay Checkerspot back home to Edgewood Park, San Mateo County

February 17, 2011 § 2 Comments

It’s been an amazing year for Bay Checkerspot Butterfly (BCB) larvae this year. Numbers have increased 5-fold, ten-fold, even 20-fold for some of our long term research plots.  After about a half dozen “down years”, it’s a welcome rebound.  This little federally threatened butterfly that takes to the skies mid to late March every year and then disappears for another 11 months has helped ecologists understand the interaction of this species with an soil environment that is increasingly saturated with nitrogen from automobile exhaust.

Jimmy showing off a larva for the camera

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Quiet times on the mountain

January 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

January fog on blue oaks

I was fortunate to get invited (ahem, I invited myself I guess) to a hike with two of the most notable, contemporary botanical explorers of the East Bay.  We headed out to Mt. Diablo State Park in Contra Costa County for which Barbara Ertter, and Diablo champion Mary Bowerman, have published a unique and informative flora.  Beyond just plant identification and simple cataloging, this book relates ecological studies, talks plant associations and offers tidbits of history and nuance.  Truly a classic, get it here.  I have a signed one with a personal note from Barbara, so I’m considering this means we’re friends 🙂

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Saturday Morning with Wendy Tokuda

November 9, 2010 § 1 Comment

Wendy Tokuda is a real star.  Besides being an anchorwoman and reporter at KPIX (CBS) in the Bay Area, she’s a real advocate for the environment.  But Wendy isn’t one of those “this is what should be done types”, but rather she’s a real go-getter.  For her insatiable energy and religious devotion to the environment, she’s being written up in a Bay Area magazine.

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Redesigned Website is a Comin’

October 15, 2010 § 1 Comment

So I’ve been busy not posting since I’m redesigning my photography website. I want my site to be set up with room to grow.  I wanted a “smart phone”, not just a phone booth of a site.  Here are my thoughts on the topic.

If you view any of the better business sites out there they have the following features in common:

1. fast upload to viewers computer – don’t forget the 14.4kb set-ups out there!

2. clean, simple design with a reasonable number of places to click – little distractions are another possibility that someone will loose their interest in your site.  keep the audience firmly planted at your site.

3. easy access to the most used pages right from the start – for example, its easy to get to the portfolio or blog with only one click from the homepage

4. easy to update with new material – not only on the blog, but also on the actual website so you can circulate out photos that don’t meet your standards/taste as you change and improve as a professional

5. content is king – your photos should be prominent and display your skill, style and dedication to the art and business

These 5 guiding principles are the cornerstone for my design.  I’ll let you decide how it turned out for yourself when I publish the site!

Here are a couple of sites I visit regularly:

See local Oakland photography Maurice Ramirez’s site.  He’s got a slick eye and presents as well as anyone.

I really like the Strobist blog for current posts, but man, does that mother get busied with information and too many distraction.  This was something I was hoping to not duplicate (other than the amazing technical information).  I know this is a “blog” and not a portfolio – but I think the key principles should apply – e.g. how long will it take you to find David’s contact?  More than 2-3 clicks and you might get distracted!

Dan Winters – simple, amazing, awesome. Um, perfect… (can you tell I’m a fan)

I decided to set up my site with, which had some nice templates and lots of room to grow.  I must admit that the online interface is decent at best, very buggy often.  I’m still working out some of those issues and hoping to finalize the site soon.

Oh yeah, I also did a little logo for the business – It was fun!

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