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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Portrait of a Pincushion as a Young Forb

February 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

A reprise of a recent Flickr post.

Here’s the text I posted with the original photo:

Chaenactis, or pincushion, litters the desert floor. Its dainty top-heavy heads are known to wave in the wind. It’s an inconspicuous little aster. But all so important for the desert tortoise. Studies indicate that pincushion is the number one food for desert tortoises in the Mojave. I can just imagine how many hundreds of these a grown 50-year old desert tortoise has consumed…

Texture by Nasos3.  Files combined and layered in Photoshop Elements 8. Amazingly these two photos came together beautifully with little additional manipulation.  The combination setting was “overlay” for combining the photos.  100% for both photos – flower on top of texture.  Simple is great.

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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Single umbrella, lovely lady

February 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

So here’s my homage to one good light, one fast lens and a beautiful lady (eh hem, she’s my wife).  Simple set up in the living room with a blanket hanging from the doorframe.  One off-camera Canon speedlight (580 EX) and a 33″ shoot-thru umbrella.  Canon 50mm prime set at f2.2.  I have a little bounce (small light disk) on camera left to provide some fill.  I think this baby just sings.  And I think my babe is beautiful.  Single umbrella, lovely lady.  I’m a lucky dude!

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Project 52: Week #3 – with an 2/5/11 update

January 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

I was inspired to get started on Project 52 because Don’s assignments have been challenging and interesting.  Week #2 was photographing a stranger.  This was truly a fun experience wherein people were typically interested in the project, even if they weren’t comfortable stopping for a photo.  Thank you world for a great experience into the unknown.

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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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