Monthly Archives: May 2012

Turtle in the wild

I hope I made the right decision

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture of the moment
PICTURE OF THE MOMENT

 

When I was a child in Kingsville, Texas, turtles were backyard pests. They were everywhere.

In my eighteen years in San Diego I have never seen a turtle in the wild…..

…..until this afternoon!

Turtle in the wild

 

I’m not 100% certain but I think it’s a common box turtle. Since they don’t occur naturally in California, I’m thinking that it might have been someone’s pet that either escaped or was abandoned. I was torn between leaving him and taking him home, but since he was in a protected nature preserve, I left him. I hope I made the right decision.

 

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Bullying in the bird world

Bullying in the bird world

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture of the moment
PICTURE OF THE MOMENT

 

After dining with Shamu at SeaWorld the other day, I found some mallard ducks that appeared to be playing around. Upon closer inspection, two males were bullying a female:

Bullying in the bird world

 

The mallard on the left — we’ll call him ML — was doing all the damage, even pulling out a huge mouthful of feathers from that poor female. The mallard on the right — we’ll call him MR — was merely standing guard. Eventually we saw why he was standing guard because that female’s mate showed up and took to ML and MR, running them off and snuggling up to his little gal.

There were young children watching this bullying. What are they going to think about bullying?

 

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County? I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor with Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re just looking for a home inspector,
I can highly recommend Russel Ray; that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Tall ships — Esmeralda (BE-43)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture of the moment
PICTURE OF THE MOMENT

 

I take requests!

Whitt Birnie (whitt88) asked if I could post some pictures of tall ships.

I started looking through my collection for four or five pictures and found four or five hundred.

Oh, dear.

I decided to choose a ship for this post: the Esmeralda (BE-43). Esmeralda is a steel-hulled, four-masted barquentine tall ship of the Chilean Navy. According to Wikipedia, Esmeralda is the second tallest and longest sailing tall ship in the world. However, Wikipedia also notes that a citation is needed on that claim, and I agree. Esmeralda was launched in 1953. However, we have here in San Diego the Star of India, a tall ship built in 1863 that sails twice a year. Maybe the Wikipedia entry should say something like “…..longest sailing tall ship in the world that is in regular service.”

Esmeralda visited San Diego in July 2011, and I was there taking pictures as she arrived.

B.E. Esmeralda visiting San Diego

 

B.E. Esmeralda visiting San Diego

 

B.E. Esmeralda visiting San Diego

 

B.E. Esmeralda visiting San Diego

 

B.E. Esmeralda visiting San Diego

 

B.E. Esmeralda visiting San Diego

 

B.E. Esmeralda visiting San Diego

 

B.E. Esmeralda visiting San Diego

 

B.E. Esmeralda visiting San Diego

 

B.E. Esmeralda visiting San Diego

 

B.E. Esmeralda visiting San Diego

I’ll have more tall ship pictures soon!

 

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County? I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor with Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re just looking for a home inspector,
I can highly recommend Russel Ray; that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Panorama of downtown San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

How I Did It

 

I have taken a lot of pictures of downtown San Diego but none of them include all of downtown San Diego. When I use a super wide angle lens, it just looks weird.

Today, my daily 30-minute Corel PaintShop Pro X4 study was how to stitch pictures together to create a panorama. I took the following three pictures and tried to do it.

Downtown San Diego, north end

Downtown San Diego, north end


 

Downtown San Diego, middle

Downtown San Diego, middle


 

Downtown San Diego, south end

Downtown San Diego, south end


 

I made no adjustments to the three pictures because I wanted them to be as close as possible to each other in terms of brightness, contrast, etc.

I followed the steps on pp. 346-352 of Diane Koers’ book, Picture Yourself Learning Corel PaintShop Pro X4, which, by the way, might be the best How-To book I’ve ever read about anything.

In about five minutes, I came up with this:

Panorama of downtown San Diego

Panorama of downtown San Diego


 

I made some brightness and contrast adjustments after stitching. Look very closely and you can see where the three pictures were stitched. However, with the quality that I got here in only five minutes with three not-meant-for-panorama-stitching pictures, oh how my mind is wandering…………………. like a 360° panorama from the same spot where those pictures were taken.

 

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County? I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor with Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re just looking for a home inspector,
I can highly recommend Russel Ray; that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

butterfly (3)

Identifying butterflies

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Snippets

 

I was trying to identify two butterflies earlier today using the butterfly books in my nature library. What a chore! To the rescue comes the Internet and a simple Google search.

I found an awesome site that is straightford, easy to use, and accurate:

Gardens With Wings

Give it a shot next time you’re trying to identify a butterfly.

In fact, try it right now with the following five butterflies:

 

 

 

 

 

SNIPPETS are short posts about anything and everything.
Each SNIPPETS will have at leasst one picture.
After all, this is Russel Ray Photos.

 

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County? I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor with Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re just looking for a home inspector,
I can highly recommend Russel Ray; that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Zoey the Cool Cat

May I go outside?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture of the moment
PICTURE OF THE MOMENT

 

I grew up believing that cats could not be trained. That was the main reason why I had always been a dog lover. Tell a dog to roll over and give him a few treats, and he’ll roll over forever. Cats? No.

Several years ago I went to SeaWorld and visited the Pets Rule show. Anyone who doesn’t believe that cats can be trained to do just about anything needs to go see that show. And it’s not just cats.

Ever since then I’ve been doing my best to train Zoey the Cool Cat (ZCC) to do rather mundane things that make life easier for both of us. She loves to go outside on the back patio, but at 13 pounds, keeping her on my lap for too long causes numb legs. I don’t let her on the ground (Fleas…. no!) so that didn’t leave too many options.

As part of my back yard gardening this year, I wanted to re-arrange the patio so that ZCC could have some chairs and benches to play on. I easily got her to understand that the chairs and benches were hers but she was not to get down on the ground.

Then I trained her to come ask me to go outside, and when I opened the back door, she was to jump from the inside floor to the nearest chair. After that she could have free range from chair to bench to chair……….

Now she has determined that the optimum time on the back patio for sunshine is around noon, and she is pretty determined with her meows that she is going to get out there to enjoy the beautiful flowers and sunshine.

Zoey the Cool Cat

 

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County? I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor with Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re just looking for a home inspector,
I can highly recommend Russel Ray; that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Artichoke

If you can resist eating it….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture of the moment
PICTURE OF THE MOMENT

 

If you can resist cutting and eating your artichoke,
this is what you eventually will get:

Artichoke

 

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County? I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor with Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re just looking for a home inspector,
I can highly recommend Russel Ray; that’s me!Real Estate Solutions