Category Archives: Fauna

I’m going to call animal abuse on that

Opinion

I went up to Carlsbad this morning, to 83 Degrees restaurant at 660 Carlsbad Village Drive, to get a picture of a new mural. Here it is:

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

83 degrees location

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I am not a fan of guns. It might have something to do with my dad killing himself with a gun.

I understand that in some areas of the world animals are killed for food. Heck, even here in America animals are killed for food. I even eat those animals that were killed for food.

I like bacon. I like chicken. I like turkey. I like beef. I like barbecued anything.

As a friend in Texas told me about animals raised for food and the abuse that many of them suffer (loosely quoted): “Even though their purpose in life is to be food for us, there’s no reason why we can’t respect them and treat them right while they are alive.”

So when it comes to trophy hunting or killing any animal for sport, or mistreating living animals simply because they are going to become human food, I’m going to call animal abuse on that.

RIP, Cecil.

img_4662 cecil the lion stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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It doesn’t look like Earth

Out & About

One of the most beautiful areas of San Diego County is La Jolla at low tide.

There’s nothing quite like it with its natural beauty looking like something from Mars; its pelicans, cormorants, sea lions, and seals; and its opportunities for great sunsets.

Here’s a slide show to illustrate:

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Never again

Picture of the Moment

It’s rare that people are in my pictures but sometimes it just can’t be helped.

img_0575 pelican crystal pier la jolla stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That giant pelican is located near the Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach:

Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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San Diego, a desert with marshes

Out & About

Many millions of years ago (10,000 years ago if you’re a Republican rightwing religious nut), much of downtown San Diego and the coastal areas were swamps. Think Florida Everglades. In terms of annual rainfall now, San Diego, with a mere ten inches, is defined as a desert. That’s called climate change.

When I came to San Diego in April 1993, a news exposé announced that Los Angeles had accomplished its goal of concreting all of its natural river channels. Many of the San Diego powers-that-be wanted to accomplish the same thing. Here’s an example of a concrete river in San Diego:

concrete river

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Along with river channels, estuaries and coastal swamps throughout Southern California were being drained and filled so that we could have new homes, strip shopping malls, freeways, and water parks like Mission Bay. SeaWorld San Diego is built on what once was a huge marsh; thus, many of our marshes and estuaries will never be returned to us.

Fortunately, we now know that concreting the rivers has a significant effect on the flow of water, causing the water to flow faster. When the rainfall is too great and the channels fill up, which often happens, and flood, fast-moving water causes more damage than slow-moving water. Turns out that the river vegetation, such as cattails and reeds, not only soak up the water but they slow it down, providing a lesser opportunity for the water to undermine nearby buildings and infrastructure. The soil itself also soaks up water, something that concrete doesn’t do very well.

We also know that the marshes and estuaries are critical to the well-being of the environment, including the fauna that feed and nest in them, and the flora that provide food and shelter for the fauna. All up and down the Southern California coast, cities and counties are taking steps to return the marshes and estuaries to their natural states, and it’s a joy to visit them.

Recently I visited the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. With 915 acres, it is one of the largest remaining coastal wetlands in Southern California.

img_0342 san elijo lagoon stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Between 1880 and 1940, dikes and levees were built that allowed duck hunting, salt harvesting, and sewage settling ponds. The construction of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1887, Pacific Coast Highway 101 in 1891, and Interstate 5 in 1965 each required supporting berms that restricted natural water circulation and the influx of ocean saltwater.

The lagoon’s mouth, which is where the Escondido Creek meets the Pacific Ocean, is at Cardiff State Beach. The mouth is mechanically dredged each spring after the winter storms to restore the tidal circulation between the lagoon and the ocean.

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pampas grassNative plants have been restored and invasive plant species removed, important since many organisms rely on native plants for food and protection. Invasive plants, such as pampas grass (picture►) and castor bean, upset the ecosystem by crowding out and out-competing native vegetation.

Monthly bird counts have identified about 40% of all bird species in North America using the lagoon at various times of the year. There are 6 plant communities (coastal strand, salt marsh, riparian scrub, coastal sage scrub, freshwater marsh, and mixed chaparral), more than 300 species of plants, 23 species of fish, 26 mammal species, 20 reptiles and amphibians, more than 80 invertebrates, and 300 bird species. Some of Southern California’s most endangered species, many of which occur nowhere else on the planet, make the Reserve home.

img_0374 san elijo lagoon stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The 5,600-SF visitor center opened in the Spring of 2009 and is Platinum-Certified by U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). It was built using recycled materials; relies on solar energy, natural light, and ventilation; has irrigated roof plants; and uses recycled water for landscape irrigation.

img_0341 san elijo lagoon visitor center stamp

img_0343 san elijo lagoon visitor center stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There are 8 miles of trails, open from dawn until dusk. There are no restroom facilities on the trails but there are lots of places to sit and relax.

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img_0372 san elijo lagoon stamp

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san elijo lagoon map

img_0360 san elijo lagoon stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Enjoy life. Make waves.

Picture of the Moment

It’s rare that I see a lone mallard.

Either they are in a flock of a dozen or so, a pair during breeding season, or a mommy with lots of little ones.

So when I saw this one all alone just swimming its little feet off, I couldn’t resist adding words to its picture:

img_0366 enjoy life make saves stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Animal rescue and sanctuary support

I livew in my own little world

My wise old grandmother taught me to share.

Second Chance Dog Rescue logoI have decided to share the profits from the sale of my Photographic Art with animal rescue groups and wildlife sanctuaries throughout the United States, as long as they are charitable organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.

I will share in your name if you contact me to let me know when and what Photographic Art you purchased. Email me at russelraypc@aol.com.

I also will share with your preferred rescue group or sanctuary; again, just let me know. Otherwise, I will share with my preferred rescue groups and sanctuaries.

the cat house on the kingsMy Photographic Art is available at Fine Art America, a print-on-demand site with a 30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked. So if you don’t like your product for any reason, or no reason at all, simply return it and get your money back. That’s why I located my galleries there.

Lions Tigers & BearsPhotographic Art provides beautiful, unique, long-lasting, personal, and thoughtful gifts that are being used in the real estate industry as close-of-escrow gifts, and as special occasion gifts such as birthdays, marriages, anniversaries, and graduations. Attach a personal note or your business card to the gift and be remembered forever and ever!

Photographic Art has been purchased worldwide (Christchurch, New Zealand, and Paris, France) as well as throughout the United States.

Blind Cat Rescue and SanctuaryThere are many Photographic Art products available at Fine Art America, including prints, throw pillows, greeting cards, and phone cases.

On pillows, greeting cards, and phone cases, I will share 50% of the profits; my profit on your purchase of these items is minimal though.

On prints, regardless of what size or type of print you buy, I will share $40 since my share of your purchase is always $99.

Angels Among Us Pet RescueFine Art America’s money-back guarantee, and the fact that they pay on the 15th of each month, means that I don’t get paid immediately. Thus, there could be a 59-day delay between your purchase and when I get paid, meaning that donations to our animal friends won’t be immediate either. For example, if you buy Photographic Art on August 16, the 30-day money-back guarantee expires on September 16, and I would get paid on October 15.

Each day, over on Facebook, I will feature a rescue group or sanctuary and dedicate any Photographic Art sales that day to that specific organization.

Rescue groups and sanctuaries are invited to send to me a blog post about them for posting here in my blog and to be a featured organization on my Facebook time line.

I also do custom work using YOUR photos. Contact me by email.

Go now to my galleries at Fine Art America.

photograhic art taking pictures making art

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Meal time is for the birds!

San Diego Zoo logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I love to watch wildlife eat.

I don’t always have a great appreciation for some of the things they eat, but I love watching just the same.

Here is a video of meal time for the African Openbilled Storks (Anastomus lamelligerus) at the San Diego Zoo:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m wondering if you can guess the native habitat of the African Openbilled Stork…………LOL

As you can see from the video, they eat snails, mollusks, and—gulp—mice. I liked the way several of the birds picked up a mouse, walked over to the water, and proceeded to wash their food before they ate it….

Although not endangered globally, they are threatened in South Africa by habitat loss, entanglement in fishing lines, and pesticides added to water to control mosquitoes.

img_2264 african openbilled stork zoo stamp

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