I’m still trying to find a good slide show program that works within WordPress. I’d like one that allows me to choose which photos are in the slide show — let’s say that I want one photo to use as a main image but not in the slide show — and a choice of transitions, speed, and, possibly, special effects. If anyone has any ideas….
Meanwhile, here is a selection of fourteen pictures (which I would have liked to put in a slide show) of the flora at the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve. I hope everyone is familiar with pictures 1, 2, and 3….. leaves of three, let ‘em be.
If you don’t know about leaves of three, it applies to Poison Oak (Picture 1) and Poison Ivy (Pictures 2 & 3). The leaf has three leaflets on it and can cause severe dermatitis in most people, like me!
When I was in high school I helped my uncle Rodney build his house in Riviera, Texas. Actually, all I did was go around and gather up all the Schlitz, Budweiser, and Pearl beer cans. One other thing I remember was helping Rodney plant yuccas. I despised them because of their sharp pointed leaves, and the plants were huge…. bigger than me!
Out here in San Diego the darn things bloom, and I actually like them!
I don’t remember ever seeing one bloom in South Texas. Here in San Diego they bloom profusely.
My favorite birds to see in the wild are the raptors. They typically are big so I can get better pictures of them, they are patient in that they will wait for me to get a picture before they fly off, and they look so majestic soaring through the skies.
Yesterday’s birding at the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve (see location map at What made the event worthwhile) presented me with a white-tailed kite (Elanus leucurus). It patiently sat in the branches to let everyone in our group take a picture, but it was still a little far away for my 250mm lens.
After we all got pictures of it sitting, it soared in the sky for several minutes to let everyone get pictures too. It was quite close to us while soaring, so everyone was climbing over each other and pushing each other out of the way to get the best vantage point.
I really had to crop and Photoshop the first picture because he was too far away for my lens. Not the best, but it will have to do until another one comes along.
More pictures coming. I’m still cataloging them. First, however, I’m going out stop-signing this morning….. you’ll just have to wait.
My best picture of a male Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii) from yesterday’s birding at the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve (see location map at What made the event worthwhile):
More pictures coming. I’m cataloging them….
My best hummingbird picture — a male Anna’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) — from today’s birding at the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve (What made the event worthwhile):
More pictures coming. I’m cataloging them….
This morning, bright and early with rain pouring down, I hopped into the car to go birding 40 miles away with the San Diego Audubon meetup club. The highlight of the event for me was going to a place in San Diego County where I had never been: Blue Sky Ecological Reserve.
Blue Sky was hit hard by the “Witch Fire” of October 2003, basically being destroyed. It’s made a remarkable comeback, although I’ve noticed that Mother and Father Nature can rebound from just about anything — volcano, flood, fire, earthquake, hurricane, and tornado are the events that I’ve witnessed their rebound.
I was surprised at the amount of poison oak and poison ivy, which Blue Sky is full of. If you go, stay on the trails!
I saw so many different birds that I could not keep track of them all, but high up on the thrill list of birds was a White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus), a Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii), and an Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna).
Now Anna’s Hummingbirds are nothing new to me. They are back and front yard birds at my home, making themselves at home at my hummingbird feeders, aloe blossoms, and fuchsia blossoms. However, the Anna’s Hummingbird this morning out in the boondocks was special. She was sitting on her tiny nest at about chest level:
She was well camouflaged and hidden, and I would never have seen her if I had been by myself, making a good case for going birding with a group of people led by an expert who can spot birds near and far; or by song, movement, color, size, or flight.
I’ll have more pictures after I finish cataloging them all.