Category Archives: Fauna

Cold & wet—not my kind of weather

Out & About

I spent a couple of hours in La Jolla yesterday taking pictures and videos of the splashing waves of the King Tide as well as wildlife that was enjoying the cold, wet weather, something that I was not exactly doing myself.

I know that big waves can be destructive but they sure are fun to watch.

Spring tide in La Jolla CA 1/11/17

One of the better photos of the crashing waves because it also shows the harbor seals and, at the lower right, that little pup seemingly wondering if it’s safe to go in.

Spring tide in La Jolla CA 1/11/17

The stairs down to the beach, except that when the tide is this high, there is no beach.

Spring tide in La Jolla CA 1/11/17

There were many birds and seals hoping to get their 15 minutes of fame in a WordPress blog.

Harbor seal pups at Children's Pool in La Jolla CA

Bird at the Cove in La Jolla CA

About six months ago I bought a new Canon Rebel 760D because it has a tilt/swivel screen which makes it easier to take pictures and videos from weird positions, and auto focusing for videos. I haven’t really learned to use the auto focusing yet. Either that or it just plain is abysmal. That’s one of the reasons why I was out taking videos yesterday, to find out exactly what I have and how to use it. Here is a 55-second video of the crashing waves at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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“Mommy! I’m scared!”

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Although it’s been raining all day today here in San Diego, I set out at 6:30 this morning to go to La Jolla to watch the Spring Tide waves crash against the sea wall protecting the Children’s Pool.

I was not disappointed.

Spring tide in La Jolla CA 1/11/17

In addition to all the seagulls on the beach, you can see five adult harbor seals. It’s pupping season for the seals and sea lions at the Children’s Pool. There were quite a few babies splashing around in the water, or rather the water was splashing them around. The one in the following picture was just deposited on the beach by a large wave, and it doesn’t look too happy, perhaps even looking a little scared.

“Mommy! I’m scared!”

Harbor seal pup at Children's Pool in La Jolla CA

Pupping season goes from December 15 to April 15, with the height of the births occurring in February. If you get to San Diego for any reason, take a couple of hours off and head to La Jolla to see these magnificant creatures in the wild in the city.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Snippets (12-28-16)—You’re a little different….

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something
Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

When two of my hard drives crashed concurrently in early October, my main concern was retrieving over a million photographs and videos. Fortunately, I got them all back, albeit at a cost of a couple of grand.

Now I’m in the process of cataloging all of them, deleting duplicates, and then, instead of backing up to an external hard drive, which is what I was doing when both drives crashed, I’m going to do backups to the cloud where there are multiple redundancies to prevent crashes and losses.

I have not chosen a cloud storage service so I’m open to suggestions.

SNIPPET 2

I am enjoying going through all the uncatalogued pictures and finding some gems, such as the following two. Feel free to provide your own caption.

A seal praying that Trump doesn’t destroy the worldSeal praying that Trump doesn't destroy the world

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When one of the gang realizes you’re a little different
and still comes over to say hello.Seals & pelicanPictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET 3

Joey Thaidigsman, freshman computer science major at the University of California at BerkeleyJoey Thaidigsman, the IT Director of Russel Ray (which comprises Photographic Art, Russel Ray Photos, and House Key News) is a freshman Computer Science major at the University of California at Berkeley. I’m proud to tell you that he earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average for his first semester. He wants to go into artificial intelligence. Hmmm. Maybe he IS artificial intelligence. I’ll keep an eye on him….

SNIPPET 4

Since Trump is intent on blowing up the world, Jim and I figured we would go out in style, so Christmas Eve afternoon we traded in our 2015 Honda Civic EX-L, which we bought on February 6, 2016, for a 2017 Honda Civic EX. We switched from a white exterior with beige leather interior to a “modern steel metallic” exterior (very dark gray, basically) with a black interior. The white/beige showed too much dust and dirt all the time, so we’re going to try the darker colors for a couple of years.

I think it’s the second most fun car Jim and I have owned, behind the 1998 Pontiac Trans Am. The other cars were a 1989 Saleen Ford Mustang GT, 1991 Honda Civic, 1998 Toyota Avalon, 2000 Honda Accord, 2002 Nissan Maxima, 2003 Toyota Camry, 2005 Nissan Altima, and a 2015 Toyota Corolla (which we still have).

It has two USB ports for the stereo system, great cruise control, dual-zone heating and cooling (convenient since, in 22½ years, Jim and I have never agreed on comfort temperature), and a moon roof for those starry starry nights.

2017 Honda Civic EX

2017 Honda Civic EX

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET 5

Hope everyone is having a great holiday season! Best wishes for health, happiness, peace, and prosperity in 2017 and beyond!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Oh. My. God. They elected HIM?

I live in my own little world

When I got 100% of my data back from the simultaneous hard drive crashes, I resolved to spend at least 30 minutes each day going through my million-plus pictures and videos and actually cataloging them.

I’m probably about 5% through the task. Right now I’m simply deciding which to purge.

I’ve never discarded images before because, as my wise old grandmother used to say, “What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.”

(I never bugged her about ending her sentences with prepositions….”

If I have five pictures, though, all virtually identical, I’ll choose the best one and chunk the other four.

I’m also looking for pictures that I can use as comment pictures, mostly on Facebook.

Comment pictures are always much more fun that typing text.

Following is a picture I found a few minutes ago. The facial expression is great but the picture was on the cusp of being a throwaway, which is why I created the ellipse to put the Wolf’s Guenon in. Adjusted shadows, highlights, blacks, contrast, and sharpness, and got something worthwhile.

Oh. My. God. They elected HIM?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Imagine being kissed by that!

Picture of the Moment

When I was driving for Uber earlier this year, I would get up at 3:30 a.m. and start driving at 4:00. That allowed for some significant long drives from where I live in La Mesa to coastal places like the 32nd Street Naval Station, downtown San Diego, and the airport, all popular places to go at that hour of the morning. I would drive for 5 hours and then go home. One day, though, as I was about to head home a little early, I got a ride request. I thought, “Sure, why not? They might be going my way anyway.”

Well, they were from Nebraska and going to the San Diego Zoo. Perfect opportunity for me to stop at the Zoo, too. That day was May 27, 2016. I don’t remember it specifically, but I have a few billion pictures which I took that day, including those in the immediate posts preceding this one.

What I find interesting about a lot of these pictures is that they are the best pictures I have gotten of certain animals over the 23 years that I have been going to the Zoo on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Including this one of a 3-month-old giraffe:

Baby Giraffe

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That giraffe must really love that twig.

Imagine being kissed by that tongue!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Tasmanian Devil

I saw my first devil (other than Trump)

Picture of the Moment

It only took 23 years of going regularly to the San Diego Zoo before I finally saw the Tasmanian Devil. It just doesn’t like people, or maybe it knows when I’m coming by and scurries into its hiding places. Nonetheless, on May 27 this year, it was all out and about, scurrying here and there, mocking the people standing around oohing and aahing, and generally being a devil.

Tasmanian Devil

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It doesn’t look too happy but maybe that’s because it was too early in the morning. Or maybe it knew that I was going to put its picture in my blog….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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This is MY territory!

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

One of my goals of driving for Uber and Amazon is to explore San Diego County, the little nooks and crannies that I would never find on my own. I’m quite pleased that I’m accomplishing that goal.

If I don’t have time to stop and take pictures, I simply note the location on my tablet with the intent of going back later. My list is getting quite long because going back later isn’t happening….

Here’s a picture that I took recently in Cardiff-by-the-Sea;

Bee and aeonium flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The flowers in the picture are from an aeonium, a succulent that has beautiful leaves, too:

AeoniumPictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My walkaround lens is a Tamron 28-300 mm zoom lens, so getting a good picture of a flying bee is not the easiest thing to do since the shutter speed is slow at the 300 mm end of the lens.

Best lenses for getting good pictures of little flying guys is something like a 50 mm or 100 mm macro lens.

I, however, don’t have an intense desire to get too close to them so I either take a bunch of 300 mm shots and hope for a good one, or I mosey along to find a cute kitty cat keeping its eye on a stranger invading its territory:

Pretty cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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