Tag Archives: san diego national wildlife refuge

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

No pumps, tutus, or feather boas

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

A couple of days ago I trekked about six miles deep into the heart of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge.

I was so deep in the wilderness that there weren’t any trails; I was making my own!

I was absolutely certain that I was going where no one had gone before.

Until I came upon this:

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Those two lumps at the right are two backpacks. There were two complete sets of clothes — shoes, socks, underwear, pants, shirt. I did not spend a lot of time trying to identify genders that might be associated with the clothes since women will often wear mens-type clothing when going hiking. No pumps, tutus, or feather boas.

I looked around, saw no visual evidence that mankind was anywhere close by, and wondered.

Maybe they had a fresh set of clothes in the backpacks, knowing that by the time they got to wherever they were going, they would be all hot and sweaty and would not want to hike back out all smelly and everything. But why not pack all your smelly clothes out and simply wash them? Maybe they were taken by aliens.

Feel free to leave your own guesses.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Checkerspot Butterfly

Who are you?

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I thought for this post you could listen to some music while you’re reading.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My favorite place to take a walk is in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge.

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Throughout the Refuge are various plaques detailing some of the wildlife that make the Refuge home. One of those plaques is about the Quino Checkerspot butterfly.

Quino Checkerspot butterfly

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Quino Checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino) is an endangered butterfly native to California and Mexico. It is a subspecies of the common Edith’s Checkerspot (Euphydryas editha) butterfly and only the second butterfly subspecies to be listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The poor Quino Checkerspot has had to change names several times since first being discovered and described in 1863 as Melitaea quino. In 1929 it was reduced to a subspecies of Euphydryas chalcedona. Then, in 1998, the 1863 description was used to reclassify it as Euphydryas editha instead of Euphydryas chalcedona. It has also been known as Euphydryas editha wrighti, a junior synonym for Euphydryas editha quino. A junior synonym is simply a later name for the same species. In today’s world of zoological nomenclature, the earliest correct name is the name that gets used, so all later names are moot except in the rarest of circumstances.

I’ve been agonizing over a picture that I got yesterday of two checkerspot butterflies:

Checkerspot Butterfly

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m hoping they are Quino Checkerspot butterflies, and I have found some pictures on the Internet that are very similar to them. Unfortunately, I’m quite aware that pictures on the Internet often are misidentified so all other people do is continue the misidentification.

One source says the Quino Checkerspot is often misidentified by amateur butterfly searchers (that’s me!) as Chalcedon Checkerspot, Variable Checkerspot, Gabb’s Checkerspot, Wright’s Checkerspot, Bay Checkerspot, and Edith’s Checkerspot. I have probably looked at more than a thousand pictures of all these butterflies and I keep coming back to the Quino Checkerspot. So I’m sticking with that until a butterfly specialist tells me otherwise.

Currently, the Quino Checkerspot is found only in western Riverside County, southern San Diego County (where I was), and northern Baja California, Mexico. Ninety-five percent of their historic range has been lost to urban sprawl.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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

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

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

House finches at San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Look this way! Please look this way!

How I Did It

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

On a recent hike in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, I found three house finches sitting on a wire. I took five pictures before they flew away. My intent was to get all three of them looking at me, or at least looking forward. They refused to cooperate. There was always at least one bird that was looking the other way. Begging all three birds to “look this way, please, look this way!” didn’t have any effect on them.

I got up the courage to do something about it as I was looking at the five pictures this morning. Originally, I was going to simply replace the one bird that wasn’t looking at me with one that was. Then I thought, why stop at three birds? After playing around, I came up with a nice picture of six house finches:

House finches at San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to tell me which three birds originally were not in that picture. Let us number the birds 1 through 6 from bottom left to top right. And as all good teachers would do, I require that you “show your work,” i.e., explain your decision.

My wise old grandmotherThis little exercise reminds me of my wise old grandmother. She carried her Kodak Instamatic camera in her purse everywhere she went, and she didn’t hesitate to pull it out and snap a picture. Once she got home she took all her pictures and mounted them in her scrapbooks and photo albums. However, she didn’t hesitate to crop them, cut them in two, whatever, in order to make the pictures better or make them fit the theme of her pages.

She used to always tell me, “What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.” It’s still like that, so if you aren’t using Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, Serif PhotoPlus, Photo Studio, PaintShop Pro, Photo-Paint, ACDSee, Gimp, Picmonkey, etc., you’re missing out on a lot of fun. The ones I use are Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4, Photo-Paint X6, and PaintShop Pro X5.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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

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

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos