One of MANY house finches I heard before turning a corner and seeing them.
Some #butterflies spotted the other day while hiking. A gulf fritillary (orange), some kind of blue, possibly a marine blue (tiny with brown wings and a blue body), and possibly a cloudless sulphur (yellow).
The blues are always hard to spot because they’re so small, and the sulphurs just don’t want to pause most of the time. But the fritillaries are more willing to stop, and there were SO MANY of them at the gardens on Monday.
Maybe a cloudless sulphur? Whatever it is, these yellow ones hardly ever pause long enough for me to take a picture.
There were so. many. fritillaries.
I went to the same park again today. I spotted a Fox Squirrel eating a pine cone in a tree elsewhere in the park, and a California Ground Squirrel standing guard outside the enclosure’s chain link fence.
Seriously, it. did. not. move. for several minutes while another ground squirrel ran inside the fence and waited, and I moved to a better angle for photos, until it abruptly turned around and ran through or under the fence.
A week later, all the weeds in the enclosure where I saw the hawk have been cleared out and the feral palm trees cut down.
That’s probably why I was able to get a clear view of some of the ground squirrels, looking out from their burrows and climbing around on the tree stumps.
At the same park where I spotted a Cooper’s Hawk and a ground squirrel a week or two ago, in a fenced-off area around a pair of electric transmission towers. Since then, all the weeds and feral palm trees have been cleared out, leaving nearly bare ground, but the squirrels are still there, climbing around on the stumps and burrowing.
Some #florespondence from last weekend’s walk at the botanic gardens.
I didn’t write down what the yellow flower is, but iNat suggests it’s Senna didymobotrya, a cassia native to Africa.
The magnolia was a popular nectar spot: every single flower that I could see had multiple bees crawling around in it.
Some birds spotted on a hike yesterday morning: a California Towhee (the mature one perched on top of a bush) and a bushtit (looking very birb-like). A whole lot of the latter were flying back and forth between the trees on either side of the path, barely stopping long enough for me to point the camera in the right direction.
Pelican Cove, just past the point with the lighthouse. Unlike other parts of the preserve, there’s a trail here that lets you hike down to the (rocky) beach. Of course then you have to hike back up again.
I don’t know what kind of rock this is or why it looks like layers of thin pastry (or maybe a sponge), but it certainly looked interesting!
Two birds spotted while hiking the trails on top of the coastal bluffs southwest of Los Angeles. First a lesser goldfinch, which took me forever to actually catch on camera (there were 3 or 4 of them flitting around and not stopping for very long anywhere!) and a black phoebe that was perched a few yards from the trail.
A #swallowtail #butterfly, photographed using the classic technique of desperately following it with the camera and clicking the shutter when I hope it’s pointing vaguely in the right direction to at least catch it in frame and it probably won’t be in focus anyway but with luck it’ll at least be identifiable and…hey, not bad!
(Otherwise I’ve basically given up trying to actually aim at butterflies when they’re flying.)
Western Tiger Swallowtail
A #hummingbird at a local park. Most of the time they don’t stay in one place long enough for me to even focus on them, even when they perch like this one.
Of course, the reason that it was staying in one spot was that it was grooming, so I had quite a few shots that looked…less impressive.
Probably a Cooper’s Hawk, spotted on a walk this afternoon. It flew up to a telephone pole, alighted there for a few seconds, and as I was trying to line up a shot with the camera, it took off again, then flew a few houses down the street to perch in this tree.
I also posted a closer crop on my *ahem* @AddHawk account
This #bluebird was perched near this tree, possibly even on the same post, but the moment I snapped the shutter, it flew up to a nearby roof. So I tried to get a decent angle on it, and was about to walk away when it flew back to the tree, landing on this post, grooming itself for a few moments, and then stopping to look around.