Hein Natural History Photography: Blog http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog en-us Copyright (C) 2017, Scott J. Hein. All rights reserved. scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) Mon, 14 Aug 2017 00:24:00 GMT Mon, 14 Aug 2017 00:24:00 GMT http://photos.heinphoto.com/img/s10/v112/u1043671433-o145544225-50.jpg Hein Natural History Photography: Blog http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog 90 120 Southern Africa http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2017/8/southern-africa We spent most of the month of July experiencing Africa for the first time - this blog entry gives a brief summary of our trip. You can jump right to a full gallery of photos by clicking the link below.  In addition to photographs, the gallery includes Google Earth maps from each of our stops with GPS tracks of our daily routes overlaid.

Southern Africa Gallery

We started our journey in Cape Town, South Africa with the goal of observing and photographing our penultimate penguin species - the African (formerly "Jackass") Penguin - which we accomplished at the colony at Boulders Beach (our final penguin species is the Fjordland Penguin of New Zealand). We also visited Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden located at the base of Table Mountain, and Cape Point/Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of the African continent.  Many thanks to Wian van Zyl from Birding Ecotours for a great day of birding, conversation, and photography. 

African PenguinsAfrican PenguinsAfrican Penguins, Boulders Beach, Table Mountain National Park, South Africa Cape of Good HopeCape of Good HopeCape of Good Hope, Cape Point, South Africa

From Cape Town we headed north to Maun Botswana where we joined a mobile photo safari organized by photographer Thom Hogan, arranged by Wilderness Travel, and conducted by the most-excellent Capricorn Safaris.  Our route first took us overland from Maun to Moremi Game Reserve where we spent three days on morning and afternoon game drives and had our first encounters with wild leopards, hippos, giraffes, and zebras.

LeopardLeopardLeopard, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana HippopotamusHippopotamusHippopotamus , Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

When you are in the remote wilds of Botswana you are treated to brilliant night-time displays of stars and the milky way.  We took advantage of the lack of light pollution and humidity to learn the basics of astrophotography from one of our instructors, Tony Medici.

The Milky WayThe Milky WayThe Milky Way, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana The Milky Way over CampThe Milky Way over CampThe Milky Way over Camp, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

We then traded our land cruisers for boats and an all day ride up the Okavango River to Camp Okavango, which would be our luxurious home for the next two nights.  The Okavango passes at times through large open lagoons, but more often than not you are traveling in winding, narrow channels with walls of Pampas Grass towering above you.  Our safari leader, Shane Hedges, recorded a time-lapse video of a portion of our ride (click the photo to access the video).

Filming the Ride up the OkavangoFilming the Ride up the OkavangoFilming the Ride up the Okavango, Okavango Delta, Botswana Pied KingfisherPied KingfisherPied Kingfisher, Camp Okavango, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Boat Ride in the OkavangoBoat Ride in the OkavangoBoat Ride in the Okavango, Okavango Delta, Botswana Camp OkavangoCamp OkavangoCamp Okavango, Okavango Delta, Botswana

We departed "Camp O" and boarded two small planes for the short flight to Savuti in Chobe National Park, where we would rejoin our mobile camp for 3 days of game drives with more elephants, giraffes, and our first sighting of lions and new antelope species like Roan.

African Savanna ElephantAfrican Savanna ElephantAfrican Savanna Elephant, Savuti, Chobe National Park, Botswana LionLionLion, Savuti, Chobe National Park, Botswana

Roan AntelopeRoan AntelopeRoan Antelope, Savuti, Chobe National Park, Botswana Giraffe & OxpeckersGiraffe & OxpeckersGiraffe & Oxpeckers, Savuti, Chobe National Park, Botswana

From Savuti, we drove northeast to the Chobe River near Kasane on the border with Namibia where we would spend our last 3 days in Botswana. The waters of the Chobe River attract large numbers of Elephants, African Buffalo, Impala, and the predators that hunt them.

Lion CubsLion CubsLion Cubs, Chobe National Park, Botswana African Savanna ElephantsAfrican Savanna ElephantsChobe National Park, Botswana

African Fish-EagleAfrican Fish-EagleAfrican Fish-Eagle, Chobe National Park, Botswana Morning Light at ChobeMorning Light at ChobeMorning Light at Chobe (Namibia in the distance), Chobe National Park, Botswana

On our second to last night in Chobe, lions killed a zebra approximately 100 meters behind our camp.  Spotted Hyenas quickly discovered the kill and called in reinforcements.  For the rest of the night we were treated to howls and growls as those two apex predators fought over the kill.  At first light we found the kill site - all that remained was a dark spot on the ground and a few scraps that allowed us to identify the prey as Zebra.  There were still a few hyenas and Black-backed Jackals sniffing around the kill site when we arrived (and some in our group also observed the much less common Brown Hyena and Side-striped Jackal a little later).

Capricorn Safari's Camp at ChobeCapricorn Safari's Camp at ChobeCapricorn Safari's Camp at Chobe, Chobe National Park, Botswana Spotted Hyena at Lion KillSpotted Hyena at Lion KillSpotted Hyena at Lion Kill, Chobe National Park, Botswana

We departed our camp in Chobe for Kasane first thing in the morning to begin our long voyage home - after stops in Johannesburg, Dubai, and San Francisco, we stepped in the door of our house 42 hours later.  We realize we have only scratched the surface of all that Africa has to offer.  However, we truly appreciated the opportunity to experience this small but incredible piece of it.  Many thanks to Shane Hedges and his team from Capricorn Safaris who helped make the trip so memorable and enjoyable.  Thanks also to Thom Hogan and Tony Medici for their planning, knowledge, and instruction.

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) africa botswana boulders beach cape point cape town chobe moremi safari savuti south africa http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2017/8/southern-africa Sun, 13 Aug 2017 18:44:10 GMT
2017 Natural History Calendar http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/12/2017-calendar Each Fall I create a unique limited-edition calendar containing some of my favorite images captured during the past year. I try to include a mixture of landscapes, plants, and animals and also try to match the image with the season as best I can. The calendar is printed single-sided on 8.5×11″ cover stock and is spiral bound at the top. I only print a small number of these unique calendars.

The 2017 calendar includes images from Florida and many special places around California, including Death Valley, Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra, and of course, the wild places on and around Mount Diablo.

2017 Hein Natural History Photography Calendar

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) Calendar http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/12/2017-calendar Fri, 16 Dec 2016 04:06:33 GMT
Mount Diablo Buckwheat http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/9/mount-diablo-buckwheat Until a few years ago, the diminutive Mount Diablo Buckwheat wildflower (Eriogonum truncatum) was thought to be extinct.  It had last been seen in 1936 by botanist and co-founder of Save Mount Diablo, Dr. Mary Bowerman, but hadn't been observed for the subsequent 69 years.  Then in 2005 graduate student, Michael Park, discovered a small population of approximately 20 plants in Mount Diablo State Park.  For the next 11 years, efforts to find additional populations in similar habitat were unsuccessful.  In the spring of 2016 while performing a survey in the East Bay Regional Park District's Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, botanists Heath Bartosh and Brian Peterson noticed a steep hillside covered in pink.  It turned out to be a second population of the Mount Diablo Buckwheat.  The habitat was very different than the original site, and instead of 20 plants, they estimated 1.8 million plants present in this new location!  I had the good fortune to photograph some of the plants in this new population - click the image below to view a small gallery.

 

Mount Diablo Buckwheat (Eriogonum truncatum)Mount Diablo Buckwheat (Eriogonum truncatum)Mount Diablo Buckwheat (Eriogonum truncatum), Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, Antioch, California

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve East Bay Regional Park District Eriogonum truncatum Mount Diablo Buckwheat Mount Diablo State Park Save Mount Diablo wildflowers http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/9/mount-diablo-buckwheat Fri, 09 Sep 2016 02:16:51 GMT
Image of the Month - June 2016 http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/7/image-of-the-month-june-2016 Black-bellied Whistling Duck

Another trip to South Florida brought another visit to the Wakodahatchee Wetlands (see the January 2016  image of the month).  Not surprisingly, things had changed in the six months since our last visit.  Gone were the Palm Warblers that seemed to be in every shrub and tree.  Purple Gallinules were also scarce.  However, the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were literally hanging out on the rails of the boardwalk allowing for close views (and photos) of their subtly beautiful plumage.

June 2016June 2016Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Another trip to South Florida brought another visit to the Wakodahatchee Wetlands (see the
January 2016 image of the month). Not surprisingly, things had changed in the six months since our last visit. Gone were the Palm Warblers that seemed to be in every shrub and tree. Purple Gallinules were also scarce. However, the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were literally hanging out on the rails of the boardwalk allowing for close views (and photos) of their subtly beautiful plumage.

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) Florida Wakodahatchee Wetlands http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/7/image-of-the-month-june-2016 Sat, 16 Jul 2016 18:48:44 GMT
Image of the Month - May 2016 http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/6/image-of-the-month-may-2016 One of my favorite late spring hikes is the Mary Bowerman Trail near the summit of Mount Diablo.  The hike is not challenging by any means - less than a mile in length and and level.  However, the trail circles the summit and provides spectacular 360-degree views.  Even better are the wildflowers that continue to bloom as the lower slopes of the mountain are entering their dry summer dormancy.  While some of the flowers you find along the trail could have been observed in the lowlands earlier in the spring, others like this Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva), are only found at the highest elevations of the mountain - Eagle Peak, North Peak, and the chert slopes along the Mary Bowerman Trail at the summit.

Mary Bowerman was a botanist who performed the pioneering studies of the flora of Mount Diablo starting in the 1930s. This trail that now bears her name was originally named the "Fire Interpretive Trail".  It was constructed after fires in the late 1970s to educate visitors about fire ecology on the mountain.  Mary was instrumental in ensuring that impacts to the habitat along the trail, especially these talus slopes and rock outcrops, were minimized during construction. She was also a co-founder of the conservation organization, Save Mount Diablo, and remained actively involved with the organization until passing away in 2005 at the age of 97.  The trail was renamed in her honor in 2007.

May 2016May 2016Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva) blooming on the chert slopes along the Mary Bowerman Trail near the summit of Mount Diablo. Mary Bowerman was a botanist who performed pioneering studies of the flora of Mount Diablo starting in the 1930s. She was also a co-founder of the conservation organization, Save Mount Diablo in 1971.

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) Mary Bowerman Mount Diablo Mount Diablo State Park Save Mount Diablo wildflowers http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/6/image-of-the-month-may-2016 Sat, 04 Jun 2016 17:36:42 GMT
Image of the Month - April 2016 http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/5/image-of-the-month-april-2016 After 4 years of drought the winter of 2015-2016, fueled by "El Nino"storms, brought abundant rainfall to Mount Diablo.  The mountain responded with a spectacular Spring wildflower display.  I captured this image of a Goldenbush, Lupine, and Paintbrush extravaganza on the slopes of North Peak during Save Mount Diablo's BioBlitz event.

April 2016April 2016After 4 years of drought the winter of 2015-2016, fueled by "El Nino"storms, brought abundant rainfall to Mount Diablo. The mountain responded with a spectacular Spring wildflower display. I captured this image of a Goldenbush, Lupine, and Paintbrush extravaganza on the slopes of North Peak during Save Mount Diablo's BioBlitz event.

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) BioBlitz Mount Diablo Save Mount Diablo wildflowers http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/5/image-of-the-month-april-2016 Sat, 07 May 2016 01:22:01 GMT
Image of the Month - March 2016 http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/5/image-of-the-month-march-2016 2016 was the year of the "superbloom" in Death Valley - Fall and Winter rains enabling an outrageous display of wildflowers that attracted visitors from all over the world.  We had made plans for a Spring desert trip to Death Valley long before the superbloom made the news.  Fortunately, Death Valley is a BIG place and you can always find solitude if you know where to go.  I captured this image of Desert Paintbrush on the drive into Titus Canyon.  The yellow wash on the ridge in the background is from Golden Evening Primrose, which were blooming in abundance during our visit.

March 2016March 2016Desert Paintbrush (Castilleja augustifolia), Titus Canyon, Death Valley National Park.

2016 was the year of the "superbloom" in Death Valley - Fall and Winter rains enabling an outrageous display of wildflowers that attracted visitors from all over the world. We had made plans for a Spring desert trip to Death Valley long before the superbloom made the news. Fortunately, Death Valley is a BIG place and you can always find solitude if you know where to go. I captured this image of Desert Paintbrush on the drive into Titus Canyon. The yellow wash on the ridge in the background is from Golden Evening Primrose, which were blooming in abundance during our visit.

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) Death Valley Titus Canyon desert superbloom wildflowers http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/5/image-of-the-month-march-2016 Sat, 07 May 2016 01:09:55 GMT
Image of the Month - February 2016 http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/4/image-of-the-month-february-2016 When I see the first Sara Orange-tip butterfly of the year on Mount Diablo, I know that Spring is on the way.  Mitchell Canyon is a great place to find this species busily patrolling the trails and hillsides.  As is the case with many butterflies, they are difficult to photograph well, because they are always in motion. I photographed this Sara Orange-tip in White Canyon (a side canyon off Mitchell Canyon) on a Fiddleneck flower on February 27th.

Sara Orange-tipSara Orange-tipSara Orange-tip, Mitchell Canyon, Mount Diablo State Park

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) Butterfly Mitchell Canyon Mount Diablo http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/4/image-of-the-month-february-2016 Sun, 03 Apr 2016 17:35:00 GMT
Image of the Month - January 2016 http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/2/image-of-the-month-january-2016 Whenever we visit family in South Florida, we also try to plan several visits to a couple of amazing wetlands in Palm Beach County - the Wakodahatchee Wetlands, and the Green Cay Wetlands. Both of these places are part of municipal water treatment systems that use the wetlands as part of the treatment process. They have extensive boardwalks that are extremely popular with walkers, birders, and photographers. I think they are arguably the best places anywhere to photograph wetland bird species. The beautiful Purple Gallinule is one of the stars of any visit to these wetlands.  For more images these wetlands see my journal entry.

January 2016January 2016Whenever we visit family in South Florida, we also try to plan several visits to a couple of amazing wetlands in Palm Beach County - the Wakodahatchee Wetlands, and the Green Cay Wetlands. Both of these places are part of municipal water treatment systems that use the wetlands as part of the treatment process. They have extensive boardwalks that are extremely popular with walkers, birders, and photographers. I think they are arguably the best places anywhere to photograph wetland bird species. The beautiful Purple Gallinule is one of the stars of any visit to these wetlands.

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/2/image-of-the-month-january-2016 Sat, 06 Feb 2016 02:50:34 GMT
Image of the Month - December 2015 http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/1/image-of-the-month-december-2015 This is the first "Image of the Month" from December 2015.  A cold front had passed through on Christmas Eve, and there was the possibility of snow on the summit. I got up early and headed to Mount Diablo State Park, but the summit road was closed at the Junction Ranger Station. So, I laced up my hiking boots and headed up the Summit Trail for the 1500' climb to the summit. I captured this image just as the clouds lifted on the blustery northwest corner of the Mary Bowerman Trail where the landscape was covered in frost and ice.  For more images from this event see my journal entry.

December 2015December 2015A cold front had passed through on Christmas Eve, and there was the possibility of snow on the summit. I got up early and headed to Mount Diablo State Park, but the summit road was closed at the Junction Ranger Station. So, I laced up my hiking boots and headed up the Summit Trail for the 1500' climb to the summit. I captured this image just as the clouds lifted on the blustery northwest corner of the Mary Bowerman Trail where the landscape was covered in frost and ice.

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2016/1/image-of-the-month-december-2015 Fri, 08 Jan 2016 04:45:40 GMT
Challenge on Nature Photography http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2015/12/challenge-on-nature-photography I was nominated by our friend John Hopkins to participate in the "Challenge on Nature Photography" (‪#‎challengeonnaturephotography) on Facebook. I posted one of my nature photos every day for a week. Since these images are some of my favorites, I thought I would put them in a gallery on my web site to share with folks who don't have access to Facebook. I also added the commentary for each image to the caption.

Day 7 - Great Gray OwlDay 7 - Great Gray OwlGreat Gray Owl, Yosemite National Park
Day 7 of the ‪#‎challengeonnaturephotography‬. I'm dedicating my final photo of the challenge to the memory of Rich Stallcup. Rich spotted this Great Gray Owl early one morning perched on a snag at the edge of a meadow near Crane Flat in Yosemite National Park. We didn't know at the time that this would be one of the last trips we would take with Rich - he passed away a few months later. In addition to being a great friend, he was my mentor as a naturalist and was responsible for rekindling my passion for nature photography. He touched the lives of literally thousands of other people in similar ways. Today is Rich's birthday, so it seems fitting to post this photo of that Great Gray Owl...

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2015/12/challenge-on-nature-photography Sun, 20 Dec 2015 18:01:28 GMT
2016 Natural History Calendar http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2015/12/2016-natural-history-calendar Each Fall I create a unique limited-edition calendar containing some of my favorite images captured during the past year. I try to include a mixture of landscapes, plants, and animals and also try to match the image with the season as best I can. The calendar is printed single-sided on 8.5×11″ cover stock and is spiral bound at the top. I only print a small number of these unique calendars.

The 2016 calendar includes images from around Florida, Wisconsin, Oregon, and California  (including, of course, the wild places on and around Mount Diablo).

2016 Hein Natural History Photography Calendar

 

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) Calendar http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2015/12/2016-natural-history-calendar Mon, 14 Dec 2015 02:07:05 GMT
Eastern Sierra Fall Color http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2015/11/eastern-sierra-fall-color I added a small gallery of photos from our trip to the Eastern Sierra last month. We stayed in Lee Vining on the shores of Mono Lake, and poked around the side canyons up and down 395 looking for fall color. The best spots on this trip were South Lake out of Bishop, upper Lundy Canyon, and the area around Conway Summit/Virgina Lakes in the Mono Basin.

Eastern Sierra Fall ColorsEastern Sierra Fall ColorsEastern Sierra Fall Colors, South Lake, Inyo County, California

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2015/11/eastern-sierra-fall-color Sun, 15 Nov 2015 18:29:59 GMT
Photography Resources http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2015/9/photography-resources I have added a new "Photography Resources" page and menu option with links to resources that I have found to be useful in my photography.

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2015/9/photography-resources Mon, 07 Sep 2015 21:12:31 GMT
2015 Natural History Calendar http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2014/12/2015-natural-history-calendar Each Fall I create a unique limited-edition calendar containing some of my favorite images captured during the past year. I try to include a mixture of landscapes, plants, and animals and also try to match the image with the season as best I can. The calendar is printed single-sided on 8.5×11″ cover stock and is spiral bound at the top. I only print a small number of these unique calendars.

The 2015 calendar includes images from around the state of California (including, of course, the wild places on and around Mount Diablo).

2015 Hein Natural History Photography Calendar

 

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) Calendar http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2014/12/2015-natural-history-calendar Sun, 14 Dec 2014 03:17:24 GMT
2014 Natural History Calendar http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2013/12/2014-natural-history-calendar Each Fall I create a unique limited-edition calendar containing some of my favorite images captured during the past year. I try to include a mixture of landscapes, plants, and animals and also try to match the image with the season as best I can. The calendar is printed single-sided on 8.5×11″ cover stock and is spiral bound at the top. I only print a small number of these unique calendars.

The 2014 calendar includes images from Panama, Oregon, and multiple places in California (including, of course, the wild places on and around Mount Diablo)

2014 Hein Natural History Photography Calendar

 

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) Calendar http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2013/12/2014-natural-history-calendar Sun, 15 Dec 2013 17:55:43 GMT
Perspectives on Mount Diablo http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2013/4/perspectives-on-mount-diablo Perspectives on Mount Diablo
Exhibit at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley

April 27 - June 29, 2013

The iconic Mount Diablo is nothing if not complex. This exhibit features some of the mountain’s diverse qualities and intriguing history. It includes antique surveying equipment and stories about the Mountain’s Initial Point, features plants and trees unique to the Mountain, and traces the growth of the State Park from 1921 to today. Special displays are provided on the Diablo Beacon and the new outdoor treasure hunts called geocaching.

Underwritten by the Lesher Foundation, the exhibit is collaboration among the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, Mount Diablo Surveyors Historical Society, Mount Diablo Interpretive Association and Save Mount Diablo. Speakers from each of these groups will talk with visitors each Saturday from 10:30 to noon during the exhibit.

Directions:  http://www.museumsrv.org/srvm_directions.html

I will have the following images of Mount Diablo's plants and animals on display:


Mount Diablo's Trees and Wildflowers

Heritage Oak, Deer Flat

Checker Lily, Mitchell Canyon

Chaparral Broomrape flowers, White Canyon

Bitter Root, Mary Bowerman Trail

 


Animals of Save Mount Diablo's BioBlitz

The following four wildlife images were captured during one of Save Mount Diablo’s “BioBlitz” events.  A BioBlitz brings together expert naturalists from a variety of disciplines to count every species of plant and animal they can identify from a particular place over a 24-hour period.  Save Mount Diablo uses data from these events to provide important baseline information about the natural resources on and around Mount Diablo.

 

Coast Horned Lizard

Singing Grasshopper Sparrow, upper Curry Canyon

Night Snake, Curry Canyon

California Red-legged Frog, Curry Creek


 

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) Exhibit MDIA Mount Diablo Mount Diablo Interpretive Association Save Mount Diablo http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2013/4/perspectives-on-mount-diablo Sat, 13 Apr 2013 23:21:37 GMT
The Mary Bowerman Trail http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2012/5/mary-bowerman-trail I just returned from one of my favorite late spring hikes - the Mary Bowerman Trail that circles the summit of Mount Diablo.  It is an easy, relatively level, ~1 mile loop with fantastic views in all directions and the potential for unusual wildflower and wildlife encounters.  The trail was formerly called the "Fire Interpretive Trail", but has been renamed in honor of Dr. Mary Bowerman, one of the founders of Save Mount Diablo.  Among other things, Mary was involved in the design of the trail - in particular lobbying successfully to have the overlook deck built as an alternative to the much more damaging plan to blast the trail through the rock outcrops.

This is one of the best places I know to see relatively uncommon Bay Area reptiles like Sagebrush Lizard, Western Whiptail, and even the threatened Alameda Whipsnake (please treat these rare animals with respect).  It is also a great place for botanizing, particularly in the late spring when wildflowers have disappeared from the lower slopes of the mountain.  One of my favorite spectacles each spring is the display of Bitter Root covering the chert slopes on the northeast corner of the trail.

Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)

Sagebrush Lizard

Sticky Chinese Houses (Collinsia tinctoria)

Sticky Chinese Houses

Bitter Root (Lewisia rediviva)

Bitter Root

 

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) Dr. Mary Bowerman Mount Diablo State Park Save Mount Diablo http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2012/5/mary-bowerman-trail Tue, 29 May 2012 02:02:54 GMT
Up and Down Chile From Tierra del Fuego to the Atacama Desert http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2012/5/up-and-down-chile-from-tierra-del-fuego-to-the-atacama-desert A Presentation to the Mount Diablo Audubon Society

Thursday, June 7th, 2012
Camellia Room of The Gardens at Heather Farm, 1540 Marchbanks Drive, Walnut Creek, California
6:00 pm Doors open
6:30 pm Potluck Dinner is served
8:00 pm Announcements
8:15 pm Speakers

Magellanic Penguins, Patagonia, Chile Magellanic Woodpeckers, Puyehue National Park, Chile Vicunas, Lauca National Park, Chile

Up and Down Chile From Tierra del Fuego to the Atacama Desert

Chile is an amazingly large, diverse, and beautiful country.  The windswept coast of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego is a gateway to Antarctica, while the Atacama Desert is the driest desert on the planet.  Spectacular volcanoes rise toward the sky from a 15,000’ plain - the Altiplano - while also erupting near the beautiful lakes and temperate rain forests of the Lake District.  Of course you can’t discuss Chile without mentioning the “Dragon’s Back” - the high Andes.

While the landscapes of Chile are stunning, its wildlife may be more so.  Birds range from the iconic Andean Condor soaring above the peaks of the Andes to the diminutive Chilean Woodstar hummingbird perched in a desert oasis near the border with Peru.  Large, flightless Rhea trot past Magellanic Penguins in Patagonia, while endemic and frustratingly “skulky” Tapaculos call – almost always just out of sight - from the dense vegetation of a Southern Beech Forest.  The riches of the Humboldt Current attract seabirds; many, many seabirds  - albatrosses, petrels, diving petrels, storm-petrels, giant petrels, shearwaters – oh my!

Of course there is other wildlife to entrance you during your travels.   Guanacos – the wild form of domesticated Llamas and Alpacas – are familiar residents of the lowlands and foothills, but give way to their beautiful and diminutive cousin, the Vicuña, in the high altitude of the Altiplano.  Also inhabiting the Altiplano are the weird and wonderful, rabbit-like Vizcachas.  Back at sea level, Commerson’s Dolphins cruise the Strait of Magellan and Sperm Whales dive into the Humboldt Current in search of squid (who in turn are hunting other prey).

MDAS members Scott and Claudia Hein will present photos of these amazing landscapes and wildlife captured during their November 2011 trip to Chile with Wings Birding Tours.

 

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) Altiplano Andes Atacama Desert Chile Mount Diablo Audubon Society Patagonia Tierra del Fuego birds penguins http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2012/5/up-and-down-chile-from-tierra-del-fuego-to-the-atacama-desert Wed, 23 May 2012 01:23:55 GMT
2012 Natural History Calendar http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2012/5/2012-natural-history-calendar 2012 Hein Natural History Photography Calendar Each Fall I create a unique limited-edition calendar containing some of my favorite images captured during the past year. I try to include a mixture of landscapes, plants, and animals and also try to match the image with the season as best I can. The calendar is printed single-sided on 8.5×11″ cover stock and is spiral bound at the top. I only print a small number of these unique calendars.

2012 Hein Natural History Photography Calendar

I also create a separate “Images of Diablo” calendar for Save Mount Diablo that is a gift to supporters who make an end of year donation of $250 or more.

 

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scott@heinphoto.com (Hein Natural History Photography) Calendar http://photos.heinphoto.com/blog/2012/5/2012-natural-history-calendar Thu, 22 Dec 2011 02:45:00 GMT