When we were at Monterey a couple weeks ago, we saw this very cute baby sea otter and its mama in the water very close to the dock at around sunset. The baby made such a cute little squeaking sound. I was able to get some great closeup shots of it until my camera battery finally died (I had left the backup back in the car), but no matter I was very happy. There was also a sea lion cruising around them at this moment trying to cash in on some free crab, but the mama and baby are watching it closely.
Just a Western Scrub Jay, but was able to get super close to it to take a shot. This is from our Joshua Tree trip in the spring.
It is still far too hot to hike here. We have now had 10 straight 100+ degree days, and still counting. Maybe this weekend I can hike again?
I realized that I had not shared very many of my wildlife photos with you from earlier this year, when we went down to Disneyland, Joshua Tree NP, and the Salton Sea. This little burrowing owl we found at the visitor center at the Sony Bono Salton Sea Wildlife Refuge. The lady at the visitor center showed us where it was. Would she have been so willing to do this if we did not have two cute kids with us? I think not. She told us not to cross the ditch to get too close to the owl (which obviously makes sense), so I sat back on the side of the road with my big lens and fired away. The owl was content to sit there and watch all the commotion passing by from his little man-made house.
Instead of spending a second whole day at Joshua Tree NP, we took a drive down to Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, about a hundred miles from where we were staying. It seemed that another whole day at Joshua Tree would have been too much, and I went back and forth about it in my head. I think we probably should have spent another day there, I could have gotten up for another nice sunrise shot or two at Joshua Tree, and I regret only having the one really nice sunset shot from there. But it is not that Salton Sea is not an interesting place, it really is. We saw tons of birds there, and some of them from really closeup, right beside the road, such as these cattle egrets. So I got quite a few good bird shots, and I will likely share some more.
On the way back to Twentynine Palms, we went back through Joshua Tree park, with plans of shooting sunset there. But the clouds rolled in at the last moment, and I got nuthin. We did have a very interesting drive, however, as we took some back roads to get back to JT, including a stop at a border patrol station hundreds of miles north of the border. They asked us all our citizenship and had a dog sniffing our car. What is up with that?
I grew up in Rossland, British Columbia. I never once saw a moose there. I never once even heard of moose being around here (though my memory is rapidly fading in my old age).
So here we are, my brother in law and I, driving out to Nancy Greene Lake one day to do some mtn biking. As we passed the lake I saw a big animal off in a marshy area which sure as heck looked like a moose. Impossible, I thought. He was driving pretty fast, however, and I did not get a good look. Yet I could not think of what else it possibly could have been. Both Lynal and my mom confirmed that there is moose in the area. What? Is this a recent development? Could this really be possible?
The next morning I pulled my wife out of bed and dragged her up to the same area. Sure enough the moose was there. Three big boys in fact were there. We walked as quietly as we could down to the marshy area (which was not too quiet on the loose gravel road) and managed to get very close to them, within a hundred feet or so. They were watching us very closely but they did not move off and we stayed there a long time watching them with me shooting tons of pics. It was a fantastic experience, one of the best moose experiences I’ve had (second only to the ones we paddled past very closely to on the Bowron Lakes). After quite awhile, we decided to finally leave them alone and went back to the car, pleased as punch.
So why are there moose in Rossland now? My unconfirmed theory is that moose (and grizzly bears as well) have moved back into this area now after a long absence. It makes sense. With moose there will be grizzly bears also. There are grizzly and moose now back in northern Oregon as well. I love it. Now if only these animals would move back into northern California I would be ecstatic. Maybe some day.