May 21, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Leah and Adam are about the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. They have kindness in their souls. And they’re good listeners too, making for a really fun engagement session at Stow Lake, in Golden Gate Park – San Francisco. The cherry trees were going off, and it was green as green gets for our golden California. It was lots of fun, and no, no one went swimming in the lake today!
May 2, 2013 § 3 Comments
While waking transects and looking for rare plants in the dusty Mojave Desert of 2013, I had much time to consider vastness, appropriateness and tenacity. Notably, it was hot, dry, and teetering on spiritual (which isn’t always a good thing when rattlesnakes abound).
The desert is nothing if it is not tenacious. It is an acerbic beast even in it’s kindest moments. Blowing sand, regular temperatures in the hundreds from April through October (in the sun that is). Humbling, and even bending or distorting the idea of life just a bit, since the desert’s signature is withering brown plant skeletons, dry playas and spines. Dessication, opportunity and impermanence are its soul. It is a tribute to both eternal things and the ephemeral. Within that sea, there are pauses of vibrance and life.
April 15, 2013 § 1 Comment
I hope everyone reading this takes a moment to enjoy some plants native to their home, because it’s California Native Plant Week! Yes, be aware of lots of geeks (like myself) walking around your favorite park and staring at a single plant (usually its very small) with a small hand lens and a thick dictionary-like book nearby.
These are the plants that define place to me. The tall trees, or short grasses, or mucky wallows or vast seas of chaparral. All these places are unique because of the evolutionary and ecological processes that have culminated in the vegetation you see. I’m in love with our hills, or rivers, mountains and drylands all. These landscapes are ALL filled with amazing stories of survival, adaptation, and luck…
Also, I’m working on a native grass photography workshop – yes – this will be very directed towards grassy plant nerds with cameras. More to come…
April 5, 2013 § Leave a Comment
My biological field experience is what eventually led me to pick up a camera and use it as a tool for conservation and awareness. I was first attracted to the idea of creating National Geographic style images. You know, eye candy (for plant nerds). Grand, sweeping landscapes that sing of feelings of vastness and purity. Those classic photos oftentimes are thought to create a feeling of wilderness – a landscape untouched by humankind.
As I work more and more as a restoration ecologist, I have come to realize that the hand of humankind is critical in maintaining so many species and landscapes we might perfunctorily believe are “liberated” or protected from humans. It is our hands that help protect these places. And I’m not talking about raising fences and locking gates, I’m talking managing invasive plants, rewarding sensitive ranching practices, and leading hikes to get more people hooked on nature. « Read the rest of this entry »
April 2, 2013 § 4 Comments
April Fools Day is over and traveling thru (a small part) of Tejon Ranch was a great way to spend it. The Tejon area was flush with extensive swaths of fiddleneck (Amsinckia eastwoodiae) coloring the hills orange. Truly, this may be the best display of fiddleneck I’ve ever seen.
March 22, 2013 § 1 Comment
Sometimes you’re just at the right place at the right time. And sometimes that’s enough, but if you don’t have the right people, the place and time are almost meaningless… well at least for photography. And actually, as I think about that a bit more, it’s a truism that rings throughout everything we do. Pleasurable, fulfilling life experiences become so much richer when place, time, and personality come together.
So here we are at Golden Gate park enjoying a remarkable spring day when we come across a gang of people.
March 1, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Restoration is a favorite activity of mine. There’s an intrinsic healing that happens within oneself when your hands get dirty, plants comes to life, caterpillars become butterflies, and you generally work as a hand that protects and celebrates nature. It’s kind of like gardening, but way cooler!
In this month, my field work has ramped up and there are lots of amazing flowers and creatures that have come to enjoy their rebirth in spring. This desktop calendar celebrates an almost 30 year effort to understand and save one species in particular, the Bay Checkerspot Butterfly.
Here’s my desktop calendar March – free for all who want to use it as such. I wanted to celebrate the work of Dr. Stuart Weiss (see this wacky character, mentor, revolutionary above) and his associates (okay, fine, I’m one of them) in restoring habitat before a species becomes extinct. More info about the Creekside Center for Earth Observation here. Click on the photo, then right click and save the image, or see the link below.