Although it's outside of my usual nature/wildlife style, I still wanted to share this photo I took while passing through San Francisco recently. While I personally find nature to be more aesthetically pleasing, this city does a pretty dang good job in it's own right.
"San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth."
Sometime within this past year I hung a hummingbird feeder beside my small rose garden. It's been wonderful having the yard filled with these beautiful little birds. I'm learning their tendencies and sounds, and even their preferred branches to perch on. This one, in particular, caught my eye due to it's green coloring. Most of the others I've seen have more red or orange colors. I like to think that this little hummingbird is proudly claiming the branch while being completely unafraid to be, and look, different from the rest.
"Be different so that people can see you clearly amongst the crowds."
-Mehmet Murat ildan
I won't lie to you, this morning when I woke up I had yet to figure out which photo to share this week. I had a few that I've been saving from before, but I wasn't very excited about any of them. One of the things I love most about this Photo of the Week newsletter is that it forces me to go and find pretty things. So, needing a photo to share, I grabbed my camera and sat on my back patio, admiring the rose bushes and waiting patiently for something to catch my eye. Within five minutes this buzzing darts past my head. Turns out it was this pair of flies, chasing one another around the garden, and conveniently landing on the same leaf. I knew instantly that I had my shot. It was so pleasant out there that I decided to stay a little longer, and sure enough, I also captured a great hummingbird photo that I'll share soon. I've often found that putting myself in nature solves whatever problem I'm presented with. Today was no different.
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."
Do you remember the Tule Elk I photographed a while back? Well I'm pretty sure this is part of that same herd. The first time I photographed them, their antlers were short, fat and fuzzy. Now, after being blessed with a second sighting, it's easy to see that their antler fuzz is gone and they're left with these beautiful, full, and sharp antlers. Initially I assumed that their racks would continue to grow as the elk aged, but after doing a little research, it appears that male elk actually shed and regrow their antlers each year. Something I did not know until now.
"In early spring, as the days start to get longer and male elk have low levels of testosterone, they drop their antlers and almost immediately begin to grow a new set. Over the next few months, increasing day length and testosterone levels cause many changes in male elk—thickening of the neck, aggressive tendencies, an increase in sperm production, and the hardening of the new antlers."
-Bay Nature Magazine