Now that the weather's cooler, we've started taking our drives again, yay! It truly is the one thing we’ve come to love doing here. While central California may not get fall colors quite as abundantly as other areas, we do get some color and it’s beautiful! As well, there are lots of other little surprises we find on our drives. I thought I’d share a collection of recent images, and take you along on a drive with us. Fasten your seatbelts!
"The Heart of Autumn", taken on a recent trip to Sequoia National Park. Just a little color to get us started...
"Tattered", a California Sister Butterfly, also taken at Sequoia National Park. The bottom wings are tattered and torn, but this little butterfly kept on going:-)
"Walk this Way", Okay, I’m a big chicken when it comes to spiders, but I do find tarantulas fascinating. We also like to get them out of the middle of the road when it’s safe for us to do so. Actually, I make my mom do that part, lol! 40 years old, and I still want my mommy when it comes to spiders;-) Hey, I actually did kneel down in the road, and let this guy get pretty close so I could get this shot – very cool creature!
"From a Distance", American Goldfinch, taken up in the foothills. I was actually walking on the road after photographing the tarantula, because I'd been seeing a lot of birds in the oak trees. I saw this little gem, and got as close as I could. This is it, right before he left, and is as good as my 55-250mm IS lens could do – not too bad considering I was still a ways away.
"Ready, Set, Go!", This bluebird was the bird I was really trying to get closer when I spotted the Goldfinch in the last photo. I did a little better with this beauty, but you can see he was seconds away from leaving. There have been so many bluebirds up in the hills – just gorgeous!
"Waiter, there’s a fly…", Actually, I only wanted the leaves, but the fly landed, and made it more interesting, I think. This was also taken at Sequoia National Park.
"Nutty", Woodpeckers are one of the wiliest birds! Every time I think I’m going to catch one, he or she flies off the very second I’m ready to photograph. So, I was completely shocked that this one stayed, and I was able to snap some shots literally right out the car window. Granted, the bird was on the wrong side of the road for me, in the shade facing the sun, but I’m not going to complain. I’m just happy to have gotten this! In case you couldn’t guess, this is an Acorn Woodpecker;-)
This handsome roadrunner out in a fenced field was another bird on the wrong side of the road and light, and too far away. However, I couldn’t resist taking photos - they’re really fascinating birds! I almost had one in this next shot, except…
This roadrunner was also inside of the fence, and I was maneuvering to get him (as he was maneuvering to get away, lol!). As you can see, though, there was grass in front, and it wound up going across his body and blurring it. Also, his tail got chopped off. But, hey, at least I got a little catchlight in his eye, and closer than the last photo:-)
Some more beautiful leaves from our trip to Sequoia. I haven’t been able to come up with a title I like for this one – any suggestions?
A Red-shouldered Hawk, taken yesterday (11/24/09)!!! We were running errands, saw some pretty trees, went back to get my camera, and after shooting leaf photos, found this beauty! I was able to walk up pretty close, and get several shots – closest I’ve gotten to a hawk in the wild:-)
"California Gold", in closing, here are some fruit tree leaves from yesterday, too. Agriculture really is gold to this part of California, but one can only wonder what the ultimate price will be. That’s a post for another day;-)
In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little journey through fall. This is one of my favorite times of the year, and I’m blessed to have my camera to record it. All photos taken with a Canon Digital Rebel XT, and the 55-250mm IS lens.
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to all Americans!