September 16, 2014

a visit to Monterey Bay Aquarium


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photo by Donald Kinney

Big-fin reef squid; sometimes called oval squid. Characterized by a large oval fin that extends throughout the margins of its mantle, giving them a superficial similarity to cuttlefish. It is difficult to see in this photo, but what looks like their snouts can open and are actually tentacles lined with rows of suction cups used to capture their prey.

Basically they are hollow, yet very muscular tubes. For propulsion they take water in one end and simply squeeze it out the other [insert giggle here].

Small to medium-sized squids average 1-1/2" to 13" in length. They exhibit elaborate mating displays and usually spawn in May. They have the capability to change body coloration in order to blend in with their surroundings. Big-fin reef squids have the fastest recorded growth rates of any marine invertebrate, reaching 1.3 lbs in only four months. They are a short-lived species, with a maximum recorded lifespan of only 315 days.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Young "jellies" knows as black sea nettles. Graceful but dangerous. They can grow to 3 feet wide, with stinging tentacles that can extend 25 feet.

The bell color is a distinctive opaque dark purple to nearly black as they mature. The margin of their bells have a lighter brown reticulated pattern. Four gonads are attached to finger-like projections that extend through subumbrellar openings. Marginal sense organs are spaced around the bell margin after every set of 3 tentacles, for a total of 8. Normally elusive, but large swarms are occasionally seen in surface waters off the coast of Baja California and southern California. [source: Wikipedia]



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photo by Donald Kinney

Moon jellies. Aurelia aurita. Sometimes called common jellies or saucer jellyfish. When mature they can have a diameter of 10 to 16 inches. Translucent, and can be recognized by its four horseshoe-shaped gonads, easily seen through the top of the bell. It feeds by collecting medusae, plankton, and mollusks with its tentacles, and bringing them into its body for digestion. It is capable of only limited motion, mostly drifting with the current. Technically, jellies are not fish--they are invertebrates.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Sardines. This small fish, sometimes called pilchards is what Cannery Row is famous for, but during the mid-1950's the fishing industry in Monterey Bay collapsed. The reason is still debated, but it is generally thought the collapse resulted from a combination of factors, including unfavorable oceanic conditions, over-fishing, and competition from other species. I have my own theory--after WW2 the U.S. Army dumped vast quantities of ammunition and unused explosives into Monterey Bay.

My father came to the Monterey Peninsula in 1946, a year before my birth, and worked as a bookkeeper for a succession of canneries as they all folded, one by one. Many defunct canneries burned to the ground over the years.



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photo courtesy Monterey Bay Aquarium

Cannery Row packing house workers. Notice that the ladies aren't smiling in this old photo. I've heard ladies who worked there tell their stories. It was a grim place to work. Salty men managed the machinery and can cookers.

I can still vividly remember my dad taking me into one of the huge canneries. He did his accounting work (lots of red ink) in a tiny office that overlooked the entire packing house. Occasionally we would lower a round crab net on a rope from the back of one of the canneries and return home with dinner.

Most canneries packed sardines but others packed mackerel or anchovies. When the sardines "vanished" the final cannery where the Monterey Bay Aquarium is now located processed and canned squid--mostly for export to Japan. Other plants rendered the waste from the cannery operations, turning it into fish oil and a stinky powdery fertilizer. Yes, I can still remember the smell--I thought it smelled wonderful, but then I was sort of a weird kid.

Very little is left of the old Cannery Row as I remember it. Aside from the fabulous Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row is now a major tourist trap although it does boast some nice hotels and restaurants. This is "Stienbeck Country", and I'll tell and show you more about that famous writer and his colorful cohort Edward F. "Doc" Ricketts tomorrow.


Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 3 will be available October 1
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 1

September 15, 2014

early morning down at the Gee-Gee Bridge


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photo by Donald Kinney

I wonder if it would be terribly disrespectful to the memory of my parents if I said that I probably grew up in the most unimaginative and unadventurous family on this planet.

But I did, and that is all past history, but I often marvel at how many times, as a kid, us four Kinneys made the arduous 130 mile journey from Pacific Grove to Kentfield here in Marin County w-i-t-h-o-u-t having much fun. The mission was to "see" Grandma, and for dad that meant a dedicated effort to make it from point A to point B, and no fooling around on the way. Certainly there would be no time to stop and admire or walk on the Gee-Gee Bridge. Certainly no time to take a little excursion to the top of the pointed Mount Tamalpais, which was teasingly close to Grandma's house.

This image (above) was made December 6, and when first posted on my Facebook page I explained that, yes, the moon w-a-s in the sky and setting quickly, but just not in this specific location.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Image made on July 25 of this year. Again, oh so very early in the morning.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 26, 2012

September 14, 2014

the sun, she is a rising


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photo by Donald Kinney

As loyal as a dog. As faithful as Mother Teresa. A golden glow of the rising sun--more than sufficient to warm my deep, dark heart.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Followed by a blazing sun. Blindingly bright and unforgiving. Illuminating. Hot and searing, with more degrees than a Fulbright scholar.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 24, 2012

September 13, 2014

sunrise at Nicasio -- reality without reproach


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photo by Donald Kinney

It was Tuesday morning and getting late, and because of a plain vanilla sky--without clouds--I wasn't quite sure if I was going to snag any photos or not… Imagine my delight when I arrived at Nicasio Reservoir and discovered that the lake was busy at work generating its own set of foggy clouds.

And yes, that bird is real--not later Photoshopped into the scene… Just a bit of happy happenstance I suppose, as I would have been perfectly satisfied with the other snaps I was making of the scene without the bird.

Not that I have always been beyond reproach--in 1963 I remember feeling terribly uneasy about one of my my Monterey County Fair entries. I had added in a string of low flying birds into a rather pleasing splash image. No Photoshop--just scissors, rubber cement, and a copy image; yet the judges fell for my deception and the print, although it won no award, got hung. I have never quite gotten over my deception and can only tell you about this now because I believe the Statute-of-Limitations has run out on the crime.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 23, 2012

September 12, 2014

tracks, possibly from outer space


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photo by Donald Kinney

A few days ago I ambled out to the dunes at Abbott's Lagoon in Point Reyes. Sand dunes are the coveted "Holy Grail" for many landscape photographers.



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photo by Donald Kinney

It could be the print left by an Egret or Heron, but it also could be something more unexplained. Bird-prints make a good disguise. We will never know...



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photo by Donald Kinney

Endless ramblings? Apparently. Perhaps to throw us off track. Be watchful.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 22, 2012

September 11, 2014

Point Reyes Tule Elk


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photo by Donald Kinney

Thanks again to the N.P.S. for the great historical information that I pasted in from their website on yesterday's post. Now, lets talk about the character of these skiddish and odd creatures. And, how difficult they are sometimes to photograph, or sometimes to even find.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Don't get too close... They don't want to be petted!

The Tule Elk preserve (operated by the U.S. Governmet) is located at the extreme northern part of Point Reyes. Nearby is the trailhead to Tomales Point which is 5 miles north. A spectacular beach; McClures is down the hill, and Pierce Point Dairy has been here since the 1860's.

The land feature in the background in the photo above is Point Reyes Point, with 325 steps descending to a lighthouse built in 1870.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Tule Elk are skiddish and shy, but they can also be aggressive, especially during mating season. These odd creatures of nature are smaller than "regular" Elk but signs warn that they are strong and protective. With long legs they vaguely look like a cross between a Llama and a Horse.



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photo by Donald Kinney

"I'm ready for my closeup now, Mr. DeMille"...

In reality, a telephoto lens is needed to get anywhere near these critters.
All these photos have been cropped a bit.



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photo by Donald Kinney

And where dairy cows from Pierce Point Dairy used to roam, this Tule Elk stands proud. I'll be showing photos of the historic dairy soon. Stay tuned.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 29, 2012

September 10, 2014

if it is flat, it was probably once part of the Bay


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photo by Donald Kinney

San Francisco isn't all that old that we can't sometimes figure out where nature stopped, and modern "progress" took over.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Columbus Avenue is a bit askew to the other streets it intersects, but I like to follow its gentle slope to the shore, where the imposing Transamerica Pyramid now sits.

During excavation for the Pyramid's massive foundation, wooden ships were unearthed from the muck of the original shoreline of San Francisco Bay.



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photo by Donald Kinney

This is the old Transamerica Building built in 1909. It is now a church of Scientology. The new pyramid shaped Transamerica Building across the intersection to the south was built in 1972.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, November 10, 2012

September 09, 2014

a grand and thick fog at Nicasio


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photo by Donald Kinney

Fog was grand and thick Thursday in the Nicasio area of west Marin County.



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photo by Donald Kinney

A perfect place for photo-snappers and web-savvy spiders.



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photo by Donald Kinney

The cool expanse of a low cloud. From there to there and there was more.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, October 20, 2012

September 08, 2014

Elliot Preserve, Cascade Canyon, Fairfax


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photo by Donald Kinney

Although close by I visit far too infrequently, but I've been enjoying Cascade Canyon since the late 1960's when I first moved here. These were the days before the area was opened to the public--the property owner did everything within his power, but usually failed in keeping "trespassers" out.



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photo by Donald Kinney

As you probably know by now, I like to explore the reflectivity of water.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Stopping often to chat with some of the local residents--like this Newt.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 21, 2012

September 07, 2014

oh Sun, where art thou?


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photo by Donald Kinney

California can use all the precipitation it can muster, and yes, it is raining again. Friday morning was curious--with a promising splash of red across the sky. Two minutes later heavy clouds moved over, completely quashing the rising flame.



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photo by Donald Kinney

So, this morning I went searching for stragglers on my hard-drive...



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photo by Donald Kinney

This photo and the preceding image were snapped about one month ago.
I guess I've been keeping them for a rainy day.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 17, 2012

September 06, 2014

Mt. Tamalpais -- early morning adventure


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photo by Donald Kinney

Working my way backwards, this was my final shot on Tuesday. That structure at top right is the Sutro Tower, chock full of communications antennas. The blanket of fog is covering San Francisco and the Golden Gate. The slivers of land are the high points in the Golden Gate National Recreational Area.



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photo by Donald Kinney

No shortage of Coyotes on Mt. Tamalpais, but thankfully they still have a healthy fear of man.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Moon goes down, sun comes up. Some mornings are a real science lesson.



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photo by Donald Kinney

And this view, up and outside of Fairfax, is where I started my adventure. Sleepy residents of Marin County were just beginning to stir. Crazy-ass photographer was just beginning to snap…

originally appeared on AphotoAday, November 1, 2012

September 05, 2014

another foggy morning at Nicasio


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photo by Donald Kinney

Hey, how's that for pretty...



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photo by Donald Kinney

Same scene, just back a bit...



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photo by Donald Kinney

A bit later, when no longer shooting directly into the sun. The scene cooled.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 11, 2012

September 04, 2014

3 "occasional" streams of Marin County


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photo by Donald Kinney

Located between Woodacre and Forest Knolls in West Marin is the Gary Giacomini Open Space Preserve. There are secret groves of Redwoods but except for mountain-bikers, this county park doesn't get a lot of visitors. After heavy rain, the creek--normally just a trickle, puts on an impressive show.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Allow me to present the "occasional stream" of nearby Roy's Redwoods.
Moist mushrooms, most likely being left untouched by man and animal,
for good reason...



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photo by Donald Kinney

Miwok Meadows at China Camp has a pleasant "occasional stream" also.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 7, 2012

September 03, 2014

the leaves leave


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photo by Donald Kinney

I guess California is no competition for the incredible displays of Fall color in New England and some other parts of the world, but out here in the West we definitely give it our best shot.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Little solar panels... Capable of manufacturing their own food for branches, trunk, and roots. Taking in "evil" carbon dioxide and converting it into life-giving oxygen. These are amazing processes, really...



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photo by Donald Kinney

Deciduous leaves detach, fall, and return nutrients to the soil. Some even go for a swim. Others look quite ghostly. Isn't it an amazing world we live in?

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 1, 2012
 
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