November 27, 2010

field and stream

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photo by Donald Kinney

"Eucalyptus" -- oh how I love my spell-checker...

California farmers planted a whole lot of Eucalyptus trees to serve as wind-breaks, but since the wood splits easily it isn't used for lumber.   It is, however, a fast-growing source of firewood, its oil can be used for cleaning, and functions as a natural insecticide.   Treating swamps with Eucalyptus oil will reduce outbreaks of malaria.   I know a lady who uses a collar made of Eucaliptus buds to help keep fleas off her dog.

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photo by Donald Kinney

Vegetation like this will get your shoes wet!

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photo by Donald Kinney

Some fancy nature and a bit of photographic "bokeh" (the out of focus specular bits) going on here.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Each year on November 15 the water district is mandated by the Feds to release enough stored water to bring the level of the Lagunitas Creek up to where it's depth is more hospitable to the spawning Coho Salmon and Steelhead Trout.   The spawning season won't actually get underway until we get some heavy rain in January.

Numbers of Coho Salmon have dropped dramatically over several decades but efforts are being made to preserve the species.

A close encounter with three otters
Well, if I had a photo I would be able to show you, but the three Sea Otters I encountered in the Lagunitas Creek made a hasty retreat before I could snap the shutter.

I was looking through my viewfinder trying to frame up some reflective creek ripples when I sensed movement nearby.   I took my eye off my viewfinder and spotted three very surprised Sea Otters with their heads poked up out of the water not more than ten feet away.   Of course my jaw dropped and at first I thought it was the "Creature from the Deep Lagoon", but by the time I collected my senses the only shot left was swirling water from their hasty retreat.

Anyway, I thought it was kind of a neat moment -- the otters were obviously out exploring the newly increased depths of the Lagunitas Creek -- they were probably having a great time until they ran into me...

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photowannabe said...

Wet tootsies and otters...a perfect hike in the woods.
Its just plain wet and blah here today. I am definitely not inspired.
Perhaps its just my turkey induced coma that has me feeling this way!

Anonymous said...

Hi Don ..... LOVE that shot of the wet, dried, backlit grasses. Golden brown, sparkling droplets of water, soothing pattern .... nice.

Your story about the otters made me laugh (with pleasure). What a pleasant surprise to see them. They are so playful and friendly. Hopefully you'll see lots more of them.

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