Great Horned Owl chicks and parent.

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Great Horned Owls. Female parent and two babies/juveniles. I’ve never seen any photos of Great Horned Owls this close before. They may actually be one of a kind’s. They were checking me out today.

Surrounded by Coyotes

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Imagine this; your photographing birds high in the tree’s, suddenly you hear sirens, then suddenly howls, and yelps, and you look around and suddenly realize your also surrounded by Coyotes. They were running circles around me tonight. Never felt scared even though they tried to scare me. So if you click the link you can hear the sounds.

Now using trees as tripods when out in the field.

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Ultrapod 2I’ve been through so many tripods I finally got smart, so now I’m using the trees as tripods. Bought something called an UltraPod 2, so I am able to get ingenuitive when it comes to having tripods in the woods/forest. If you hit the hotlink it will take you to a site that sells the UltraPod 2.

Notes from the field: Great Horned Owls

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A Great Horned Owl from Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA.

A Great Horned Owl from Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA.

Female Great Horned Owl.
Every evening between 4:30pm and 5:30pm the male and female Great Horned Owls will rendezvous in a tree near the nest. Before they rendezvous they communicate. The male does not seem to be allowed near the nest when their are babies in it. And right now their are two baby Great Horned Owls in Golden Gate Park. The good news, is, that the Owl nest is not near an area that can be accessible to those who fear the trees and the forest. Or not accessible to tourists and looky-lou’s, so maybe they will get to be truly wild. Their nest is also in the top part of the tree canopy. Not in the lower part of the tree canopy. However they are fair game for the Ravens.

Fires and Protests

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Fire Displaces Mission District Residents

A four alarm fire at 22nd and Mission streets in San Francisco displaces over 50 residents, and claims one life. 20 businesses were also affected by this fire. The Red Cross and San Francisco Human Services are helping the displaced tenants. On Wednesday January 28th approximately 7pm a fire was reported at the building on the North West corner of 22nd and Mission streets in San Francisco. The fire went from a one alarm to a four alarm in less than a half hour. When firefighters arrived on scene they noticed people stuck on a fire escape on the Mission Street side and the 22nd street side. I have attached a photo of the fire escape on the Mission street side that is obstructed by a business below.
Those people were rescued by the fire department. When firefighters arrived they had discovered a person in respiratory failure on the 3rd floor. Firefighters took the person out of the building, but they could not be revived. Five people were injured, including a firefighter, with “mild to moderate injuries.”
Firefighters took an offensive position until the fire was out of control, they were then ordered out. After high pressure water streams were set-up firefighters drenched the building. The defensive battle took all night long, but most of the equipment had left the scene.
At a 9am press conference Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said the fire was not completely out. She did not have any estimates on how much water was used to put the fire out, but at 9am this morning there was 4 feet of water in the basement. During the press conference Chief Hayes-White said there were reports from the rescued tenants they did not hear any audible fire alarms, and there were no warnings. Tenants also said several fire escapes were obstructed, and they felt trapped.

There have been several other fires in the Mission neighborhood that have displaced residents, and businesses. The new multi-million dollar condo building called Vida is next door to the building, but it does not appear to have suffered any major damage. It is common knowledge that many residents in San Francisco are being displaced by landlords at alarming levels, while the so-called rich techies move in and pay higher rents.

The air was not monitored for pollutants, but I found it hard to deal with the acrid smoke.

Photos of the devastation can be found here>>>>>>Spot News Events

Abortion Wars on the Streets of SF

Pro-choicer’s confront and protest the presence of the pro-lifers on the streets of San Francisco.
The war over abortion once again hits the streets of San Francisco. Ever since 2005 the religious community has been holding an annual gathering called the Walk for Life. Their message has been the same for the last 10 years. Pro-lifers believe ““Women Deserve Better than Abortion”. Additionally they also believed holding those events in liberal San Francisco packed a bigger punch because people in San Francisco are more apt to “open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.” Meaning San Franciscans believe that NO laws nor religion should govern decisions about their bodies and their health and their welfare. But the pro-lifers come in buses from all over California, and other parts of the West to push their message, which is “Abortions should be banned by law.

Women seek abortions for their own reasons, and some are so desperate or unhealthy they will do what they will have to, to abort. Before abortion was legal some of the processes they used “back-alley”, “backstreet”, or “back-yard” abortion were dangerous and sometimes deadly for both fetus and mother. Unsafe abortions are believed to have caused “approximately 69,000 deaths and millions of injuries annually.” Which is why San Franciscans confront, scream-down, and protest their event. Only a small group of SF’ers, compared to the pro-lifers, get out and protest them, but they still do it every year.

Pics and video can be seen here>>>>>Abortion Wars

Day Tripping to Point Reyes National Seashore

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I’ve been going to the Point Reyes National Seashore ever since I moved to California. I have hiked all over that area, but I have not camped out there yet. I have stayed at the Point Reyes Hostel. The hostel is nice, and so are the people who work and stay there. I used to really enjoy stopping at the Drakes Bay Oyster Company and eating raw oyster’s. Loved that place, but recently the Federal government shut them down. I have encountered, Coyotes, raccoons, elephant seals, deer, elk, skunk, mountain lion’s, and plenty of bird types. It is my belief Point Reyes National Seashore is one of the biggest and most natural wildlife refuge’s in California and maybe the West Coast. There is more wildlife in Point Reyes than in a zoo. Limantour Spit and Beach is my favorite spot. I have had at least 5 very scary wildlife encounters that turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. The time a Coyote growled at me because I disturbed it while it, was eating a leg from a recent kill, or the time I took a shortcut, but it turned out to be a wildlife trail and in front of me was a small mountain lion and it didn’t even know I was behind it. The many intimate moments hearing the cry of the Tule Elk, was amazing, but I will keep that aspect of Point Reyes a secret. Elk are observant, they read their intentions, they are real, and they thrive in Point Reyes. Even though I write about Point Reyes, I still have my secret spots that I will never tell anyone about. I have made Point Reyes National Seashore my own.

A FB post about a recent visit; ” People were very observant of what I was doing today at Point Reyes. I got solitude, put my    feet in the water, explored some ruins, and relaxed, but the conversations I got in with strangers were intense. For some reason, whenever I visit Point Reyes, I meet people. It’s cool. It’s a very social wilderness. Day trippers run into each other numerous times, so they seem to observe what others’ focus on. For me it was the garbage and the tar balls. Everyone flocked to me when I pointed out the plastic garbage and the tar balls. Rangers know about the tar balls. Similar stuff washed ashore in southern California. And I did indeed see debris from the Japanese Tsunami. Several pieces of a pier. The pieces are sequestered on the beach.
But it’s still Heaven on earth….

The Gold Coast The Gold Coast Cliff at Drakes Beach

More aerial photos of Golden Gate Park

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Aerial shot North Lake Golden Gate Park

Aerial shot North Lake Golden Gate Park

Aerial shot North Lake Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park Golf Course

Beach Chalet Soccer field under construction

Went flying today. I had people watching me this time. And of course I had to educate them all. A bit of wind today. A lot of down drafts. I’d go higher and the wind would knock it down a few feet. One of the pics is an aerial shot of North Lake in Golden Gate Park. One pic is of a gold course. And the other pic is the shot of the Beach Chalet Soccer field.
Had a quandary today. I wanted to go up in other areas, but the birds get curious. So I decided to not fly around the Hummingbird’s and the Ravens.

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