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Observed Wild Horses in Nevada

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On Memorial Day weekend I once again visited our nation’s wild horses. This time I visited the herd on the Pine Nut Mountain Range in Nevada. That area is an HMA or a herd management area, which means they are “are lands under the supervision of the United States Bureau of Land Management that are managed for the primary but not exclusive benefit of free-roaming ‘wild’ horses and burros.” During previous visits to see wild horses I mostly concentrated my observation of them on the Virginia Range, which is geographically north of the Pine Nut’s. I targeted this herd because they have advocates that speak for them and maintain them. In other word’s they have people who look after them. It is my opinion the wild horse herd in the Pine Nut’s are very special because of the bonds they form between each other. Wild horses are considered by some, to simply be feral horses. Brought on by economic desperation or owners who simply became too poor to care for them, but, after they are in the wild, they are wild again. Wild horses do indeed become themselves after they are free to roam on the ranges. They form their own families, socialize with each other, they adopt or raise their own off spring, they have leaders, followers, babysitters, and bosses, and many become best friends’. Observing wild horses is simply the most amazing experience a wildlife photographer could do for themselves.

Camping in Mendocino County during an El Nino Event!

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One day me and a friend had made a decision to go off-roading at the Lost Coast in California during a weekend when a major El Nino event was going to drench the state. We talked and then we prepared for it. My friend has a Toyota Land Cruiser 4×4, and he was very familiar with the Lost Coast.

We chatted back and forth on FB for a week. However the day before we were heading out Caltrans District 1 posted a photo online of a major landslide that occurred 5 miles North of WestPort, CA, on highway 1. That was the road we’re supposed to take to the Lost Coast, but the scene was so bad a truck driver had almost gotten pushed over the slide of a cliff from the unstable hillside, so they closed the road indefinitely. When we arrived in Fort Bragg we thought the road would be open by the time we got there, but a big road side sign said “Road Closed Ahead.” Our plans were thwarted, but we quickly came up with another plan. That plan was to try to camp at one of the area campgrounds, BUT turns out they were also closed. Online it indicated that Van Damme State Park was open, but it said nothing about no camping. So my friend happen to know people in that area, so we went to their ranch and camped in the rain.

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Trail blocked by downed trees.

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This is the set-up we used to stay dry.

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Cooking bacon on the BioLite stove.

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Mendocino County is God’s Country.

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Off-roading during an El Nino event.

 

Beach Ruins Ocean Beach San Francisco

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Due to the recent heavy wave and swell action beach ruins have been exposed at the end of Taraval Street in San Francisco on the ocean side. In the 1930’s a pedestrian tunnel was built between Taraval street and the Ocean, but it decayed or was heavily eroded which caused the ruins. Eventually the sands covered the ruins. There was pedestrian tunnels back in the 1980’s but they were taken out by the sewer system that now lines the Great Highway.

Beware of dangerous surf conditions in Pacifica, CA

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On February 9th 2016 two people were on the pier in Pacifica, and they both somehow tripped, then fell into the ocean. An article from local channel 2 KTVU. http://www.ktvu.com/news/88251129-story

It is now common knowledge the cliff’s in Pacifica are eroding. They are also creating a very dangerous situation for people venturing onto the beach.

 

Big horn sheep

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I went on a road trip to Anaconda, Montana with a friend to hang out with friends and participate in a few events. Firstly the drive from San Francisco to Anaconda, Montana takes at least 16 hours. But since I drove with a friend we did a through drive. We arrived in Anaconda at approximately 4:30a.m.

A lot of stuff happened in Anaconda and I’ll write another story about my road trip with a friend.

However I would like to introduce you to some of the wildlife I was able to photograph in Anaconda ; big horn sheep.

Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep (Ovis Canadensis)

Big Horn Sheep crossed the Bering Land Bridge from Siberia, and at times reached a population of millions. Big horn sheep are susceptible to disease from livestock, and many of them are often dispatched due to that issue. There are three sub-species of big horns, Rocky Mountain big horn, Sierra Nevada big horn and Desert big horn. The sub species in Montana seems to be Rocky Mountain big horn. The herds in that area have in the past, been culled due to disease.

The mating season for big horns is November. The herds segregate according to age and sex. Ewes, lambs and yearling males will band together, and some adult male’s (ram’s) band together by classes. Big horn sheep are herbivores, however you see in the photos they are licking the salt off the road to supplement their mineral intake.

In 2010 a driver ran into seven rams and one ewe killing them. The driver claimed he did not see the warning signs. Some of the big horns are collared either to trigger road side signs or to monitor their health. The collars are also used to determine where they die.

 

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Photographed another building fire in the Mission district in SF

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On November 8, 2015 at approximately 8am a fire was reported at a local business called the Rolling Stock Tire shop at 16th and Shotwell streets in San Francisco. The fire quickly grew to 3 alarms. This is how I discovered the fire. From a Facebook post “The Rolling Stock Fire(yep it’s official name) was very much a discovery fire. Let me explain. I woke up at 7:30am, minutes later I heard fire trucks. I went on Twitter, saw a blip, turned on the scanner, then made a decision. I then got dressed and geared-up, and started walking towards the smoke plume. The blip on Twitter only mentioned 16th street.
I followed the plume. I did not know the exact location.”

Photo gallery here>>>>>Rolling Stock Fire

Raw video footage herer>>>>>Rolling Stock Fire video.

Photos of a stranded sailboat stoked up interest on social media.

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On Monday September 29, 2015 while I was out at Golden Gate Park taking a break from all the drama, I heard helicopters. The helicopters were very low, so I went to investigate. So I got in my car and followed the helicopters,(yes that is possible) and they led me to Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Where I then noticed a sailboat had been beached or grounded in the surf. I then scanned Twitter, and the information I collected on that social media site said “Two people were rescued.”
I then walked down to the boat and began taking photos. Another person walked up to me, and said they had a backstory. They had noticed the boat acting weird off the beach earlier in the day, so I then dismissed the scene as thieves whole stole a boat and went on a joyride.

My initial reaction on FB here,
“2 people had to be rescued after their sailboat drifted onto the beach, at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.”
“If you ask me that boat doesn’t look sea worthy.”
“Authorities are suspicious.”
“A sail boat named the Sea Beach ran aground at Ocean Beach in San Francisco on September 28 at approximately 2:30p.m. “Two people were allegedly rescued from the vessel.”
“SFGATE, published one of my photos of the stranded vessel.”

and finally this post.

“Apparently the grounded sailboat stoked up a lot of interest on social media. I underestimated the importance or interesting-ness of that “beached sailboat?” Next time I will handle those scenes differently. I myself dismissed it as nothing more than thieves out for a joy ride on a stolen vessel. That’s why I wrote down “allegedly” on my posts. Thieves who wreck boats don’t get rescued, they get arrested.
I took one look at that boat, and my initial reaction was “stolen.”

Flickr photo set here>>>>Breaking/Spot news

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