Wednesday, May 18, 2022

April 2022 Blooms

Here's a collection of recent photos of blooms in our garden. Below you'll find hyacinth, fruit trees (e.g. cherry, peach), spirea, hens and chicks, bloodroot, lenten rose, crocus, tulip among other blossoming flowers.

All photos are taken with my 60mm (120mm equivalent) macro lens.

April 2022 Blooms - 01




April 2022 Blooms - 02




April 2022 Blooms - 03




April 2022 Blooms - 04




April 2022 Blooms - 05




April 2022 Blooms - 06




April 2022 Blooms - 07




April 2022 Blooms - 08




April 2022 Blooms - 09




April 2022 Blooms - 10




April 2022 Blooms - 11




April 2022 Blooms - 12




April 2022 Blooms - 13




April 2022 Blooms - 14




April 2022 Blooms - 15




April 2022 Blooms - 16



All photos 
© 2022, all rights reserved.  Contact phil@philslens.com for licensing or to order prints.



Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Palace Birds

After Muir Woods (see previous post) we visited the grounds of San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina district. In all my years living in the Bay Area I'd never previously visited the Palace of Fine Arts, so this was a welcome delight for me.

As one can read here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Fine_Arts, the Palace was originally constructed for the 1915 Panama–Pacific International Exposition. While I've endeavored to include a few photos of my own of the lagoon and structures of this beautiful site, to see a truly professional rendering of the rotunda and column structure I recommend the image shown here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Fine_Arts#/media/File:Palace_of_Fine_Arts_(16794p).jpg, which is an 18-frame panorama stitched together in Lightroom. By sheer coincidence, this happens to be one of the finest pictures in all of Wikipedia, and, in fact, this image was selected as picture of the day on the English Wikipedia for March 26, 2022.

Despite all the above, we didn't go there to see the Palace, but rather to see the birds in the lagoon. We found many gulls and herons enjoying the lagoon environment, as well as sparrows on some of the surrounding trees and shrubbery.

Please enjoy multiple views of some of these fine birds below.

Great Blue Heron #1


Here are a few photos of the Palace and lagoon. Most of the birds I photographed were in the right, most distant section of the lagoon.

Palace of Fine Arts #1




Palace of Fine Arts #2



Great Blue Heron #2




Hiding Heron




Heron on Grass




Sparrow on a Branch



These next four are photos of a song sparrow.

Song Sparrow #1




Song Sparrow #2




Song Sparrow Wings Out




Song Sparrow #3




Black-crowned Night-Heron



This next photo was taken at Crissy Field Marsh, also known for birding. It is very near the Palace of Fine Arts, located just slightly closer to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Great Blue Heron at Crissy Field Marsh


All photos © 2022, all rights reserved.  Contact phil@philslens.com for licensing or to order prints.





Monday, May 16, 2022

Muir Woods

During my recent visit with my son in San Francisco, we decided to visit Muir Woods. We were pleasantly surprised when he was able to get us a parking reservation, which is the only way one can visit Muir Woods these days. This national monument has became so incredibly popular in recent years, and, especially since the arrival of Covid, requiring reservations keeps the number of simultaneous visitors down to a reasonable amount.

We took our time strolling through the main path of Muir Woods, always looking upward with awe at the incredible redwoods. The environment is lush; one feels completely surrounded by nature. Cameras in hand, we stopped frequently to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy this very serene and inspiring place. Muir Woods is truly special. I felt immediately tranquil upon entering the main grove. It helped that the number of other visitors was low, and so instead of feeling crowded or rushed, with zero effort, all I felt was an immediate soothing of the senses, as a peaceful meditative calmness came over me.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from this memorable visit.


Muir Woods #1



Muir Woods #2



The main nature walk is two paths that go along both sides of Redwood Creek. Most folks walk to the end on one side, cross a small bridge, and return on the other side.

Redwood Creek




Muir Woods' Main Trail




Muir Woods #3




Muir Woods #4




Muir Woods #5




Muir Woods #6




Muir Woods #7



All photos 
© 2022, all rights reserved.  Contact phil@philslens.com for licensing or to order prints.



SF Zoo

While visiting my son and grandson in San Francisco, we went to the San Francisco zoo. Great fun! While the main attraction for my (almost) 4-year-old grandson wasn't so much the animals as the "Little Puffer" train, I did take the opportunity to photograph some of the animals and even some flowers as we walked along the various zoo paths to and from the "train station."

Here are some highlights.

Eagle Eye




Eagle Observer




Pretty as a Peacock




California Poppies




Zoo Path Adornments


This rhino is missing its horn, and that makes me sad. Apparently, in some cases, conservationists are preemptively cutting off rhino horns in an effort to actually save them from poachers. It's an impressive beast nonetheless: that is one huge head.

What's For Lunch?




Penguin Playtime




Little Puffer On the Way




Little Puffer Engine




Looking Sharp


This next photo is of a northern bald ibis.

Unique Flyer



All photos 
© 2022, all rights reserved.  Contact phil@philslens.com for licensing or to order prints.



Friday, February 25, 2022

Greenhouse Winter Warmth

Deb and I recently visited nearby Weston Nurseries' greenhouse to enjoy a brief respite from the cold winter weather. While Deb perused the plants in the greenhouse, I was drawn to the orchids on display, and one wooden sculpture.

Whether or not the center of orchids resembles small people, skiers, angels, or something else, you can decide; regardless, I find their design a natural wonder. These are all Pixel 4a cell phone pics.

Take a look below.

WN Orchid 1




WN Orchid 2




WN Orchid 3




WN Orchid 4



I neglected to take note of the name of the artist who made the wood sculpture shown in these next two photos. My apologies to the artist. (After that is determined, I'll update this blog.)

Floating in the Clouds


A closer view:

Long Meditation




WN Orchid 5




WN Orchid 6



All photos 
© 2022, all rights reserved.  Contact phil@philslens.com for licensing or to order prints.