Some images from this past weekend on the Porter and Brothers Ranch properties in Watsonville. Both are owned and managed by the Elkhorn Slough Foundation. I spent Saturday afternoon scouting both locations for photo ops and on Sunday gave a tour to fellow photographers Efren Adalmen and his lovely wife Denise. California poppies were out in full bloom and the lupine are not far behind. About another 2 -3 weeks and the hills should be a patchwork of purple.
Archive for the ‘Wildflowers’ Category
Posted in Birds, Destinations, Marine Life, marine mammals, Nature, Reserves, State Parks, Uncategorized, Wildflowers, workshop, tagged Elkhorn Slough, Lanting workshop, Monterey Bay, Point Lobos, spring, Wildlife on May 21, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Some images from the recent Frans Lanting Spring Workshop. We had several locals participating and others from as far away as Germany. Our shooting locations included the UCSC Arboretum, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Elkhorn Slough, Point Lobos State Reserve, Garrapata State Beach, and Asilomar State Beach. We had an especially good morning on Captain Yohn Gideon’s pontoon boat in Moss Landing. The weather and light were perfect and Yohn maneuvered us into great position for photographing the abundance of birds, otters, sea lions, harbor seals, etc. Plans are already in the works for a fall workshop in late October.
The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County has been doing some great work protecting our local natural resources, and to date has protected close to 12,000 acres. They’ve recently acquired Star Creek Ranch, a 1,200 acre property in the heart of the Pajaro Hills. The Ranch provides crucial habitat for wildlife and fish including mountain lion, bobcat, endangered California Red-legged Frog, and steelhead. It also acts as an important link to other large habitats and with Pescadero Creek running right through it, drains an 8,000 acre watershed that flows into the Pajaro River.
I recently had the opportunity to tour the Ranch (which is considered extremely important as a climate change refuge in Santa Cruz county), and spend an afternoon photographing this gorgeous property. I was treated to lush spring grasses, gusty winds, wildflowers, oaks galore, and a sweet sunset. In the coming year(s) I hope to help the Land Trust document the seasonal changes and critical biodiversity found on the Ranch.
This winter has been particularly dry with the months of January and February recording record low rainfall. Despite the lack of precipitation and a very sparse spring wildflower season, I was able to locate a few isolated fields of sky lupine during a recent project for the Elkhorn Slough Foundation to document some of the spectacular native oaks on their protected properties. I’ve included a couple of shots from Harkins Slough which is adjacent to Foundation property but actually owned by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. Some of the most abundant lupines were located on ranch properties and many a cow patty had to be dodged to acquire these images. The hillsides have already started their transition from vibrant green to golden brown and this year’s fire season is shaping up to be a particularly dangerous one.