With negative tides happening late in the day, the weekend was spent tidepooling at Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz, and Fitzgerald Marine Reserve just North of Half Moon Bay. Tidepool photography can be especially challenging since most of the interesting activity is happening a couple of feet underwater in dark little pools. Not the best lighting conditions by any stretch. My goal setting out was to capture tidepool life as part of the surrounding landscape with nice sunset light in the sky. Not too much to ask for I’d say. In 2 days of poking around I found only one pool that set up the way I envisioned. I was able to include the Monterey Peninsula at the south end of the Bay along the horizon line as an added bonus.
Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category
Look for a collection of my bird photographs in the upcoming Santa Cruz County Bank’s Birds of a Feather exhibit that kicks off later this month. This exhibit runs in conjunction with the Monterey Bay Birding Festival and will focus on the varied habits and habitats of birds on the Central Coast. The exhibit will include my work along with 6 other local artists.
You’ll be able to see the work by visiting Santa Cruz County Banks in Aptos, Capitola, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley and Watsonville.
There will be a Reception and Mixer August 3rd from 5-7 pm at Santa Cruz County Bank, 595 Auto Center Drive, Watsonville.
Join us once again for Open Studios at our home in Aptos.
Our studio will be open October 4 & 5 and 18 & 19, 2008 – 11:00am to 6:00pm
This is a fantastic art event with nearly 300 artists participating this year. To plan your tour, visit the Preview Exhibit at the Santa Cruz Art League, purchase a calendar or stop by our studio. Paul is artist #46 in the Open Studios Art Tour calendar (on the December 2008 page).
This is the best opportunity to meet Paul and see his work. Tasty refreshments will be served.
For a preview of more images, directions and more information visit our website http://www.paulzaretsky.com
This is just a reminder to get out there and enjoy the beautiful wildflower blooms while they last.
This image is from the Temblor Range at Carrizo Plain National Monument. To see more wildflower photos visit our online Southern California gallery.
A great website for finding out where to go is Carol Leigh’s California Wildflower Hotsheet.
Living on the Monterey Bay has its rewards. As each year passes we watch the birds and other assorted wildlife call this beautiful place home or migrate through in the fall and spring. We look forward to fall especially – the bird migration is always a spectacular sight, followed by the arrival of the Monarch butterflies. We usually wait until after Thanksgiving, then wait again for a sunny day to make our way to one of the many overwintering grounds in the area.
It seems that ever since moving to the Santa Cruz area (over 10 years ago) the butterflies have been fewer and fewer every year. In years past, we’ve seen Natural Bridges State Park in all its splendor – butterflies filling every visible limb and filling the sky with fluttering wings – leaving us awe struck and amazed. But recently we seem to say, “Maybe they just went somewhere else this year…” And go to check another spot.
A few years ago we started going to Lighthouse Field and were pleasantly surprised to see that there were quite a few that had overwintered there. As we approach the Monarch overwintering grounds we stop talking at the first sight of these beautiful flyers and pause for a moment to watch bright orange wings bound high into the powder blue sky then glide on soft breezes to rest on Eucalyptus, Cypress or Pine. We continue on the path and as we get closer, we are hopeful that there will be more than last year.
Sometimes its an incredible sight- orange confetti flickering in the sun, large fronds loaded with thousands of wings that sway in the wind. And sometimes its not at all what we expected, like this year. We saw small groupings clustered together on scattered branches and several others fluttering about in the warm sun. When few show, its hard not to worry about them and link it to other problems our planet is enduring.
My entire life, I have heard of trees and flowers, birds and insects that used to be. Old timers bragging about Poppies on ridges or birds that once swarmed the skies. I can’t help but feel I’m witnessing my own “used to be” moment and fear that someday I will tell my daughter or her children how beautiful Monarchs once came here in the winters, but now they are gone.
Its a miracle the monarchs are here at all. The monarchs we see are in fact the great-great grandchildren of the monarchs that overwintered here last year. Its an incredible genetic miracle that plays out year after year. The female who left here last February started out on a Northern journey that would take several generations to complete – a relay race spanning 4 generations. The final offspring then emerges from its chrysalid with the energy to make its way south, back to same overwintering grounds as their ancestors. And east of the Rockies, the same relay race is taking place, but the finish line is all the way to Michoacan, Mexico – a journey I hope to make as well someday.
These little flyers epitomize hope and a visit in the new year is just the ticket to renew your spirit. Get out there and see them while before they fly the coop.
For more images of Monarchs and our Monterey Bay Area see our gallery pages.
After a long break from blogging we are back. Work, travel and holidays kept us from posting new content, but the good news is we have many new images and articles to come.This photo was taken during our Thanksgiving trip to Sedona and New Mexico. We stayed just down the road from this well-known and heavily photographed subject. Despite the throngs of photographers and the considerate person who walked into my composition to use his cell phone just as the light got good, I managed to get a few shots I was happy with.Oak Creek and Cathedral Rock © 2007 For a great place to stay, visit sedonasuite.com.