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Well, it looks like the weather here is rather moody sometimes. I took this picture a couple of hours ago and I quite enjoyed the change from the long row of warm and sunny days with their bright colors, to the wet and monochrome of today. It will probably last only a day or two, until I long for the beautiful warm colors again. But today it was great to have an additional reward for getting indoors: becoming dry with a deliciously bitter, hot green tea to warm my hands and tickle my taste buds.

The flat-iron building wedged between Market Street on the left and O’Farrell Street on the right is the Phelan Building, re-erected between 1906 and 1908.

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Feels like Summer

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Another one from Ano Nuevo State Park. At 5 p.m. I got out of the restricted area where the elephant seals are and I was heading to the parking lot when I turned around to this view. To me it feels so much like summer here that it will probably be weird to enter Winter’s domain in Europe in a couple of weeks.

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Riding the waves

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Incredible, how efficiently pelicans use the ground effect when they are traveling. Yet, sometimes, when they are close to shore, they have to evade breaking waves. You can see some more pelicans skimming the waves in this gallery: Wave Gliders.

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Going South

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On Wednesday, as I was waiting for the sun to finally penetrate the looming high fog, I saw many groups of brown pelicans passing by along the shore. They were all flying south. So I found myself a nice spot on a quiet beach and took pictures of passing groups of pelicans. After this set, I will post some of the others as well later this week. Please click on the “play” symbol on the lower left beneath the image to hear some music with it and to see the other pictures.

The soundtrack is from the Free Music Archive and it’s called Nine by Marcel Pequel.

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Pigeon Point Lighthouse

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Yesterday, I drove to Ano Nuevo State Park, originally to take pictures of elephant seals, but the park decided on short notice to close the viewing area for the day. Maybe all the volunteers — on which the park depends heavily — weren’t in the mood for keeping visitors in check after election night. So at 8:30 a.m. I was looking for other photo opportunities and drove north. The week before I had been scouting in the same area and had marked a spot close to the Pigeon Point Lighthouse for another visit. When I arrived, I discovered a small path that led down to the beach and after observing the waves for a bit, I found an accessible rock high enough to be save from the splashing waves and spray and set up my tripod there. This is a 99 second exposure, but on the rocky island to the left you can still make out the light fur of resting seals and the little dots on the top of the left and right side of this rock are brown pelicans.

Pigeon Point got its name from a clipper, the Carrier Pigeon, that wrecked there in 1853.



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Boiling bay

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The fog made it look like the bay was boiling. A few minutes earlier it had been so high that the bridge was completely hidden. Happy Halloween!

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Cotton-candy sunrise

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As promised, here’s another shot of the Golden Gate Bridge, taken about an hour later than this one. As the temperature increased with the rise of the sun, a lot more fog came into the bay. A little later, the bridge was not visible anymore at all and stayed hidden for about 20 minutes. At that point, all but a few photographers changed position and moved up to a higher point further up the road.

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The Golden Gate

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The Golden Gate Bridge this morning. The temperature difference between the colder pacific ocean on the right and the warm bay on the left caused fog to stream past the bridge and into the bay area. It was a magnificent sight and also an impressive soundscape, created by the deep, honking calls of the fog horns of ships and the bridge itself. In the back on the left you can make out downtown San Francisco. Over the next couple of days I will post some more shots of the bridge in the fog.

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Mountain Nyala

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A strong male mountain nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni). I was actually trying to sneak up on another male when this one did a jack-in-the-box and popped up his head from behind a bush. I had clearly invaded his comfort zone, but because he hadn’t seen me getting close, he didn’t know if he had wandered into mine. And indeed, at first I felt a bit uncomfortable, too, despite being usually very comfortable in close proximity to large animals, but he was about triple my weight and managed to convey that he knew how to use his head gear. Eventually, we slowly circumnavigated one another while keeping a close eye on each other. When I was finally out of his way to the closest shelter among some nearby trees, he resolutely stalked away, checking every now and then that I wasn’t following him. I took this picture on our way out of the Bale Mountain National Park. I put some more pictures from Bale into the Africa gallery (of warthogs, more nyalas, and some farmers).

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Village with a view

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We saw this village in the Bale Mountains in Ethiopia. It looked as if the houses were built to duck from the strong winds that haunt this area.

sgid: lat: 7.05585 lon: 39.64458

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