More Birds, Fewer Mullet: Malibu Lagoon, 23 September, 2018


Seafood lovers alert! A mortified Sea Hare on the beach
(G. Murayama 9-21-18)

We didn’t have any shocks (later for the surprise) like last month when the lagoon and channel were covered with dead Striped Mullet. Somewhere between 3000 and 6000 dead fish were removed by lucky State Parks personnel during the final week of August. I for one was stunned that the lagoon held that many fish. More fish were removed during the past week (I assume) as on Sep. 15 I counted 289 dead mullet along the northwest lagoon/channel shoreline, and well under 100 today in the same area. Some research results point towards low dissolved oxygen (DO) in the water as the mortality culprit. This could interrelate with water temperature; as water temperature goes up, DO goes down.

View across west channel towards Malibu Colony shows very few dead mullet.
Compare to last month. (L. Johnson…

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Did you just call me escambron again….that’s it, I’m gonna….wait, what, that’s the name of a tree?

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

Escambron, a tree native to Puerto Rico. If you say escambron with just a little bit of the emphasis on the right syllable and slur it a bit, you might just be saying a bad word (shut your mouth…)

Let’s talk about it’s scientific name. I’ve always known it as a type of clerodendrum, C. aculeatum to be exact, but, upon researching the species, I think the scientists may have moved it. Based on what I’m reading, these plant scientists have been doing genetic testing and figured out that they no longer belong in the genus clerodendrum, but a different genus called volkameria (volkameria aculatea to be precise). Check here and here and here. The last link is called The Red List, which determines how endangered a plant is. It also has the Puerto Rican common name in the description escambrón.

I’m not going to…

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September Surprises

Natural Moments

Just wrapped up the month of September with delightful weather, lots of late summer wildflowers in bloom, and the chamisa, cottonwoods and aspen all changing to their bright golden foliage. It’s been a interesting couple of weeks, too, photographing a few of the birds that I rarely see, getting nice photos of a couple that are more common, and of a few butterflies and other insects.

The Audubon Thursday Birder trip on September 20 to Ojito de San Antonio Open Space almost didn’t happen. From our meeting place in town, the mountains were completely covered in low clouds, fog, and it looked like a good chance of rain that morning. But our small group of intrepid birders voted to head on out and give it a shot. And while the weather never quite cleared up, the group had a pleasant enough walk and a good mix of species. Bird of…

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Terry Erasmus on Instagram: “Anthracnose on this dwarf leafed Trident maple under control! Yipeeee! #bonsaitree #anthracnose”

Mirrorless Photo Cameras revisited, PART 2


One month and counting since beginning with my Mirrorless System. Basically I’m surprised at the camera’s ability to capture street scenes if left to it’s own device. It boosts the ISO up and catches the moment – fast.

But, for nature, I’m still figuring it out. The detail is incredible and as I’m still using the kit lenses I should be pleased. Here’s what I have so far…

Barbers Orchard: Sony a6000 w/ 16-50mm variable Kit lens, 3:38 PM f/11, 1/80 sec. matrix metering, hand held

Given that this is hand held, not a great idea if doing serious stuff, I think it is pretty amazing.

Bee on Daisey: Sony a6000 w/Adapter and Nikon 300mm Lens, f/4.5, 1/640 sec. spot metering.

This next one is a close study but I am using a very excellent pro lens with an adapter. So, I’m working on that kind of set up, but I think this is pretty sharp.

Meat Platter: Sony a6000 w 16-50mm varible kit lens, f/16, 1/160 sec, Aperture Priority Center weighted metering, 0EV

This next one is a product shot, hand held, and I’m OK with it…

And the final one in this…

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Travel photography – what works now…


Freiberg, Germany H. Cropped ©You can’t see it; but, a little tear is  creeping out of my eye…  The tear is because I know how correct this piece is and my new heavy, long lens is by now, on it’s way from the store.      What have I done?        Have I forgotten the time my zoomer fell apart in the middle of a Germany Ski Vacation and I used my little 24mm lens for the rest or the trip — some of my most memorable images.  This piece from Rohn Engh’s PhotoLetter is spot on – slamming us right back to reality. Read on, and weep with me or cheer up that travel can become fun again…

Snap Out of It

As social media changes the way we experience vacation photos, there’s no better time to improve the shots themselves. Lesson one: Focus on the details



Diane Cook & Len Jenshel

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Why are we drawn to some images and not others?


Why are we drawn to some images and not others?bob mug outlined copy

Bob Grytten image Bob Grytten image

My long time friend and marketing guru, Rohn Engh publishes some great newsletters. His recent PhotoDaily newsletter, also includes reprints of other hard hitting articles. When I read the Jay Sousa piece I knew we would have to send it on to our Lens Luggers. We have his permission; so, “Thanks again Rohn!” How close this article comes to the elements of our Field Photography programs, details attached.

But, it also provides a guide to use in reviewing our own images. Set you best or favorite in a group then look at them from these three factors – also the factors that PSA uses in judging images.

Technical – Exposure, focus etc

Composition – Design Elements,

Emotion or feeling – this one is hard to describe but once you see it there, you will immediately recognize it…

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