Cranes and Geese, Fog

Posted on 24 February 2015 | Comment

Cranes and Geese, Fog

Cranes and Geese, Fog

Cranes and Geese, Fog. San Joaquin Valley, California. February 13, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Sandhill cranes and Ross’s geese on the ground and in the air on a foggy winter morning.

This visit to the San Joaquin Valley birds was almost a sort of accident. We were on our way to Yosemite for a couple of days for the opening reception for an exhibit in Oakhurst, and as we headed west from the Bay Area we thought we might just make a detour to one of our favorite spots. Initially it didn’t look too promising — we got on the road later than usual, once in the Valley it looked like it was going to be a “blah” fair weather day. But I had a hunch that there might still be some interesting fog out in this area, so we left the main road on our detour. Sure enough, before long we encountered tule fog, and the refuge we visited was still pretty socked in when we arrived.

We didn’t know what we might find, so we were very excited to find very large and active flocks of Ross’s geese and sandhill cranes in an area close to observations locations. We quickly grabbed camera gear and headed to a spot where we could see them… and we got one of the best bird and light shows of the year so far. The white geese and the darker cranes were mixing together, almost as a single flock. There was action everywhere as birds left, other birds arrived, and still more wheeled overhead. The noise was incredible, and there were periodic excited lift-offs. Shortly after we got there the fog began to thin, and the light went from uniform gray to bands of softly glowing sunlight. Here the birds on the ground stretch off into the fog to the point where they are no longer visible, and overhead hundreds more birds were in flight, and they also disappeared into the thick fog.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Umbrellas and Fog

Posted on 23 February 2015 | Comment

Umbrellas and Fog

Umbrellas and Fog

Umbrellas and Fog. Getty Center, California. December 30, 2009. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

People with umbrellas walking through a foggy garden

This is a photograph from about five years ago when we made a winter trip to Southern California and ended up spending a day at the Getty Center. From the time our oldest son went to UCLA I have been a fan of the Center, at least as much for the architecture and the grounds as for the art displays. (The art is wonderful, too, and they have a special focus on photography that often takes me back there.)

This was just the sort of day when normal people might not want to visit the Getty: it was cold and rainy and eventually the rain mixed with fog. I had a wonderful time photographing the fog-obscured architectural landscape and made many photographs with people passing through it. In fact, I came back from this single day of shooting with a group of photographs I like a great deal. At this moment I happened to be in an upper courtyard in a place that overlooks the garden as groups of people carrying umbrellas approached the sharp bend in the walkway from both directions.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email

Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Detached

Posted on 22 February 2015 | 4 comments

No, not a feeling of detachment… a retinal detachment.

Some of you already know that I experienced a retinal detachment in my left eye late last week. To cut to the chase, the results of the medical procedure look good, and I’m very optimistic about the eventual outcome. Now that I’m recovering I thought I’d reply to all of the messages, questions, and support here in one place… and express gratitude for everyone’s concern and sympathy. Thank you!

So, what happened?

I’ve had the usual “floaters” in my eyes for a long time, so I didn’t pay much attention when I started seeing more of them in my left eye a while back — I figured it was just part of the typical process for aging eyes. However, late last week I noticed a dark “shadow” in the lower peripheral vision of my left eye, and it gradually expanded to become a significant dark area where I could not see. Since I helped my mother through an episode like this some years ago, I had a pretty good idea that  I was experiencing a retinal detachment, and I got to the doctor fairly quickly.

Retinal detachment is not uncommon, especially when the vitreous in our eyes detaches as we age, sometimes creating small tears in the retina. Fluid can then get beneath the retina, pushing it up from the structures underneath and cutting off blood flow, and then “turning out the lights” in that portion of the eye.

The first ophthalmologist  quickly confirmed what I suspected and referred me to a senior ophthalmologist — who, it turned out, was the same doctor who had treated my mother many years ago.His exam confirmed the bad news that I did have a retinal detachment, but against that background there was quite a bit of relatively good news: the detachment was in the periphery of my vision and not beneath the macula, there appeared to be only a single tear in the retina, the detachment was in the upper half of my eye (things that appear “low” in our vision are projected on the upper part of the retina), we had likely caught it quickly enough, and I don’t have risk factors such as diabetes or previous eye surgery. Read more…

Garden Path

Posted on 22 February 2015 | Comment

Garden Path

Garden Path

Garden Path. Huntington Gardens, San Marino, California. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A pathway through a Japanese garden

This will be another relatively short post today, for reasons I explained in yesterday’s photo of the day post. Late last November we spent a few days in Southern California at Thanksgiving, and it turned out that two of three kids, their spouses/significant others, and more were there, too. We ended up driving up to San Marino to a place I had not been to before the Huntington Library [And Too Many Other Things To List] in San Marino. Later in the day we ended up visiting some of the extensive gardens there, including the Japanese Garden. This is one of two photographs from that location that I ended up liking — and, oddly, both are black and white. In this very quiet scene a wooden bridge jogs to one side in the middle of its path across this area.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email

Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

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