Posts tagged “San Jose

baylands nature

I saw a group of plein air artists, a hummingbird, a Northern Mockingbird, a pheasant crossing the road, several Black-necked Stilts, a coot on one foot while drinking, and those little brown birds who love the mudflat insects. (Baylands Nature Preserve- maps) It would be a good place to bike also.

Alviso birds

Not as muddy as last time, and sunny and hot by 2. I made it twice around, about 18 miles or so. Here’s my bike ride.
My favorite is number 14. What a face! (Camera = Canon Powershot SX40HS)
Birds: black-necked stilts, turkey vultures, ducks, seagulls, snowy & great egrets, blue herons, pelicans, sandpipers.. I’m not sure what those two are, with the curved beaks, flying, in photo number 4. (Curlew? Whimbrel? Ibis?)

muddy mud flats

Bike ride at Alviso mudflats again. It’s muddy in spots after the rains. Lots of bugs, birds.. Anhinga, egrets, herons, ducks, seagulls, little water birds. Lots to see there. Photos taken with the little Panasonic Lumix.

camera test at Alviso

Here I am comparing the small Panasonic Lumix 10x DMC-T25 camera, with the newer Canon PowerShot sx30IS bridge SLR with the 35x zoom. What I am looking for here, is something that I can take with me easily on a bike ride, or skiing. The Canon is a lot bigger, but that zoom lens is soo enticing. – Unfortunately the Canon’s macro and the manual focus seem unusable to me. The dial is overloaded with functions and it’s fumbly to use. I find the Panasonic’s macro surprisingly useful, in comparison, especially for such a small camera.

OK. Colors first. Here’s my bike ride: Alviso salt flats – I went around the blue path twice, 2 x 9 miles = 18 miles. (Not much compared to my last ride with Danny!)

The Panasonic on the left, Canon on the right:

It was hot and somewhat hazy out. I found the ghost town in the distance with the zoom, but the heat haze is clearly visible. I learned that snowy egrets are very difficult to sneak up on, and herons are a lot more relaxed. Those big white pelicans are so cool and they know it.

OK. Well here’s the rest. The ones with ‘p’ in the filenames are from the Panasonic. There are only 2 of those that I chose for this slideshow.

Well. I really like the zoom and it’s OK for a bike ride, but… it isn’t good enough to be my only camera on a trip. And it’s too big to carry along with a real SLR. In that case, I should continue to look, maybe into the MFTs..

from the air

The first photo is of Atlanta, and most of the others are taken over the Los Angeles Southern CA area. The last photo of the boat in the lake was taken somewhere south of San Jose, Northern CA.


world domination

We spent a few hours at The Tech after hours, courtesy of Super Happy Dev House.
This is what the block sorting robot thinks about after the museum is closed. Watch out, humans.

Baylands Nature Center

100703_7758 After a little jazz show at Stanford, we made a trip to the Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Center in Palo Alto. This is probably one of the best places for bird watching around, especially coastal birds.

The nature center is built on stilts in the wetlands, and under its eaves are many cliff swallow nests. The deck is covered with bird droppings.


Cool Copepods

Cool Copepods

Microscopic Crustaceans

Microscopic Crustaceans

We saw smoke from a fire in the distance. And a Black-crowned Night-Heron startled us with his cry.

In the microscope, Aaron found lots of wormlike nematodes plus a microscopic crustacean we identified as a copepod (‘fish lice’), thanks to the handy guides on the wall there.

Dinner was another one of Mike’s amazing recipes; a tofu rice dish that is especially delicious – No nematodes or copepods, but pineapple, roasted cashews, home-grown cilantro, chopped galangal root.., oh, and scallions – just the ends of them, chopped.

SJ Youth Symphony

After a week of day-camp, the Intermezzo group plays Adra’s Dance by Brendan McBrien.

This year all the kids sounded a lot better than last year. The concerts are going to be impressive.