Month: October 2017

Feral Pigs at Coyote Lake

I made a quick trip out to Coyote Lake in Morgan Hill, mostly to scout it to see what shape it was in going into fall. It’s one of the reservoirs that feed water to the Silicon Valley area and it’s used for recreational boating as well as day tripping and camping, and it can be an interesting fall and winter birding spot. Overall, it seems in decent shape. Water levels are low, about 30′ below where they could be, and there was no bird activity on the lake itself, which didn’t surprise me. The park in general has...

Read More

An early visit to the refuges

A couple of weeks ago I saw the first reports of sandhill cranes arriving at the refuges, so I decided to day trip out to Merced and see what I might find. This is about a month earlier than I typically visit the refuges for the first time, but I wanted to check out the status of the refuges and see how they were shaping up for fall. And, to be honest, I wanted to try to get my first looks at the cranes for the season. Merced National Wildlife Refuge did not disappoint. Early visits to the refuges...

Read More

Thoughts on building (or killing) a great online community

I’ve been chewing on what makes a great online community over the last few weeks and thinking about what I’ve done in the past that’s worked (and, of course, haven’t). A couple of things that have happened in communities I’m members of crystallized this for me, and so I thought I’d write it out and share it for those that might find it useful. Communities thrive on fresh outlooks and the energy that new and enthusiastic members bring to them. The problem is that as communities grow up and mature, they tend to shift towards reinforcing “accepted” points of...

Read More

2018 NHL Season Predictions

NHL 2018 Season Predictions I am days late for this, since I try to get this out before the season starts, and for that I’m sorry, but, well, reasons. As I write this the Sharks have played 2 games and are 0-2, which, well, is not a great start. It hasn’t changed my view of things, though. Honest. No, seriously, it hasn’t. As is my tradition, it’s time to publish my annual season predictions for the 2018 NHL season. I do this primarily so that at the end of the season people can point at me and laugh. But it’s fun to do and forces me to think about the upcoming (cough started cough) season and get me in the hockey mood. So, without further ado, here’s how I see this season playing out. Eastern Conference Playoff teams Carolina Hurricanes: I like this team. Columbus Blue Jackets: I like this team more. Pittsburgh Penguins: do you want to suggest they aren’t a playoff contender? Not me Toronto Maple Leafs: the question for me isn’t whether they make the playoffs, but how high they seed. Could they even be the top team in the east? I wouldn’t bet against it. Washington Capitals: I continue to really like the Caps. I keep thinking they ought to win a cup, but the window is closing and they keep finding ways to not...

Read More

I fell into a rabbit hole called Youtube, and that changed my thinking on blogs and podcasts.

It’s probably no secret to my readers here that I’ve gone through a — not sure what to call it — reinvention of my photography. I’ve had funks before, but not one this extended. It’s taken me some time to understand the roots of my dissatisfaction and figure out what I needed to change to get me back on track. The good news is that at as far as the bird/wildlife part of things, I seem to be back in a groove and turning out work I rather like again. My landscape work continues to be a “work in progress” (aka a hot mess) and I’ve been spending more time trying to get my head around it and figure out how to move forward. As part of all of this, I came to realize that the social/online photo resources I was following weren’t really doing anything interesting for me, and in some cases, I felt they were actively getting in the way of my photography. I decided to drop following Petapixel because I felt it had become the National Enquirer of photography sites: lots of attempts at funny/memeworthy stuff, but very little substance I found at all interesting. I dropped a bunch of other sites as well. (For the record, since I think it’s useful to follow a site that watches and relinks to stuff happening on a topic...

Read More