Hawk moths in my yard in #DavisCA

Just a few pics I got tonight … finally learning how to use my flash.

Photos taken with a Nikon D90 camera, Speedlight SB-910 flash and a Nikkor AF-S 105 mm Micro lens.

Local elections in Davis, Yolo County and California are apparently a way for junk mail to be distributed. What a waste.

Well, the local elections in Davis, Yolo County and California are as far as I can tell mostly a way for junk mail to be distributed. What a waste. https://photos.gstatic.com/media/slideshow.swf

Highlights and notes from trip to Argentina 2013

My family went on a 2 week trip to Argentina over winter break and I thought I would post some notes and pics here.

We flew from Sacramento to Mendoza, via Dallas and Santiago.  We flew on American Airlines which was mostly a complete disaster.  We booked flights in Summer and chose American Airlines because they had “extra leg room seats” for the long Dallas to Santiago flight that one could pay for.  As someone with circulatory problems that was important to me so we chose American and bought these tickets and all seemed good.

But alas it was not to be.  I got an email from American saying our flight was changed and when I called them they said that the timing of the flights was changed and that was it.  Alas they did not tell me our extra leg room seats no longer existed as they had also changed the airplane.  I did not find this out for months.

I called American and posted to Twitter and tried everything I could think of to get seats with more leg room (e.g., bulkhead seats).  And I was told by the American Airlines agent on the phone and the @americanair twitter account that American would contact me on the weekend before we left to arrange for bulkhead seats.  But alas no call.  And then on the day of our flight I got a call and by that point the agent said “sorry – bulkhead seats are not available for your whole group.”  Thanks a f$*#@ lot American.

Anyway – rather than belabor this here I have made a Storify of some of the Tweets relating to our trip including the conversations with American Airlines.  See below for more detail on this.

Anyway – overall the trip was good even with the continuing trouble with American Airlines and Lan Airlines.

 We went to five places on the trip.

  1.  Hotel Mendoza in Downtown Mendoza
  2.  Barreal #1
  3. Barreal #2
  4. Portrerillos
  5. Lares de Chacras on the outskirts of Mendoza 

And here are some of the better pics with some notes from the trip

Hotel Mendoza

Barreal #1

Parque Leoncito

Some more around Barreal

Parque Leoncito trip JAE and MIB

More around Barreal

Barreal #2

MIB, Alicia and Analia horseback riding

More around Barreal #2


Lares de Chacras

Long trip home

Yolo Basin Notes Jan 5, 2014

Another good outing at Yolo Basin Wetlands today.

Went this AM around 11 or so.  Spent about two hours there, driving around, hiking and birdwatching.  Here are some of the pics I took while there.

Interesting scene here – a Northern Harrier was chasing an American Bittern that had a crawfish in its mouth.

#DavisCA lockdown update

The following is a joint communication from the Davis Police Department and Davis Joint Unified School District.
On February 21, 2013, at approximately 10:25 am, the Davis Police Department received a call from administrators at Davis Senior High School reporting a male subject possibly armed with a handgun north of the library parking lot. As a precaution, four schools were placed on lockdown: Davis Senior High School; North Davis Elementary School, St. James Elementary School, and King High School. There is no information to indicate that the subject was ever on any of the campuses in the immediate area. The lockdown lasted approximately 35 minutes.
Officers responded and detained a male subject matching the description provided by the reporting party.  Through the course of the investigation, it was determined that the subject had been in possession of a BB gun, which he discarded prior to police contacting him.
The BB gun was located in the vicinity of where the male subject was detained.
A second subject, who was with the male, was detained as well. Both individuals were released from the scene. Due to the fact that the subject was never on any of the campuses and also never threatened or brandished the BB gun, no criminal charges are being pursued at this time. The Davis Police Department will continue to investigate this incident for any legal recourse.  The male subject is described as being in his late teens and not enrolled at any of the schools.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact the Davis Police Department at 530-747-5400.

#DavisCA lockdown lifted

Just got this email:

The DHS lockdown has been lifted.  I want to thank the students, staff and the Davis Police Department for their immediate and professional response during this time.   Again, all of our students are safe.
Winfred Roberson

#DavisCA schools on lockdown 2/21/13

Just got this email and thought I would post

Your students are safe.  The district received reports that someone was armed in the vicinity of Oak Avenue and B Streets.  The police were summoned and the suspects have been detained.  We want to assure parents/guardians all safety protocols are in place and all precautions were taken.  DHS, North Davis, King High and DSIS schools were on lockdown and have been released.  DHS remains on lockdown pending further investigation.   Additional information will be forthcoming as it becomes available.
Winfred Roberson

Harvard Club of Sacramento outing to Yolo Basin #Birds #Birds #MoreBirds

Had a good outing today with the Harvard Club of Sacramento to Yolo Basin.  Some pics and notes are below.


Geese way way up high

Turkey vulture

Turkey vulture

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American bittern .. a bit out of focus

Bittern again

Great egret

Great egret

Black phoebe

Good day at Yolo Basin – Birds, Otters and more

I love Yolo Basin Wildlife Area. Only a 5-10 minute drive from Davis or a 20-30 minute bike ride.  It is phenomenal.  For more about it see the links below:

I drove over there there yesterday as a way of clearing my head after a bit of a rough day the day before.  Drove around the gravel roads in the park for a bit and got out a few times to look around.

First sighting of something of interest – off in the distance
A little far away for a good pic – but nice American Kestrel

Kestrel again
Some flowers out

Ruddy duck just off the road

Another ruddy duck

A group of Northern shovelers

More Northern Shovelers

Northern Pintails

Northern Pintails

Northern Pintails
Northern Harrier (a lot of Northern things I guess)

Coots (they are everywhere in the park)

Northern shoveler

More pintails

Kingfisher off in the distance 

Forster’s tern (I think)

Forster’s tern (I think)
Forster’s tern (I think)

And then the best moment – there in front of me, running across the road – river otters. They
caught me by surprise but I got this pic through my windshield.  Six of them in total.

I went to where they crossed and looked around for 3-4 minutes
and saw nothing.  As I was getting ready to go I saw
some rippling in the water.  And then ..

One crossed the road.

And off to the other side.

There was a little trail of water in the road.

And then another crossed.

And another

And off into the bushes to the water.

And they then hung out clicking at each other and maybe at me.

They had left a little gift by the side of the road. 
I kept watching 

And then I realized maybe they were waiting for the other three. So
I backed away and looked across in the water on the other side and there they were.

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Overall a good day at the Basin.