My July Sky II

More images and thoughts from my walk at sundown yesterday…


sky, tree & moon triptych


Everywhere I looked the sky was doing something different.

Washes of color and fast-moving clouds.

Swallows dancing through it all.


Western Fence Lizard, sunset profile


Tearing myself away from the views above, I found plenty of interest down on the ground.

Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis longipes) — such beautiful creatures.

After approaching slowly and gradually, I was duly rewarded with an amazing series of shots.

I made sure to say “thank you” when we parted ways.


Phainopepla & branches


The Phainopeplas (Phainopepla nitens) are so numerous this year.

Everywhere in the bare branches are crested pairs — I imagine their nests are hidden in the foliage below.

Quail sputtered loudly from the stands of dry thistle and brush as I passed.

The shrill begging cries of a newly fledged hawk demanded my attention over and over again.

I think (as I have thousands of times before) that birds are pure magic.


plants & sunset


Even after the sun had set from view, the sky remained drenched in lovely shades.

I took the opportunity to photograph some stunning plant silhouettes.

From left to right: Black Sage (Salvia mellifera), California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica) and White Sage (Salvia apiana).


rattlesnake, soft focus


It was almost 8:30 PM when I neared home…

Just enough light to still make out the potential dangers while wandering around in the hills.

Not quite enough light to get the camera to achieve focus though.

  Not to worry… I like the soft, brush-stroked look of this rattlesnake rendering.

Harsi / July 4, 2011 / birds, hillsides, plants, reptiles, skies


  1. Ben - July 5, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

    Really digging these triptychs! My oh my, what gorgeous skies you have out there this time of year. The fence lizard is awesome (Liran would flip). Love those purple shades in the plant silhouette triptych too. Nice post and looks like a lovely walk… B PS – Watch out for snakes 🙂 they’re after you…

  2. Harsi - July 5, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

    I’m having a bit of a love affair with these triptychs too. Ha ha! I’ve actually been pretty surprised at how incredible the skies have been lately. Happily surprised!! So funny that you should joke that the snakes are after me… Sometimes I do feel a bit like a “rattlesnake magnet” because I sight them so frequently. In reality, I think there is just a very active population right near (or possibly under!) our cabin. The combination of them living close to where I do and the fact that (by necessity) I have gotten very good at spotting them means that I get to see more than my fair share. Oh, I would soooo love to get to show Li (and Harps) all the critters around our place. I’m quite certain that we would all have a BLAST!! 🙂


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