Piedras Blancas Elephant Seals

Every winter the elephant seals arrive at Piedras Blancas, where the females give birth and nurse their babies. The males build harems of the females because a month after they give birth, they go into heat and it’s mating time. This means the males are going to spend their time fighting with each other, and everyone else tries to stay out of their way. Between the males, it’s usually the case that bigger wins and the smaller ones have to know when to get out of the area.

For more info on the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seals and their rookery, check out the Friends of the Elephant Seals web site.

  • Species:
    Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris)
  • Date Taken:
    January 28, 2013
  • Location:
    Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery
  • Camera:
    Canon 7D
  • Lens:
    Canon EF 70-200F2.8L IS II + 2.0x TC
  • Tags:
    California, Elephant Seal (Northern), Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery, San Luis Obispo County
Posted in Photo of the Day

Piedras Blancas Elephant Seals

Every winter the elephant seals arrive at Piedras Blancas, where the females give birth and nurse their babies. The males build harems of the females because a month after they give birth, they go into heat and it’s mating time. This means the males are going to spend their time fighting with each other, and everyone else tries to stay out of their way. Between the males, it’s usually the case that bigger wins and the smaller ones have to know when to get out of the area.

For more info on the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seals and their rookery, check out the Friends of the Elephant Seals web site.

  • Species:
    Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris)
  • Date Taken:
    January 26, 2013
  • Location:
    Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery
  • Camera:
    Canon 7D
  • Lens:
    Canon EF 70-200F2.8L IS II + 2.0x TC
  • Tags:
    California, Elephant Seal (Northern), Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery, San Luis Obispo County
Posted in Photo of the Day

Three-Dot Lounge for July 27, 2014

Three dot lounge is a mostly-weekly collection of things that deserve more than a retweet. Stay tuned for fascinating opinions and pithy commentary. Also keep an eye on my Twitter feed for more interesting stuff.

West-side San Joaquin Valley water calamity may be unfolding

West-side San Joaquin Valley water calamity may be unfolding

While much of the focus on the drought has been on the low volumes in the reservoirs, people are starting to pay attention that we’re destroying the aquifers. Once they drain and collapse, they don’t come back, yet we’re still treating them as infinite reservoirs — it’s a completely unregulated water source in California right now.

Goodbye, Google Voice: I’m breaking up with you

Goodbye, Google Voice: I’m breaking up with you

I’ve used Google Voice as my published phone number for a while, I always thought I was more likely to have it around than my mobile number. Since then, it’s become easy (well, easier) to keep that number if I change carriers, and Google Voice has sat there being ignored by Google.

It and Feedburner seem to be prime candidates to get the “Google Reader” treatment at some point to me, and I’ve seen no indication from Google these projects are in anything but “as long as they don’t break we’ll ignore them” mode. I’m also realizing I get little real value from using Google Voice these days over my carrier’s voicemail, so why am I doing it?

Because of that, I’m starting the shift away from it, because I’d rather do it on my own terms and not under some forced deadline because Google makes the “it’s going away” announcement. Maybe it won’t go away, because I’ve been waiting for Feedburner to die for a few years now.

As I write this, the last status update for either product on their official blogs is over a year ago. Those aren’t products I want to depend on being there forever. they aren’t being enhanced, there’s no sign of any real corporate interest in them. And looking at what happened to Google Reader, it’s time to shift away from Google Voice before I’m forced to. If you’re a Google Voice user, you should take a look at the state of the product and ask yourself if you should depend on a zombie product in your life…

Things I Learned After My Photo Hit #1 on Reddit, and Why I Probably Shouldn’t Have Posted It

Things I Learned After My Photo Hit #1 on Reddit, and Why I Probably Shouldn’t Have Posted It

Online, there’s a strong culture of sharing and copying. You can’t stop that. You can fight it, but most of the time you’ll lose; as this piece shows, even if you win, by the time you win, it’s a pyhhric victory.

I don’t think the answer is not to put stuff online. I think the answer is to understand how this all works and learn to accept it and take advantage of it as you can. The fact is, msot and more of our life in general is shifting online, and if you don’t embrace it, you’re going to end up left behind, so that’s not a solution, either.

This is exactly why I recently redid my watermarks on images to include a frame and better identifying info in it; it’s that compromise between mucking up the image in an attempt to prevent it being taken (which won’t work) and keeping your identifation and attribution with the image when it gets shared. Not everyone I’ve heard from like it, but they seem to understand why I did it

I think if you’re going to put images online and maintaining your attribution matters to you, this is the way to do it. If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for a long series of fights to protect your image that you’re ultimately going to lose, and at best, is going to waste a lot of your time and cause a lot of stress. Unless you see not posting at all as an option (I certainly don’t), you need to understand how the sharing culture works and work with it, not stand in front of the firehose demanding the water change direction…

The death of backpacking?

The death of backpacking?

Here’s a shocker, every generation sees things differently than their parents, and almost invariably, their parents don’t understand why.

My dad hated the Beatle’s and Elvis. I have never figured out why anyone listens to rap music. You need only look the rise of the X-games to see that kids don’t see activities the way us old pharts do. So it seems that the younger generations are more interested in day hikes and adventure hiking and less interested in traditional long-haul backpacking. Is that bad? Or just different?

More importantly, who’s working to get involved with these people where they are doing things and evangelizing these other activities to them? It’s easy to sit on the porch and grumble about the damned kids not getting it in your lemonade, but the way the kids get it is that people get committed and get on the ground and go out and help them learn about it. Anyone doing that?

Grumble grumble. get off my lawn…

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