Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tracking the caribou

Three caribou from a larger herd that we saw in Denali National Park, Alaska. Look carefully at the one on the left. It has a belt around its neck, with a box at the bottom. Most likely a tracking device. I didn't see it at the time, but only later, at home, while zooming in on the picture.

Curiosity took me to web-searching and on to this page - It's got some interesting information about tracking - why they do it, how they do it, etc. The basic technology is GPS satellites. An interesting rule of thumb is that the device shouldn't weigh more than 4% of the animal's body weight.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Ripping into lunch

A bear in Katmai National Park, Alaska, ripping into a red salmon.

Monday, October 27, 2008

How long can you keep a pumpkin after Halloween?

Ever wondered how long a pumpkin can last after Halloween? Last year I decided to find out. I got two pumpkins last Halloween, around October 2007. One big and one tiny. The big one survived till this September - about 11 months - before collapsing from within. Apparently, it started rotting slowly, until gradually the outer skin became too weak to hold back the guts and one fine day I was greeted by the sight of it half collapsed in on itself - like a building that's been brought down by a controlled detonation.

The above pic shows the tiny pumpkin. This one survived till October 2008 - about 12 months. You can see the little patches of white on the outside. That's fungus. Surprisingly, the pumpkin felt quite solid to the touch. Then, I took a little kitchen knife and this is what happened:

The inside looked a bit empty. I guess that's how they go. For purposes of scientific disclosure, the pumpkins were never harmed, fed, genetically modified, or otherwise altered after they were bought. The big pumpkin was always kept outside, where temperatures ranged from 32F to 100F during the year. The little one was always inside - pretty much between 68-78F.

Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Strolling along the beach

A bear that we saw walking along the beach of the Naknek Lake in Katmai National Park, Alaska. This one was around 70 feet away.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Big bear, big tongue

Another bear we saw in Katmai National Park, Alaska.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bear viewing in Katmai

A bear in Katmai National Park in Alaska, the best place to see browns bears in the wild. More to follow soon.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Windmill at dusk

A windmill encountered towards the end of a hike on a cloudy day. The sun had set and it was getting dark.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Smoke, haze, and an orange sun

A bright orange sun thanks to the recent wildfires that we've been having in California. Over 800 wildfires have already burned several hundred acres of land. Due to the air pollution caused by the smoke and haze, a health advisory is in effect.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Down the road and up to the volcano

That's Mt.Thielsen, an extinct volcano in southern Oregon. It's 9182 feet high and close to Crater Lake National Park.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

New Balance in the snow

This is a footprint of my New Balance shoe in the snow. You can make out the letters clearly. (Mirror image, of course.) These shoes have about 500 miles on them. This was taken in the snow near Crater Lake in Oregon, on a morning that had just seen some fresh snow a few hours earlier. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Grill in the church

A building next to the church in Mission San Juan Capistrano in California - a picture of which I posted a while ago.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Christmas, chocolate, and contrails

Ok, you can't really see the contrails since it's too dark but those streaks of light at the top of the picture are the lights of an airplane taking off from the airport nearby. The other lights are the Christmas lights in the cactus garden of the Ethel M chocolate factory in Henderson, Nevada near Las Vegas. If you've never been there, you are missing something.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Capitol building in San Francisco

A shot of the Capitol building in San Francisco, California on a cloudy day.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Doors and guitars

The entrance to the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hard Rock Cafe is known for its walls covered with rock-and-rock memorabilia. Apparently, it was named after The Doors album, Morrison Hotel.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Red road under the blue sky

This was taken in the Mojave National Preserve in California, about 80 miles south-west of Las Vegas. If you are on your way back to California, you could enter through the north entrance off the I-15 freeway, drive south through the park, and exit through the south entrance and head west on the I-40 freeway. If you do this, make sure to stop by the Kelso Dunes in the middle of the park. At 600 feet in height, they are the third highest in North America.

The road, when we were driving, was reddish in one direction but the usual black in the other. It was probably due to the interplay between the sun and the contents of the tar. Whatever it was, it was beautiful, especially when juxtaposed against the blue sky.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Moon among the lights

This was taken at the Ethel M chocolate factory in Las Vegas, Nevada. During Christmas, they light up the garden outside the factory. Definitely one of the best Christmas light displays I've ever seen.

In the picture below, you can see the full moon camouflaged by the brilliance of the lights. It's that little bright circle in the center.

You can do a tour inside the factory and that ends in the main chocolate room where you will succumb to buying some if you like chocolate even a little.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Red doors

This is from inside the Red Rock casino near Las Vegas, Nevada. It was during Christmas but I think the color of the doors had nothing to do with that.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mirage in Vegas

A night shot of the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Didn't have a tripod and had to use a wall.