Have A Whale of A Valentine’s Day

“Today is Valentine’s Day.
– Or as men like to call it,
Extortion Day!”
Jay Leno

 

Redondo Beach Gray Whale Valentines Day 2020

This is the season for all the migrating Gray Whales. Today a local photographer, Tim Hammond shot this Gray Whale spouting its heart shaped wishes.

Shine On

 

Dog Athletes in Motion

 

“There is no such thing as a difficult dog,
only an inexperienced owner.”
Barbara Woodhouse

Dog Athletes in Motion

 

Every year I look forward to watching the prime televised dog shows. I’m always amazed how the judges select “Best of Show” from such beautiful and diverse breeds. But, there is one event at the recent Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show which doesn’t require a judge. The best in the agility category.

There are different breeds and sizes that compete in dog agility. But, whatever size or breed you prefer, there is no denying that these agility dogs have a whole lot of heart.

P!nk, who is pictured above and yes, named after the singer, became the sixth border collie in seven years to win the 2020 Westminster Masters Agility Championship. The dog and her owner, Jennifer Crank, won the 16-inch class for the third consecutive year.

If you love dogs and have never watched a dog agility competition, you’ve missed the experience of witnessing dog athletes in motion.

Shine On

Wyland Whaling Wall

“I pretend like I’m painting
the whales as they swim by.
I’ve studied whales since I was a child,
so it’s all in my mind.”
Wyland

wyland-whaling-wall

One of Redondo Beaches most famous landmarks is the large mural created by world-famous Laguna Beach artist Wyland. He painted the mural for free back in 1991 in hopes the mural would inspire everyone to make ocean conservation an issue to be examined.

This 87′ x 622′ mural depicting 12 California gray whales can be viewed on the exterior wall of the AES Redondo Generating Station, 1100 North Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach, California. The mural is #31 of the artist’s largest and most extraordinary works created as a series of 100 life-size murals in 100 different cities around the world.

The mural illustrates the annual 10,000-mile round-trip migration of the Pacific Gray Whale from the Bering Sea to the warm lagoons of Baja California and back again to the arctic circle, with their newborn babies alongside. This migration happens every winter and brings the whales close to Redondo Beach’s shoreline.

I feel so fortunate to have witnessed hundreds of whales these past years making their yearly Baja trip. If you too have seen whales in their natural habitat, you know what an emotional experience it can be. We need to be reminded of our beautiful oceans and the precious cargo it is home to everyday.

The following 1991 video about Wyland and his passion for whales, also shows the painting on the Wyland Whaling Wall.

Shine On

Galapagos Baby Tortoises

“Never discourage anyone,
who continually makes progress,
no matter how slow.”
Plato

 

Galapagos Baby Tortioses

In the mid-eighteenth-century sailors first set foot on the Pinzón Island triggering an environmental disaster. Unbeknownst to these sailors, they brought rats from their first ships that quickly multiplied, as rats tend to do.

One of the islands inhabitants was the Galapagos tortoises, who had few predators. Slowly, these tortoises began to disappear due to these rats feeding on the Galapagos eggs. The rat invasion was so devastating to this ancient tortoise population that for over the next century not a single tortoise egg hatched. As a result of our human activity, it placed the Galapagos on the endangered species list until now.

Beginning in the 1960s, researchers, scientists and even Governments worked to save the Galapagos tortoises by eradicating the islands rat population as well as increasing and protecting egg hatchings. It took over 40 years of dedicated hard work, but it is paying off tenfold.

Thanks to organizations such as the Galapagos Conservancy, and human interest this gentle giant is now returning to Pinzón. James Gibbs, a Professor and Researcher who works with the Galapagos Conservancy, in Fairfax, Virginia said, “I’m surprised the turtles have given us the opportunity to make up for our mistakes after so much time.”

Dr. Gibbs recently reported that his team detected an estimated 500 turtles currently living on the island. He also reported that, thanks to years of working to save these turtles, they are seeing more and more Galapagos baby tortoises.

Shine On

Captivating Chronophotos

“There are always two people in every picture:
the photographer and the viewer.”
Ansel Adams

Stunning Chronophotos

Photo by Chen Chengguang

 

All my life I have loved photography. I appreciate talent when I see it. That’s why I wanted to share this image I recently came across. It was taken by photographer, Chen Chengguang at  Joinus12345.

Some of you bloggers that are also photographers may have heard of a photography technique known as, Chronophotography. It’s a techniques that was a predecessor to cinematography and moving film. This antique photographic technique from the Victorian era, originally was created and used for the scientific study of movement. It captures movement in several frames of print. The prints can then be arranged like animation cels or layered in a single frame. The_Horse_in_Motion_high_res

The most famous chronophoto was created by Eadward Muybridge. Back in 1872, Muybridge worked with the former governor of California, Leland Stanford to create the famous first moving picture, THE HORSE IN MOTION. The debated question of the day was, whether all four feet of a horse were off the ground at the same time while trotting. THE HORSE IN MOTION proved they were.

All of Chen’s photographs displayed on his Instagram account are breathtaking.  His talent for capturing birds and other creatures using this antiquated form of photography, makes for captivating Chronophotos.

Shine On