Wildlife

 

There is so much to see at San Luis Reservoir, especially the wildlife. Besides the common animals like raccoons and skunks, some of the patrol officers have seen mountain lions close to the DWR (Department of Water Resources) compound. And once I saw a river otter walking down the dam access road. Not the usual place for a river otter.

Occasionally we see coyotes and bobcats and the seldom seen badger. The bobcats are hard to get a picture of because they run fast for cover.

And of course we have snakes during the warm season…mostly rattlesnakes, but also king snakes.

Then in October or there about, there is the tarantula migration although the past couple of years there hasn’t been many. They are the small, brown tarantulas common to central California.

Mostly we see elk and deer. The elk herd is over 200 animals and the deer…well, the most I’ve seen in one group is seven. But they both offer endless photo opportunities. We even have a three-legged elk which is about three years old. Unfortunately, she got her leg caught in a fence, but she gets by just fine with the rest of the herd.

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Northern White Pelican

“So long,” he was saying…

This is a great picture of a wing, but not every picture comes out as I would like. However, it is a good shot of the wing markings for a Northern White Pelican. When they swim, they look all white.

The Northern White Pelicans are smaller than the Brown Pelicans. They are a fresh water pelican that likes to hang out in the San Luis Reservoir. These pelicans are kinda hard to see from shore because they stay up close to the dam…away from people. But if you can get a good look at them you’d find them to be beautiful birds…and very graceful when flying and landing in the water.

Check out Northern White Pelicans to see what they look like on the water.

Tule Elk

Living Life

Tule Elk Triplets

Every spring the babies are born. Usually they have one baby…I suppose I should say ‘calf’…but a couple of years ago this one had three. I think that’s pretty unusual.

This herd of Tule Elk nearly died out here in north, central California, but with help they came back and are now thriving…with over 200 animals in the herd.

These elk are wild but like to hang out around the San Luis Reservoir, near Los Banos, California. Biologists come out and put collars on some of them to collect information as to where they spend their time. I think it’s here at the Department of Water Resources.

I’m A Rabbit!

To whom it may concern…

“I’m a rabbit. I’ve always been a rabbit,” he said with pride, as he looked out of his window at his vegetable garden.

“I grow carrots. I’ve always grown carrots,” and he smiled, as he looked over his crop.

“I eat carrots. I’ve always eaten carrots.” And he rubbed his tummy and smacked his lips.

“You see, I’m a rabbit. I’ve always been a rabbit. I grow carrots. I’ve always grown carrots. I eat carrots. I’ve always eaten carrots. Because I’m a rabbit!” he said with a smile.

Rainbow Over Santa Nella

From my vantage point on the dam at San Luis Reservoir near Los Banos, California, I can get some great pictures. No one is allowed on the dam except employees of which I am one. So I feel privileged when the opportunity strikes and a great shot comes along.

This rainbow picture shows the Highway 152 bridge and the O’Neill Forebay with Santa Nella in the distance. In case anyone is interested, Santa Nella is a big truck stop located at the intersection of Interstate 5 and Highway 33 in north, central California.

I love rainbow pictures or any picture that shows nature at its finest. Bad weather sometimes make the most dramatic photos…sunsets and sunrises especially.

Wild Mustard

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Wild mustard along the California Aqueduct

One of the many perks of patrol duty is the beautiful scenery. This picture was taken along the California Aqueduct when the wild mustard was blooming. It was a beautiful day, and being a security patrol officer allows me the opportunity to go places that others cannot…like here on the aqueduct.

For those who don’t know…wild mustard is yellow…my favorite color. It grows in the spring like a weed and leaves a lovely yellow hue on hillsides and grassy areas.

I love flowers, and take every opportunity to get pictures as I patrol. This is just one picture I have taken of the mustard, as I also consider myself an amateur photographer. But mostly I enjoy working outside on beautiful days.