Monday, March 16, 2009

Catalina Island

I realize it has been awhile since I wrote on my blog but with the broken ankle and a month of sick kids, I haven't taken many pictures of late. That changed since my highly anticipated trip to Catalina.

I had the great pleasure to join a fantastic group of photographers in a Marc Muench Workshop that traveled in areas of Catalina that most of the public never sees. Jack Baldelli of the Catalina Conservancy was our guide that was hands down just the coolest person to meet. His knowledge of the areas to photograph, the animals, plants, wild flowers and his best feature, his enthusiasm and passion for the Island was exciting and invigorating.

Even though I felt like I was losing a lung from coughing so much, yes I was a little sick on the trip, I wouldn't have missed a minute of this adventure. We got up at 4:30 am most mornings and got to sleep by 10pm. We rode in a open air jeep over extreme steep terrain I wouldn't even walk on. Four Wheel roads have a whole new meaning to me now. I even screamed like a little kid at one point when going down a steep section of the path our jeep started to slide and Jack gunned the throttle to regain traction. Now I know what it feels like to wet my pants.

Enough of story telling and more of what this blog entry is all about. Pictures of the picturesque Island of Catalina. Here are a few of the landscape.





















Besides the outstanding views we had, we also ran into some wildlife. The Island was able to rid itself of the goats and pigs that were destroying the natural foliage but they did leave the Bison. The Catalina Bison are one of the few Bison herds that do not have a mix of the domestic cow DNA. These guys even though are huge to me are much smaller than the Bison on the main land. They have to stay small and nimble in order to trek the Island's Steep terrain.


The Bald Eagles were almost extinct from the Island until the Conservancy made a huge push to protect these majestic birds. There are only a few birds on the Island but we were able to capture one decent shot. We only had a few moments before the Eagle took off in flight across the water to its nest high up in the trees.


Here are a few other birds that inhabit the Island.

California Quail


House Finches



Horned Lark


Northern Flicker




While resting for lunch, this little Side Blotched Lizard seemed a little curious to why we were disturbing his bask in the sun.


This time of the year the wild flowers are in bloom showing off all their glory. The Island was so green, one would think the Island was more near Ireland rather than Southern California.

Bee on a Daisy


Blue Dick


Cactus Bloom


Elegant Lupin



Shooting Star



Island Poppy


Last but not least, here is a dedication to the man that made this workshop as memorable as any photo trip I have been on.

The Famous Muench Star

5 comments:

Robert Thorp said...

Beautiful pictures. You have an affinity with birds. Such a different view of Catalina Island which I have always associated with Beach Bunny movies from the '60's.

Kim said...

You never fail to blow me away!! As always, these are so great!

Kim said...

Picked a new desktop background from your latest pics. Thanks!! PS still have the B&W SF shot on my comp at work.

Anonymous said...

Recently Stumbled across ur blog. Awesome pics .... :)

-Aditi

Daniel Thorp said...

Why thank you :-D