Shallow Thoughts : tags : wildflowers

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing and Technology, Science, and Nature.

Sun, 31 Mar 2013

Dinosaur Eggs, Collared Doves and Wildflowers

[Dinosaur egg (okay, not really)] Happy Easter! In keeping with the season, here's a dinosaur egg I spotted on a recent hike.

Okay, or maybe it's just a vaguely egg-shaped rock. But there's been a lot going on this spring now that the weather is turning.

[Eurasian Collared Dove] First, we seem to have Eurasian collared doves nesting somewhere near our house. There's a dove up on the power pole, cooing, most of the day. I know I've heard lots of reports of collared doves around the south bay in past years, particularly down around Morgan Hill, but this is the first time I'd seen more than a glimpse of them here at home in San Jose. It's fun to see new species, though I hope these European interlopers don't push out the native mourning doves entirely.

[Shooting star] In addition, the wildflowers have been great out on the trails, especially around the south end of Windy Hill OSP and Coal Mine Ridge. A hike up there last week revealed nearly every wildflower on my wildflower page that could be in flower now -- California poppy, wild cucumber (intriguingly also called manroot), giant trillium, hound's tongue, milkmaids, the most impressive profusion of Indian warrior I've seen, blue larkspur, miner's lettuce, Sierra suncup, vetch (it's pretty despite the unfortunate name), red maid, wild radish, wood sorrel, broom, and my favorite, shooting star.
[Indian warrior and hound's tongue blooming  in Coal Mine Ridge] Dave had to keep waiting for me while I argued with the camera over macro focus distances. So if you like wildflowers, get out there and take a look!

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[ 17:22 Mar 31, 2013    More nature | permalink to this entry | comments ]

Fri, 01 May 2009

Bay Area Wildflowers

Spring is in full swing, and all around the bay area the parks are ablaze with the colors of wildflowers -- blues and lavenders at Alum Rock, blues and yellows at Rancho San Antonio and oranges at Arastradero.

I've been shooting photos of wildflowers for years, always intending to collect them into a web page -- for my own reference (I always forget which wildflowers are which) as much as anyone else's.

At the same time, I've been gradually working on finding better ways of displaying photos on gallery pages. Most of my old pages use tables, which work fine in all browsers but don't scale very well with page size -- 4 images across may look fine in an 800 pixel wide window but look pretty silly at 1600 pixels. After playing with various CSS-based ideas for showing images and captions, I finally found the answer ("display: inline-block" is the key) on this CSS gallery demo. I adapted it for my site and wrote some PHP glue to generate the pages, and here's the result: Bay Area Wildflowers.

Update: Isn't it always the case? Just when you think you're done with something, you find out there's more to do. I wrote the preceding a week ago and then didn't manage to post it before leaving for a desert trip. And the desert was blooming! So here I am, ba-wildflowers site barely made public, newly back from the Mojave with a disk full of desert wildflower photos that aren't from the bay area. Looks like the "Bay Area Wildflowers" site needs to expand to a wider area ...

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[ 22:13 May 01, 2009    More nature | permalink to this entry | comments ]