Category Archives: Nature

Golden California Hills

Is there beauty in severe drought?

Priya Ghose Photography

Golden California Hills Photograph

The setting sun casts a warm glow over the golden California hills, its last rays illuminating the tops of distant oak trees. A little used gravel road winds its way in and out of the peaceful scene, and all seems right with the world on this tranquil evening in the mountains of the San Francisco Bay Area.

I’ve mentioned our severe drought in several recent blog posts, and here is an example of the current state of the land. I took this photo last week, as the sun began to set below the hills. We have a “Mediterranean climate” (mild winters, warm to hot dry summers) and are used to the grass drying up and many plants going dormant in the summertime. However, the vegetation is particularly parched this year, and many local reservoirs have turned to cracked depressions filled with grass and a bit of mud. While there…

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Winter Rose With Dew

While Winter roses lie dormant under snow in much of the country, this time of year brings a heavy flush of blooms to my miniature rose bush. ..

Priya Ghose Photography

Pink Rose With Raindrops

A soft and dreamy image of a deep pink miniature rose beaded with winter dew…

One of the best things about living in the San Francisco Bay Area in zone 9b is having a garden that flourishes throughout the entire year. My yard grows lush with new vegetation and both continual and early “Spring” blooms in the months of December, January, and February. By March and April, it is the height of Spring; if I’m not diligent, my vines will sneak ever closer to the house, and begin twining up the sides and entangling their strong and nimble climbing supports into my window screens. One day of inattention, and my passionflowers begin peeping into my kitchen and living room.

While Winter roses lie dormant under snow in much of the country, this time of year brings a heavy flush of blooms to my miniature rose bush. I love to go…

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Black-Crowned Night Heron And Shadow

A black-crowned night heron poses with its shadow in golden morning light…

Priya Ghose Photography

Black-Crowned Night Heron Photograph

A distinct shadow in profile accompanies this black-crowned night heron, as it sits on a rock at dawn near Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara, California. The morning light glows warmly on its soft plumage and bright red eye, while it waits for a tasty meal of fish or frogs or some delectable crustacean.

I’ll be honest, we didn’t visit Santa Barbara or get up before dawn to take photographs of black-crowned night herons. While photographing Stearns Wharf and the surrounding beach at first light was fun, somehow we got distracted by the variety of birds hunting and feeding at this same time of day. Before we knew it, we had begun stalking egrets and ducks, great blue herons and black-crowned night herons. Silly as it sounds, we named them as we followed them around.

“Oh! Here comes the Baron von Heron” (The great blue heron).

“Shoot…I just missed a shot…

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Parrot Feather Droplets

Delicate green foliage, aggressive grower…

Priya Ghose Photography

Parrot Feather Plant

Aquatic plant Parrot Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) delicately holds several raindrops. While it’s a beautiful plant with intricate fern-like leaves, it is also very aggressive and invasive. I bought it at a local nursery to grow in my smaller pond, but it encroached on the waterlily and the taro plants,  so eventually it had to go.

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Birds In Flight Over Water – Art At Midnight

Dreamy art, created when I should have been dreaming…

Priya Ghose Photography

Birds In Flight Art

A flock of seabirds soars overhead, gliding on salty ocean breezes. Turquoise waves crash below, throwing mist high up into the unsettled air.

I’ve already established in a previous blog post that I am not the best sleeper out there. I’ve done my fair share of watching infomercials about all sorts of nifty kitchen gadgets, as well as an incredibly wide assortment of beauty products. However, many nights I’d rather do something creative while the house and neighborhood is silent and everyone sleeps. Traditional photo editing just doesn’t appeal to me at 2 AM; I see things differently somehow, and I’d rather step outside of my comfort zone and delve into the unknown. I created this image in the wee hours yesterday morning, incorporating my love for the color turquoise, birds, and the ocean into a dreamy, misty piece of flight and fantasy.

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Dreamy Blue Windflower

Blue Windflower in a spring breeze…

Priya Ghose Photography

A dreamy blue windflower (Anemone blanda), sways gently in a soft spring breeze, as it peeks out from a sheltered corner of a woodland garden…

Anemone Blanda Photograph

I have to be honest here…my image choice for today’s blog post is based on our current weather conditions. It’s hot here in California, and everything is brown. Our clay soil has been baked in the summer sun and is cracking open, revealing nothing more but continued dryness in its depths. Huddled inside in the a/c while my garden droops and fries in the persistent sun, I came across this image of a windflower. It immediately transported me back to the cool spring day when I spied its beautiful bloom and knelt on the rich, damp soil to capture it twisting, bowing, and nodding in time with the gentle spring breeze.

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Pollination

Pollination, up close and personal!

Priya Ghose Photography

Pollination

A tiny sweat bee diligently gathers brilliant yellow pollen from the inside of a vibrant red dahlia.

Yes, here we go again…back to my bee photography obsession. I am taking a break from my beloved honeybee photographs to post this image of a very petite native California bee abundantly covered in fluffy dahlia pollen. I have been unable to identify it thus far, and would love any ID leads. Whatever its true identification, I find it quite cute. I’ve admitted to photographing bees while standing in the landscaping of strip malls, as well crawling around on the goose poop laden grass to get up close and personal with baby geese, and also stated that I’m a fixture at local nurseries. This is one of my nursery photos, taken at the edge of a huge grouping of brilliantly flowering dahlias which were teeming with a variety of bees. When I first…

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