Took this one at Taronga, Sydney's city zoo.
The Sumatran tiger is the smallest of the tiger sub-species and is highly impacted by the palm oil plantation growth in Indonesia. They number less than 500 today.
Think of these tigers when you buy cereals, soaps and cosmetics that use palm oil as an ingredient. Over 80% of world palm oil comes from Indonesia or Malaysia where palm oil is produced at the expense of precious forests.
The sun blows it's goodnight kiss for the day to the mountain top at Mount Shasta in Northern California.
The Shasta snow cover reflects the third consecutive year of dry winter in California. This past winter Shasta ski lifts were mostly closed, and the slopes were covered by as little as two to three inches of snow.
Shasta Lake the largest reservoir in California stood at about 35 percent of storage capacity in Spring 2014 showing the cumulative effects of dry winters since 2012.
The Columbia River Gorge is one of the most beautiful yet accessible natural landscapes in the continental United States. Just over 30 miles east of Portland, the Gorge extends for over 80 miles and contains over 90 waterfalls just on the Oregon side of the river and is home to Mt Hood Oregon's tallest mountain.
The Columbia river, sacred to the Natives and dear to the locals, also shares a deep connection to western US history given the Lewis and Clark expedition, the first white immigrant American expedition to cross the western United States, across the continental divide onto the Pacific Ocean.
By the time I took these shots, it was about an hour after sunset and it was pretty dark given the greenery in the area. There was still light in the sky so I let the light flow into the lens to capture the depth of the river with the city lights shining onto the sky, and to showcase the greenery around, while allowing time for the clouds to roll over the scenery.
I love this place and hope to be back here soon.
This week's Friday The 13th, 2014 was unique for one trivia. It was also a full moon day and the next time this happens is in 2049.
Superstition and related horrors are not one of my core competencies so I will leave it to superstitious / religious folks on what they think this means to who.
For me it was just another day to build my treasure chest of memories with yet another memorable visual. That of the setting full moon against a beloved landscape .
Photographing moon rise and set with landscape in the foreground to a large extent depends on the cloud coverage at the right time. Around full moon, the moon set and sun rise occur close to each other which meant I had to be ready and in place for those few pre-dawn minutes when the moon is low enough to be set in the backdrop of a visible landscape and before the rising sun washed away the finer details on the moon . And I had to keep my fingers crossed hoping that the moon will not be hidden by the clouds. I got lucky with just a few shots before the moon disappeared behind the clouds and then the rising sunlight covered the sky with a white blanket.
An interesting moon trivia is that the moon always looks the same from the earth. This is because the moon rotates once about every 27 days, and revolves once about every 27 days. So every time the moon goes around the Earth it turns around one time and we see the same side always. - This was one of those 'mayas' that disappeared at the dawn of knowledge thanks to reading up after serendipitous observations during photography:-)
This past Sunday I spent four priceless hours atop Marine Headlands in San Francisco Bay mesmerized by the hues in the twilight sky fading into a star studded clear night sky over the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco. Until I started packing up close to midnight, I had no plans of being back at that spot anytime soon.
The clear night sky though had washed my brain. It was three days to new moon and the waning 8% crescent moon was expected to rise around 2 hours before sunrise on Memorial day, Monday May 26th. Watching the moon and sun rise within hours of each other was too tempting.
Few hours later into the night I was back on my way hiking up the incline with the occasional deer along the trail wondering why I was there disturbing the few hours of summer night that they get for themselves. As I reached the hilltop again around 4 am in the morning, the rapid changes in skylight across the Bay over the next few hours made the early rising well worth it.
Given the light pollution from San Fransisco, I was pleasantly surprised to spot the Milky Way where I was hoping it would be - south west of the city. Turning east, the rising crescent moon over the East Bay seemed to be waiting for the sun to wake up. And the sun was too happy to open its sleepy eyes pretty soon.
Sunset, twilight hues, milky way, rising moon, predawn hues and the rising sun over the breathtaking landscape of the San Fransisco Bay. That was sufficient accumulated wealth for one night. Memorial Day memorabilia.
Took this one just around sunset on the jogging/biking trails along the hillsides not too far from home. Had to stop for a look at that tree.