Salton Sea (IR)

California USA, 1 October 2016

With Jeni Bate of Skyscapes for the Soul.

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If you have not read the previous post on the Salton Sea then you really should do so.  It contains images from similar places but also includes the ecological history of the Salton Sea and the way in which it represents a modern ecological parable.

(Click on any image for a larger view).

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness
The sign is headed SCSB – could this be Salton City Surf Beach?  It goes on to say: Property/ Parking Lot/ XXXX (i.e. erased) & Jetty/ Open to Public Use/ Sunrise to Sunset.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

This is the end, beautiful friend, this is the end my only friend, the end (Jim Morrison, not to be confused with Van Morrison).

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

Of course everyone knows that the camera presents a completely accurate representation of reality.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

What is not so commonly known is that cameras have a mind-reading chip and really show what you see when you look at the subject.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

This is why images commonly have more contrast, more saturated colours  and more pleasing renditions than reality.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

It is also why most nude photographs you see are of people who had their clothes on at the time.  It just depends on how the photographer’s mind works.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

One of my cameras is particularly honest and shows what I saw as I stood there in the searing heat with the agricultural toxins born on the wind slowly searing into my brain.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

Sometimes it is night, sometimes it is day and sometimes in the day it is night.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

We’re on a road to nowhere….

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

Perhaps this is an alien landscape with a dead robot trying to emerge from the primordial slime.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

Here, though, Jools and Jeni are discussing what we can possibly say to the rental car company.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

The reality is having an identity crisis.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

It is changing before our eyes.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

So back to normal reality.  Here we are at the North Shore Beach and Yacht Club, hoping for a swig or two amongst the jet-setters.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

The streetlight is causing a total eclipse of the sun.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

It’s gone now.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

Ah, but it’s back again to normal daylight.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

You may think they are giant mushrooms but I’m assured they are palm trees.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

Notwithstanding what appears to be an orange jump suit, i can assure you this is not a person recently escaped from prison.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

Fish and chips anyone?  (Fission chips may be another option but Diablo Canyon is hundreds of kilometres away).

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

I’m told the fishing has been better.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

Purple haze all in my brain.  Lately things don’t seem the same….

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

The great desert paradise of Bombay Beach.  I didn’t manage to catch the frolicking Beach Boys at the time though.

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Salton Sea

California USA, 1 October 2016

With Jeni Bate of Skyscapes for the Soul.

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This day we drove clockwise around the Salton Sea.  This post show the journey from Salton City to Bombay Beach as well as comments on the history and current fortunes of the Salton Sea.

(Click on any image for a larger view).

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

As you read the account that unfolds  below, you may wish to come back to this map occasionally.  Note the Salton Sea at the top, the American Canal that is now the main source of water diverted from the Colorado River at just above the border, Canal Central (the diversion from the early 20th century) below that in Mexico, the Colorado river flowing from top right and the Gulf of California (or the Sea of Cortez) at the bottom.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The Salton Sea at the north-east corner.

Most readers will be aware of the long peninsula below California in Mexico which is the Baja California Peninsula.  The body of water between that and the rest of Mexico is the Gulf of California.  The peninsula and gulf are a consequence of seismic activity along the San Andreas fault, a part of which runs under the Gulf of California and along the valley to the north of it, including the Salton Sea.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The ecology of the Salton Sea is also highly connected with the Colorado River.  Five million years ago, the Colorado River was much more minor or did not exist as such and there were massive glacial lakes in the centre of North America, held there by glacial ice.  There was a catastrophic collapse of the ice wall, like a giant dam collapsing, and huge amounts of water were released along the Colorado River, carving out the Grand Canyon in a relatively short period of time.  Around 600,000 years ago there were also several episodes where the canyon was dammed by volcanic lava and after a time spectacularly broke though.  This creates lots of sediment which has to go somewhere and the Colorado River comes out at the Gulf of California.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Once there were palm trees, planted in the 50s or 60s.  Now few survive.

So the end of the Gulf of California is also the delta of the Colorado River.  Even with water in it, the Salton Sea is below sea level, so the delta of the Colorado River has blocked it off from being part of the Gulf of California.  The Salton Sea is not thought to have previously been part of the Gulf of California though.  Rather, the whole valley it is in sunk as a result of seismic activity along the San Andreas fault.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Tombstone for a palm tree, now in the desert.

The course of the Colorado River at the delta is very changeable since it flows though loose alluvial soils.  The area below sea level in the Salton Watershed is also much larger than the current Salton Sea.  In the last thousand years water from the Colorado River has poured in to fill this area four times, forming a body of water called Lake Cahuilla, and then receding.  The last time it dried up was around 1700.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Salt, water, mountains.

The Salton Sea is an historical accident.  In the nineteenth century it was dry.  From 1900 Charles Robinson Rockwood constructed a canal to divert water from the Colorado River to enable irrigation of potential farmland in the Imperial Valley below what is now the Salton Sea.  The canal initially ran parallel to the river.  The mouth of the canal silted up so he cut another.  This silted up too so he cut another, larger opening.  But this time, cutting financial corners, he failed to construct a gate to regulate floods.  And in 1905, there was a massive flooding of the Colorado River.  It changed course to flow along the canal and poured into the Salton Sink unchecked for two years, creating the Salton Sea.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Dead fish on the salt.

Eventually, after massive expense and remarkable effort, Edward Harriman of the Southern Railroad Company plugged the gap but the Salton Sea was born.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Lots of dead fish on the salt.

In response to fears of flood and drought, and to avoid canal water sourced from Mexico, there was a massive project in the 1930s to build the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and a new All-American canal north of the Mexican border to irrigate the land between the border and the Salton Sea.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This and earlier images are Salton City and surrounds.  Here we have a resident who has managed to retain and water their palm trees.

There came to be a successfully irrigated agricultural industry but the modified flow of the Colorado River affected Mexico as well as the US.  An international agreement short-changed Mexico which only received one third to one half of the water that went to the Imperial Valley.  The magnificent delta lands at the mouth of the Colorado were also greatly compromised.  Previously it had been a wetlands paradise for wildlife.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The end, but of what?  The end of Time?  The end of Western Civilisation?  The end of Life as we know it?  The end of Memory? The end of speculative development projects? The end of water?  The end of the Salton Sea?  The end of words?  Or is it just where Jim Morrison came when he wrote “This is the end …”?.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The level of the sea has not always remained constant though.  Notwithstanding the Hoover Dam, there were floods in the seventies and eighties that raised the level for a while and then subsided.  The level now is lower than it was in say the 1960s.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

In 1958, M Penn Phillips launched Salton City to replace the desert as “the Salton Riviera”.   There were to be 250,000 lots with roads, electricity, sewage, a golf course and a marina.  Nine thousand fan palms were planted.  Lots were sold on the never-never where buyers didn’t own anything until all payments were made.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Once a Marina, perhaps.

Phillips bailed out in 1960 and by the end of the 1960s the bubble had deflated.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Still a jetty and a boat though the water has receded from the original jetty.  This is probably at Desert Shores.

As early as 1927 there was fishing, boating and waterskiing on the sea and for a while there was an edge of glamour with this.  During the sixties and seventies the Salton Sea was a fisherman’s paradise and a refuge for large numbers of migratory birds.  From the 90s it has become a poisonous ecological disaster.  Millions of fish died at a time.  There were massive epidemics of seabirds.  Bad odours have wafted from the lake, especially during die-off events.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

We left the lake for a while to walk in a nearby valley.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Ever left your car and not sure you can find it again?  Especially a rental car?

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The key didn’t seem to work and I couldn’t get the motor to turn over.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There seemed to be something wrong with the car but there was no mechanic nearby.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Lone pelican on a pole.

(For this and the next seven images, we are at or near North Shore Beach and Yacht Club).

The Salton Sea is a sink.  It is below sea level.  There is nowhere else for the deposits of the water to go.  The water there is saltier than sea water but that is not the problem because other salt lakes can be much saltier and still support abundant bird life.  It also has concerning levels of metals such as selenium, washed down the Colorado, but this is not the problem either.  It received agricultural runoff mainly from the US and also sewage and industrial waste from Mexico, which builds up year by year.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A few surviving palm trees.

Corvina (cilus gilberti), a large seawater fish from Central and South America, was introduced to the sea in the 1950s.  Then tilapia, mainly freshwater fish from Africa, were introduced to the sea in the 1960s to the great delight of the corvina.  The salinity of the lake at that time, about the same as seawater, was not a problem for the tilapia and the level of nutrients from the agricultural runoff meant that they flourished.  Consequently, the population of corvina skyrocketed to an extraordinary extent.  It was easy to catch 20-pound corvina (9 kilos) and 30-pound (14 kilo) fish were also available.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pelican on the wing.  Perhaps the rared brown pelican rather than the white one.

From the eighties and especially from the nineties, the sea started to become too salty for the tilapia and the excess nutrients continued to build up resulting in excessive blue green algae, bacteria and parasites.  This came to include selenium-contaminated pile worms, cyanobacteria, botulism spores and amyloodinium gill parasites.  This produced die-offs of millions of tilapis in single events.  There was a bird sanctuary at the south of the sea.  Then came mass bird die offs, principally grebes, pelicans and cormorants, from eating the poisoned fish.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Lots more dead fish again.

Given that the Salton Sea is a sewage sink, this problem is going to get worse.  The fish are largely or entirely gone now and fish-eating birds are scarce.  The sea is on their migration routes but continuing loss of habitat means there may not be somewhere else for them to go.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The fisherman seems to have stepped aside for a smoko.  Perhaps there were no fish to catch anyway.

There have been studies on how to effect a solution and two main alternatives emerged.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

One was to physically divide the sea in two, half for “fresh” water and the other half for an evaporative sump.  In the long term though, nutrients and salts would continue to come in and this would not work.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Tyre and rust.

The other was to pump water from the Gulf of California to the Salton Sea, restoring the sea to the level of say the 1960s.  At the same time, there would be a controlled outflow the other way.  This could extract pollutants using the mothballed Yuma desalination plant, which was completed but never used because a flood destroyed the canals that would supply it.  The flushing is necessary because otherwise there would still be a buildup of pollutants.  In time fish could be introduced again.  However, this would require the cooperation of Mexico which would require special treatment since it has received the raw end of the deal so far.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

More dead fish.

Neither of those options eventuated.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

My guess is that this was a boat and what pokes up is the mast.

The Salton Sea is drying out and must have deteriorated significantly since I was there in 2016.  In 2003, measures were taken to improve efficiency of water usage in the Imperial Valley, including moving from flushing the soil with water runoff to drip irrigation.  The unanticipated effect of this though was to reduce the excess water flowing into the Salton Sea.  At the same time, there was an agreement to transfer large amounts of water from the Imperial Valley to San Diego.  An “easement period” in which it was assumed that relief measures would be taken for the Salton Sea, expired in 2018.  Nothing had been done for the sea in the intervening period.  From 1st January 2018, 40% less water flows into the Salton Sea.  That must be having a significant effect.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Former pleasure craft or fishing craft.  Not currently much in use it seems.

Some remedial action is occurring but not much.  It follows a solution for another problem.  Owen’s Lake, inland from San Francisco and Los Angeles, was drained for Los Angeles water in the early 20th century.  By the second half of the 20th century it had become the single largest source of dust in the US.  From 1997 they replaced the dustbowl with a series of shallow ponds, which solves that problem though requires continuing maintenance.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The shore has receded.  We are at Bombay Beach, once a celebrity destination.

A similar proposal has started for the Salton Sea.  However, it only affects a small area at the southern end of the sea.  For the rest, the sea will continue to recede and give rise to dust clouds laden with insecticides and other toxins.  In due course this will probably become a noticeable problem for LA as well.  Already there have been very high levels of asthma for decades in people living in the Imperial Valley south of the sea.  Conditions south of the border in Mexico are likely to be worse.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There is another solution that Nature itself may provide.  Seismic activity along the San Andreas fault could open a fissure so that water rushes in and the entire Salton sink becomes part of the Gulf of California.  That may not be a desirable solution for the many people that live or farm there.  It may even be inevitable.  But even if so, it may not happen for maybe even millions of years.

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Desert, Ecology, History, Irrigation, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

… and the population has receded too.

It’s easy to look at this as a severe problem in an isolated obscure area that nobody much has heard of or should worry about.  But it’s also part of an ecological crisis in the south west of the US associated with twenty years of drought in the Colorado Basin.

More generally, it is a metaphor for what we are doing to the environment and how urgently our action is required.  Climate change, over-consumption and overpopulation are rapidly undermining our world.  This calls for well considered action.  Solutions are expensive but so is ignoring the problems.  Pretending there is no problem and doing nothing will not work.

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My primary source for this account has been Salt Dreams by William de Buys and Joan Myers.  I have also made some reference to Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau by Ron Blakey and Wayne Ranney, A history of water — and the Salton Sea — in Imperial by Neal V Hitch, Salton Sea: California drought could soon see the state’s largest body of water sleeping with the fishes by Tim Walker and Dust Rising by Michael Zelenko.

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(I have usually been posting once a week but this post has been delayed by the time required for research.  The next post has infrared images and that is also likely to be delayed because they are time-consuming to process, and also because I have some other tasks including preparing, printing and framing three images for an exhibition.)

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Encounters with Megafauna

Galleta Meadows, Borrego Springs, California USA, 30 September 2016

With Jeni Bate of Skyscapes for the Soul.

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A few days before, we saw the remains of prehistoric megafauna that had been trapped in the La Brea Tar Swamps.  There are still a few places you can see them though such as here at Galleta Meadows.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Their brown colour is an evolutionary adaption for living is a desert environment.  Indian and African elephants by contrast are grey because they evolved to live in black and white forests before the age of colour. You can see this in old films and nineteenth century photographs.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This appears to be a small group of gomphotheres which are usually very hard to find in the wild.  Not sure of the actual species though.

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Getting up close and personal with a gomphothere.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A very large locust or grasshopper and a scorpion.  Quite a bit larger than a human.

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They were just sitting there sizing each other off, hardly moving at all.  Well if they were moving at all, I didn’t notice it.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have got quite so close.  I understand scorpions can move quite quickly when they have a mind to.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Grasshoppers and locusts are essentially the same but they are locusts when they swarm.  Younger readers may not remember bygone decades driving through a plague of locusts when they would hit your windscreen like hail.  These days the thoughtful agricultural chemical producers have solved this problem by eliminating something like 90% of insects world-wide in the last forty years or so.  Before long they could well take this wonderful profit-based progress even further and eliminate all flowering plants.  Then we will all be able to experience the extraordinary privilege of living in a desert.

In the meanwhile, Californian residents must have interesting times in locust plagues.  Having one of these coming through your car window could make quite a difference to your day.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There was also a group of agricultural workers.  They are protesting about low rates of pay for agricultural workers in an insufficiently regulated economy and involved in a form of industrial action known as a go-slow.  They are taking this very literally.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

You will notice that behind to the right is a tall thin sculpture from the prehistoric era before wifi.  It is called a telegraph pole.  No-one is sure what a telegraph was.  Some kind of precursor to wifi, it seems, using fender telecasters and some kind of drawings.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Here are a couple of ground sloths but they were too preoccupied to notice me.  When photographing wildlife you have to be quite sensitive to the situation and not for example wander right up to a ground sloth or a bear to take a selfie.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The largest ground sloths come in at four tonnes and six metres long (20 feet).  I’m not sure how big this one was and I didn’t weigh it.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

You might think it is surprising to see a Chinese dragon in California but their range has been increasing.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

You can see it is shimmying along through the desert sand and this is because it has burrowed through all the way from China.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I didn’t see it breathing any fire but if you sneak up behind it and touch its skin, you can see that it can get very very hot.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Some say that the Chinese Dragon is casting a larger shadow these days but I didn’t really notice that while I was here.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

That massive tongue looks almost like the trunk of an elephant so perhaps  dragons evolved into elephants.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This looks to be just an ordinary elephant. Perhaps it escaped from a zoo.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There were also a couple of locals here, who appeared to be having navigational difficulties with their vehicle.

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Desert, Galleta Meadows, Landscape, Megafauna, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I asked them what they were doing there but they didn’t want to talk to me or even acknowledge me so I went off in a huff.  (A huff is a somewhat impractical motor vehicle that is a cross between a Hummer and a Fiat 500).

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Borrego Palm Canyon

Borrego Palm Canyon, Salton Sea, California USA, 30 September 2016

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This is a map of our journey to LA, the Salton Sea and Joshua National Park.  You may need to click on it to see more detail (all images are larger if you click on them).

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Dawn at the Salton Sea.

We drove from LA 160 miles (260km) WSW to Salton City on the Salton Sea.  We were guests of Jeni Bate who I had met online through our respective WordPress sites.  She showed us around the Salton Sea area and we had a great time.  I highly recommend you visit her Art Website:  Skyscapes for the Soul.

(More on the ecology and history of the area in a later post).

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

We headed west from Salton City in the morning.  This is a view from the side of the road, perhaps at Montezuma Valley Road Lookout.

We stopped for lunch in the small town of Borrego and saw an exhibition of Jeni’s paintings at the Borrego Art Institute.

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This whole area is desert of course.  We’re now heading towards Borrego Palm Canyon in Anzo-Borrego Desert State Park.  This appears to be at the Borrego Palm Canyon Trailhead.

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

In the canyon now.  This is a barrel cactus.

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A hummingbird feeding on an ocotillo (fouquieria splendens).

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

We met other walkers who had seen bighorn sheep up on the rocky sides of the mountains but we didn’t see them.  (Borrego is the Spanish word for these sheep).

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Our destination is a grove of Californian Palms (washingtonia filifera), fed by spring water.

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The palms can grow up to 20 to 25 metres (60 to 80 feet).

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Heading back.  An ocotillo in a barren landscape.

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Borrego Palm Canyon, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Desert cacti, perhaps clavellina cholla.

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Jamaica Monochromes

26 to 30 September 2016, Jamaica.

Links go to colour posts (for more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Arriving at Treasure Beach.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Appleton Rum Refinery.

Treasure Beach.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Early rum still.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Treasure Beach.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sunrise at Treasure Beach.

Black River.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

From Treasure Beach to Black River.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Floyd’s Pelican Bar.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Undermined house at mouth of Black River.  Notice the front stairs as well as the angle of the house.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Passing boat.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Passing canoe.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Black River.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crocodile.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Captain Ted, our skipper.

Floyd’s Pelican Bar

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Floyd’s Pelican Bar.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Continuing on…

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Treasure Beach.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

South West Coast.

Treasure Beach to Montego Bay

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Roadside refreshments and shells.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Yellow-faced Grasquit, female or immature male.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Jamaican Mango.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Bananaquit.

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Jamaica, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The red-billed streamertail (Trochilus polytmus), also known as the doctor bird, scissor-tail or scissors tail hummingbird, the national bird of Jamaica.

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Treasure Beach to Montego Bay

Jamaica, 29 September 2016

 

We drove from Treasure Beach to Montegho Bay, in order to catch a plane on the following morning.

Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Along the way we stopped at several remote beaches.

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

On the way we visited Rocklands Bird Sanctuary.

 

Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Our GPS initially sent us up a precipitous four wheel drive mountain road until a local turn us around and sent us on the right direction.

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Yellow-faced Grasquit, female or immature male.

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Bananaquit.

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Jamaican Mango.

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

For the bird sanctuary, high in the hills, a view over Montego Bay.  The airport is past the far point.

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

The red-billed streamertail (Trochilus polytmus), also known as the doctor bird, scissor-tail or scissors tail hummingbird, is the national bird of Jamaica..

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Hibiscus.

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Architecture, Boats, Jamaica, Landscape, Montego Bay, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

On the next day, from Montego Bay to Los Angeles with a stopover of a few hours in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Next, though, some monochromes.

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Floyd’s Pelican Bar

Jamaica, 28 September 2016

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach

Captain Ted, our skipper on the journey back to Treasure Beach.

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach

An interesting array of boats and dwellings at the water’s edge.

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach

And here we are, approaching Floyd’s pelican Bar again.

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach

It started up in 2001, originally just for Floyd and his fisherman friends.

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach

Boat attached to the bar.

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach

Continuing on the way back and we’ve picked up a hitchhiker.

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach

Back at Treasure Beach.  We saw this boat at the start of the previous post.

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach

Back on land now.

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .

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Architecture, Boats, Floyd's Pelican Bar, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach .;

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Black River

Black River, Jamaica, 28 September 2016

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Up early in the morning for the sunrise at Treasure Beach.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

And somewhat later we’re heading off on the water for Black River (that’s the river, not the town, though we go past the town).

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Coastal views along the way….

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Dolphins.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Beachside shack, not a dwelling.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Floyd’s Pelican Bar.  We’ll drop in there on the way back.  Next post.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Serious subsidence problem, maybe due to a hurricane.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

We’re about to pass by the town of Black River.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Friendly locals.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Cattle Egret.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

It’s a little like the Louisiana Bayous.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Oncoming traffic.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crocodile.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Traditional water craft.  Whether there is any cultural link to the Arawak is doubtful though possible.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Returning.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

Another crocodile.

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Architecture, Black River, Boats, Cattle Egret, Crocodiles, Jamaica, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Street photography, Travel, Treasure Beach, Wilderness, Wildlife

A fan of Vladimir Nabakov, it seems.

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Montague Island Monochromes

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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Links go to posts with the colour versions of the images (where there may also be more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies. (Click on any image to see it larger).

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pelican in Narooma Harbour.

Montague Island Day One..

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Humpback whale disappearing.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Humpback whales, mother and calf.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Seals off a headland.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

A seal launching into the sea.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

At the lighthouse cottages when the storm hits.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crested terns courting.

Montague Island Day Two.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull chicks.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

View from the lighthouse looking south, showing the stones sacred to the Aborigines (the whale, the shark and the tortoise) and also the small lighthouse cemetery.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

View of lighthouse cottages from the lighthouse.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

The old wharf.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sea eagle.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Tiny ground flowers.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Old banksia setrrata cone.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Little penguins coming ashore.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Great cormorants on rock.

Montague Island Day Three (Morning).

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Seal interactions.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Shell on rock.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sooty oystercatchers.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Created tern coming in to land.

Montague Island Day Three (Afternoon).

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull and nesting material.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crested tern with fish.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull coming in to land.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crested tern and chick.

Montague Island Day Four.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Contention.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Competing for space.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Welcome swallows.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

The lighthouse receding.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pelican confused by sign.

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I’m due to go down to Thredbo for the Thredbo Blues Festival next weekend but because of bushfires in the area I won’t know whether the festival is on until later today or tomorrow.  There may or may not be a post on that in a few weeks.  Next week though, I expect to resume the account of my travels to Cuba and the Caribbean at Santo Domingo in the Dominican republic.

Montague Island Day Four

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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This was the last morning and the boat was due to leave around midday.  The previous afternoon I had photographed crested terns flying in to the colony.  I decided to spend some of my remaining time photographing their interactions on the ground.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

There were many eggs but only a few hatched chicks.  Parents kept them close to protect them not merely from silver gulls but also from other terns.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

 

On the edge of the colony there is danger from silver terns so this mother tried to move with her chick into the colony.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

The terns pack in much closer than silver gulls but they still defend territory so contention arises.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Making a point…

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is where she wants to be but there is a certain amount of opposition.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

… including some pinching of the tail….

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

At least the chick is not being attacked which can happen.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

And the mother, though under siege, does her best to protect the chick.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Nearby there was a silver gull hidden under a bush on an egg in the middle of the tern colony.  It must have been there before the terns arrived.  I didn’t photograph it because the shadow was too deep to show it in context.  What was going to happen when it tried to leave was an interesting question.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

After a while, she pulled out of the area of contention back more to the edge of the colony.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Her mate is with her here.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

She is now protecting the chick from silver gulls as well as other terns.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Nearby, a pair of welcome swallows had made their nest in walls of one of the cottage’s toilets, entering the wall through the ventilation holes.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Just outside the colony, a bit of mating display was going on.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Two’s company….

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

A last view of the terns.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Now we’re on the boat and the lighthouse and cottages are receding away.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

The wharf is down below the lighthouse.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Back in Narooma harbour, this pelican seemed confused by the direction instructions of the sign.

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