Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Fall is here!

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

I’m not obsessed with squirrels or anything, but I saw this squirrel munching on a pumpkin in Descanso Gardens in Pasadena and I had to take its picture.

Spotted Ground Squirrel

Monday, October 28th, 2013

I’d been studying for the Professional Engineering exam for the past two months. I basically spent the weekends cooped up in my room, solving practice problems and going crazy. A week before the exam, I promised myself that once the exam was over, I’d drive up to a park in Malibu and spend some moments to reflect and write in my journal.

I took the exam last Friday. It was a relief to have it over with, but the following day, I knew that I couldn’t completely destress until I fulfilled my promise to myself. So I took some coffee in a thermos and hit the road. First I spent about an hour driving through the winding Malibu canyon roads. Then I stopped by Malibu Bluffs Park on the way back. My parents and I used to go to this park often, but I hadn’t been back here since my childhood. As with most childhood memories, the park turned out to be a lot smaller than I remembered, but it’s a fantastic lookout onto the ocean, and the trees and bushes were exploding with birds.

I spent some moments staring off at the ocean, sipping my coffee, as I caught glimpses of dolphins swimming past. Then, walking down the little path, I noticed several ground squirrels going into and out of their little nests in the ground. I had a bag of hazelnuts and almonds with me, so I tossed a nut towards a squirrel to see if he’d take it. He didn’t come back. I sat myself down next to one of the nests where I’d just seen a squirrel go in, tossed a hazelnut near the entrance, and watched. Nothing happened.

The squirrel didn’t come out. I gave up on him ever coming out, but I didn’t feel like getting up, so I started experimenting with my camera and taking pictures of boring little objects on the ground. I must have spent at least fifteen minutes sitting there, eavesdropping a little on people’s conversations as they walked past behind me. I focused on the ants crawling around, and was taken back to my childhood, when I used to spend long periods of time watching ants and building bridges for them; lame introverted only child entertainment. Diverting my attention from the general scenery of the park towards something on a very small scale felt refreshing and helped clear my mind. As I was reflecting on that, I heard a squeal.

The squirrel had poked his head out and was making noise to ensure that I wouldn’t come near. He emerged from his hole, took the nut, and went back in! After that breakthrough, he came out each time I tossed a nut in his direction, which allowed me to catch some nice shots of him. Bonding with the little fellow was well worth the wait. I’m glad I didn’t get bored sooner and walk away.



I never did get a chance to take out my journal and write in it, but what was I thinking? What I ended up doing turned out to be much more relaxing and satisfying.



10 Pictures of Tuscan Pigeons

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Two weeks ago I was in Tuscany. Whereas most people would put up touristy pictures from their travels, I preferred to write a pigeon-centric post instead. Before we proceed, I’d like to point out that I did not intend to have a round number of pictures; I picked the better ones out of a group of thirteen, and the resulting number happened to be ten.


Florence rooftops – can you spot the lovely pigeony couple? Let me help… (close-up below)

Pigeon pair enjoying a sunny day in Florence.

A pair of helpless squabs, tucked away in a nook in a stone wall, fearfully looked at me as I walked past them on my way to the top of a tower in Lucca. They fidgeted nervously as I snapped a few pictures.

Pigeons relaxing at the dome of a very tall tower in San Gimignano…. far away from those pesky humans.

Old Italian buildings were very pigeon-friendly, as they had multitudes of nooks in their stone walls, a byproduct of the scaffolding used during construction. Some of the nooks have since been filled in or netted, but the available ones are prime pigeon property.

Gatekeeper pigeon guarding her eggs and the arched gate into the city.

Pigeons with a prime view of the Tuscan countryside.

Proud parent eyeing the photographer suspiciously (same pigeon in the picture above, resting in the hole in the top left).

Puffed up pigeon resting at the edge of a fountain in Siena town square on a rainy day.

For more Tuscany pictures, visit my Tuscany photo set on Flickr.

A few shots

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

In Istanbul.

Tamara & Giovanni

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

This past weekend I inherited Bryan’s two finches when he left for Afghanistan.


They are a white zebra finch named Tamara

and a brown society finch named Giovanni.

They like taking baths together.

Twin Seagulls

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

The oddest thing I saw on Catalina Island was a pair of seagulls that always stood next to each other and vocalized in sync with each other. When they opened their mouths, it was such a perfect unison that you could only tell they were both doing it when they occasionally slipped out of phase. The result was a long, continuous seagull call. I saw them on several occasions throughout the day. One time, they were both walking down the pier side by side, with their heads bowed down, wings slightly open, emitting the SAME whining noise and making the SAME moves. How were they so perfectly coordinated?! I am still baffled by it.

Silly Bird!

Monday, April 18th, 2011

I was driving home yesterday, when I decided to pull over into a park to make a phone call. That’s when I came face to face with this!

Feedings at great uncle’s balcony

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Here are some pictures to supplement a previous post where I talk about feeding doves in my great uncle’s balcony. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten to take my camera’s data transfer cable with me on vacation, so I took these pictures with my phone instead.

Pigeon gulps down seeds as its less courageous friends watch enviously.


A mourning dove sheepishly partakes of a seed under the watchful eye of the alpha pigeon.

Taken from a journal

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

We went to visit my great uncle’s today. Their apartment is on the top floor and is flanked by wide balconies along the entire front and back. They keep a small paper bag of birdseeds in the front balcony with which they feed the mourning doves. I sat there for a while and watched the mourning doves, pigeons, and crows flying back and forth among the trees. I looked down at people walking up and down the street. Suddenly a dog leapt into sight and barked right and left at the birds and passerby, leaning against the windowsill with its elbows. The dog disappeared as suddenly as it appeared. It drizzled once or twice. There was a crow walking to and fro on the roof; I could see the silhouette of its feet through the translucent section of the roofing.
I then went out to the back balcony, startling two sparrows by doing so, and saw one or two green trees that had grown taller than the buildings whose backs surrounded them. The sparrows watched me cautiously from the rooftop they had flown to. Sights like these make me feel content.

Purple Bird

Sunday, August 15th, 2010