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Three Kitty Photo
Point Arena, CA

To view photos of Jack & Jan's African "critter" friends, please click here.
  critter photos
To view photos of Jack & Jan's Baja "critter" friends, please click here.
  critter photos

Jack & Jan's "Critter" Photos

Whenever possible, we photograph the various wildlife who visit us or the wildlife that we visit.  Some of our favorite images are below.  We'll try to group them by size.

Insects & Spidersd2006-08-06-183426a-800x600t.jpgWe had a "blessed event" one June as a group of Anise Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars hatched on our dill plants.d2006-08-06-183224a-800x600t.jpgThey started as small, fuzzy black worms and grew to yellow caterpillars with black accents.d2006-08-15-122558-800x600t.jpgThey eagerly devoured the dill flowers with one caterpillar on each flower stem around the circle.
0428-0067t.jpgWe couldn't resist visiting the Monarch Butterflies at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz, CA. 0428-0036a-800x600t.jpgOn a sunny day, the Monarchs are everywhere.  They will even land on your finger. 4361-0010a-800x600t.jpgA swallowtail sits on a shrub in our garden. 4361-0075a-800x600t.jpgThis swallowtail is on a rhododendron.
4361-0082-800x600t.jpgA Luna Moth spent the day in our garden. d2006-10-20-084557-800x600t.jpgThe Monarch Butterfly and its friend, the bee, are working the hollyhock flowers. p036050095-800x600t.jpgWe have many butterflies visiting our gardens. 4801-0006a-800x600t.jpgWe believe this is a Sphinx Moth who was visiting our penstemon flowers after dusk one evening in July.
d2004-08-31-120412-800x600t.jpgHere a Honey Bee works a California Poppy flower that a Cucumber Beetle wants to eat. p06a010080-800x600t.jpgThis Bumble Bee fell asleep for the night in the hollyhock flower.  In the morning, he crawled out covered in pollen. d2005-10-31-162644-800x600t.jpgIn the Fall, we often see Preying Mantis in the gardens.  This one was on the side of the barn. p039150077-800x600t.jpgSpider webs glisten with dew in the Fall and Winter mornings.
d2008-08-20-084202-800x600t.jpgBlack Widow Spiders have a venomous bite.  They hide and are seldom seen. p039040067-800x600t.jpgThis nocturnal spider lived for several summers outside our window. 4361-0012-800x600t.jpgThis spider tries to camouflage itself on an orange flower.  We think it is a Crab Spider. p084170054-800x600t.jpgHere is the same type of spider trying to hide on a lilac flower.
d2005-08-22-185730at.jpgWe often encounter beautiful spiders in the gardens.  We believe this may be one of the Argiope spiders.p048310006-800x600t.jpgIf we watch carefully and don't disturb the webs, we can also see the spiders catching their meals.
Mollusks s188-5a-800x600t.jpgWhen you live in the area where redwoods grow, you expect to find Banana Slugs.  Some of ours have been almost a foot long.
Reptiles & Amphibiansp015170034-800x600t.jpgThe lizards also help keep the insect population under control.p069220075-800x600t.jpgWe must be providing a good habitat.  In the Fall, we see baby lizards. This one is about an inch long.p037070034a-800x600t.jpgAlong the vernal pools, we sometimes see baby Pacific Tree Frogs. This guy is less than 1/2 inch long.
p079300045-800x600t.jpgThe adult frogs are less than the length of your thumb.d2004-06-07-145217a-800x600t.jpgPacific Tree frogs have suction cup toes but don't live in the trees.d2004-05-10-114650-800x600t.jpgThey live in the gardens, under the patio cushions and anywhere else that is damp.4361-0086a-800x600t.jpgThis elusive Spring Peeper frog is recognized by the "x" on its back.
4801-0016-800x600t.jpg This is a Red-Legged Frog that Jan photographed in Little Butano Creek.4810-0055-800x600t.jpgMany forest frogs spent their summers in our garden ponds in New England.
Birdsd2005-05-21-120315-800x600t.jpgOne day we discovered a Hairy Woodpecker had nested in a telephone pole.d2005-05-21-123054-800x600t.jpgBoth parents worked hard to feed their single, male chick.  Here the mother arrived with an insect.d2005-05-21-123417-800x600t.jpgSoon after, the father arrived with a caterpillar.
d2007-02-20-094636-800x600t.jpgAcorn Woodpeckers live in large colonies.  They keep acorns in crevices in trees.d2008-08-10-071550-800x600t.jpgAs the acorns decay, insects move in and the woodpeckers feast on the insects.d2007-09-14-081206-800x600t.jpgJan wanted her entire life just to see a Pileated Woodpecker.  Now we have one living just outside our gardens.d2006-02-16-110507-800x600t.jpgThe Red-Shafted Flicker finds its food mainly on the ground.
d2008-06-25-103521-800x600t.jpgWe believe this small-size raptor is a Merlin.  If so, it is a type of Falcon.d2008-06-25-103524-800x600t.jpgWe usually see this raptor in the gardens every few months.d2008-06-28-081749-800x600t.jpgHummingbirds are numerous all year in our gardens.d2008-06-25-094642-800x600t.jpgBand-tailed Pigeons are large and dumb but their yellow feet are attractive.
d2007-02-24-110117-800x600t.jpgLarge birds, the Ravens strut through the gardens.d2005-11-01-115445-800x600t.jpgOur California Quail flock is only a handful of birds in the winter.  Here two males and a female feed.d2008-06-24-073628-800x600t.jpgA sentry bird watches for predators from higher ground.  Here he sits above two Goldfinches at the feeder.07c17pict0003-800x600t.jpgOccasionally, a bird needs to be rescued.  This one hit a window and was disoriented.
wd2008-08-05-143914t.jpgFor 2 summers, we had Barn Swallows nesting in the eaves of our barn.  Four chicks hatched this year.wd2008-08-04-085014t.jpgAs the parent Swallow approached, the chicks would start vocalizing.wd2008-08-04-085316t.jpgThe parent would feed one chick and leave to catch another insect.wd2008-08-04-085014-02t.jpgThe chick that was fed would close its mouth while the others continued to vocalize.
wd2008-08-05-144520t.jpgThis cycle continued most of the day.wd2008-08-04-084025-01t.jpgAn adult would appear with more food every minute or two.s20080805-094450-800x600t.jpgAfter less than 2 weeks, the babies fledged.  They flapped their wings and jumped out the nest.  This little one flew to the ground and never flew again.  Despite encouragement from its parents, it wouldn't leave the ground.4810-0054t.jpgReflection Lake was a seasonal home to many types of wild waterfowl.
s281-014-800x600t.jpgOne year the ducks raised a family at Reflection Lake in La Honda.  Only one of the ducklings fledged.p00c150015-800x600t.jpgAlong with the "smaller" birds, Wild Turkeys are often seen.  This one was in a garden in downtown Gualala.s278-029-4x6t.jpgIn the dunes and on our beaches, an occasional Western Snowy Plover can be spotted.  This one is with a rarely seen chick.photo5t.jpgThis fearless chick was photographed as part of the Plover Watch program at Half Moon Bay State Beach.
Rodentsd2005-08-09-202050t.jpgIn one of our underground irrigation control boxes, Jack found a nest of baby mice.  The mother mouse moved several as Jack prepared to photograph them.p082150027-800x600t.jpgOccasionally, Yoda brings a mouse into the office so it can exercise among the computer cables.p071200011at.jpgThe chipmunks are numerous and SO CUTE.  We've named them Elmo.
d2007-02-04-120014t.jpgOne day we counted 18 chipmunks in the gardens.s188-9-800x600t.jpgWe found this rat perched in our Japanese Maple tree one morning.d2008-06-14-182113t.jpgWe not only have large and fluffy gray squirrels but this little brown one as wells.
Larger Mammalsp085290068-800x600t.jpgThe Brush Rabbits are everywhere.  The babies hide in the drain pipes.  We've named them Brewster.d2008-06-22-170417t.jpgThis Brush Rabbit was munching the weeds at the edge of the lawn.d2008-06-25-155232a-800x600t.jpgYoda brought this baby into the house.  We photographed it and released it, frightened but unharmed.
d2004-07-17-191026-800x600t.jpgAlong with Brush Rabbits, we also have Jackrabbits running through the gardens.d2005-12-31-150124t.jpgOne day at the beach, while we were watching the seals, a River Otter ran by.d2005-12-31-150129t.jpgThe otter ran past us like we weren't there.d2005-12-31-150131t.jpgEventually, he made his way to the water to hunt for tasty morsels.
p035110052-800x600t.jpgOne day there was a rustling in the flower bed by the kitchen door.  Two Opossums were running through.p035110054-800x600t.jpgSuddenly they stopped in front of me and mated.  I felt like a voyeur.p027190069-800x600t.jpgWookie was trying to ignore the raccoon on the other side of the door.p027190073-800x600t.jpgRaccoons seem to live everywhere.  This one was part of a trio who raided our garbage cans each night.
015070015-800x600t.jpgStriped Skunks have a bad reputation because of their defensive weapon.p026110023-800x600t.jpgIn reality, unless you get too close, skunks don't pay much attention to you.  They prefer to hunt insects, seeds and nuts.d2008-06-28-081051-800x600t.jpgThis mother skunk was out with her young one morning.d2008-06-28-081822-800x600t.jpgAs skunks are nocturnal, the family was a wonderful surprise.
d2007-06-03-151310-800x600t.jpgWe are quite sure this visitor is a Gray Fox.  He is the size of a medium-size dog.  He came to the garden to feast on our bird seed.4810-0050-800x600t.jpgOne of our most frequent visitors is the Black-tailed Deer.d2004-07-14-190107-800x600t.jpgThe deer are shy, however,  and quickly move away when they see or hear a disturbance.d2004-05-30-144709t.jpgThey eat just about everything in the garden.  Roses and lilies are their among their favorites.
Marine Mammalsp07C300078-800x600t.jpgSeveral times a year, a bull Northern Elephant Seal appears one of our beaches.  He stays a week or so and goes back to his ocean home.islandcoveeseal/wd2005-02-14-160341t.jpgTo see more of "Elwood, our neighborhood Elephant Seal", please click here.d2007-02-24-085419-800x600t.jpgNo list of our favorite "critters" would be compete without the Harbor Seals that "hang out" on the rocks at our local beaches.
d2007-02-24-085940-800x600t.jpgThey are year-round residents, unlike the Elephant Seals and California Sea Lions who make seasonal appearances.
../../travelrama/africa01/ngorongoro/294-26t.jpgTo view photos of Jack & Jan's Baja "critter" friends, please click here.../../travelrama/africa01/ngorongoro/294-26t.jpgTo view photos of Jack & Jan's African "critter" friends, please click here.


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