Wildlife of Monterey Photo Tour-Suzi Eszterhas

A long-weekend escape to the Monterey Bay for a wildlife photography tour offering incredible opportunities to photograph sea otters, whales, seals, sea lions, many gorgeous birds and coastal landscapes. We’ll use only exclusive, private boat charters for our group only, with only 8 participants on boats that normally accommodate 26-48 people. This tour is carefully timed to coincide with what is typically the best light, best weather and best wildlife sightings on California’s central coastline. Suzi has photographed wildlife in Monterey for over 20 years and has put together a very special itinerary that includes her favorite wildlife photo opportunities in the area.

Grebes “Walk” On Water to Find a Mate

Story and Photography by Krisztina Scheeff with KS Nature Photography

 

Western Grebes rushing on Lake Hodges, CA. © Krisztina Scheeff

 

When it comes to dating in the world of Grebes it is not as easy as just going out for a fish dinner or a morning swim. These birds have much higher standards. If a mate cannot “walk” on water, they are out of luck.

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The life of the sea otter

Story and photography by Frank Toller

These marine mammals live mostly on the North Pacific coast and typically weigh between 31 and 99 pounds. They are able to live their entire life in the water, in part because of a massive fur coat, the densest in the animal world. They feed on invertebrates such as sea urchins, clams, crab, and abalone as well as octopus and some species of fish. The otters will use rocks to scrape their prey and open shells, making them unique among marine mammals as tool users.

The sea otter population has risen from 1,000 to 2,000 years ago to 100,000 now. © Frank Toller

The sea otter population has risen from 1,000 to 2,000 years ago to 100,000 now. © Frank Toller

They can go onshore and occasionally will do so. The otters are very friendly and while taking these pictures on Jetty Road at Moss Landing, California [55 miles south of San Jose on the coast], I observed the animals allowing children to approach within six feet. The kids and pups seemed equally curious about each other. Continue reading

NATIONAL PARKS: Death Valley NP

Sultry patterns of light and shadow on Mesquite Flat dunes in Death Valley National Park, CA., (c) Jerry Ginsberg

Sultry patterns of light and shadow on Mesquite Flat dunes in Death Valley National Park, CA., (c) Jerry Ginsberg

Story and photographs by Jerry Ginsberg

For those of us old enough to remember, there was once a TV series called “Death Valley Days.” The show used the vast Death Valley National Park as a backdrop for its slice of life vignettes. It greatly romanticized the harsh desert environment made commercially viable by its borax deposits. Twenty mule teams pulled heavy wagons laden with the stuff out of the valley and off to market. Today this valley encompasses the biggest U.S. national park outside of Alaska. With 3.3 million acres, it is half again the size of Yellowstone. Continue reading