CALIFORNIA COASTAL ZEBRA? It was a strange sight, travelling along California Highway 1— the beautiful coastal road. There, standing amid a herd of cattle was a zebra! I wondered for some time why a rancher would keep a zebra among cattle. A little on-line research provided the answer. It seems that cattle grazing with zebra actually gain more weight. In the wet season, grass grows fast. It gets tall, fibrous and unappetizing to the cows. The zebras eat these top shoots on the tall grass. That, in turn, causes regrowth of shoots at the base of the plant, nearest the ground. The fresh shoots are tasty to the cattle and they eat more, causing them to gain weight more quickly than fields without zebras. And, apparently, the cattle and zebra get along with each other quite well.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, 70-300 DX zoom lens at 70mm, f4.9, 1/250 sec, f25, ISO 1000 Copyright photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography.
MUIR WOODS, CALIFORNIA: This National Monument park is a great place to see giant redwood trees. The park is named after John Muir, a Scot whose family moved to Wisconsin in 1848. He became one of America’s best known environmentalists and fought hard to protect many important natural heritage areas including Yosemite, Sequoia and even the Grand Canyon. The park is a short drive from San Francisco and probably the closest location to see giant redwoods. This photo was taken from a footbridge. To get the perspective I wanted, I mounted my camera on a monopod, set the 10 second timer and hung the unit as far below the bridge as I could reach. Got a lot of stares from other visitors too!
Shot with a Nikon D3100, 10-24 DX lens at 10mm, ISO 800, 1/30 sec., f8. Copyright photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
BODIE, CALIFORNIA, A GENUINE CALIFORNIA GHOST TOWN: A trip to this high Sierra Mountains town is a trip back in time to the California Gold Rush era. There were over 2,000 buildings in Bodie’s heyday and up to 10,000 residents. But boom became bust with mere hundreds living there in the early part of the 20th century. Bodie became a National Historic Landmark in the 1960s and has been a photographer’s dream ever since. Read my story and see more pictures here, about Bodie, a genuine California Ghost Town. Shot handheld with a Nikon D3100, 10-24 DX VR lens at 15mm, f/22, 1/200 sec., ISO 800. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography