Wahoo – the wildlife photos are here!

I was able to use my friend’s computer today to download photos (thanks, Karen!), so you can see the foxes from Sunday as well as dolphins, humpback whales and blue whales from our Channel Islands trip with Condor Express today. We had a great day with them.

The blue whales do not look especially spectacular in photos, well, the fluke is pretty cool, but the thing about seeing them in the wild is they’re SOOOOO big! They just keep coming and coming when they surface. Seemed like we saw maybe 1/4th or less of the whale at a time. It was truly awesome. The boat captain said they look Iike a submarine, and that about sums it up. They eat 8,000 POUNDS of krill a day, so you can imagine how big they must be. You can read about blue whales here, humpback whales here, common dolphins here, and Santa Cruz Island foxes here if you want more information. I, however, want to get to the photos.

First, the foxes.

This was a baby fox who was, unfortunately, being chased by two children. Please, please do not let your children chase wildlife. It is a bad idea for so many reasons.

This was a collared fox; I think it’s a mama. She had just gotten a drink from near one of the spigots in the campground and is licking her lips. Very cute!

This fox was in the campground foraging for scraps in campsites. Hopefully he did not find many, but seeing as how I saw three foxes in camp in about ten minutes, I’m thinking they probably do find a lot of scrappage.

Next, common dolphins.

I am really proud of these dolphin pictures, as they turned out beautifully. I will say, however, that there are about 100 more you’re not seeing because they did not turn out so well or even at all. There are many nice pictures of water where a dolphin was a second ago, though. When you photograph wild animals, remember to shoot lots and then just hope like crazy that one turns out! It’s often more about luck and being in the right place at the right time than anything else. But you have to put yourself in luck’s way and try hard to make luck happen, too. Good light like there is for these photos helps a lot, too! You’ll see quite a difference between the light in these and the light in the whale photos, and you’ll see what a difference that can make. I wish I could control light, but so far, I haven’t figured that out.

Common dolphins calve all year, and you can see a clear size difference between some of these dolphins.

This type of dolphin is apparently very social and they do not do well in captivity. There were about 100 or more dolphins in this pod.


Finally, whales!

You will see what I mean about the lighting, but still I had to share some of the best pics of these magnificent creatures.

Humpback flukes as they went down for a deep dive.

Humpback head and spout. We think this is most of the front of the head based on a very scientific comparison of other photos on the interwebs, but it’s hard to know.

Blue whale spout – it looks kind of like a walrus nose to me. The exhalation of air was amazingly loud.

Spout and his body coming up

Humpback tail, complete with barnacles growing on it!

It’s a whale of a tail! Apparently it is very rare to see a blue whale’s tail fluke, and we got to see three of them today! An incredible experience. I wonder how big around the base of that tail is?!? If only I knew a librarian who could help me look that up…

Enjoy your next wildlife adventure, whether it’s for a week or a weekend!


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