Thoughts, adventures, projects, and photography by Shawn DeArmond


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This is an archive of Shawn's Blog and contains posts from between 2004 and 2014. It will not be updated in this format.

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I visited a couple state parks during my last trip to Orlando, Florida. At Wekiwa Springs State Park, I took a walk on a great nature trail that went through some of Florida's "wilderness". It was as wild as I was going to tolerate anyway. I was struck by this scene. I'm used to seeing tall palm trees in tropical locations. Here, though, I found these palms that were very short and much of the brush we came across was thick with it. The scraggly trees were a nice contrast to the short palms.

Sometimes no matter how fast I set my shutter speed, there's always something that moves faster. Let's see... Hummingbirds beat their wings up to 80 times per second and my shutter speed was set to 1/250 sec. That means it managed to go through about a third of a flap through while my shutter was open. This shot was taken at ECCO at that same butterfly bush as the previous Monarch photo. I guess more creatures than just butterflies like that plant.

Monarchs are probably my favorite butterfly. I'm sure there are prettier I could choose, but there's more to it than that. I like them because they're locals, and they just look like they're cruzin' for a good time when they're flying. They really belong in Santa Cruz.

This is another one of my favorite places in the world. This is the Big Sur River Gorge. Located inside the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, this gorge is the highlight of our annual camping trip to Big Sur. Affectionately called by some "The Death March", the hike we take up through the river gorge is beautiful, strenuous, exhilarating, dangerous, but most of all a great time. You really get to exercise your hanging-on-for-dear-life muscles.

For the last several years, Shannon has been taking Ballet through Pamela Trokanski Dance Workshop. Every year, at the end of May or beginning of June, they put on a Student Concert where each class performs. Photography is allowed, under one strict condition: NO FLASH.
This remarkable creature is called a Flame Skimmer. I was talking earlier about camouflage, but this guy flies in the face of all that. He's bright red in a green and brown pond. There's no camouflage here. Dragonflies are very often bright and shiny. Well, the males are anyway. The females tend to be brown and quite a bit more camouflaged.
Welcome to the new-and-improved Perhaps, at first glance, you don't see much difference... well, that was part of my goal. The look and feel of the site really hasn't changed much.
Within the next week or so, this site will undergo a significant upgrade.
This shot was taken on Highway 88, the road up to Kirkwood. There's a turnout with a beautiful valley view. Lots of snow and trees and a little bit of a lake (though in the winter it's all covered with snow) on the south side of the road.
Here's another shot from that dive at Point Lobos. This guy is some sort of rock cod (maybe ling cod?) that I ran into at about 30 feet. Continuing with our discussion on interesting camouflage techniques, here's a cool example. Notice that there's a lot of red in this photograph. The coral is red, the fish is red, even those weird little shellfish stuck to the rock are red. A common thought would be that since everything is red, the fish must be camouflaged; however, that's not exactly the case.


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