humpback whale (megaptera novaeangliae)

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I didn’t get to see any orcas today, even though the other boat spotted a lone male that disappeared into the fog, but that’s okay. I got to see about 10 humpbacks throughout the day, culminating in an hour-long lunge-feeding session at the end of the day. We also saw pods of Risso’s and Pacific White-sided dolphins. It’s no wonder why Monterey is my favorite place to whale watch - I’ve never been disappointed. 😊

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(via Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!)

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Humpback whales - Reunion Island by Cédric Péneau

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I had many adventures in 2014 that helped me become a better naturalist. Here’s a small retrospective with some cool things I saw:

  1. A fledgling black-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus) calling quietly from a field.
  2. A beautiful spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata) sitting in the early spring sun.
  3. A very long river otter (Lontra canadensis) snow slide that plowed over hills and down into a swamp.
  4. green-fringed orchis (Platanthera lacera) that represented a new record for that location, and was just darn pretty.
  5. A pristine white m hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album) looking so handsome.
  6. Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) bubble-net feeding on a calm late fall day.

Here’s to a 2015 full of new field guides and sightings, recharged batteries and sharper photos, and amazing and gross things. May your moments of indescribable awe be relatively mosquito-free.