Friday, April 1, 2016

Ilsa Santa Catalina, Baja Sur, Mexico

I have been continuing to review older folders of photographs that I have taken in finding a great number of pictures that should have processed along with the number of images slightly out of focus or really out of focus that should have deleted.  However, earlier in my life I kept many pictures that I should not have.

Elephant Rock Ilsa Santa Catalina In the Morning Light
I have been working on photographs that I took in 2011 on a trip from San Diego down along the Baja Peninsula and up halfway into the Sea of Cortez.  These trips have been offered for many years by the Searcher Natural History Tours Out of San Diego.  You fly into San Diego and board the boat, and it is a ten day trip with multiple stops, and you fly home from Cabo Mexico.

One of the stops is on the Ilsa Santa Catalina, an island about 13 miles off of the Baja Peninsula in the Sea of Cortez.  The island its rugged and steep with its highest point being about 1500 feet.  There are drought conditions in the Isle, and vegetation is limited to drought tolerant species and cacti.  One unusual creature that lives on this island is the rattleless rattlesnake which feeds on mice that live on the island, which are not found anywhere else.
Cacti On the Island
We approached the island early morning with elephant rock glowing in the sun during the golden hour.  Many species of birds are seen in the isle, including Brandts Cormorant, yellow-legged gulls, great blue Heron and brown pelicans.
Brandt's Cormorant
Brown Pelicans
Yellow-legged Gull
The geology of the area is interesting with green rocks called Olivine,  the name given to a group of silicate minerals that have a generalized chemical composition of A2SiO4. In that generalized composition, "A" is usually Mg or Fe, but in unusual situations can be Ca, Mn, or Ni.

Olivine
Olivine
Scattered along the steep slopes there would be areas with a single plant, and even flowers are growing.
Flowers on the Steep Slope
Part of our group went snorkeling, and the rest of us took a panga ride along the edge of the island where a large number of Sally Lightfoot crabs with scattering all around.  Later on, the day we landed on the island and had a close look at the Flora that grew Catalina.
Sally Lightfoot crab
Cacti
If you search my blog files, you will find more information on my trip to the Baja.

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