Archive for June, 2013

June 28, 2013

June 28, 2013

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Several years ago I gave myself a photographic assignment: I wanted to shoot the elusive, endangered, tiny salt-marsh harvest mouse for our growing archive, which documents restoration progress in the salt ponds over the past ten years. No one had been able to do this for years, and people who needed an image of the little critter had to rely on old stock photos that got used over and over again. Long story short, “Salty” made it to the cover of the current (summer) issue of Bay Nature Magazine! Here’s a link to a blog about how the photo was taken: http://baynature.org/2013/06/26/filmmaker-judy-irving-gets-her-mouse/

And here’s a cropped image that shows “Salty” in close-up:

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You can access the entire photo archive at the Resources Legacy Fund, which helped fund the ten-year project along with the California Coastal Conservancy: http://resourceslegacyfund.smugmug.com/

Funding has run out for now, but with Salty on Bay Nature’s cover, we’re finishing up in style!

June 7, 2013

June 7, 2013
American white pelicans

American white pelicans at Pacheco Pond, Novato

I filmed some American white pelicans at Pacheco Pond a few weeks ago, thanks to a tip from John Christopher at DriveSavers. Their offices look out on Pacheco Pond, and they often see scenes like the one above. (DriveSavers recovered Pelican Media’s email database!)

30-million-year-old pelican beak fossil, found in France by N. Tourment and photographed by A. Louchart.

30-million-year-old pelican beak fossil, found in France by N. Tourment and photographed by A. Louchart.

Pelicans evolved 30 million years ago, on every continent except Antarctica, and most of the species are white. Whites are bigger than browns, with wingspans up to 11 feet, weighing over 30 pounds. Possibly because they’re so large, they can’t do the high dive; only brown pelicans can. Browns weigh about 8-10 pounds, with wingspans up to 7 feet. Whites prefer freshwater fish, and browns prefer salt.

Screening: Our screening of the first half hour of the rough cut went well at the May 8th Marine Mammal Center members’-only event, also attended by Michelle Bellizi of International Bird Rescue (where Gigi recuperated).

Music: We’ve been working with Bruce Kaphan, accomplished pedal steel guitar player and composer, on the music, and now have nine cues in the movie, with more to come. The pedal steel has a smooth, dreamy sound that goes well with “Pelican Dreams.”

Funding: Assuming we can raise completion funds, we applied for a CA Coastal Conservancy grant to help distribute the film, starting next spring. Meanwhile we have proposals pending at several foundations, and are on the lookout for individual “Pelican Angels” who might fly in and help out….