Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wedding and Honeymoon Photos.

So, I got married to the lovely Mika...  And this blog post is full mostly of photographs from the honeymoon to Trinidad and Tobago.  There are also a few from the wedding, but I didn't really carry a camera with me during my own wedding (more photographs from the wedding, taken by our fabulous wedding photographer and friend, Jane Hu, will be posted here soon).

Before I get into all these photos, a few quick plugs... First off, I'm fundraising for some books.  Please take a look here.  Second, I'm heading on the road, or the sea, more accurately, to teach this autumn.  Fifteen countries in 108 days (for Semester at Sea).  That means LOTS of blog posts coming up, and lots of photos.  Keep posted.

Now on to the good stuff...

Since I am madly in love, I'm going to start off by subjecting you all to photographs of the woman I'm madly in love with, Mika...

Mika as bride, during our five minutes of quiet after the wedding ceremony in LA:


Mika in kimono, which was made by her grandmother, she wore it to our rehearsal dinner...


Mika at our legal wedding in DC:


Mika at our rehearsal dinner carrying the enormous golden box containing her wedding dress:


Mika by full moon on the beaches of Trinidad and Tobago:


Mika snorkling in asymmetric bikini:


Mika the morning before the morning before our wedding in LA:


Mika pointing at something...


Mika, soaked after a tropical rain shower:


Mika in the strange frosted glass shower the projected into the middle of the fancy hotel room we stayed at in Trinidad and Tobago...


Scandalized by that last picture?  Come on!  You can't see anything...  It's actually my version of "Mika as Bond girl."  A bit of an homage to Ian Fleming, the guy who wrote James Bond (Bond was named after a Caribbean ornithologist, actually).  Rumor has it, Fleming spend a considerable amount of time living in this house on Little Tobago:


Which brings me to my next mini-series of the blog, Caribbean landscapes.

Here's morning scene with one man, two dogs, two boats, and four vultures:


Little Tobago and Goat Island from Tobago:


Goat Island and Tobago from Little Tobago:


Third View, from an opening in the Jungle:


Beach with the highest concentration of leatherback turtle nests:


Island with huge seabird colony:


Undersea landscape with triggerfish:


Jungle-scape with mangled chain link fences:


We ate a delicious lunch here:


Sunset from patio where we saw a huge dolphin pod:


Beach at night:


From the least romantic place I made Mika go on our honeymoon, a mosquito infested swamp (seeing hundreds of Scarlet Ibis in that swamp made it worthwhile though):


The group of people in the landscape where all deaf, which made me imagine what a waterfall without sound would feel like:


Trinidad and Tobago wasn't the only place I photographed landscapes over the past few weeks...

This dog was photographed running along the beach in LA the morning after our wedding:


This rainbow was in Southern Maryland:


Here's the other half of it:


I photographed this moonscape in my Passport (it inspired this photograph)


LA street scene by Day:


T&T at night with reflections:


Palm trees in Beverly Hills:


Mika also took me to a very fancy Beverly Hills salon, where her friend works, to get my haircut.  For a guy who normally tries to find a barber willing to cut his hair for about $10, this was quite incredible.  They served very good coffee there.  And I wore a smock.  Here's a selfie post having my hairs cut:


Okay, one more portrait of me, after snorkeling, by Mika:


David watching the morning rain shower:


Sunburst in DC:


The incredibly heavy box that was full of extra wedding cake and saran wrapped about ten times:


Jello like dessert...


Water cone on white table at 3PM:


Pole in tree:


Opening:


Cuba Libre with four straws:


To scare away the birds:


While I was photographing this pathetic stuffed heron, one of the naturalists started laughing at me:


Little does he know, I absolutely adore bad museums...


This picture of a Common Potoo, slipping out of its mat, was in perhaps the worst natural history museum I've ever been to:


These huge caterpillars infested this tree, I'm guessing that their colorful markings protected them against predators:


Such markings are less effective against automobiles, when said caterpillars try to cross the street:


Most enormous cane toad I've ever seen!:
 

 Mika photographing a cow:



 A moment earlier, I'd photographed these flowers:


This tree was quite large:


Petite flowers on a tree trunk:



Plastic cap nailed into tree trunk:



Yet to be carved:


Leaves in the jungle...

 


All but one, devastated by leaf-cutter ants


Shadow cast by plastic orchids:


So now, what you've really been waiting for, baby animals...

So, I was running along the beach one morning, and noticed something crawling across it.  My first thought was that they were some kind of crab...


But when I got closer, I immediately recognized them as baby leatherback turtles:


And I found the next that they were erupting out of...


Soon, one of the locals joined me and recommended we scoop up the baby turtles...


And put them into this bucket:


Because nests of this endangered species that hatch during the day quickly fall pray to vultures and frigatebirds:


By the evening, David had collected over 200 baby leatherback...  An unusually high number hatched that day due to the rain storm:


After the predatory birds went to sleep, we released the turtles, giving them better odds at survival:


And they made their journey into the ocean...


If one is lucky, in about 20 years and weighing about 700lbs more, it'll return to the beach to breed...  Like this female did that night:


She laid 80 eggs, it was probably the seventh time that season she'd laid eggs (for a total of over 500 for the year)... 


During the peak of their breeding season, 500 turtles come to this mile long stretch of beach every night!  Here's our girl, returning to the ocean...


You can imagine how reptiles and birds are fairly close on the evolutionary tree, he almost seemed like he'd be able to fly (but he is just waving goodbye):

 

The baby turtles were about the size of these guys:



Motmot:


For my bird nerd friends, I did get to see some interesting things in T&T, a total of 115 species:

Red-billed Tropicbird
Magnificent Frigatebird
Brown Booby
Red-footed Booby
Anhinga
Neotropic Cormorant
Brown Pelican
Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Green Heron
Tricolored Heron
Little Blue Heron
Great Egret
Cattle Egret
Snowy Egret
Scarlet Ibis
Rufous-vented Chachalaca
Osprey
Yellow-headed Caracara
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Savanna Hawk
Common Black Hawk
Pearl Kite
Gray Hawk
Southern Lapwing
Semipalmated Plover
Collared Plover
Lesser Yellowlegs
Solitary Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Laughing Gull
Large-billed Tern
Brown Noddy
Bridled Tern
Sooty Tern
Audubon’s Shearwater
Rock Dove
Scaled Pigeon
Pale-vented Pigeon
White-tipped Dove
Grey-fronted Dove
Ruddy Ground-dove
Green-rumped Parrotlet
Lilac-tailed Parrotlet
Blue-headed Parrot
Orange-winged Parrot
Smooth-billed Ani
Greater Ani
Tropical Screech-owl
White-tailed Nightjar
Short-tailed Swift
Band-rumped Swift
Gray-rumped Swift
Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift
Fork-tailed Palm-swift
Rufous-breasted Hermit
Green Hermit
Little Hermit
White-necked Jacobin
White-tailed Sabrewing
Blue-throated Mango
Ruby-Topaz Hummingbird
Blue-chinned Sapphire
White-chested Emerald
Copper-rumped Hummingbird
Blue-crowned Motmot
Ringed Kingfisher
Green Kingfisher
Olivaceous Woodcreeper
Plain-brown Woodcreeper
Cocoa Woodcreeper
Stripe-breasted Spinetail
Barred Antshrike
Great Antshrike
White-fringed Antwren
Yellow-bellied Elaenia
Fuscous Flycatcher
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher
Venezuelan Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee
Boat-billed Flycatcher
Gray Kingbird
Tropical Kingbird
Fork-tailed Flycatcher
Blue-backed Manakin
Golden-headed Manakin
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
White-winged Swallow
Gray-breasted Martin
Caribbean Martin
Tropical Mockingbird
Rufous-breasted Wren
Orange-billed Nightingale-thrush
Cocoa Thrush
Spectacled Thrush
White-necked Thrush
Tropical Parula
Bananaquit
Palm Tanager
White-lined Tanager
Blue-gray Tanager
Silver-beaked Tanager
Red-legged Honeycreeper
Purple Honeycreeper
Green Honeycreeper
Violaceous Euphonia
Blue-black Grassquit
Black-faced Grassquit
Sooty Grassquit
Saffron Finch
Red-capped Cardinal
Shiny Cowbird
Carib Grackle

Giant Cowbird

That's all for now, ta-ta from newly married Todd and Mika: