Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Reflections on New Year, Seaport Village, San Diego

Just a simple post to greet the world and everyone a Happy New Year. May 2010 be filled with peace, love, joy and happiness. Hope everyone have a wonderful start for 2010.

Though the picture below is not very recent, this was taken summer of this year, but I am sharing this with you for the peacefulness this picture brings.

Lassen Peak Reflected on Manzanita Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA

Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Greetings!!!! And the Answers to My Confusing Quiz :)

Christmas Greeting 2009
Sending everyone some warmth from our side of the globe. When most of the country perhaps are being hammered by winter storm, we are enjoying a beautiful "golden" Christmas here in San Diego. The picture above was taken last night, it may be a typical "San Diego" evening, but it is special for me since I took it at Christmas eve. I was actually thinking of making some Christmas greeting picture. However, while I was looking into my winter wonderland pictures, they just did not inspire me to make them my greeting picture. Somehow, it felt cold, and I wanted to make a warm greeting with a typical San Diego touch. Though I have lots of sunset pictures by the sea, but then, I wanted one that is the most recent, so, off to the ocean we went to take a most recent for "Christmas greeting" sunset picture. The one above was the picture I finally settled to make a Christmas greeting among 163 pictures I took :) Here are some more pictures from yesterday.
La Jolla Cove
The picture above is looking North East from the La Jolla Cove. Part of the cliffs that you see at the other side is Torrey Pines State Reserve, you probably see or hear often about Torrey Pines from me in this site. Torrey Pines is to Betchai as probably Cerok Tokun is to Rainfield :) . However, I decided to just simply stroll at La Jolla yesterday because of its proximity to REI since we needed to buy some items from them. Resting on the rocks that you can see below are sea lions, they kept on barking as if singing some "Christmas" song. Winter is pupping season, so you can see here a mom and pup pair, sweet!
Sea Lions
How I wish I know some clip-art, so that I could make one cool Christmas greeting by the ocean, Santa is probably riding a kayak, with the sea lions probably navigating Santa around. However, that is one aspect that I still have to learn. Ratty should watch out if I get to learn how to do that, and my sea lions can become reindeers too like his cute squirrels! Check out Ratty's Christmas post, the Christmas greeting he made with the squirrels as reindeers is really cute!
Walking west from La Jolla Cove is the Children's Pool. If la Jolla cove is to sea lions, the Children's Pool is to harbor seals.
Harbor Seals Resting on shore @ Children's Pool
I probably have written a lot also about harbor seals and sea lions, you can check out my mother's day's post about A Mother Seal's Love here. This is where I shot the Christmas greeting picture I made in the first picture above, only that I was shooting at the opposite direction of these harbor seals. The opposite side of the picture above is looking West, where the sun sets. Whereas, that picture above with the harbor seals is looking East. Here are some more pictures from the vantage point where I shot the harbor seals and the Christmas greeting pictures above.

Christmas Eve Sunset 2009, La Jolla
this was the other greeting card I made
( the 2 rocks you see above are the same 2 rocks in the Christmas Eve 2009 picture, just shot at different angle )
 this shot is almost similar to the Christmas greeting picture I chose above, just wider angle
and this is the beach ( or little cove) at the other side of the rock in the above picture
If it is probably summer, there would be a lot of people in this beach. Though there were still some who gets into the water without wet suits, but I believe they are visiting tourists. For San Diegans, 50s F ( or in the 10s C ) is way too cold to get into the water! I only take a swim and boogie board when it is late summer.

My many thanks to those who joined my kind of fun in my last post and guessed for the answers. I really appreciate your comments and your answers. Especially hearing from Icy, Ratty, Rainfield , Melissa and Rochelle, who I believe had been following since this site started :) But, it is not their fault if they did not get all four correct answers, after all, I posted confusing pictures. The microclimate weather in California makes it even more confusing, when the beaches don't get snow and shows warmth, the mountains and the higher elevation desert are totally different! This is where you probably can enjoy both snowkiing and snowshoeing in the mountain slopes and surfing at the beach in one day.

Here are the answers:

Picture A - @ North Lake, Bishop, California. Picture taken November 25, FALL
Ratty, Rainfield, Rochelle, Liss and AVCr8teur got this one correct. Though the lake is already frozen, but there is too little snow yet on the slopes, at this time of the year, the place must have several feet of snow already.

Picture B. @ Big Sur, Califirnia. Picture taken April 7th, SPRING.
At first, only Rochelle guessed this right, but then, she changed her answer from spring to summer, so now, no one got this correct :) I actually purposely chose this one to camouflage as the summer picture, like what Karen said, because of the fog :) But then, the last summer I was in this place, I did not see any at all, because of the very thick fog, it was like I was walking up in heaven, all clouds! all white stuff!

Picture C. @ Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA. Picture taken June 22, summer!

No one got this correct. Though this looks like a winter picture, but then, the clue here is the trail is open for hiking :) Starting November, or sometimes October, the trail here closes for hiking but is open for snowshoers, and opens again middle or late of June, or sometimes, even July, when the trail can at least be already defined. The place gets very thick snow accumulation in the winter ( several hundreds inches ) that even in the summer where the temperature has already warmed up, there are still a lot of snow left covering the slopes. Though this picture looks cold, but I believe, it was colder last night when I took the sunset pictures without the snow :)

Picture D. @ Toothrock, Poway, San Diego County. picture taken March 7, Winter!
Again, no one got this correct! But a lot were close enough, since March 7 is so close to March 21st, the official start of spring. This probably is really the most deceiving picture of all the pictures above! Along the coast, and the other lower elevation places in California, spring comes early, the hillsides especially along the Southern California coast explodes already starting February! Whereas at the higher elevation, or the mountain sides, the wildflowers peak usually July or even August, which is summer. But then, for me, I call this already, SPRING, if not for the allergies it brings, this could be my favorite time of the year, when life abounds everywhere! Probably the best time to observe wildlife, not only wildflowers.

Again, many thanks everyone for joining the fun and guessing with me :)

We'll be off to LA today, and then, we'll be up in the mountains tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Tis The Season To Be Jolly.....Tra La la

I felt like having fun right now, after all, this is the season to be jolly, tra lalala...lalala. Though this is not April Fool's Day, but I feel like having a confusing game. But maybe, what I have in mind is not really that confusing, after all, if you have followed my blog well enough, maybe, you will remember very well when these pictures were taken. But then, I am not up to date with my postings, so I know these can still be pretty confusing even if you may have followed this blog for some time already.
This would be like a matching type game, where you will match the 4 pictures with the 4 seasons, whether the picture was taken at spring, summer, winter, or fall.
Picture A - North Lake, Bishop Creek Canyon, California

lake was frozen, and the snow frosted rocky slopes of the Sierras were reflected on the clear ice of the lake
Picture B - Big Sur, California

waves were pounding the shore, the fogs were disappearing to greet a sunny sky!
Picture C - Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

where is the afternoon sun?
Picture D - Tooth Rock, Poway, San Diego County, CA

orange California poppies and blue canterbury bells blend well with the blue sky

How well do you think will you fare in this matching game? Are you very confident with your answers? Which picture do you think is the most revealing and why?

Anyway, I would want to greet you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, may you all have a blessed and joyful celebration with your family.

Friday, December 04, 2009


It's a wonderful Friday again, and it's time for our Blogging for Fun Friday, where the topic is A to Z challenge. Though I don't get to join each week because of my schedule, but whenever I get the chance, I love to join. This week is for letter I, and since we just came back from our desert trip last week, I thought of posting something from our trip. While on our way to Kanab, Utah, from Zion National Park, we saw a water sprinkler where the wheels no longer turn because it was deep in ice already.

Iced Water Sprinkler in the Desert

Iced Water Sprinkler in the Desert (2 )
Probably, without the ice in the picture, this place would look warm because of the blue sky, the warm red rocky hills and the almost barren terrain. This picture was taken early morning where the air temperature was 22 degree Fahrenheit ( -5.6 degree Celsius ). It's no wonder why the water freezes as soon as it came out from the sprinkler.
And here is a picture of the road we took inside North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Quick Post from Death Valley

A few of our pictures from yesterday at Death Valley National Park. When we get back home, I will write more and will have a chance to choose for my favorite pics to post. I do not have time even to put signature in my pics :)

Common question about the desert is, "is it hot?" When it is summer, definitely, Death Valley is one of the hottest if not the hottest place on Earth. However, this hot place cools down after summer, and how cool does it get? Let me answer with the picture below.

Hiker in the dunes, sunrise ( at low 30s F, or close to 0 C )
 In the vastness of things, we are just but a dot on the Earth.

Can you find the hiker in the picture above?
Is there life in Death Valley?

Arroweed, Surviving the Harsh Environment in the Desert

Salty Meadow
( yes, saw tiny creatures swimming in these creek, will post next time about wildlife at Death Valley captured by our lens)
Saturday, we were at 282 ft below sea level at Badwater Basin, Sunday, we were gazing at it at more than 5000 ft above sea level.

Dante's Ridge, Death Valley National Park, CA

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Time for tee

I am not a sport oriented person. The only sport i played when i was younger - many moons and summers ago - was badminton. Every now and again whenever i am home, i see to it that i do have time spare to throw a few handful of games. Wouldn't it be perfect to be spending your holiday doing a sport or game you love best.

Myrtlle Golf Beach Vacations offers you the best place to enjoy that much needed holidays. For those who wants to hit the tee - they have have a fabulous offer of Myrtle Beach Golf Package. Don't worry if you havent played the sport before. They do have instructor at hand to give you the basic and few tips to start with. It won't be long and you'll be hook to it! Who knows, in few years time you'll be playing the sport professionaly. Tiger Wood watch out!!

Give yourself that much wanted holiday to enjoy the Myrtle Beach Golf. Enjoy the beach and pamper yourself in a luxurious accommodation. Prepare to be impressed with how elegant the golf courses are and feel the excitement of Golf Packages Myrtle Beach.

by Eng

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Getting Better

Once again, my one day late entry for our Blogging for fun Friday. The theme for this week was anything that starts with "G". At first I thought of "geocaching", then, I thought maybe I'll feature "Grand Canyon", or "Gray Whales" or "Gorillas", but then, since I am actually one day late, I decided for "Getting Better".

"Me and My Signature Back Pose " :)
I am really very thankful for "getting better", after waking up my husband at 1:00 am in Friday, him driving me to the Emergency Room in the nearby hospital, and us leaving the ER with hopes of feeling better at 3:30 am. I was out from school Friday, and just simply slept, rested, and followed up with my doctor in the afternoon. And since I can not do strenuous hiking yet, I spent part of my day experiencing the healing powers of the ocean.

The ocean has shared my failures and triumphs since childhood, since this is the place where I would ran whenever I felt crying or celebrating.

The sound of its waves seems like a soothing music that brings healing for me. For some couples, maybe a walk by the beach at sunset seems to be magical since I always see a lot of couples walking on the shore when it is close to sunset.

And since there is no hiking picture for me this weekend, I instead shifted the lense to focus on the city where I live.

Though maybe I had shared here a lot of pictures from San Diego, but they were mostly pictures from the trails, mostly nature photos from the ocean bluffs, canyons, mesas, valleys, and mountains. So, here are something different, the city instead of the trails.

Though this may be not as peaceful as nature photos, but am very thankful I am able to take all these pictures today, a sign, of really "getting better" and hopefully, next weekend, we'll be really better for "hiking"!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Shopping made easy

I enjoy shopping. I always say to friends and colleagues that it is one of the highlights of my weekend, shopping. From groceries to ladies and kids wear, bags to footwears, and almost anything in betweens. However, the hubby and the little one are both not keen on it. My man thought its a waste of time going around in circles. It's a shame because i actually love shopping with them. I thought to myself there must be a better solution to smart shopping. A place where i can save time, energy and money going around and comparing the price and quality of those stuff i needed and wanted. The good news is, yes, there is.

photo credit: Shopwiki

There is this amazing online site, Shopwiki, which can give you the varied prices, show you the quality of the product and could find you the rarest of item your heart desires. NO, that's not the best part yet. You know it doesn't matter which corner of the world you may be, Shopwiki, is at your service. Be it in the great outback of Australia, the historic and charming countries of UK, and the beautiful backdrop of Netherlands. it is expanding and growing to conquer the world. Not a bad conqueror, don't you agree?

photo credit: Shopwiki

Shop wise! You can plan your shopping armed with the knowledge that you have the best buy of the day. It saves you money - by comparing the best deal and price. It saves you energy - walking around for those stuff you needed. And the best part is, it saves you time - the precious commodity of life.

by Eng
 October 30, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dominica, an island nation.

Dominica: Explore! Hike! Dive! Relax! Dominica - land of beautiful valleys and lushful vegetation, of boiling lakes and tropical forest, of nature reserves and underwater landscape. A place that caters to everyone, any taste and lifestyles- from snorkeling to hiking, from exploring to canyoneering, from beauty rest to wellness - simply put, its a taste of heaven on earth!

Dominica is known to have active volcanoes. It's largest boiling lake , 2nd in the world, is a testament to an active geothermal basin on earth. Some of these volcanic hot springs happens to be at the bottom of falls. Imagine enjoying a fresh cool water cascading down the falls and a warm sulfuric steam at its bottom , truly a nature's wonder. Experience Dominica's 365 rivers rushing to the sea, its National Parks, lush vegetation which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

This place is a haven for the great outdoors enthusiasts and nature lovers. Dominica invites you to Explore! Hike! Discover! Experience canyoneering- the ultimate and exciting sport for those who seeks great adventure - to keep one occupied body and mind. This involves climbing, hiking, diving, snorkeling, swimming and rappelling to waterfalls - a sure way to give you a taste of Indiana Jones escapades without the bad guys! It is also well known to be the Whale Watching Capital of the Carribean - no extravagant statement intended. The place boast an outstanding 22 species of whale sited within its territorial waters. It can almost guarantee one a glimpse of this fantastic creatures in one's visit. If you prefer to give yourself a bit of a pampering, they do have spa's for beauty treatment and enjoy the relaxing comfort of massages to ease those stiffness and sores of everyday conundrum.

Come and visit Dominica, feel the beat of a carribean drums and dance to its music. It is the closest to what paradise can be!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Blogging For Fun Friday- B is for Butterfly

Okay, it is Saturday now, and I am one day late :) I know my Blogging for Fun family will understand why my post is a day late, and why I only thrive on weekends now :(

This week's theme is anything that starts with "B", and with so many "B" in my mind, starting with over 30 pictures of "bees, birds, butterflies and blossoms", i finally decided to just focus on butterflies so that your screen won't get pictures overload :)

From 30 pictures, I finally decided to just share these ten butterfly photos :) . I am copying Icy's style in giving captions to the photos in this post, though my captions are not as catchy and as witty the way she presents her wonderful photos, but I believe I tried hard enough :) Here goes, hope you will enjoy them!

1. Black Loves White

2. Look at Me, Please.....

 3. What Are You Looking At?

4. Can you please give me some privacy?

5. Eyes on Camera, please :)

6. Side Glance

7. I am working......

8. I am a Happy Brown!

9. I spread my wings!

10. Though I have been whipped by the wind, but I can still spread my wings and fly!

PS....I am glad to see several of my friends into photography now, Cher has her new Cher Sanz Photoblog, congratulations to you Cher! Also, Tes and Eng have been wonderfully sharing their photos, so proud of you dear friends. Truly, the gift of nature is all around us and is free, it is up to us if we take them.

Also, congratulations to Che for having also a new blog, Uncovering a Culture, which focuses on Filipino culture.  Thanks Che for showcasing our very own.