Sunday, May 30, 2010
San Diego at Dusk
A lot of people living in the city may have neglected the power of their feet, for oftentimes, they rely on the power of their wheels. However, walking in the city streets can be another fun-filled cardio exercise that can be enjoyed by the city dwellers, if we only take time and give ourselves the physical exercise our body needs. It may pale in comparison to hiking National Parks, but I believe, city Walking Tours can be equally educational. It may not be as challenging, as serene, and as fun compared to hiking the nature trails in the canyons and mountains, but nevertheless, it is a walk that could open our eyes if we take a deeper look around us. In my case, I probably walk in the city streets of San Diego almost everyday,
Balboa Park, San Diego
only that I neglect the beauty and the drama that lies behind these streets. For I am always thinking of a get-away, away from civilization, towards nature's beauty, towards nature's best, which luckily for me, is just but a matter of minutes in San Diego.
Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, CA
I do not even have to take a vacation away from the city to enjoy what I love the most, that is hiking on unpaved trails with nary a feel of civilization.
Enjoying the Sage Scrub and Matilija Poppies in the Trail
On Top of the World @ Mt Woodson
However, there are some instances that I do choose sometimes to take a walk in the paved city streets to enjoy the world that I may be taking everyday but just do not have the time to observe it because of work. One of my favorite city walks in San Diego is at Balboa Park.
Organ Pavillon, Balboa Park
Balboa Park is actually one my favorite places in San Diego to experience natural beauty (there are canyons and mesas that spans through the park), wonderful art and culture, and stunning Spanish Revival architecture.
California Tower, Balboa Park
Hallways of Casa Del Prado
Even though this kind of city walks is on the manicured paths of the city streets, but nevertheless, it can be a good alternative to hiking the backroads sometimes. City walking tour is definitely a cheap way of sightseeing activity for those who are usually visiting another city. Anyone can look online for some guides to take walking tours like in New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, or London walking tours. If you are planning to have a stop-over at some city in your next vacation, you can definitely take a city walking tour and you can find a lot of resource online to help in your planning. Some of my friends in London for example who are enjoying so much photography right now, are finding tips where to spend their walking tours of London for sightseeing and photography most of the time online as well.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Gnarled Juniper Tree @ Olmstead Point, Yosemite National Park, CA
This week, I am featuring a tree with admirable strength in character, the Juniper tree. As you can see from the picture above, despite living in a very harsh condition, with hardly a soil on this giant granite rocks, buried in ice and snow for about half of the year or more, directly exposed to the blazing sun and supplied with lesser oxygen at more than 8000 ft of elevation, this juniper tree continues to survive. I see the twisting and the gnarling of its branches as depth in character, its limbs so wrinkled showing admirable wisdom and strength in age, yet its leaves so green showing it is still very much alive.
Lone Juniper Standing on top of this Granite Cliff, Olmstead Point, Yosemite National Park, CA
In the next 3 Fridays, the last 3 Fridays we will be featuring trees, I am saving my last 3 tree posts to 3 California trees where a National Park has been named after them and established for their preservation. If you are very familiar with National Parks or California, you may be able to name these 3 National Parks named after trees.
Before I end this post, let me make an announcement regarding the change in url of our group's site, The Salitype Society. Unintentionally, we lost our old url, but luckily we are able to keep all our posts. You can now visit us at http://www.salitypesociety.org/. To my fellow bloggers and friends, who also follows us at The Salitype Society, I would really be glad and thankful if we continue to see you there.
Posted by betchai at 7:02 PM
Coast Live Oak Woodland, Trail to Mt. Woodson, San Diego County
Coast live oak is the only native California oak that thrives in the coastal environment. It is somewhat tolerant of sea salt present in the coastal winds. Though live oaks are rarely found in the immediate shore, they usually are found in well drained soils of coastal hills and plains. It may be found in several coast live oak woodland communities such as in Blue Sky Ecological Reserve, in Poway, San Diego County.
Coast Live Oak Woodland, Blue Sky Ecological Reserve
Coast live oak are normally found within 62 miles from the ocean and at an elevation below 2300 ft, however, in Southern California, the coast live oaks are occasionally seen up to 5000 ft elevation.
Coast Live Oaks Lining Potato Chip Rock at Mt Woodson, @ 2800 ft elevation
On top of Potato Chip Rock with Coast Live Oak Behind the Rock
Coast live oak is an outstanding bird plant and is a food plant for the California Sister butterfly and mournful duskywing.
Red Tail Hawk Resting at a Branch of Coast Live Oak
Aside from the coastal live oak which is native to the coastal region of California, there are many other live oaks, which is a general term used for unrelated oaks, but share the same characteristic of evergreen foliage. The name "live oak" comes from the fact that the evergreen leaves remain green throughout the winter, when other oaks are leafless and dormant.
Wildflowers and Coastal Live Oak @ Blue Sky Ecological Reserve, Poway, San Diego County
Living in the century of the technological progress we can hardly imagine a single day of our life without computer and internet... What to do, if you are tired? - to find and download some good film for relaxation. Need someone to talk to? - enter your facebook profile and spend a couple of hours talking to your friends or even people you have never met. Eager to read some good book? - no problems, download it in your favorite format and enjoy the evening reading... But as it often happens, when we want to find some book and/or tutorial, we want it all at once, but unfortunately if searched by Google without good searching skills we may not have enough time for reading, because have wasted too much time on search itself. Let's try to find out how to simplify this process.
Together with million of different more or less useful services nowadays, there are some, which may really be of good avail. One of them will be just a lifesaver if you search for books, tutorials or some other documents in pdf format (which for many people is the most convenient). Sure thing, the search may be provided by Google, but then you will need to sift out many resources that don't suit but are in the first pages of search results. Besides, you will need to compose your search query very attentively so that search results returned you sites with the opportunity of pdf download. If you are not that experienced in google search and would like to save your time, go straight to pdf search engines like http://www.pdfqueen.com/ . These search engines have been created with the main purpose – search for different pdf files all over the Internet so that when only you input the keyword of the document or the title of the book, you could within a second download the desired file in pdf format.
What do people usually search for in pdf format? The most frequent requests are books and tutorials. Nothing can be simpler: enter the main page of http://www.pdfqueen.com , input the title of the book you are looking for (or the author) and hit “enter” - voilà, the search results are pdf files you wanted. Choose the one and download process will start. No registration and payment required.
If you search for some tutorials, just enter the keywords in front of the button “search pdf” and choose the most relevant results as far as your query are concerned. Let's say, you have problems operating Ubuntu and would like to read a bit on the issue, enter something like “how to use ubuntu” or just simply “ubuntu” (you may also concretize your query by adding specific terms to it) and the first search result you will get by http://www.pdfqueen.com/how-to-use-ubuntu will be “Ubuntu Server Guide». Isn't it what you were looking for? ;)
Similar algorithms may be used while searching for other pdf files like essays, articles, summaries, reviews etc. If, for example, you are interested in the history of Germany, enter these keywords and by http://www.pdfqueen.com/german-history you will get different documents concerning this very topic: “The Protestant Reformation in German History “, “History of Germany since 1945” or perhaps, you will be interested in “JEWS IN MODERN GERMAN HISTORY”.
As you see, search of pdf files by means of http://www.pdfqueen.com/ resembles the one of Google with one main crucial difference: this pdf search engine deals only with pdf files and search results, you will be given, will all be pdf files. What you need is just to formulate the query correctly (depending on the type of pdf file you are looking for) and choose the result that suits you the best. That's it! It is really quickly and effectively. Bit of luck and practice in pdf search and you will never get bored while searching for the book to read at leisure.
Posted by betchai at 6:00 PM
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Blue Palo Verde ( tree with yellow blossom) and brittlebush
Palo verde is the Spanish word for "green wood" or "green stick", which alludes to the greenish branches and trunk of the tree.
Snowy Egret Perched on the Greenish Branch of Palo Verde
The palo verde is the herald of spring for many Southwestern United States, because of its huge display of yellow flowers.
Bumblebee Frolicking on Palo Verde's Yellow Flower
Palo verde trees are originally from the Sonoran and Mojave deserts of Southwest USA (Arizona and Eastern California) and Mexico and Baja California. This is a true desert tree and is extremely drought resistant. Because of its minimal water need, palo verde has become a popular landscape plantings as a shade tree along roadways and parks all across Southwest USA.
There are two species of palo verde that are common in the Southwestern USA, the foothill palo verde and blue palo verde. Both species are spiny, multi-trunked trees.
An Egret Perched on the Spiny Branch of Blue Palo Verde
Palo verde photosynthesize through their green bark, which is a very important adaptation for a tree that lost its leaves during the warm season. Aside from dropping its leaves during the warm season, palo verde also drops its stems and branches to combat drought. There are numerous birds that forage, perch and/or nest in the abundant branches of palo verde.
Egrets Nesting on Palo Verde
Here are the tips I follow to care for my hair and skin:
1) As a general rule, healthy life style means healthy looking hair and skin. Stress, smoking, drinking, not exercising and poor nutrition are not good for skin and hair.
2) For my hair, I use mild shampoo and conditioner. I don't stick to just one brand of shampoo, I like variety and I like to experiment on different brands. I wash my hair three times a week. I only use a blow dryer to dry my hair when I am in a hurry or my husband gives me that "we are late" look. I also deep condition my hair and scalp once a month to give it that shiny look.
3) For my skin, I use unscented body wash and unscented lotion. I try to stay away as much as I can from harsh chemicals. To be really safe, I use baby care soap and lotion most of the time. Also, don't forget to put on generous amount of sun block when you go out playing under the sun.
4) Eat lots of vegetables and fruits, drink a lot of water, maintain good hygiene and get as much sleep as you can.
5) Get your hair styled and cut at least every two months if you can afford it. I don't know what it is, but for me, I feel so much better every time I have my hair done. Plus my hair stylist always tells me when he is done styling my hair that I look beautiful and young looking with my nicely done "prom hair" look, and that makes me feel good inside.
~ by Chay ~
Posted by betchai at 8:00 PM
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Naked Coral Tree BlossomIt is now Sunday, and am late for the Fun Friday post on trees, hosted by Melissa. For 8 weeks, we will be featuring trees, and we are now on second week.
Me and the Naked Coral Tree @ Balboa Park
The naked coral tree or flame coral tree ( Erythrina coralloides ) ranges from Arizona to Oaxaca, Mexico. The beautiful red flowers are used as food but its seed are very poisonous. The blooms are typically pollinated by hummingbirds.
Hummingbird Pollinating the Naked Coral Tree Blossom
The long, probing bill of the hummingbird is well-adapted for reaching the liquid nectar at the base of the petals deep inside the tubular corolla.This is probably the most cold tolerant coral tree. They can be propagated by stem cutting or by seedlings. During spring, the tree is bare with red flowers. In the summer, the tree is covered with lush large bright green leaves. At Fall, the green leaves turn into yellow. And in winter, the leaves fall exposing the coral like branches, and probably the best time to prune the tree.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Mother's Day weekend.
Posted by betchai at 2:00 PM