Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Summer Break in San Diego

Ellen Browning Scripps Park, La Jolla
(all pictures in this post were taken by cell phone)
Let me take a break first from sharing the excitement of our Montana-Wyoming vacation to share some fun activities stay-cationing in San Diego. I should have ample time to be productive online right now, to follow Icy (of Wandering Thought ) and Jo (of Poetic Shutterbug) in making a zazzle store out of their beautiful and inspiring images. BUT, I guess, I am having so much fun in the sun right now. I realized that I even seldom update this blog, and my other blog, Breathe In....Breathe Out. I thought it is this time of the year where I could fill my blog's drafts with saved posts for scheduling, but I found out I do not have any saved posts. What happened to the time? Well, spent very well under the sun. :)
Sea Gulls @ Ellen Browning Scripps Park, La Jolla

Northern Elephant Seals @ Piedras Blancas

An Adult Elephant Seal Bull, Piedras Blancas, CA
Point Piedras Blancas is one of the elephant seal rookeries that can be found in California coast. A rookery is a breeding site on sandy beaches protected from dangerous surf and predation. Elephant seals got their name from their size, the males can grow to 14 ft and 5000 lbs. The elephant seals were hunted almost to extinction by the 19th century,  being prized for their oil. There were only about 100 to 1000 Northern elephant seals left, and they found refuge in Mexican waters. The only surviving rookery that was left then was at the Guadalupe Island, Mexico. The rookery was granted protection by the Mexican government.  By early 20th century, elephant seals have been protected by both Mexico and United States laws. After US passed the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the numbers have recovered to over 100,000. Now, the population is growing at about 25% in California, new colonies are established, and are probably limited only by haul out space. However, the population can easily be reduced with weather conditions. In 1997- 98 El Nino, about 80% of the pups were lost to the weather.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Grand Teton Without The Hikes

Let me start this post with this travel quote from Lao Tzu: "A good traveler has no plans, and is not intent on arriving."
Wild Sunflowers at Jackson Lake, Wyoming By The Roadside

When we explore other places, especially National Parks, hiking is always in our "must do" list. Hiking allows us to see and experience places that are not ordinarily seen unless one leaves the main road. It also allows us to experience deep peacefulness in nature. Sharing nature with other nature lovers as well is very inspiring because you get to see the efforts other do to experience and preserve nature. 

However, it does not mean we do not open our eyes and other senses to the majestic scenery and sounds around us if we are simply on the road. Whenever we are on the road, we do not focus on our destination, but rather we enjoy seeing scenery one moment at a time. If we need to stop, we would, as long as there is a safe turn-out, or there is a legal parking by the roadside. And the pictures here of Jackson Lake is by the look-out point which has legal parking lot. While photographing this scenery (all landscape shots here of Jackson lake were taken by cell phone), some cars stopped, looked around, and one asked me, "what did you see?"

Thursday, July 26, 2012

From Yellowstone to Glacier National Park

Part 4 of 4: Exploring Glacier-Grand Teton-Yellowstone National Parks

Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park ( in part 3 of this series)

This is the conclusion of my trip sharing about our exploration of Glacier-Grand Teton- Yellowstone National Parks. If you missed the first 3 parts, and would like to learn about:
1. Itinerary and sights to see for this trip- please go to part 1.
2. Sights to see in the south loop of Yellowstone National Park.- please go to part 2.
3. sights to see in the north loop of Yellowstone National Park - please go to part 3.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Part 3 of 4: Exploring Glacier-Yellowstone-Grand Teton National Parks

This is the continuation of the summary of our Yellowstone-Grand Teton-Glacier National Parks trip. If you missed the first two parts, and is interested to learn more about:

1. Planning for a Yellowstone-Grand Teton-Glacier National Parks itinerary with some of the sights- please visit Part 1 of this series.

2. Sights to see in the south loop of Yellowstone National Park - please visit Part 2 of this series.

The previous day, we explored the south loop going North from Madison Junction to Canyon Village and Lake Village, ending at sunset in the Old Faithful area. Since we already have covered the eastern part of the north loop on our first day, we decided to take some time to explore some parts of the south loop that we had missed before proceeding to explore the western part of the north loop.

wanted to share this blue to my dear friend, Kulasa of The Letters of November

Part A: Lower and Midway Geyser Basins in the south loop.
1. Coming from West Yellowstone, before turning left to go North from Madison Junction, we turned right to continue our exploring of the south loop. Out first right turn was at the Firehole Canyon Drive.
Hot Spring Next to the River

Monday, July 16, 2012

Exploring Glacier-Yellowstone-Grand Teton National Parks (Part 1 of 4)

Field of Canola Flowers, Montana
Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park are two parks which are right next to each other where visitors can experience some interesting places of both parks in one day. Glacier National Park on the other hand is quite a drive from Yellowstone National Park, about 7 hours (400 miles). However, Great Falls International Airport in Montana is quite strategically located right in the middle of Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, thus, it allowed us to experience all these majestic parks in 7 days by dividing the drive into smaller segments. Also, the drive from Yellowstone to Glacier was never boring because of the scenery, we had to pull over so many times because of the sights.
Great Falls, MT from our airplane window

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Point Lobos State National Reserve: Wildlife (Part 2 of 3)

Looking North to the Town of Carmel and Monterey from Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
To continue my previous post on Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, on top of spectacular views from its hiking trails, visitors will be delighted with the wildlife here. I would like to also share that aside from land wildlife, Point Lobos is a popular site for diving because its offshore area forms one of the richest underwater habitat in the world. Anyway, here are some of our wildlife encounter at Point Lobos.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Balboa Park Free Tuesdays

@ Rose Garden, Balboa Park ( free everyday for everyone, all year)
 Still enjoying my summer break, this Tuesday, I went to Balboa Park to visit the museums that are free on 2nd Tuesdays. Balboa Park offers 15 museums, and every Tuesday, certain group of museums are free admission to the residents. Aside from the museums, Balboa Park has various gardens, which are year round free to everyone.
Fountain Between Science Museum and Museum of Natural History  Buildings