Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Upheaval Dome Overlook Trail

Upheaval Dome Overlook Trail
( can you find the trail? or can you spot the two persons walking on the trail? )
Upheaval Dome Overlook Trail is one of the short hikes in Canyonlands National Park. The total hike is only 2 miles round trip to the 1st and 2nd overlook, but there is an 8 mile loop trail around the Upheaval Dome. 
For many years, the Upheaval Dome was thought to have been just an ordinary salt dome. However, later, due to stratigraphic and geophysical evidence, a new theory has evolved regarding the formation of this dome.
Upheaval Dome is 1.5 miles wide from rim to rim and is over 1/4 mile deep. Presently, there are two theories on the formation of Upheaval Dome, and these are: The Salt Dome Theory and the Impact Crater Theory.

For more information on these two theories, you can visit these sites: Canyonlands National Park, Upheaval Dome and   The Controversy over Upheaval Dome
Upheaval Dome contains colorful rock layers unlike any other at the park. This oddity has scientists debate whether this was the remnant of a meteorite impact or from the erosion of rock layers.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Day At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

My First Try of taking non-underwater video, at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
I was not into taking videos before, but somehow, my underwater videos whenever we went snorkeling inspired me to try taking videos also on land. I got the chance today to practice taking videos in the Safari Park. Using my dlsr, I actually find it more challenging to take videos than taking photos. It would be easier to take videos with my point and shoot underwater camera, but it does not do well in zooming when taking videos, and the animals would look too small. I guess, it is just good for my underwater escapades, and taking photos of whatever is near. 
 Anyhow, had a wonderful time at the Safari Park today. The park is huge, so, it was like we took a hike too, but just an easy hike since there was not much change in elevation, haha! A relaxing hike with the animals. Here are some of my pictures.
 Fall Colors and animals ( the birds are wild, visiting the park like me )
Playful Elephants

Flowers at Fall

Backyard's Blossom
In some parts of the country, where the flowers may have been maybe frozen to hibernation, here in San Diego, the bloom is year round :). Since we live in a region with mild weather, there are always flowers around. Here are some more flowers from our yard which blooms almost year round.
Fuschia ( my favorite at home )

Danjugan Island Marine Sanctuary and Reserve

Danjugan Island Marine Sanctuary and Reserve, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Danjugan Island Marine Sanctuary and Reserve is one of the peaceful and quiet escape to nature near my hometown, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. Negros is one of the bigger islands in the 7,107 islands in the Philippines. Though our country is very small in area, but we have that number of islands, so, probably, you can all call us "islanders", since we all live in different islands. Some islands are bigger than others, such as the mainlands of Luzon and Mindanao, some are tiny and uninhabited, like Danjugan. Since technically, we all live in an island, many of us have grown to have an affinity for the sea.  
Approaching Danjugan Island

Friday, October 25, 2013

Where The Aliens Will Most Likely Land

 Where The Aliens Will Most Likely Land
Currently suffering from "lazyitis" and "blogger's block", where I could not bring myself to write what I really wanted to write, huhuhu, I instead take delight into dreaming of being transported again to places that continues to inspire me. I have mentioned before that each time I have a longing, my heart always long to go to the desert, where the aliens will probably most likely land. Though I prefer to live closest to the ocean, and I am so thankful to God for transplanting me to San Diego, where I could enjoy most "hiking and the ocean" without having to take vacation, but there are times where my heart and mind wander to other places..... places that had inspired me, places that haunt me, places that call out to me. At this very moment, I take joy in resting my dreams in these magical desert forms below.
Double O Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah
Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Moab, Utah
Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah
Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Moab, Utah

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Contrast In The Desert

What is your common perception of desert? Hot? Dry? Both are true in some desert, but in other deserts which never get hot, only dry is true.  Some classifies desert as a place where the total annual precipitation is less than 10 inches a year, then, that will eliminate some of the desert we know since they get more precipitation than that. What is considered to be more appropriate description of a desert is when it loses more water from evaporation than it gains water from precipitation. Because of that, the air is very dry. Yet, they can have snow around, just like these:
 Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Canyonlands National Park, UT
Canyonlands National Park, UT

No Picture Please- says the sea otter

Sea Otter: No picture taking please

Monday, October 21, 2013

Blogging Block and Life's Simple Joys

from this weekend's snorkeling @ La Jolla Shores, San Diego, CA
Have you had blogging block? I am in that stage right now that whatever I wanted to write, I could not write any. Though I have so many simple joys in simple life that I wanted to share, I just could not write decent ones. So, pardon me if this post does not have a focus. :(
from this weekend's wandering @ Torrey Pines State Beach, San Diego, CA
Looking at the pictures above, I know I wanted to talk about sanderlings ( the cute small birds in the picture), and snorkeling in La Jolla Cove and Shores, but somehow, I do not know how to start. :) I also would love to share one of my friends most recent joy, her parents' immigration papers were finally approved, thanks to the help of the immigration lawyers in los angeles. Somehow, there are so many stories in my mind to share, but I am just lost for words. Thankfully enough, I am not lost for pictures. :) Maybe, never will be since capturing the joys of simple life around has been part of my nature therapy. That's how I extend my enjoyment of nature, taking pictures so I could view them again and again, in my computer, or in my cell phone or in my iPad. 
wanderings from 3 weekends ago
And now, aside from pictures, I also have videos of nature to watch again and again. I must admit the reason why I suffer from blogging block lately is because I got hooked on video editing. :) I can hardly write since I almost use my free time at home editing videos. I know, I need more practice since I see the areas in video making I need to improve. 
Notice how my video has too much shaking, maybe I was shivering from feeling too much cold in the water? Hmmmm, no excuses, I just need to improve taking videos next time. Just too bad I started having an interest in making underwater video when it is already past summer. As I mentioned before, starting late fall to spring, not only it gets colder, but we would have more raging waves than calm water which would not be ideal for snorkeling because the turbulent waves would cause so much disturbance and stirring in the water resulting to reduced visibility underwater. Anyway, maybe, I could also start taking videos of nature in our hikes too, in addition to picture. Hmmm, we'll see. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Weekend Wanderings Here in San Diego

"One does not climb to attain enlightenment, rather one climbs because he is enlightened."
-- Zen Master Futomaki

It seems that time flies by so quickly these days, that I always end up chasing after it to finish the many tasks I have at hand. Despite my crazy busy schedule however, there is one I can not give up, and that is to hit the hiking trails or swim with the fishes on weekends and some weekdays. I have more time to explore the outdoors, than time for computer. 
Mt. Woodson Trail
Hiking, boogie boarding and snorkeling have been a large part of my life to free myself from daily work's stresses, and also to keep myself stay physically active. It is my wish to keep my heart, mind and legs strong to be able to climb mountains and canyons even at age 70s or 80s. Hiking has also brought me so many sweet memories from the beauty of our natural world. 
Potato Chip Rock at Mt. Woodson, San Diego County
My hikes since the past weekend somehow were giving me high hopes for a beautiful spring this year. Though after the rainy December, we did not get much rain here anymore, but I am still hopeful that starting next month the hills will explode with colors. Here are some early bloomers I found from the trails.
wild daisies
a new found, I still have to find the name of this one
also right now a (?), still have to find the name
Though there are not a lot of wildflowers in the trails yet, but their presence makes me dreamy of a colorful and beautiful spring. Right now, my hikes, though there may be very little flowers in the trail, but they constantly bring me inspiring colors of pure joy and happiness. Usually, after a strenuous hike, we would relax by the sea, such are some of the simple joys in simple life.
@ Torrey Pines Gliderport

Yosemite Valley Floor Loop Hike

Kids Enjoying the Meadow, Yosemite Valley Floor
Yosemite National Park abounds with more than 800 miles of trails, from very easy to extremely strenuous. Though most hikers would usually recommend staying away from the valley because for them it is too crowded, but actually, the Yosemite Valley Floor Hike is one of the more peaceful and silent hike in Yosemite. There may be some sections where it is overly crowded to experience a oneness with nature, such as at the trail to the base of Yosemite Falls, 
Yosemite Falls from the trail
and in Bridalveil Falls.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall-Winter-Fall Road Trip

A road trip and vacation we took last Thanksgiving 2010 that started at fall, passed through winter, then went back to fall a matter of 7 days that started at San Diego, going to Utah , then to Arizona and back to San Diego.

Day 1, November 20- We left San Diego, California and drove 475 miles to Zion National Park, Utah.
Fall Colors Along Virgin River, Zion National Park
Day 2, November 21- we left Zion before the snowstorm pounded it, we passed through Page, Arizona on our way to Moab, Utah.
Lake Powell, Page, Arizona
Day 3, November 22- hiking at Moab, Utah
We hiked the Devil's Garden Trail (click here to go to my previous post). After hiking at Devil's Garden Trail, we took another hike to Delicate Arch, our second time. ( click here to go to my post about Delicate Arch last spring 2009). 
That's me @ Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Utah
Day 4, November 23 - some hikes at Moab, then, drove back to Arizona at Monument Valley

Monday, October 07, 2013

Rest and Relaxation Therapy in Nature

Happiness and Contentment in Life that Is Simple, Life that Is Simply Good!

We all live in a life that is not devoid of stress. The stress may come from our work, from people we work with or people we interact with, from family, from friends, or even from ourselves. Though I may give a picture of a stress free life because most of my posts here are our nature escapades, but truth is, they are my way of managing stress in a life that is as busy as anyone, and as stressful as anyone. Just like most, I work 5 times a day and have to do household chores at home. Though I love my job, find a meaning in doing it, see it as my passion and one of my sources of priceless joy and happiness, but I do not deny that it is not perfect and it has its share of emotional stress.

So much researches point out to the dangerous health disorders brought about by stress. Stress can raise cholesterol levels, create hypertension which could damage arteries to the point where there is blockage and heart disease. Stress is also known to cause digestive disorders, worsen bowel conditions and lower immune system which causes our bodies more susceptible to infections and viruses. Stress can also slow recovery from major traumas to the body.

We respond to stress by doing our best to live in harmony with ourselves and to be content with our lives. Our lives are not perfect, and maybe never will be, but we need that acceptance and contentment within to feel a sense of happiness and inner joy that can never be taken away, not even by daily stress.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Elephant Seal Conversation

seal 1: psst, quiet! 
seal 2: ouch! touch anything but my hair! 
seal 3: zzzzzzzzz

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Kayak Dreaming in Autumn at the Sierras

I was browsing my old pictures, when I saw the picture of this guy peacefully relaxing in the middle of autumn colors.
Floating in Autumn Colors
The picture right away brought me to dreamland, of comfortable kayak seats and of the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains. 
North Lake, Bishop Creek Canyon, Eastern Sierra Nevada, CA
Am just so glad for these pictures, for whenever I need nature therapy, all I need is to browse my picture files in my computer. I am reminded of the joyful times we spent there when looking at the pictures. It's like feeling again the magic and wonders of the place. 

Such Is The Relaxing Power of the Sea

note: originally published here spring 2011, but I am so missing the carpet of wildflowers right now, that I am  moving it up so it is easier for me to look at these pictures, again and again! I can't wait for spring!
Headache and Tiredness Evaporates into the Cool Sea Breeze
When I went home Friday night, I was feeling so tired and so unmotivated to do anything, but EAT. Yes, I am a stress eater. When I am tired and home, I pour all my tiredness to foods. But the only problem with being a stress eater is that, after eating so much to the point where the stomach feels like exploding, I feel sick and the stress and tiredness do not go away but even grow worse. :(
Saturday however was a different story, the moment we started our walk from Torrey Pines to Del Mar, after listening to the powerful sound of the waves as we walked across yellow and lavender fields of wildflowers graciously fluttering in the sea breeze, all my exhaustion gone and headache disappeared. 
Mix of Sea Lavender and Coreopsis
Wildflower Lined Trail
The more I walked, the less tired I felt. I am so glad for the relaxing and therapeutic gift of being out, caressed by the wind, serenaded by the soothing sound of the waves and the surprises of little creatures around.
Yeah, what a joy to say "hi" to them bunny! :)

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Sand Pipers and Marbled Goldwit

Sandpipers and Marbled Goldwit, North Torrey Pines State Beach, San Diego, CA