Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Bishop Mini Get Away

This was actually a last minute trip. Before coming to Bishop, we had reservations at John Muir Lodge in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. However, there were 3 wildfires developing in these 2 National Parks. The day I had to cancel our reservation ( guests could cancel at least 72 hours for full refund), the Rogue fire north of Grant Grove was not threatening the area yet, and all of the roads leading to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park were open. Despite no closures at that time in the park yet, I canceled our reservation since I wanted to be safe. I know, I can always pursue my dream to shoot the Perseid meteor shower and Milky Way with the giant sequoias ( world's largest trees) at some other time.
some places we explored around Bishop
After canceling our reservations last Wednesday, I tried to look for an alternative location to shoot the Perseid meteor shower and Milky Way. Of course, there is Anza Borrego Desert State Park, the one closest to San Diego. However, the desert this time of the year is very hot. I am not yet at that level of braving the desert heat in the summer. I looked at the weather forecast for Big Sur, since I thought the Milky Way and the ocean would be so perfect. Though I live close to the ocean but the city does not have enough dark light to allow residents to gaze at a beautiful starry filled sky. Sadly (though I expected it ), there were no more vacancy in all of Big Sur being a very popular and world known summer destination.

I thought then of hiking in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains. I called Bishop Chamber of Commerce if they have health hazards warning in the area from the Rogue fire in Kings Canyon National Park, which is in the western side of the Sierra Nevada. The lady told me their mountains are not affected by fire and they do not get health warnings yet. I asked then for sky quality for possible Milky way photography in the night, and she told me the southeast sky is very clear, so should be very okay. After that call, I checked availability in Bishop, and felt so thankful I was able to book 3 nights, Saturday-Monday nights.

When we reached Bishop about noon time Saturday, the sky was very blue and so clear. I was like, "wow! great! I would have a grand time tonight!" To escape the heat in the desert valley ( the town of Bishop is in the desert valley, its mountain however is about 20-30 degrees cooler due to high altitude), we went up Bishop Creek Canyon to do some hikes. Since it is our first day hiking at high altitude, we chose a short one for our acclimatization hike. We hiked North Lake to Grass Lake.
Grass Lake and North Lake at Bishop Creek Canyon

Friday, August 14, 2015

I am Koalafornia Dreaming.

Koala @ San Diego Zoo

One of my favorite exhibits at San Diego Zoo are the koalas, I simply can't help but stop by their exhibit whenever I go to the zoo. I find them so cute and so fluffy that I wish I can give them a hug or carry them in my arms. The San Diego zoo koala exhibit has the most number of koalas outside of Australia. The koalas can be found at the 3-acre Australian exhibit that features aside from the koalas, wombats, wallabies, and other Australian animals and birds.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Nature and Exercise

La Jolla Shores from Up the Cliffs to Land

Nature makes me high. Thankfully, enjoying nature makes me exercise as well. Though exercising alone would be very tough for me to do probably despite I know the great benefits our heart, body and mind gets from it, simply because I do not have the motivation to do so had I not found the joy of being out in nature. But with nature, I am motivated. I am motivated to lace up my shoes and hike. I am motivated to put on that very hard to wear wetsuit to endure the cold water to swim with the fishes for hours. And each time I go home from enjoying nature I always have something to take home, such as priceless memories and some pictures from my cell phone. :)
photos from Torrey Pines State Reserve
Or some videos from my cell phone and point and shoot camera(if underwater),
One Fine hiking, snorkeling and tidepooling day at La Jolla Shores

Oh before you get scared for us swimming with the leopard sharks, they are very harmless species of sharks that are bottom feeders whose very small mouth are not capable of biting or endangering humans. If in case you are in La Jolla Shores, some kids may scare you shouting, "shark...shark...", and when you show a frightened face, some kids are quick to tell you, "oh, they are very friendly sharks, you can swim with them!" Not all sharks are born equal, just like whale sharks, leopard sharks are harmless to humans.

Anyway, all pictures above from last weekend's wanderings in nature, where we get not only nature inspiration and therapy, but also exercise, rejuvenating body, heart and mind.


"Wholesome exercise in the free air, under the wide sky, is the best medicine for body and spirit." -- Sarah Louise Arnold

China and Rome: Compare and Contrast

Ancient China and ancient Rome don't seem to have a lot in common in the minds of people today. That is not because there aren't commonalities between the two, it's because people just don't realize what those common bonds are. To help today's cultures learn more about cultures of the past, here is a brief rundown of some similarities and differences between these two powerful ancient cultures.

The best place to start with any story is the beginning. For the Romans, this beginning was Caesar Augustus and his father Julius Caesar. While it is Augustus who has become known as the first emperor of Rome, it was only because of his father that this was made possible. In China, Shihuangdi was the man to unite and begin an imperial China.

These great men both used similar governing tactics to bring peace to war-ravaged areas of their empire. By doing this, they both changed the way governing was done for their empires. While the prolonged peace was welcome by many people, the wealthy aristocrats in both empires disliked this new way of doing things. This is what eventually led to the assassination of Caesar, as well as three attempts on the life of Shihuangdi.